20 Questions w/ Ralph Sutton from The Tour Bus!
Ralph Sutton from the Tour Bus, w/ Josh Todd of Buckcherry.
20 Questions w/ Ralph Sutton DJ/Founder of THE TOUR BUS. We’ll give you fair warning in advance, this guy is L O N G F’ I N G W I N D E D and thensome. We’ll keep the intro short since the interview is not.
In a nut shell this guy is an old friend, and part time enemy to over sized fruit! Add to that, he’s very tall, has met every rock star under the sun, was on Queer Eye For The Straight Guy, and keeps quarters in his ass. Surprised? Not.
We’ll let you read on and enjoy this week’s featured 20 Questions with Ralph Sutton!
1. Tell us about you, your show THE TOUR BUS, it’s history and what’s new?
Well… The Tour Bus was an idea I had back in 98. It was before I was in radio actually – I was a strip club DJ & running a restaurant in NYC at the time… Every time any 80s rock song came on – be it Van Halen, Guns N Roses, Poison, etc. People would go crazy for it. And at the time – NO ONE was playing 80s rock on the radio – so I thought it would make a lot of sense. After a lucky break of getting an overnight shift in radio – I pitched the idea of the show to the program director – and 6 months later we were #1 in the market (WNNJ in Sussex NJ). Moved to WDHA in NJ – and 6 months later the same thing happened… we got a syndicator – and now, 12 years later – the show is on about 50 stations across the country. I am even thinking about throwing a Tour Bus bar mitzvah party in 2012 (since I am a Jewboy)! We’ve interviewed everyone I have ever wanted to interview, and I have even become friends with some of my idols. All in all – a lot of ups and downs – but it’s been A LOT of fun.
About 2 years ago – we signed on with a new syndicator named Envision – and the show is churning along. Even though radio is dying a slow death for the most part – so I have been working on new ventures – most recently an app for smartphones called A3 (www.allaccessapp.com) which is kind of like a 21st century fan club for celebs… and the radio show has launched a new website as well – www.tourbusradio.com plus we signed a few new stations in 2011, and we’ve got a new on-line home for the re-broadcast – - every Friday @ 1PM at www.pitriff.com .
2. You mentioned in a previous interview you had little to no radio experience before TTB. How did it come to you to start this show and who were the initial influences to do it?
So this is a bit of a long story – but kinda interesting (or at least I think so)…. The year was 1998 – I was still a stripclub DJ at the time and running a restaurant in NYC. I had always wanted to get into radio – but never really pursued it. Ever since I was about 14 I had been told I had a voice (and a face) for radio. So… one day a new DJ starts at the strip club – and he had a great voice – but had no idea what he was doing as a strip club DJ. Turned out he was in radio – and was doing the stripclub DJ thing to make extra money. I told him – I would teach him everything – if he got me an interview at the station. He did. And the Program Director told me to come in every night for a week – from 11p-12a to train with the evening guy who worked 8p-12a. On the first night, I got there – and the DJ was arguing with his girlfriend on the hotline in the studio – and he had me wait in the hallway until he called me in to start my training. Around 11:30 he brings me in – and very abruptly says – ‘OK this does this, this does this… blah blah blah… just watch me – and we will train more later in the week’ Midnight comes – and the overnight guy doesn’t show up… The evening guy was so annoyed and wanted to get home to continue his argument with his girlfriend – that he just looks at me and says… ‘Ya know what?!?… Good Luck!’ and leaves!!! When 6AM rolled around – the PD came in, and saw me there – after I explained what happened – he said – you’ve got a job. I did the Saturday to Sunday overnight for about a month – then pitched the idea for The Tour Bus. They told me if I could convince one of the real radio jocks to do it with me – we could do it (since I had only done about 4 shifts at the time). I talked Matt Murray into it – who was the guy that got me the interview, and The Tour Bus began in Jan of 1999. The funny thing was – in the beginning we couldn’t really get any big stars to come do interviews – so I bought a bunch of interview cds off the internet – and would clip out their answers… so we’d never really say we did the interview – but we tried to make it like we did.
My initial influences to do it? I ran rock clubs in the late 80s/early 90s. Limelight, Lamour, and about 2-3 others – the company was called Monkey Business Crew – and it was me, my brother and 2 of our best friends. Initially we ran dance clubs – and we were the first in-house promoters at the once famed Palladium club in NYC – but 2 of us always loved rock – so we split the group in two – and ½ of us did rock and the other ½ did dance… the rock did a lot better… and my love of that music never died.
3. You & THE TOUR BUS played co-host to the recent SHIPROCKED cruise in Nov. 2010 & also back in 2009. Tell us a little bit about SHIPROCKED for those who don’t know what it’s all about?
Shiprocked is one of my highlights every year! This is now our 3rd year hosting – getshiprocked.com
It’s a rock n roll cruise with some great bands – and a truly amazing time is always had! This year it’s Buckcherry, Queensryche, Hinder, Hell Yeah, Sevendust, Living Colour, Candlebox, In This Moment, Lynam, Broken Teeth & Rival Sons – and it’s from Nov 14-19th from Ft Lauderdale to Mexico. I can’t even express how much fun this is… It’s getting better every year – and anyone reading this – should just go. And thank me afterwards. There’s nothing like the feeling when the boat first pulls away from the dock – and the first band hits the stage on the pool deck. Come! And maybe I will buy you a beer.
Ralph is the tall goof in the back, we’re guessing this was at the strip club?
4. Previous to TTB coming to life you worked at a strip club. What was your job, and how many sets of tits & twats do you think you’ve seen during your tenure in this fine profession?
About 1993 – it was the end of my rock club promotional life… As we all say – Nirvana came along and fucked it up for everyone… which was very true in the rock club world… as no one wanted to go out and party anymore – when the music was so depressing. Attendance just started to plummet. A loyal patron to the Sunday night Rock N Roll Church at Limelight where I was a DJ and promoter – was a DJ at a club that had recently opened called Scores. I went in to see him one night – and had NO IDEA what I was in for… He was surrounded by hot girls and was making a shitload of money, so I thought… this is for me! I did that for almost 13 years. I saw a lot of crazy shit. I experienced a lot of crazy shit – and actually wrote a book about it all called Strip Club Confidential – that is currently with a NY book agent. That industry has changed A LOT in the past 10 years. There are way too many clubs, and the quality of a strip club and their DJ has gone down tremendously. As idiotic as this sounds – it used to really be an art form – and at one time – there was maybe 10 of us that were considered the top strip club DJs – and they would send us to various clubs across the country to open them… And train the new DJs. It’s very VERY different now… The money isn’t the same, the girls aren’t the same… and like everything – it was better 10-15 years ago.
5. Going back in Metal Sludge history. There was drama that unfolded with an incident involving you and Metal Sludge personality CC Banana back in summer of 2003. The incident seemed to have started out as fun, and playful, but elevated and got ultimately out of control. What is your version about what happened, who, why, where, and when?
This to me is one of the most bizarre experiences of my life… and I am going to recall this as accurately as I possibly can – and not pull any punches here. And I apologize in advance for this being a lengthy story….
Before any crap went down w Metal Sludge – we actually had a decent relationship – - you guys would pick a song of the week for a few months- until you gave up on it – because you didn’t like only having one song… Then in 2003 – there was this metal sludge tour. Off the top of my head – Enuff Znuff, Faster Pussycat and Pretty Boy Floyd? I think that was the line up – but I could be wrong. And as long as we are being honest here – sales were abysmal. I think Metal Sludge thought at the time that they had more of a following than they really did – because there was really no promotion other than mentioning it on the website, and the Saturday before the Sunday show – the promoter called intoThe Tour Bus asking us to give as many tickets as we could possibly give away – since they had sold only 20 tickets to the event – and it was going to be in this HUGE area on the Meadowlands grounds – that can hold a few thousand people.
Editor interruption: Actually Metal Sludge didn’t think we were big. We were just offered a "chance to sponsor" the tour through the agent that booked the tour. And get paid a fee for every show. A nice fee, wink-wink. So we said sure, pay us per show in advance, and we’ll promote it on the site. Simple as that. We got paid, the bands got paid, the Banana got beat up and you had to deal with drama that started when you essentially went 9/11 on the fruit.
So we gave away about 100 tickets. He also asked if we could please host the event – because he hoped it would bring some more people in… I show up Sunday – with an intern from the show and MAYBE there were 200 people in this ENORMOUS empty space. It was depressing. We were asked to do some stage announcements from the promoter – but unbeknownst to me – CC Banana was supposed to do the stage announcements. So he went on first… then we went on… And the first band played – Then I was standing on the side of the stage w a few guys in various bands as CC Banana made his next announcement – and I think he was singing an acapella song or something – and one of the guys in one of the bands – tackled him on stage. The 150-200 people in the audience laughed… and the next band went on (I skipped going on stage after the 2nd band). Then right before the headliner – the promoter asked me to give away a pair of Twisted Sister tickets – as they were playing at the same venue the next night – so I walked out with my intern. And jokingly said – I will give a pair away – to the next guy that tackles CC Banana… Now – first off, I was completely joking… And secondly – it wasn’t like there was a wild scene there – there was almost nobody in attendance… but then – my intern picked up the microphone – and said – something to the effect of: ‘seriously – the next person to tackle the banana gets these tickets! Do it!’ And one guy – walked over to CC – picked him up – and gently put him down on the ground… Nothing crazy at all… and again the entire area was empty. I swear I saw tumbleweeds at one point… Now – you’d think a guy in a 7 ft banana costume could take a joke – but instead – he got up, ran over to the stage – came up to me – and punched me. I said something like… “OK. Do you feel better? It was a joke. No one got hurt – I apologize… My intern got a little carried away… but you’re OK. And you punched me – so let’s call it even” But he refused… And decided he wanted me ejected from the venue – and also called the police. But – everyone there – including the staff, and the police – said I didn’t do anything wrong – and I couldn’t be asked to leave – since I didn’t do anything wrong. I left that night – thinking it was over. But – boy was I wrong.
Editor: We’re not sure what was more nuts. A crazy 7′ banana that went Brock Lesnar on your ass, or the fact that you had a intern at a Pretty Boy Floyd/Enuff Z’nuff show. Who are you Axl Sutton or Ralph Trump? Anyway, let’s continue on.
When I got home – there was an email from someone from metal sludge saying that I screwed with the wrong person – and hell was going to happen to me. Then there was a call to arms on the website to get The Tour Bus taken off the air. Now, one thing I have always felt is – say what you want about me. Call me boring, silly, juvenile, stupid – whatever. That’s your opinion, and you are certainly entitled to it. But for god’s sake – don’t go after someone’s livelihood! I make my living from my radio show – And now the metal sludge people decided to make it their personal vendetta to take me off the air? It seemed incomprehensible to me. Then the flagship station at the time got about 3-400 emails to take the show off the air. The program director called me in to have a meeting, but the funny thing was – when we took a look at the headers from the 100s of emails… we saw that mostly they all came from the same 5-6 people using various email accounts. So that kind of softened the blow a bit. And being that all the emails were from out of state – it really didn’t upset them as much as Metal Sludge wanted it to – but it was a nuisance to say the least – as whomever these 5-6 people were, they kept sending emails. So I emailed Metal Sludge – explained the story – and you guys put something on the site – saying you were OK with everything.
But then – and this was bizarre – Brent Muscat was writing a tour diary for you guys – and decided to bash me. It was so weird because, literally 2 days before he and I spoke for about an hour – as I was helping him formulate a query letter to get a book agent – because one of my good friends was a book agent – and I know a little bit about it. It seemed that he had a problem with the fact that we couldn’t do an interview – without the band performing in studio. I had very clearly explained to FP’s manager that if the band doesn’t perform in studio – I can’t have them on. We had just signed a new syndication deal at the time – and that was the syndication company’s deal. He said OK – and then the band showed up without Taime. He also reached out a few years back – claiming not to remember anything that he said – and was apologetic.
The nice thing was about a ½ dozen rockstars called me to say – that they knew me well enough to know the whole thing was blown out of proportion and not to let it get to me. And a few months afterwards – when it came out that Stevie was behind metal sludge (which I knew for a long time) he said it wasn’t his doing – that someone else had taken control of the site – and he didn’t agree with anything that was done… It stayed up on the website for years – which always irked me too.
The bottom line – I probably shouldn’t have said anything – but had I thought there was even one iota of a chance that he would get hurt – I wouldn’t have… And being that he sprinted to the stage and punched me – he was obviously fine. Plus – CCB seemed far more concerned about getting publicity out of it – than actually ever saying anything to me directly. Because coincidentally – there was a mascot somewhere that got hit with a baseball bat and it was all over the news, so he released some audio/video to try and capture some of that media coverage – and the funny thing is you can hear that it wasn’t even my voice inciting the dreaded ‘incident’
I have run into him a few times over the years – and I think it’s all water under the banana nowadays. But for that entire year, I didn’t even want to look at a banana. And there you have it – the banana incident.
WTF? The longest answer in internet history. Now that we’re all 1 year older, let’s move along.
Scott, Stacy X & Ralph Sutton – the 3 stooges of Rock n’ Roll radio Djs
6. Rate a DJ/VJ 1-10. A 1 being someone who sucks donkey balls and a 10 is a rock n’ roll genius on air! (we’re going old school and NEW skool here)
Dee Snider – DJ/House of Hair = VERY GOOD! An 8!. He’s a damn good personality. And of all the celebs gone radio – he’s the only good one I have heard that is any good!
Stacy X – Co Host The Tour Bus =9 when she’s in a good mood. 7 when she’s not! The first time I auditioned her – it was like we had been doing radio together for years.
Riki Rachtman – VJ/X-Headbangers Ball =7 – He’s good. Solid. Doesn’t wow me – but solid.
Eddie Trunk – VJ/DJ That Metal Show = 6 – talks a bit too much for my tastes. I don’t watch the tv show – but always happy that the rock I love gets exposure anywhere.
Juliya – VJ/Fuse = She’s a hot metal chick – for that reason alone – an 8
Matt Pinfield – VJ/X-MTV/VH1 = a 9 for his knowledge… but I never liked his voice… overall a 7
Opie & Anthony /DJs = When they were on in NYC? A 9.5! The only guys that ever had me wait in the car to hear the end of a bit. I met them 2 times – and they were super cool.
The Heavy Metal Siren – Kayla = I don’t have XM – but met her on shiprocked last year. So I can’t really answer as I have never heard her on the radio. She seemed to have a lot of fans – and she was EXTREMELY nice. (and pretty cute)
Harlan – DJ/Monsters of Rock = 8. VERY VERY cool guy – does the same thing I do. And unlike some other radio guys I have met – an extremely NICE guy.
Howard Stern – King of All Media =The only 10… It doesn’t get any better. Even though I don’t get sat. radio – when he was on in NYC – I would listen all the time – in fact – the catalyst for me getting into radio – was when I called in to Howard back in 1998 – to talk about how to have sex with strippers – That day – about 20 of my friends called to ask if it was me on his show! I still have the audio saved on my hard drive!
A couple of New Yorkers throwing some gang signs!
7. How do you feel about the current state of rock n’ roll, hard rock – heavy metal? Your show is directed at “these” styles – so how has the internet, digi sales, and/or reality shows (Rock of Love, The Osbournes, Growing Up Twisted) affected your growth?
The state of it in mainstream America is pitiful. It’s just sad. I’ve seen glimmers of hope for the past 5-7 years – but nothing has yet to take hold. When you hear bands like Bullet For My Valentine, A7X, Five Finger Death Punch, etc – actually getting some airplay – it gives you SOME hope for new school rock… The Tour Bus is VERY different from most syndicated rock radio shows – because we try to expose people that love 80s rock – not only to new music from the 80s bands – but music from new bands – that hold the metal flame high - so we’ll say — – if you like Iron Maiden – check out Edguy. If you like ACDC – check out Airbourne… etc. I think there is great music out there – you just have to look for it. As far as reality shows, internet stuff, etc – I always have said – get the exposure any way you can – - if you’re comfortable dancing with the stars, skating with the stars, shitting with the stars – go right ahead… There really is no such thing as bad publicity (unless it involves a banana). I think I read somewhere that Aerosmith’s catalog is up something like 500% in sales since he became a judge on Idol… So, why the hell not?
8. Speaking of reality shows. Bret Michaels has turned “Rock Of Love” into rock of star power. His profile has went from solo shows with 400-500 fans, to 10-15,000+ all as he is on the door of 50 years old. Do you think this helps or hurts the overall picture for rock n’ roll?
See above answer. J Do it all… get it out there… These days you have to – if you want to survive in this business.
9. Reality show question, part II. You’ve mentioned in the past that Zakk Wylde was one of your best ever interviews. Now he has recently stepped onto the “American Idol” stage to play with a 20 something pimple faced kid from a fly over state in nice clothes with a nice hair cut. Also, Tracii Guns will appear on the TV game show “The Price Is Right”. What are your thoughts on these type of outlets for rock/metal personalities?
To me – it shows how popular these bands were – that 20+ years after the fact – people care enough to put them on American Idol or The Price is Right – or wherever else they may land. I had to argue this point until I was blue in the face when I first started The Tour Bus – no one thought there was an audience for it. But I knew there was… These musicians were some of the best musicians EVER. Don’t let the fact that we all had long hair and wore silly clothes take anything away from that. I really don’t think anyone from ‘Death Cab For Cutie’ could play a Steve Vai guitar solo.
Ralph on the set of Queer Eye for —-oopps, we meant back stage with Judas Priest
10. Continuing with the TV stuff. Queer Eye question. Ok, so you not only host this rock radio show, but also found yourself on the TV show “Queer Eye for a Straight Guy” Tv show in 2004.
http://www.chorusandverse.com/content.php?id=20040304A How did this happen?
I have to give 100% credit to Stacey X on this one… she saw the first show… and came into the studios that weekend saying – ‘Ralph – go on their website and fill out the application – this will be tremendous publicity for us!” So I did just that – tried to make the questionnaire as amusing as possible (kind of like I am doing now), and sent the worst picture I could find of myself… they called me 2 days later – because they were looking for a radio guy…. We had a live broadcast from a Vince Neil show in a few months – thankfully Vince was cool with it all – and let us film… and it became the most watched episode in that show’s history. AND we signed about 10 stations on The Tour Bus the week after it aired! Plus the QE guys dubbed me as the least homophobic man that they ever had on the show… Probably because all 6 of us made out a few times.
11. We’re gonna ask you a hypothetical question based on your TV show spot. If you were given 24 hours to live, – but with one choice, could live into your 80s (like your favorite style of music), what do you do? The choice is, you live the remainder of your life as a gay man, and must pick one of the following as your life long partner.
Paul Stanley =
Lemmy Kilmister =
Ozzy Osbourne =
You have 24 hours to wed, kiss, make love in the back of the limo and head off for the honeymoon – who do you choose and why?
NO QUESTION – I would choose Ozzy… A) he seems delicate, so I don’t think he’d hurt me.. (assuming he’s pitching and I am catching in your scenario). Plus – he’s the oldest – so he probably won’t be around too long… and then I would have all his money and could go back to being a somewhat heterosexual man. Lemmy seems like he’d wanna get really down and dirty – and Paul would probably enjoy it too much.
If Ralph had to live a gay life, he would pick Ozzy. Seems about right.
12. Word Association. We mention a name, you give us your thoughts.
Stacy X = Manic, fun, cool, great girl. More manly than me – as she rides bikes and follows sports.
Vince Neil = because of him allowing it – I did queer eye – so I love this man. I got $60,000 worth of furniture and clothes from that!
Paul Gargano = nice guy – haven’t seen him in years. When he left metal edge – it was only a matter of time.
Zakk Wylde = FUNNY/cool guy. I txtd him when he was on Idol and told him he looked like an adorable sugar muffin. Now he’s asked me to only refer to him as my idol sugar muffin.
Gene Simmons = Money Makin’ genius! Although I challenged him to racquetball once, still waiting!
Eddie Trunk = perplexing… I really don’t get it. But hey – he’s more successful than I am – so what do I know.
CC Banana = Silly – but hey – whatever works for ya.
Scott Ian = Love his new band – The Damned Things! Saw them a few months ago – GREAT SHOW.
Original TTB co-host Matt = Funny guy. We had good times.
Peter Steele = Even though we hadn’t spoken in a few years, I miss him. He was damn cool. Plus – I used to get laid solely on the fact that I looked like him.
13. You talked about Peter Steele in an interview where you and him almost got into a fight on air and you had to throw him out of the studio. What happened with that, and what were your thoughts when he suddenly passed away in April 2010?
Pete and I grew up about 10 blocks from each other in Brooklyn.. and when I ran a club back then called Christopher’s – we did a charity event and Type O, along with White Lion, Tyketto, Tall Stories and about a ½ dozen others all played.. which was awesome. Before he and I met – people would always come up to me and call me Pete… and vice versa. When we finally met – we both were like… ‘OH.. OK.. I get it’ I mean how many 6’5 guys with long black here were there living in that 10 block area? So we’d get mistaken for each other a lot. I hadn’t seen him in YEARS – and then we bumped into each other backstage at the Deep Purple show (I think Scorpions opened for them) in like 2002. We ended up talking for like 2 hours – and missed most of the end of Purple… I invited him to the studio – to guest host… it was all going well – until he took something – not sure what – and became enraged! He threw his headphones at me – and wanted to fight right there in the studio. I said to him – look – you have about 30 fans waiting for you outside – why don’t you go talk to them – calm down – and come back in a bit. This was all live on the air! He did… and came back – much calmer. Then he even apologized on the air… As scary as it was – it was one of the best moments in my radio career – because EVERYONE was talking about it over the next few days… and FYI – he would have totally kicked my ass.
14. If you could slap, kick or punch any famous person & get away with it, who would it be?
Stevie Rachelle – see my answer to #5 and I would go with slap..and probably choose his tushie.
15. If you could change one thing about yourself today – what would it be and why?
A smaller penis. It’s just too hard to lug this thing around all the time…. In truth – back when I was a VJ on VH1-Classic… I had a throat cancer scare. I was part time and would do fill-ins once every month. I was going in for surgery – and decided to do the right thing – and let them know – that I was going in – and might not be able to tape the next month – because I didn’t know what kind of shape I would be in… as I had a golf ball sized pre-cancerous tumor growing in my throat. They assured me – my job would be there when I got better. When I got better- they told me that they had to hire someone full-time since they didn’t know when I was coming back… In hind sight – I would have never said anything – and I think I would have ended up with that full time position. Because I wouldn’t have missed a taping – I was just trying to be nice, and do the right thing… that was the last time I did something silly like that!
Ralph & Zakk with a quick combined IQ count.
16. Name the best 3 & worst guests of all time you’ve ever interviewed on THE TOUR BUS?
BEST – First and foremost – Zakk Wylde. He’s always super entertaining – and we have a very similar sense of humor. I think it was the 2nd time I interviewed him – when we ended up talking for 10 minutes about his sex change operation.
Twisted Sister. – They are all super smart funny guys- I used to say to the crew of the tour bus – when we were live in NJ (Stacey X – my co-host, Scott Evil and Patsy – the two best interns the bus ever had, and Scotty has his own metal show on WDHA now called Metal Mania) – that I always felt I had to prepare for verbal jousting with them… They were all – always so quick and so on-point! I mean – Dee does radio – and the rest of the guys are all just super quick… It’s always fun to interview those guys. But I’d feel mentally spent afterwards.
Living Colour - Corey Glover is just damn funny – - the 2nd time he was on The Tour Bus was a phoner… to announce that the band reunited. His first time on – he came in with VICE and performed live. I opened the mic saying – Corey – “I have been meaning to talk to you about something – after you left last time you were here – without getting into details – I now have a rash on my penis. “ Now I didn’t really know him that well at that point – but part of what I like to do on the radio show – is to say something idiotic just to see what happens… and Corey – without missing a beat said “but you never called! I spoke to the doctor – I have the cream for you here”
Honestly – I have always tried to just be normal on the air with bands… No pre-scripted questions, no planned nonsense – just hang out and joke around… and enjoy the moment. I could list another 20 bands that I think are awesome. I just got off the phone with Stacey, and Scott Evil to ask – did we ever have a really BAD interview?? And neither of them could come up with one… but here are a few cringes I remember.
Loudness… Really because I couldn’t understand them and I am going to hell for introducing them as “Roudness”
The FIRST time we had Stephen Pearcy on with the Ratt in 1999. They performed in studio – Stephen forgot the words to Way Cool Jr. Only gave one-word answers, and he was really not nice to me. BUT – I went to see them a few weeks later – and Stephen flat-out apologized – and since then has always been SUPER cool to us… in fact one of my fondest memories was sitting on the Ratt tour bus – talking with the guys – and not realizing the bus started moving – and then had to take a taxi back to the venue to get my car.
And lastly – a local NJ band called American Angel – while I do like the guys – they for some reason – at the time were somewhat difficult. Again – I have since broke-bread with them… but I remember it being a somewhat tense situation in the studio – because they were expecting to be treated a certain way – and weren’t…
With the legendary Ronnie James Dio
17. Taller/Shorter with Ralph Sutton. At 6’5” you are much taller than the average guy. Who are the TOP 3 tallest and BOTTOM 3 shortest guys you’ve ever interviewed/met. Guys that you said to yourself: “Damn, I didn’t think this guy was that tall/short?”
Well obviously the top tall guys are/were Pete Steele, Sebastian Bach and Zakk Wylde. Also – not during Tour Bus times… but back when I was a rock club promoter – we did a show with a very cool underrated band called ‘The Lost’ and that singer was about 6’7! As far as short goes… Jon Bon Jovi says in everything I have ever read that he’s 5’10. Well, If he is- – then I am about 7 ft tall. Ronnie Dio was very short… in fact I have a GREAT picture of him – Matt (my former co-host) and I held our hands together like a swing, and he sat in the middle of it while we rocked him back and forth , with his legs dangling off – He was truly an amazing person… and then – I’d say – The lead singer of Lordi (Mr. Lordi) because he wears these HUGE platforms on stage… and when I finally met him – he barely made it up to my shoulders – I was quite shocked.
18. TTB had a column in METAL EDGE but the magazine has since went under. How long was your column in the magazine, and how did you feel when it ended?
We did it for about 6-8 months – it was fun – Stacey X wrote most of them. I think I wrote 2. It was a fun co-pro… but the mag was already having problems – we were getting paid a laughable sum – but did it for the promotion – but when it took forever to get paid – our relationship started to get a little strained. We parted ways amicably – and I am sorry the mag is gone. It was legendary.
Ralph with Munkey from KORN
19. How much money do you have in your pockets right now (including change)?
I am in my underwear right now – so only the 4 quarters I always keep in my anus.
20. The last of Ralph Tour Bus DJ…
The last rock star you at dinner with = Well… I am supposed to have Sushi next week with Bumblefoot. Before that maybe Tony Harnell? I am not sure. But one of my most memorable was at a fancy pants steak house with Pete Steel and Doro Pesch. That was certainly interesting.
The last time you left early from a concert = About 4 years ago – I left a Motley Crue concert @ Jones beach early… As I was walking out – I got a TXT from their manager saying – ‘don’t think we didn’t see you leave!’ one of the drawbacks of being 6’5… So since then I try not to leave early.
The last time you hit your head on a low ceiling/door way =Today! Another drawback of being 6’5.
The last time you paid a taxi driver a tip over $ 20 = Who the hell tips a cab driver $20 bucks? The avg. cab ride in NYC is about $8. Plus I am Jewish… so right there… you know it’s never happening.
The last type of fast food you ate = Subway – about 4 hours ago – healthy for you!
The last item you bought with a credit card = I honestly buy most things with credit cards – easy way to keep track of expenses, and you get airline miles! Today I bought a pair of size 15 Adidas clam shells from their website. (Another drawback of my hugeness – very limited shoe selection)
The last song you sang along to = Well… I was putting the Tour Bus playlist together before I started this so it was “Fear Of The Dark” by Iron Maiden. And holy crap – I really cannot sing. I sometimes feel bad for my neighbors.
The last time you were recognized from the “Queer Eye..” show = over the winter in Miami.
The last time your puked from drinking = I am closing in on a 25 year run of no puke! I am vehemently averted to puking. I would rather feel like crap for 3 days instead of puking. Don’t ask me why. The last time I puked was 1988 Spring Break Cancun.
The last time you cried = full on cry? Hmmm… I think when my grandfather died about 2 years ago. Way to bring these 20 questions to a screeching halt. Well… I guess it is the last question… and PS – thanks for choosing me for the 20 questions now instead of back in 2001 when people actually came to this website.
Ralph ruins a perfectly good photo of Heaven & Hell.