Strangers in the Night UFO Tribute Band Promo photo, of Shrapnel / Sony/ Sansei Recording Artist; 'The Winged Knight of heavy Metal' Rik Fox
me he agreed in retrospect, that it wasn’t a very sound decision).
But STEELER kept enduring line-up changes until it ultimately became KEEL. So your guess is as good as mine as to why all these changes took place. Today the STEELER fans want to see a STEELER reunion and I don’t blame them; I’m all for one, but, due to an accident, Mark cannot play drums anymore and Yngwie looks at STEELER as a step backwards in his ‘illustrious’ career, leaving only Ron and myself, so, we can’t bring the fans the album line-up. in June of 2013, after I performed two STEELER songs reuniting with Ron and KEEL at The Whisky, Cinderella’s Fred Coury who was there, stepped up and threw his hat in the ring and made it known to Ron and I that if any STEELER reunion were possible, that he’d like to step in and drum for us. And although I would dearly miss not being able to play with Mark Edwards, I’m perfectly OK with that. As for Yngwie, well, Ron always says ‘never say never’, but I can’t see Yngwie ‘stepping backwards’ to express his gratitude and join STEELER in reuniting with the band that gave him his first opportunity to introduce him the U.S. I was informed that Eddie Trunk, (being a self-proclaimed STEELER fan) and That Metal Show had turned down an opportunity to have the entire band on the show as guests including producer Mike Varney. Now that is really stupid in my opinion and the fans should write to the show and demand to know WHY. I’d personally like to see Rob Marcello step in and clean some clocks…Now that would be a blast for the fans.
Rock Legend News: You played Hollywood at the same time Motley Crue was playing. Were you influenced by Motley Crue or were they influenced by you?
Rik Fox: Actually, Motley Crue was playing the clubs way before I did. I was still ‘new’ in L.A. in February of 1982 and just a ‘fly on the wall’ so to speak, reconning and seeing how the store was being run. I saw Metallica opening for Crue at The Whisky and getting booed off the stage.So, clearly Motley Crue were never influenced by me or anything I brought to the table, they had already hit the ground running long before I arrived in L.A. and were already very well established in the scene, and I was like a kid in a toy store staring in wonder at all I saw around me. Honestly, I’d have to say that a LOT of the other bands in L.A. were influenced by Motley Crue in one way or another, including myself. When you see something successful you attempt to emulate it as best as you can without ripping it off directly, so you adapt it and try to creatively do something to make it your own. Historically, everyone in rock and entertainment steals or ‘borrows’ from each other, I’ve seen it done and I’ve been stolen from too. The difference is, when I borrow from someone who’s influenced me, I don’t try and hide it, I openly admit it and pay tribute to my source.
I loved what Nikki was doing with Motley Crue and I applaud and salute him for what he’s achieved. And, as with Motley Crue’s ‘template’, when I created the costuming concepts for SIN, and we began seeing it resonating with the fans that were coming to our shows wearing variations of our stage costuming, as well as other bands beginning to copy our looks, then, along with our songs, I knew I was doing something original. I’d hoped that, comparatively-speaking, for what smaller accomplishments I’ve brought to the table as any kind of pioneer of the L.A. Metal Scene, that someone recognizes what I’ve achieved as well. SIN was an awesome band to see onstage delivering loud catchy and heavy songs and looking awesome; it was a perfect marketing package…I’m certainly not finished by any measure, ha, ha, ha.
Rock Legend News: Historically, SIN was one of the first bands on the Hollywood glam scene in the 80’s. In your opinion who really started the Hollywood glam era?
Rik Fox: Well, allow me to correct that; SIN was clearly NOT one of the first glam bands on the Hollywood scene, there were many others who established that concept long before I ever arrived in Los Angeles. As far as I know, LONDON was one of the first ‘glam’ type of bands to establish themselves in Hollywood, copying their theme directly from the UK bands of the British Invasion such as Mott the Hoople, Slade, Queen, The Sweet and such. The New Jersey band VIRGIN, who became SIN in 1976 also were copying the same British glam bands. But that was long before I ever arrived in L.A. SIN’s image was not so much ‘glam’ as it was a theatrical approach to a post-nuke image. I had all kinds of apocalyptic themes on the drawing board and sketches of our costume ideas, and stage designs that, unfortunately, never were able to get off the ground after our management and producer (Dana Strum) had their hands involved in the break-up of the band. However, SIN *was* one of the most popular hard-rock, and heavy metal bands on the L.A. music scene and we were almost signed—we had a demo deal and recorded master album demos. I was, in fact, responsible for creating (or pioneering) some kind of theatrical stage design look which, to be perfectly honest- I was influenced by an MTV video of The Police for their ‘Synchronicity’ video- in which we see Sting hanging from a wire dressed in some kind of post-apocalyptic blast-shredded clothing—as soon as I took that adapted concept further for the entire band SIN, other bands then apparently began to imitate and our fans began to come to our shows imitating our look.
This went so far as to having Van Halen’s David Lee Roth who came to one of our shows and he was looking me up and down, which I later realized why—2 weeks after he came to our SIN show, the Van Halen video for the song ‘Jump’ hit MTV and there, was DLR wearing an exact copy of my stage pants! KISS’ costume designers were also in the audience for our SIN shows; Paul Stanley was seen onstage shortly after, during the Asylum Tour, wearing a conglomeration of the stage look I designed. What’s really interesting, is at about the same time over on the east coast, in New York, Twisted Sister were also wearing a nearly identical stage look (created by Dee Snider’s wife), with all the similar colorful shredded material-over-black, the same as SIN’s costuming which I designed…Coincidence? Upon sharing a New Years’ concert bill with SURGICAL STEEL in 1986, Lita Ford (and her then-manager) rendered me a high compliment when she saw my self-designed Surgical Steel costuming, and asked if it was made by legendary rock costumer Ray Brown. I stated, ‘no, I made this myself’ and she reacted extremely impressed.
Rock Legend News: You were interviewed in the 2011 book entitled: 'W.A.S.P.; A Sting in the Tale' by author Darren P. Upton. Can you tell us some anecdotes about WASP and what actually happened with you and WASP?
RF: At the time of this interview, it should be known that this has become such a controversial issue among the fans and friends of the band that it has, in fact, seemingly drawn actual battle lines between them; those who believe the truth of my side of the story, and those who disbelieve in the face of it. This is not about money, or personal opinions, but only that proper credit is rendered and recognized. Many of the individuals who are the most vocal about this issue are mostly those who were not actually there in 1982 when all of this took place, but are only those who have chosen to reinterpret what they have heard from second-hand gossip and then attempt to fill in the blanks themselves with their own versions of what actually happened based on bad hearsay.
There are one or two individuals who were there, but have, over the years, become hostile witness’ and due to their personal issues of envy and jealousy, have chosen to lie to the public and alter the actual story to the point where it has grown a life of its own which is now, at the root of the controversy and some people just don’t know *what* to believe.. As I mentioned in another reply above: It is said that ‘a lie will be halfway around the world before the truth can get its shoes on.’
First of all, I must begin and render my extreme gratitude and deep appreciation to Darren P. Upton for reaching out to me and having the kind and thoughtful consideration to include me in his book among the other early (and later) WASP band members and to hear my story without any bias…Since his WASP book has been published, it has created an even wider chasm among the WASP universe of fans; We can read for ourselves that most of the former members have no love lost for Blackie and most share a distaste for such a greedy control-freak with boundary issues and bullying issues.
Darren informed me that there are two camps of WASP fans that either believe my experience and fully and positively support me as an original founding member of WASP, and then, there is another camp of individuals who were never there, which continuously (and contemptuously) attempts to
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