“[Laughs] Whitesnake’s David Coverdale.”
“That was when he played a festival in Finland in ’83. We were going through airport customs, who would always take us aside and search us. Because of the way we looked, they’d yell gay slurs at us and we’d play up to it and say: ‘Why don’t you check up my ass? I’d like it – it feels good’. And that would stop them! Razzle was a prankster who’d always carry joke shop items. He threw some stink bombs at the customs officers and the whole airport ended up smelling like an open sewer. But Whitesnake arrived at the airport as we were leaving and got annoyed because they thought the stink bombs were aimed at them! It was all good fun. David Coverdale put limiters on our mixing board so we couldn’t play as loudly as Whitesnake – so he got his hair set on fire! [Laughs]”
You first met Razzle at a Johnny Thunders gig and you later ended up sharing a flat with Thunders and Dead Boy Stiv Bator. What was that like?
“Johnny loved us, and we toured with him loved him; our name was taken from the Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers song ‘Chinese Rocks’. When Hanoi was breaking up [in 1985], I moved in with Stiv Bator and then Johnny moved in, and there was never a dull moment! Johnny had a lot going on but he was a sweet guy and we had some memorable conversations. He said to me: ‘Don’t ever do this to yourself’, referring to his heroin and [other] drug addiction. I used to have to hide his speed from him.”
“It was a tragic time for me: Razzle had died, my band had broke up, and my life was in smithereens. But Johnny helped me to remember the most important thing – if there was no heart in the band, it wasn’t right to carry on. I knew it was the right decision to abandon Hanoi Rocks because Razzle had gone and our bassist Sami [Yaffa] had left. I wanted the world to know Hanoi as the original band, not what it would have turned into if we’d continued.”
“That was a huge compliment. I was grieving, so it didn’t register until later on. But I think Motörhead’s fans might have had the baby-faced me for breakfast then!”
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