Steve Summers ready for UK tour with Shameless
SET THE NIGHT ON FIRE
Here’s a Metal Sludge exclusive with Steve “Sex” Summers the voice of Pretty Boy Floyd and German based rock super group Shameless
By Gerry Gittelson
Metal Sludge Editor at Large
HOLLYWOOD — Since the cantankerous end of legendary glam-rock band Pretty Boy Floyd a year ago, singer Steve Summers is slowly recovering as one of the key faces in Euro-glam specialists Shameless.
Some of Summers’ best recordings can be found on Shameless’ stream of excellent CDs, and after cutting a single with Runaways singer Cherie Currie for Shameless this past summer, Summers is headed soon on an overseas Shameless tour that begins Oct. 2nd in London and snakes its way through Wales and Scotland.
You can see all the dates HERE.
So we found Summers in a good spirits for a Metal Sludge exclusive, and the red-lipped one with the voice from God and a permanent chip on his shoulder was only too happy to share some Sludge.
Alexx Michael, Steve ‘Sex’ Summers & BC rocking stages in Europe as Shameless
METAL SLUDGE: Steve Summers. How are you doing?
STEVE SUMMERS: I’m doing great.
SLUDGE: Cause I haven’t seen you in a while.
SUMMERS: Well, I try to not to go places where you are, Gerry Gittelson!
SUMMERS: But I read a lot of your interviews, and they’re boring – not the questions but how they’re answered.
SLUDGE: I understand.
SUMMERS: (laughs) Not really.
SLUDGE: So where do we start? I guess you’re going to Europe.
SUMMERS: Yeah, we’re going to a bunch of different countries. The first show is Sept. 30, I think. I can’t wait. We’re going to play overseas for all the glam kids. It’s awesome, kind of the underworld of all the well-known places.
SLUDGE: So I was thinking, and you know how much I loved Pretty Boy Floyd, that had you arrived in, say, 1972, you could have been the next T-Rex. You could have been Marc Bolan.
SUMMERS: Maybe I could have, but it’s all up in the air to the gods. If I had a bunch of the same people like the ones at MCA Records, then maybe not. Maybe if I had Vanilla Ice’s manager or the Backstreet Boys or something like, the sky could have been the limit.
SUMMERS: Back then, I should have surrounded myself with the right people because that’s what you’ve got to do. If you don’t surround yourself with the right people, you don’t get on MTV and you don’t get radio or the right tour. There’s only so much you can do but still today I have no regrets because that’s all a bunch of shoulda, woulda couldas, and it’s all in the past.
SLUDGE: Everyone always says it’s timing.
SUMMERS: Well, so many people have come up to me about it and said it should have been 1975 or 1985 or 1995, the end of this or the end of that. Even if we had got better tours, we still might not have been the huge success of Motley Crue, but all we really needed was the right shot at the right time.
SLUDGE: No matter what, Steve, you should always, always be proud of “Leather Boyz With Electric Toyz.” It was an incredible CD. One of the best Glam CDs of all time if not the very, very best – for the style it was in.
SUMMERS: I remember some reviews like Kerrang! said it was one of the top, like the top one or the top two. But even the top 10 or the top 50, that’s better than millions of bands that never put out nothin’.
SLUDGE: So you do realize how good it was?
SUMMERS: I walk around and get it all the time. I mean, I’m not mobbed in places or anything like that, but I do get recognized, and a lot of ‘em say, “Wow, that was one of the best Glam records ever,” or they tell me why they listen to it. There was no filler. It was all just catchy songs and catchy guitar riffs, and when I came out, I was really proud of all the members, just so amazed at the time because of all the thousands of bands, we had the whole thing – the look, the songs, the show, the great attitude.
We weren’t like all the other thousands of bands. I mean, if you’re talking about a style of wanting to follow KISS and Motley Crue and Warrant, that’s what we were about. We weren’t a band that had like one cool guy and three guys with afros and all the songs were horrible or just the worst. I’m not bagging on any other bands, but you listen to all the other bands, the demos from those days, and it’s just ugh.
Our first thing was the songs. We didn’t have to create anything because we were already cool dudes – we just added to our influences and put it all together the best we could. Not just one influence, but admittedly, we liked Motley Crue, Sweet, Hanoi Rocks and Poison.
SLUDGE: I agree. You were my favorite band at the time.
SUMMERS: Then came all the business stuff et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
SLUDGE: When is the last time you listened to “Leather Boyz” all the way through from beginning to end?
SUMMERS: I never listen from beginning to end anymore, but I do still listen to the songs all the time. Every one of them puts me in a good mood and brings back a lot of memories. I love every one of the songs and there are lots of incredible songs on that record.
SLUDGE: Then what happened?
SUMMERS: You know what happened. The second go-around, the second time, our boy Bret Hartman, the A & R guy who loved us the most, he wasn’t around anymore, and there were just the worst people at MCA. The first people there, they actually liked us or loved us. They wanted us to be the next Motley Crue but just didn’t know how to do it.
The second time, the second record, we had this batch of incredible songs like “Tonight Belongs to The Young,” and everyone at MCA, they just didn’t get it. They were completely not into that at all. That feeling of wanting it to be big like KISS, the way it was with Bret Hartman, this time all of sudden I’m working for a guy who’s favorite band is Simple Minds or something like that. It didn’t matter what we wanted or were trying to do anymore, because it wasn’t going to happen. But the truth is, on the second go-around, the songs were even better than the first.
SUMMERS: But yeah I do listen to our stuff all the time, pop it in the stereo and jump to “Summer Love” or maybe something heavy.
Bret Michaels & Steve Summers hangin at the Whisky
SLUDGE: You’re doing this new tour with Alexx Michael from Shameless. He is still glam.
SUMMERS: He’s great. I don’t remember the exact year we first got together, but he was always a big glam fan. He actually worked with KISS, doing KISS conventions, so he’s a very smart guy. With Shameless, he wanted some his heroes to sing on his records, like an all-star glam band. The first time he called me, I still remember it, he said: “I can’t afford Vince Neil but I think I can afford YOU. Vince is my No. 1 and maybe maybe one or two others, but right now you’re my No. 2,” I said OK, send me the tracks. The first record had all these stars like Gilby Clarke and Tracii Guns and all these guys. I told Alexx it sounded good and to get me these songs. He was one of those true diehards who if he lived in Hollywood, he would have been passing out flyers. Even now in Hollywood, he would be passing out flyers and running around the Sunset Strip with the hair and he would be all into it, tellin’ everyone he was going to bring it all back. Me? I’ll do the shows but I ain’t pushin’ all that!
SLUDGE: I understand.
SUMMERS: He is one of those guys who believes anything can happen at any time, and this glam is killer. I mean, rap music? Oh no. We’re visiting several countries, and we’re excited to work in a lot of different places I’ve never hit before – driving in a van with Stevie Rachelle.
SLUDGE: The voice of Tuff and Metal Sludge.
SUMMERS: Back in the day, me and Stevie never said one word to each other, but we did start talking once we met in Shameless at a couple of recordings, and we started a friendship. He’s a guy I can talk about sports to and about taking a crap and hair stories, all in one. He’s a great guy. Normal friends, I can’t talk about shit like that.
Alexx Michael, Stevie Rachelle & Steve Summers on tour in Europe
SLUDGE: Well, you sound like you’re in a great mood right now. You said you’re very ready.
SUMMERS: I’m always in a great mood. But it’s weird, Gerry, I’m still sensitive. I don’t think me and you, I’ve gotten mad at you.
SLUDGE: You did a little bit when I told you you shouldn’t drink Jack Daniels before you play. But that was a long time ago.
SUMMERS: Well, you know, I’ve been in the club business forever, either in the adult industry or at the bar, and it’s funny because sometimes when you travel for 20 hours for a show with no shower, a Red Bull just won’t do it. When I’m on stage and ask for shots for my guys, in my head I’m thinking it helps the bar sales, so everyone is happy if people buy these rounds of shot.
SLUDGE: The people giving them to you are happy, the club is happy, and you’re happy. A win-win-win.
SUMMERS: If you do the right thing, and you don’t do anything stupid as far as being respectful, you can have a beer or shot every now and then but not as much as before.
SLUDGE: You’re married now to a woman from France, Delphine. I was wondering, did you ever tell her your middle name is “Sex,” as in Steve “Sex” Summers?
SUMMERS: Um, I don’t know if I really went over all that. When we first met, she didn’t speak a word of English.
Mrs. Delphine Summers
SLUDGE: It’s very uncommon, Steve, for a guy to marry someone who does not speak any English.
SUMMERS: Well, she lived in France. We had met on Facebook. She speaks English now. It’s been three years but she picked it all up in like a year and a half. Her mom and dad still don’t speak English at all. I’ve met them like five or six times, going to Disneyland or wherever, and it’s nice because no one talks more than they should.
SLUDGE: How is (ex-Pretty Boy Floyd drummer) Kari Kane doing? I haven’t seen him for a while.
SUMMERS: I bumped into him not that long ago. He’s doing very well, very happy.
SLUDGE: What’s he doing?
SUMMERS: He was doing makeup for horror films.
Steve & Vinnie on the set of “Rock N’ Roll Is Gonna Set The Night On Fire”
SLUDGE: Vinnie Chas died. You must miss him a lot. He was such a great guy.
SUMMERS: Of course I do. All the guys were great. We went through a lot, and we had a lot in common. We all had the same dreams and all that kind of stuff. Part of him still lives through me through all the old pictures and the songs. I remember how he was.
Also, if your a die hard Summers fan, you might wanna check out his latest auctions. Vintage Leather jacket and Military Hat from Steve’s personal collection of stage gear!
Gerry Gittelson can be reached at [email protected]