20 QUESTIONS WITH…
Vicky Hamilton with a young Bret Michaels of Poison
Every now and then we like to do 20 Questions with people that are behind the scenes and maybe have some good stories to share. So the other day we got the following email:
Vicky Hamilton here, In the 80’s I managed Poison, Guns and Roses and Faster Pussycat along with countless others…I’m doing a metal tribute club called Hair Ball, where I’m having 15 bands play 2 metal songs each as a tribute to their favorite metal bands for a prize of $200. Also I’m having a wet T-shirt contest which Lemmy from Motorhead is going to be one of the judges.. Would love to have you cover the event!
I’ve attached the flyer/la weekly and rock city news ad I hope to hear from you!
Since we know a little bit about everything, we knew who Vicky Hamilton was, and being that Vicky was there at the very beginning for Poison, Guns N Roses and various other bands on the strip in the 80s, she was an easy pick to do 20 Questions. Enjoy!
1. Who are you, and why should our Sludgeaholics care anyway?
2. You’re running another metal type night club called Hairball. Riki Rachtmen’s Cathouse took a nose dive after a month and word on the street is that Club Vodka is taking a bigger dive after only a few weeks. Why take the chance at another 80s hairband night?
Well first I’d like to say that Hairball is one night a month and is a theme night. The first opening night theme is Heavy Metal on Thursday Aug 29. Hairball is meant to be fun not serious, we are going to have 10-15 local bands playing TRIBUTE to their favorite metal bands by jumping up on stage and playing 2 covers of their favorite metal bands songs. The winner gets $200. It’s the futuristic, interactive nightclubbing! Also we are having a rock star look a like contest and a wet t-shirt contest.(both $100 prize) I’m not trying to revive the metal scene, been there done that,…just want to have a little retro fun! The club is next door to Boardners at 1652 Cherokee in Hollywood CA. The room is beautiful, it’s been fully redecorated, has a killer dance floor, bar inside, a cool sitting room loft where we will have metal makeovers going on and the bands will be playing in this out door courtyard that is very lush. Not to mention there is a brand new PA! I book the bands in the room every Saturday night for the club Bar Sinister (www.barsinister.net) any one with a hint of street smarts knows it’s the best club in town!!!! A spanking good time if you get my drift.
3. Being a woman in the rock business must be hard. Most men must take you much more lightly than your typical fat balding record executive. How have some of the women fit into the rock world & survived?
By being right about what works and what doesn’t. Thinking outside of the box. Keeping business, business and pleasure, pleasure.
4. What hard rock/heavy metal band should give it up and call it a day?
All who were playing metal in the 80’s and still think what they are playing is cutting edge! If you haven’t made it yet, let’s smell the coffee boys and girls, it’s probably not going to happen!
5. You mentioned in your e-mail to us that you managed Guns N’ Roses, Faster Pussycat & Poison. On a scale of 1-10 how bad would you of wanted to manage the careers of the following Strip bands and why?
I didn’t have time to take on any of the following, my hands were full but here are some thoughts..
Paradise = 0 don’t remember them
Jailhouse = 3 were not to original, did they really play? I thought they just hung out at the Rainbow
Taz = 5 kind of like them, they were like Poison
The Wild = 0 don’t remember them
New Haven = 5 sweet kids, didn’t have any great songs
Wild Boys = 0 don’t remember them
Jetboy =10 were totally great! Very surprised they weren’t huge
Odin = 10 I did manage Randy 0 in the Lostboys both bands were great in the day
Tuff = 8 Stevie had it going on but it was to close to Poison for me, I want Motley Priest to play Hairball though! (Stevie’s tribute band)
Shock = 0 don’t remember them
Dr. Starr = 6 Fun show, nice guy
Pair-a-dice = 4 not great but not terrible
Brunette = 4 not great but not terrible
Pretty Boy Floyd = 4 looked great, couldn’t play
Candy = 9 were a very cool band, with good songs
|6. You also mentioned managing several other bands. Who else, and what did you do for them?
Salty Dog, was the manager and got them signed to Geffen.
7. You claim to have managed Guns N’ Roses, Poison & Faster Pussycat. But we can’t seem to find your name under management on any of the CDs? Why is that?
What is that they say: History gets rewritten every 10 years? I managed the early careers of these 3 bands before there was a record deal. Poison, I sold the contract to Howie Hubberman, Guns and Roses signed with Geffen and I took an A&R job there, Faster Pussycat I took to Peter Philbin when he was at Elektra and he signed them. Warren Entner bought out my management agreement.
|8. What exactly were your duties when you worked with Poison and who was more of a pain in the ass, Bret or C.C.?
Since I never managed CC, I guess the answer would be Brett. When I managed Poison Matt Smith was the guitarist. I shopped them for a record deal, they were signing with Enigma when I turned it over to Howie. I help them put together a deal with the Troubadour that the club would pay Poison’s rent and phone bill every month and Poison would play the club once a month.
Vicky with David Geffen, Anna Statman, and John Kalodner
9. Being that you managed Faster Pussycat, do you have any knowledge of Taime getting it on with any dudes?
I know Taime has done a few porn starlets, guys and small animals aren’t his thing.
10. Rate the following managers and executives on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 being an incompetent ass and 10 being somebody who gets the job done.
Hey, I think all these folks are good at what they do, this business is really a tough one and I applaud anyone who can make it happen in the rock world. Of course I like some more than others but that is personal taste, all deserve a 10 for having the guts to get the ball rolling!
Doc McGhee =
John Kalodner =
HK Management =
Doug Thaler =
Howie Hubberman =
Sharon Osbourne =
Cliff Burnstein =
Tom Hulett =
Obi Steinman =
Alan Niven =
Tom Zutaut =
|11. Name us 3 bands that should’ve been huge from the Sunset Strip and 3 that had no business getting a deal or gaining any fame whatsoever?
Should have made it: Shark Island, Lostboys and Blackboard Jungle. No business getting a deal It’s hard for me to remember, that time period is kind of a fog, I just went to shows and if I didn’t like the bands I left. Hard to remember the good ones, impossible to remember the ones who sucked.
12. What do you remember about the following years:1975 = I was in love with Alice Cooper and Tom Petty, living in Indiana plotting my move to LA
1979 = Came to LA for the first time, loved it. Was managing a record store in Fort Wayne Indiana called Apple Records and writing for a free press called River City Review. Discovered that Van Halen were my new favorite band. Saved money to move to LA.
1983 = Moved to LA in 81, in 83 I spent all my nights at the Rainbow
1987 =G&R started to break, it was a exciting time in music, started doing A&R for Geffen Records
1991 = Nirvana hit and Metal was dead
1995 = Was working at Lookout management, picked up the Freewheelers
1999 = Was scouting bands for Capitol
2001 = The year I got sober, major wake up call!
13. What 80s rock star deserves or deserved a big kick in the nuts and why?
Gene Simmons, back stage at a concert his beer spilled all over my blue suede boots, he looked down and didn’t even say "Sorry"
14. What was Axl really like before the fame, fortune, and new bonded teeth?
Creatively Gifted, Driven and Inspired.
with her current client Stefania
15. Yes or no, has Vicky Hamilton ever…
Sucked off a band member you managed = No, all penis’s still attached
Slapped a singers face = Yes, in my dreams every night
Found sexual comfort with another female = No, not my bag
Drove drunk = Yes, back in the day, I’m sober now
Saw Bill Gazzarri naked = No Thank God
Felt karma came back on you = Yes, having to do 20 questions for Metal Sludge to promote my new club
Went to jail = Yes to bail out rock stars and painters
Worked out to a Richard Simmons’ tape = No, prefer Yoga
Purchased drugs for one of your bands = No, made them get their own
Cried over the Guns N’ Roses money you missed out on = No, Big girls don’t cry
16. What was your biggest musical related check (managers cut) for and what did you buy with it?
$50,000 publishing advance. I bought new boots, see question #13
17. The last of Vicky Hamilton….
Last rock star you talked to = Johnette Napolitano
Last meal you ate = Sushi
Last time you talked to Rikki Rockett = Ran into him at a fund raiser a couple of years back
Last rock star you slept with = Pet Rock
Last CD you purchased = David Bowie Heathen
Last person you lied to = myself, that doing 20 questions for Metal Sludge was a good idea
Last time you looked at Metal Sludge = yesterday
Last memory of Gazzarris = Ratt and Roxxs Regime (turned into Stryper) both doing covers of Judas Priest "Breaking The Law"
Last band you got a deal for = June Carter Cash
Last label your worked for = Capitol
18. How many band guys did you manage and then found that pleasure started to get in the way of the business?
(2) drugs, alcohol and emotions wreak good business relationships
19. Guns N Roses claims that you never managed them and that you didn’t come through with the money you promised them. You then sued them claiming they never paid you back on the money you spent on them. What was that all about?
Not allowed to talk about it, signed a gag order. I’m still friends with most of the band.
20. Time for Metal Sludge’s Word Association. We mention a name and you give us your thoughts.
Nikki Sixx = First rock star I met when I moved to Hollywood. I love his personality and will always be grateful that he helped me get my start in the business
David Geffen = Learnt more from this man than any other on the planet. A business genius
Gene Simmons = Owes me a pair of blue suede boots
Gerri Miller = Nice girl
Angelene = Pink Vet, Big Boobs and Billboards What does she do anyway?
Jani Lane = Cherry Pie
Sebastian Bach = Sebastian once showed me a picture of his girlfriend tied up to a chair saying "Want to see a picture of my girlfriend?"
Taime Downe = My favorite Taime memory was when I threw a Halloween party and all of Faster Pussycat played in Drag, watching Taime in high heels was special.
Bret Michaels = When he first moved to Hollywood he was a rail thin guy, he aspired to have an abdomen and arms like David Lee Roth, when I saw Poison play this past summer, he had achieved it!
Jizzy Pearl = Don’t know him
Blackie Lawless = I remember going to a Wasp show and getting hit in the head by raw meat…gross!
Rueben Blue = Nice guy, sparkly blue eye, just saw him the other day when I took out an ad for Hairball
Thank to Vicky for the old school photos and for stopping by. Below is the info for The Hairball on August 29th.