Tag Archives: Bobby Blotzer

Former Ratt Guitarist Robbin Crosby’s Last Two Years Of Life Documented

This is a Journal of the last two years of the late Robbin Crosby’s life.  Curt Dudley was nice enough to share it.  It’s rather long so buckle in for a great read!

Copyright Curt Dudley used with permission

By Curt Dudley

July 2002

I have been waiting for the right time to let some of this out. I have struggled with it since the day Robbin died. I wanted to express some of it publicly June 14th 2002, at Robbin’s memorial service, but the pain was still too much to bear…I felt I would fall apart in front of the 200 odd people (mostly strangers to me) there…so I just stood frozen on the beach & didn’t say anything.

I met Robbin through Photographer Neil Zlozower. I had gone to Neil in search of some professional photos of Robbin in action with his cherished Jackson Guitars. I am a guitar collector and had acquired a few of Robbin’s guitars and I REALLY wanted some good shots of ‘The King’ from the glory days of RATT with the guitars I now own….just makes having them that much more personal & special.

In talking with Neil he mentioned ‘Hey, Robbin is in the hospital just a few miles from here…I bet he’d sign these prints for you and in any case I know he would appreciate the company, just take him a bottle of Peppermint Schnapps if you go’. Hmmm….I took down the address & went the next day. Armed with a few prints, a bottle of Peppermint Schnapps and a silver pen, I went to see Robbin.


Meeting a King

‘Do I know you….????’ Is the first thing he said to me. He had that characteristic ‘King’ tone in his voice. After explaining why I was there, we got to talking. Just some small talk & some superficial talk of the ’80’s & RATT. I was there about an hour and something happened to me that day…I left there with a new appreciation for life. Here was this giant of a man lying there unable to walk or even to sit up (he had just had major back surgery) and obviously in a lot of pain and very lonely…yet he was willing to talk with someone he didn’t even know.  When I got up to leave he says …’Hey, nice to meet you, would you mind visiting me every once in awhile’. I promised I would. I left there without any autographs…I just didn’t have the heart to ask.


I was not prepared for the wild ride of emotions I would experience over the next 2 years. I learned a LOT about what is important in life from this gentle giant. I’ll put them in sort of Diary form & only quote Robbin where I remember EXACTLY what he said. They are just snapshots of things I remember and only meant to offer some insight into the last years of his extraordinary life…

Copyright Curt Dudley used with permission

Robbin on Spirituality:

One day we started talking about Religion and Spirituality & he gave me his thoughts. “I wouldn’t consider myself religious, per se, I would say I’m more spiritual’. He explained it more in terms of ‘Karma’ and a ‘natural flow’ of things in the universe. I asked him ‘So do you believe in god …or not?’ He said ‘I don’t know, but one thing is for sure…You & I ain’t drivin’ the boat!’ …Classic King.


Robbin on RATT:

We talked often, naturally, about RATT & his thoughts about success, his bandmates & life the road. He had a lot to say about his bandmates…not all of it good . He would say ‘Listen to the EP…that’s the real RATT…we just got too polished after that’. He loved Warren, ‘ He’s like my little brother’ but he felt that Warren didn’t respect his playing after RATT had attained some success. As for Bobby, I asked him one day ‘If you could have ANY drummer play with you on your new project…who would it be? His answer: ‘Blotz….he’s the best there is ‘. What did he think of Pearcy? ‘Pearcy is a punk and only cares for himself….he can’t even sing in key live…we had a lot of problems with that on tour’. Juan was his favorite bass player and a very close & dear friend….although they did have their differences.


El Paso ’96 and War Party

In 1996 Robbin was living in El Paso Texas with his girlfriend, Jolie Gregory’s, family. He had left LA to, in his words, ‘go & get well’. He was using Heroin heavily and things had not gone well for him, as a result, since he had left RATT. He accepted an invitation to go there and spend some time with Jolie’s family and just get away from LA for awhile. While living in El Paso he started playing again…In a COUNTRY band!!! An all original ‘up-tempo’ country rock band  It was called ‘Bill & Kev and War Party’ . I’ve never seen anything funnier or cool at the same time. I have the video from a Sept. ’96 gig. The King onstage with War Party at a local joint. Robbin seems rather subdued at first but then after he warms up a bit, he proceeds to just RIP the most killer lead guitar through these country songs!! Picture Jimi Hendrix playing lead through a Travis Tritt song and you have the idea. Also in the video can be seen his beloved black labrador ‘Rosie’ mingling with the crowd. At one point during a song the singer can be heard saying ‘Ladies & gentlemen, Mr. Robbin Crosby’ as Robbin begins a BLISTERING lead!! The crowd is just dumbstruck and looks as if they’ve NEVER heard anything like that before …at least not in a country song! Robbin was very proud of this band…not because of the quality of music or talent…but because it allowed him to regain some lost dignity & start playing live again. He said he was forever indebted to Jolie’s family for helping him get back on his feet & getting him in contact with the local El Paso music scene.


The Ill fated 1996 Reunion

At some point in late 1996 he got a call from either ( I can’t remember which) Warren or Stephen…’Get your ass back here, we’re putting RATT back together’ . Robbin was extrememly excited about the prospect of getting back to LA & putting the band back together. He sold most of his belongings in order to travel light and start fresh in LA. He boarded a plane for LA carrying only the clothes he had and a few carry on items. The night he arrived he met Stephen at a club to talk and immediately got a strange vibe from him. They talked but Stephen seemed distant and cold. He spent the night at a friends house & met Warren the next day for lunch…he got the same vibe from Warren. Frustrated, he finally asked “What is going on …we’re gonna do this , right?” He said Warren said something about ” Well… maybe we’ll let you play on a few songs on the record” Robbin said ‘What the FUCK??? LET ME play on a few songs??? I just sold all my shit to move back here to do this!!” Needless to say the reunion didn’t happen. I asked Robbin ‘Well Why? What happened?’ He started to tear up and said that they thought he was ‘too fat and was still using drugs’. He was devastated and felt betrayed BUT…in typical Robbin fashion… he was realistic about it. He said ‘Well I WAS overweight & still using…so I could understand it’.


Part II


Peppermint Schnapps and ‘Gasoline’

It became a habit when visiting him at Hancock Park Hospital to bring a bottle of 90 proof (HAD to be 90 proof!)Hiram Walker Peppermint Schnapps. One of the first things I asked Robbin was ‘Why Peppermint Schnapps? SURELY you don’t actually LIKE it!’ He said ‘Hell NO!…but it’s the only thing I can get away with drinking in here…the nurses

can’t tell I’ve been drinking because it smells like I just brushed my teeth!’ The nurses at Hancock Park were pretty strict about alcohol in the building so we had to be careful. When talking about it around anyone Robbin would say ‘Hey, can you bring me some gasoline?’ His code word for booze.

Copyright Curt Dudley used with permission

Isolation & Frustration

I HATE hospitals, as most people do, but from the beginning, I realized that he was extremely lonely & depressed. He told me ‘Virtually no one comes to visit me….’ He told me that the first day and I vowed to make sure that he had company at least once or twice a week. If I couldn’t get away from work for a few days, I would ask a friend or family member to drop by if they could and just talk to him….that’s all Robbin wanted…someone to talk to. He was too proud to ask for help or charity.


He was in this place, confined to bed,  24 hours a day 7 days a week for over 2 years. Realistically the place was just a dumping ground for elderly people who were too sick or incapacitated for family to care for. I must say, they did take good care of the people there but it was a very depressing place to be…Robbin had at least 20 different roommates while I knew him…..I would show up one week & see an empty bed next to his and ask ‘what happened to Don?’ RC would say ‘Oh him…he died yesterday’. This went on week after week & after a while I stopped asking. I could see it in his face the effect it had on him but he wouldn’t really express it.


One thing that really shocked me at first…totally SHOCKED ME….was that his family  rarely visited. Robbin talked on the phone to ‘Momma‘ or ‘Daddy‘ almost daily, but they live in La Jolla CA (about 100 miles south of LA near San Diego) and are ‘getting up there in age’ & didn’t travel to LA much. I sensed a lot from what Robbin DIDN’T say about his family, that he had put them thru a lot over the years and had ‘burned a few bridges’. He was….as usual…pragmatic about it & understood. His attitude was ‘Oh, its just too far for them to drive…’ He didn’t ever say much about his family. One of the few things I know is, he was VERY fond of his father and ‘missed the vacations in Mexico with dad when I was a kid.’


Another thing that hit him really hard was that the guys in RATT would rarely come to see him…despite the fact that they all lived within a 1/2 hours drive. He would talk with them on the phone, sometimes Warren, sometimes Bobby, sometimes Juan, and he would hint around that ‘maybe if you are in the area you could swing by’. They didn’t…


I’m not passing judgement on any of them. I’m sure they all have their reasons. He said to me one day ‘WHERE ARE all of my friends? No offense, but isn’t it sad that YOU are my best friend? I’ve only known you a year’. He had a way of cutting to the chase….


The only one of his old friends that did stop by often was his old friend ‘Zloz’ …Neil Zlozower.


Nicknames and Mexican Food:

Robbin LOVED Mexican food and Sushi….those were his 2 favorites. A couple of his favorite places in town were the famous ‘El Compadre’ Restaurant on Sunset Blvd and ‘Casa Vega’ on Ventura Blvd.  in the San Fernando Valley. I would often call him before stopping by to ask if he wanted lunch. He would say ‘Mmmm…Ropa Vieja from El Compadre would do nicely…’ or ‘Yeah, Get me some Toro & handrolls (sushi) from Yamakasa on Highland’ He really was a connoiseur of food and the only thing he really DIDN’T like to eat was…PIZZA!! I couldn’t believe it! He said ‘Nah…Pizza just plugs me up…for days!’


He was big on nicknames. It seemed EVERYONE had a nickname. Mine was ‘Schmengie’ or ‘Schmeckel’…I had NO IDEA what they meant until weeks later. It seems they are yiddish terms for the male organ!! We would be joking around & he would say ‘You’re such a Schmengie’ One of the nurses at the hospital was ‘Speedy’ or the next week it was ‘Rompopie’ or ‘Lima Bean’. Another friend was ‘Bloomer’. All of them were meant

as terms of endearment and he had a million of them. A friend told me once that he sort of felt left out he didn’t have one!!


History Lesson:

One day he was talking about the ancient Inca Indians from South America and I was fascinated listening to him tell me all about them…their culture, what they ate, how they lived etc. Now I know he was well-traveled…but the Incas!? !!!  I must have been staring intently at him because he stopped suddenly and said ‘Are you OK?….or am I boring you?’ I said ‘No I’m just surprised  that you know so much about them.’ He said ‘Ahhh….you think I’m just some big dumb rocker who doesn’t know how to read!! Actually you know, I’m fairly intelligent for my size. I’m smarter than the average bear!!’


The Time of Day….

Looking back on my 2 short years knowing him, Robbin never ceased to amaze me with his  intelligence, realistic outlook and pure honesty. He was definitely not the sort to ‘sugar coat’ anything….he would always tell you EXACTLY what was on his mind!! We were talking about RATT’s heyday and what it was like to tour the world & meet new people every day in different countries and I said to him, jokingly,  ‘I bet that if I had approached you back then, as opposed to now, you wouldn’t have given me the time of day’ He stopped for a second and said VERY SINCERELY…’You know man…all kidding aside… you’re probably right…. but you have to understand… back then, I didn’t HAVE the time of day!!’


Rather than patronize me & tell me what he would suppose I would want to hear…he was honest, forthright and directly to the point. Thinking back on that, I realized just how rare that kind of answer is….


Tawny Kitaen & the ‘Rumpleminze Incident’.

I stopped by one afternoon to bring Robbin one of his 3 new guitars, A bright turquoise Epiphone ‘Wildcat’. I had them because there was no room at the hospital to store them. I walked in & froze in place… There was a pretty redhead sitting next to his bed. I said ‘You look really familiar…’ Robbin without missing a beat says ‘Duh…it’s Tawny, you idiot!’ WOW! I have to admit having had a MAJOR crush on her back in the ’80’s (Remember the ‘Back for More’ video?) and there she was!!


We talked for awhile and she showed a genuine concern for his condition, she hadn’t seen him in almost 10 years!! Whatever personal problems she may be having, I’m here to say she is a sweet & caring person. Robbin called her his ‘high school sweetheart’ and ‘first and only true love’.


After she left ( Robbin had fallen asleep) one of the nurses found a bottle of ‘Rumpleminze Peppermint Schnapps’, A gift from Tawny, in a drawer and went ballistic…So I told her I would take it away.


I had, some weeks before, stopped bringing ‘gasoline’ because I realized I wasn’t helping him get any better by providing him with it. In fact, we argued about it. I told him ‘I’m not bringing you anymore gasoline…it’s not helping you’ He said ‘Oh…so you don’t drink eh?

Gimme a break!’ in a very sarcastic & nasty ‘King’ tone.


When Robbin inevitably went to look for the bottle HE went ballistic because it wasn’t there. He exploded at the nurse for taking his gift. She didn’t tell him that I had actually taken it. Robbin mentioned it to me one day and I felt like crap… I told him ‘She didn’t take it…I did’ He said ‘Dude…that was a GIFT from a very special person…you had NO right to take my shit, and another thing, I’ll do WHAT the fuck I want, WHEN the fuck I want to!!’. Indeed.  Naturally, I still had the bottle and returned it to him.


Here’s the kicker.


Robbin called me that night and apologized TO ME as if HE had done something wrong!! ‘Dude I’m sorry I shouldn’t have been so harsh’. That’s just the way he was…I learned from him again, another important life lesson on compassion.


Sweet Rosie

Robbin was a true animal lover. He once said ‘I probably love animals more than I love people, they love you without conditions’.   He was one of those people who just came totally unglued and would get all mushy when around animals…you know ‘Awwww…..look at that beautiful dog’. In the late 1980’s shortly before he was married to Playboy Playmate Laurie Carr he got ‘Rosie’, a sweet natured black labrador, as a pup. Rosie remained his constant companion throughout most of the ’90’s and he talked about her often.


On one of our outings one day he saw a black dog sitting in front of a store and perked up ‘Oh my god…Is that ROSIE???….Rosie, here girl.’ It turns out it wasn’t her,  but I asked him ‘What ever happened to Rosie?’ He got real quiet & after a couple of minutes of silence he said ‘I don’t really know…I left her with a friend to take care of when I went into the hospital the first time….When I got out of the hospital, he said she had run away & I never saw her again, she was my best friend’. I could tell he was getting emotional and his eyes were moist with tears. He really missed her.


Part III


Getting up & Around…

After his back surgery,  it took Robbin quite awhile just be able to sit up in bed. He had been in bed so long, immobile, that all of his muscles had atrophied and he had put on quite a bit of weight also. He joked about it a lot. I would walk in & half the time he would have nothing on but his hospital gown…hiked up around his waist! He would say ‘Hold on let Jabba put the ‘magic mushroom’ away!’ You can guess what he was talking about! He had a well known reputation as a nudist as I found out from stories I heard later at his memorial service. He constantly joked around & laughed about it…his spirit was unbroken.


3 or 4 times a week he had physical rehab at the hospital. The 2 rehab guys were known as ‘The Alpha Males’ by Robbin. They would come in & literally have to muscle him into a sitting position and then, with the help of a special board, slide him off the bed & into his wheelchair. Those guys loved Robbin & didn’t even blink an eye when Robbin was frustrated and started spewing TORRENTS of expletives in all directions!


The rehab room was down the hall on the other side of the building. I would sometimes show up when he was in the middle of his session. I would stand back out of the way & out of his view & just watch. It was amazing to see him working HARD just to lift his legs off the ground in a sitting position. The pain & effort on his face were intense. At this point he wasn’t even close to walking yet or strong enough to stand.


I would encourage him to do more. “the more you do, the faster you’ll get out of here’. He would say ‘Yeah, Yeah..I know I’m trying as hard as I can’. One day I overstepped my ‘encouragement’ & suggested that maybe he wasn’t trying hard enough. He let me have it immediately. “Don’t fucking preach to me! I’m doing the best I can!’  I was only trying to motivate him but I guess I hit a nerve with my comments. The King still was ‘The King’!! I took it as a good sign….


One day in November of 2001, I got a call from him ‘Dude, I walked today!! I took about 20 steps on my own!’. That was a MAJOR accomplishment for him. ‘Will you come down tomorrow? I want you to see for yourself’. The next day at 12:00 noon I went & watched as The King took about 20 more steps…with the help of a parallel bar setup. He was so overjoyed, tears were streaming down his cheeks. He said ‘I am getting OUT of here man…. SOON!’ .


‘ Panda Claus’ and Christmas 2001

Early in December 2001 he started answering the phone ‘Panda Claus…Ho HO HO Ho’ in a very low ‘Jabba the Hut’ like voice! It was hilarious to hear….he did it EVERY time he answered in December.  I thought he was just in good spirits and looking forward to the

holidays….I found out differently. He told me ‘I don’t care about Christmas..it doesn’t really matter to me, It’ll be just like last year…alone in the hospital…big fun’. Despite his obvious depression, he was putting on the happy face when answering the phone…just so that he wouldn’t bring people down during the holidays. Typical unselfish King. ‘This Christmas will be different’….I thought to myself.


He asked me one day around December 20th. ‘Hey, I hate to ask but do you have a VCR I could borrow? I want to rent some movies, I’m sick of TV’.  All he had in the room was a 9″ (!) TV that got only 3.5 channels. Invariably he was stuck watching ‘Oprah’ or ‘Judge Judy’ type shows all day. It was funny cause he would sometimes be totally engrossed in Judge Judy when I stopped by. He would say ‘Sshh….wait a minute this is almost over, Let me see what happens here.’ Totally comical & very un-King-like!!


I told him ‘Well no…I really don’t have a spare VCR…besides your TV doesn’t even have an input for one’. He said ‘Ok it was just a thought…I  thought you might have an old one lying around’. I was lying to him…I had already bought him a 19″ TV/VCR combo for

Christmas. and I had put out the word to my family & Guitar collector friends. He started to get ALL KINDS of stuff in the mail, Movies, CD’s, Xmas Cards/letters, A small Xmas tree, flowers….even some frozen chocolate dipped Strawberries shipped from New York! All from people he didn’t know.


He would say ‘WHERE is all of this stuff coming from??? WHY are these people sending me gifts?? This is so wonderful…Do YOU know anything about it?’ I would just look at him deadpan and say ‘Nope…It must be your fans out there that love you’. He said ‘But HOW do they know where I am??’ The look on his face was priceless when opening these gifts…just like a little kid. He made me keep a list of names of everyone who sent something, no matter how small, so that he could send out thank you cards.


My wife & I visited on December 23 and surprised him with the home cooked Steak & Baked Potato dinner he had said he was craving…my wife Tracy cooked it all up fresh & we left immediately so that it would still be hot when we got there. We took our 2 children, Erich 5 & Kayleigh 7 and they sang ‘We Wish you a Merry Christmas’ for him. He was in tears…as they were singing.


I talked with him late Christmas eve on the phone & he was soooo happy….just on cloud 9. Bobby Blotzer & his girlfriend (Misty I think?) had been there that evening to visit and had brought some awesome framed candid photos from the RATT days…you know those

intimate/private shots of them just clowning around on tour!. Warren had also been by & they had had a WONDERFUL visit just laughing & joking around. Those 2 guys coming to see him at Xmas meant the world to him….more than any gift ever could. Just the fact that they cared enough to come & see him. I wanted to tell them that at Robbin’s memorial service but i just didn’t want to intrude on their privacy that day…It was tough enough for them.


This was my most meaningful/special Christmas EVER. A Christmas I’ll NEVER EVER forget. I never realized fully…giving is definitely a lot more rewarding & fun than receiving. I got my best gift ever just seeing him happy…happy like I’d not seen him since I met him.


Another life lesson from ‘THE KING’….




Part IV


‘King for a day’

December 2001 was a month full of hope & progress for Robbin. He was finally feeling better and his physical rehab was going very well. By new years day he was sitting up on his own and much more alert & peppy largely because the doctors had backed off on his medication. On New Year’s day he said to me ‘This year is gonna be the year of ‘The King’….the year the King comes back…I’m gonna show people I can still do it!’. I fully believed him…he was so full of confidence and energy all of the sudden. He had even written 2 new songs….


If December 2001 was positive for him….January 2002 was a month of contradiction, confusion and sorrow for me.


From January 4th -7th I had a friend in town from Chicago…of course a RATT/Robbin fan! He was looking forward to seeing the King after speaking on the phone with him a few times and sharing Christmas gifts/cheer with him. Robbin liked him already….just talking to him on the phone….and was looking forward to meeting him. He asked me

New Years’ day ‘When’s Sully Comin?’ I picked him up at the airport the night of Friday January 4th and LITERALLY while we were leaving LAX my cell phone rings….It’s King…’Are you guys comin’ tonight?’ I said ‘Well, it’s late, we’ll come tomorrow so you can get some rest‘. He said ‘NO!…I want you guys to come tonight and watch a movie with me’


The first thing he says to Sully is ‘Hey man, glad you could make it….You don’t own any of my guitars do you?’ Sully, bewildered says…’Uhh… no’. King says….’Good. I like YOU then!’ …while shooting me a mock scowl!!  We talked & joked for about an hour until Robbin fell asleep in mid sentence around 12:00 am….we quietly left.


The next day was supposed to be a fun day….a memorable day. Robbin & I had gotten permission from his doctor to go out on pass!!!! We got a 5 hour pass. We had it all planned out: we were going to ‘El Compadre’ for lunch and then to the movies to see “Lord of the Rings’. He was soooo looking forward to seeing that movie on the big screen…he had read all of the books and was a HUGE fan of that series. He was also looking forward to getting outside that hospital for the first time in almost 2 years.


I asked another friend, Brad Kelley, to come with me & Sully just to make sure we had enough help getting Robbin and the wheelchair in & out of my vehicle safely. I was in a great mood because I recognized that this day was a big step in his recovery. He was going to get a taste of the outside world again. I was not ready for the 180 degree

turn the day was about to take…


We arrived at 11:00 am and something is definitely wrong….Robbin was incoherent and sweating PROFUSELY. He wasn’t making any sense and kept asking for his father. I had left the room to talk with a nurse & Sully comes running out of the room saying ‘Get somebody QUICK…he’s passed out & turning blue!!’ Within 15 minutes the nursing staff had administered CPR, pumped his stomach & called 911. The paramedics were there immediately….They rushed him away to Cedars Sinai Hospital as the 3 of us were standing there in total shock. We stuck around to see if we could find out anything about his condition but they wouldn’t tell us anything. We 3 decided to go to ‘El Compadre’ anyway & have a few beers for Robbin….but I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was just not right. What just happened??  He was fine last night….


Robbin was at Cedars for a week….He was not eating at all in the hospital and looked pale, withdrawn & groggy. He lost 20 lbs. That week. He told me that someone at Hancock had ‘accidentally doubled up’ his medication and that is what caused his problems. I was skeptical, I suspected something far more sinister had caused the meltdown…but I kept it to myself. I went to see him on tuesday and brought with me his 3 new Epiphone guitars that had arrived that monday. I thought they would cheer him up & maybe he could play them a little to pass the time.


He seemed uninterested, apathetic and very down. ”All I want to do is sleep. But I keep having horrible dreams so I can’t even do that’ . His nurse there was WONDERFUL…I wish I remembered her name. She was so concerned about him and was physically beautiful on top of that!! I think she was 25 or so and had absolutely no clue who RATT was!! As always…He had a nickname for her ….’Florence‘….as in ‘Nightingale’.


After getting back to Hancock Park he seemed energized & started in again on his physical rehab with a passion….sometimes. For the rest of January, visiting him was ‘like a box of chocolates’…I never knew which Robbin I would be getting. The determined energetic, hopeful Robbin, or the groggy, sleepy, grouchy Robbin. He had started drinking again but even that couldn’t account for the sometimes dreamlike state he seemed to be in. Then I found out that a few of his old ‘friends’ had started visiting him again. People from his past that should have stayed in his past…. for his sake.


Later that month, we had planned to order Chinese food in & watch the Superbowl together at Hancock Park. That morning just as I was getting ready to leave home, he calls….’Dude, I’m sorry…I’m at Cedars again.’ Basically it was a repeat of what had happened on January 5th. Something was definitely going on….


February/March and Light at the End of the Tunnel:.

During these 2 months he made solid progress, physically, and was getting stronger & stronger. One day in February we finally got to go out on our Pass. I was amazed when I walked in…he sat up and got into his wheelchair by himself…effortlessly. He was dressed in streetclothes, shaved, hair pulled back into a ponytail & ready to go!! We had a GREAT day, we went for lunch at ‘El Compadre’ and when we got there he had another surprise for me….he said. ‘I’m going in there on my own 2 feet…get the crutches’ I thought there was NO WAY he was ready for that.. ‘Are you…sure???’ It was 60 long feet from the back parking lot to the tiny table…but he made it!! Immediately the 2 guys ‘Flaco’ & ‘Chiquito’ that had served Robbin since the RATT days came over ‘Robbin…you look soo good, you look clean, It’s good to see you’. He said ‘Gracias me amigos, Dos Cervezas…por favor!’


After we had ordered Robbin told me a story about those two guys…’You know, when I was really down & out and didn’t even have the money to eat McDonalds…me & Rosie (his black labrador) would show up at the back door & beg for a taco or something….they never refused me. I love those guys.’ Now I understood why he was so in Love with that place. We ate a fantastic meal & had a few more ‘Cervezas’ and even a few shots of Tequila….At one point I said ‘No, no…no more…I have to drive’. He ordered them anyway and ended up drinking them both! He insisted on paying the check…$20 food bill & $40 alcohol!! He left a crisp $100 bill and we left quickly. We had just cashed his Royalty check from ‘Wicken Music Publishing’ and he had a few bucks in his pocket…He was on top of the world. He didn’t have a lot of money but his generosity ruled over all….It almost seemed like a tonic for him to be able to give.


In March he started talking about getting an Apartment and began looking thru the papers & literature from some local places. He said ‘What I really want is one of these quaint local ‘cottage’ type houses…just a 2 bedroom…but I just can’t swing it without a room mate, do you know anybody??’ He ended up settling on a 1 bedroom Apt. in a local landmark of sorts…the mid-Wilshire district ‘Park La Brea’ complex…He said ‘Reasonably priced & reasonably fashionable, fit for a King!’ He made several more attempts at getting a roommate, including a friend from Seattle, but it just didn’t work out. He would say ‘I’ve got to find a roommate…I can’t live alone’.


We started going out on pass regularly, looking for new furniture and furnishings for the place. We bought a set of beautiful black leather couches and put them on hold…waiting for the day he moved in. They were ‘Just like the ones I had in my house’. He had me on the hunt for some small oriental rugs to use on the hardwood floor in the living room area. He was scheduled to move in on April 1st…my birthday!!


Part V


A Day at the DMV

On March 22nd we went to the DMV to get him a California ID card. He had not had an ID or Driver’s License in almost 10 years!!! He was very nervous & uptight about going …but he had to get an ID in order to rent his Apartment. On the way there he told me why he was so freaked out about it…’Man I had a Ton of tickets that I never paid…they might not let me get an ID until I pay them, let alone a Driver’s license.’ He said he was prepared to pay all of them if necessary. We started talking about cars too..he says ‘I’d like to get a new car….I’ve been the seeing the TV ads for the new Daewoo ‘Leganza’…that would be perfect, only $139 a month.’ I burst out laughing and he gives me the furrowed brow and a ”WHAT?????” I said…’Oh man…the KING stuffed into a Daewoo…too funny! I can’t picture it!’


We get there, fill out all of the paperwork and go up to the window. The lady says ‘That’ll be $10 for your ID’….He looks at me in disbelief & I ask her. ‘Are their any restrictions on him getting a license?’ At that moment I say ‘license’ he gives me a TREMENDOUS kick in the shin!!! She looks it up in the computer and says ‘No…would you like a book to study for the test?’ He says sheepishly….’Uhhh….yeah’. I never saw a bigger smile on his face when we left there with his temporary ID…


We leave the DMV and he says ‘Lets go to Casa Vega & celebrate!!’. He explains that ‘Casa Vega’ is a place he & his wife, Laurie, used to frequent back in 1991-1992. They would fly down windy Laurel Canyon Blvd. in his Ferrari into the San Fernando Valley from his home in the Hollywood Hills…about a 20 minute drive.


I’ll never forget this as long as I live…we are on the way and we see a 7-11 convenience store. He says…’Pull in there I want a Snapple.’ …’OK, what kind?’ he says ‘Any kind’. He takes 1 big drink and then pours the rest (about 80%) on the ground!! I ask ‘What….are….you…..doing????’ He says ‘Last time we went out to lunch they made me give a urine sample so that they could see if was using drugs out on my pass….they gave me an assfull over the alcohol in my urine….this time we’re gonna take precautions’.

I still didn’t know what he meant. Duh….!


We pull into the ‘Casa Vega’ parking lot which is kinda secluded behind the restaurant. He sits on the tailgate of my 4Runner and says ‘Gimme the bottle’. He proceeds to pull down his shorts right there & starts peeing in the bottle, in broad daylight!! I turned my back in horror/ embarassment and try to shield him from the pedestrians walking down the sidewalk!! I hear over my shoulder…’Oh shit…here take this and empty some’ I take it and run around the side of the car to empty it…I look at him & he’s sitting there holding himself trying to stop the flow and….there’s urine squirting in all directions!!!!! He’s cursing & sputtering ‘Hurry up!!!!’ I get back to him & he’s apparently done….just one problem…THE BOTTLE IS NOW EMPTY!!!! He looks at me and at the bottle & says….’YOU SCHMENGIE!!!…you didn’t save ANY!!???!!!!’  He was sooooo irritated with me the rest of the day. He never let me live that one down….


A Tough Day

On April 1st he called to wish me happy birthday but I could tell immediately something was up.  We talked a little…. but he seemed really depressed and VERY emotional. He had been drinking and I asked him “Is everything OK?’ he says ‘No….I know it’s your birthday but can you come…I need to talk to you’.. It’s a 60 mile drive for me to Hancock Park, but I went.


When I get there he is laying in the dark…sobbing quietly. I ask ‘What’s wrong??’ he says to me through the sobs ‘I need you to promise me one thing….I don’t know how much longer I have and when I’m gone, PLEASE don’t let people forget about me…. I’ve screwed everything up, my marriage, my career, my cars, my house, my guitars… EVERYTHING!!….I don’t want people to think of me as a junkie loser…please let them know I’m sorry’. It’s my turn to start crying and the 2 of us are sitting there in the dark in tears. I stayed there about 3 hours & tried to cheer him up without success. He fell asleep around 12:00am & I left for home. I did make him the promise….


Fade to Black….

He finally moved into his Apartment around April 8th (I forget the exact day) and he began to settle in. It became apparent that he was not going to be able to care for himself 24/7 so a nurse was scheduled to visit 2 times a week. His medications were another problem…some of them the nurse could bring & others he would have to go to a clinic across town to see a doctor for them….the wait was usually 3 hours!


He seemed happy but a bit frustrated by his lack of mobility…still he was able to get around the Apartment in the wheelchair and even cook a little for himself. He caught a severe cold the first few nights there & also fell and banged up his feet pretty badly. I would call to see if he needed anything & he would always say ‘No….You don’t need to keep helping me…you’ve done enough’ I told him ‘That’s nonsense….that’s what friends are for’.


In early May I found out that his old friend Patrick had moved in with him…sounds great right? WRONG! Patrick was his old roommate & Heroin buddy. I  tried to convince him that Patrick was no good for him & would only tempt him again. He wouldn’t listen…he told me ‘I Love him like a brother and we’ve been thru a lot together….besides, he has nowhere else to go’.


I knew right then that this was the beginning of the end….He would call once in awhile just to say hello but it wasn’t like before. He did everything he could to discourage me from visiting him…’Oh I don’t feel good’ or ‘The place is a mess’. I could tell he was using again…his speech was slurred & he just didn’t sound good.


Late in May he started calling me asking me if he could borrow some money…Now, I knew that he had around $9k in cash when he moved into the apartment only a month before. ‘Robbin….where did all your money go?’.  He made some vague references about his ‘medication‘ and ‘groceries’. I would lie to him & say “I’m broke….now is a bad time, I’m sorry’. It just about killed me to put him off…but I was not about to HELP him destroy himself.


On the night of Sunday June 2nd he called & finally cornered me. “Hey, I need you to do me a favor…I need money for my medication….what I want you to do is take my Breedlove (Acoustic Guitar) and pawn it….bring the others to me here. I need at least $300 and I need it tomorrow morning’. I tried to talk him out of it but he insisted. So I did as he asked….


I showed up at the apartment at 11:00 am with the $$$ and his guitars….


Oh my god, Please NO!! Please don’t let it be as bad as I imagined.


It was….even WORSE than I imagined. Robbin ‘King’ Crosby was sitting in the middle of the room, nude from the waist down in a filthy T-shirt, unshaven, unwashed and barely able to sit upright. He had gained even more weight and had grown a full beard. There were several LARGE open sores on his legs as well. He was white as a sheet & clammy with sweat.


He says ‘Awwww, come here & give me a hug….I’ve missed you’. The room was a mess, everything you would expect from a typical bad R rated movie drug den scene. Bottles of piss, cigarette butts, dirty ashtrays & clothes, beer cans….just about every inch of the floor was covered in trash. The heat & stench in the room were overpowering. His beautiful apartment was a shambles…


He could see the horror on my face. Tears were streaming down my cheeks as I asked him just one question….’WHY?????’ He was trembling and turned away. He said, stuttering ‘Please… don’t hate me…please’. I told him that I loved him and could never hate him….There were no words left….nothing else I could say would change anything…I thought about trying to reason with him but I knew that he wouldn’t listen


I couldn’t stay…I just couldn’t bear to see him this way. I left quickly & in shock, knowing full well I probably would not see him again. I was frustrated & wanted to do something but deep down I knew that he could not stop. He would not stop….His Demons were just too strong.


The afternoon of Thursday June 6th I got the call from my wife (I was at work) She was crying & just said ‘Robbin’s……..Gone’. Even though I knew it was coming, it still hit me like a ton of bricks…I almost passed out. All of his hopes & aspirations for the future were now meaningless…all of the hard won progress he had made in the last 6 months was meaningless….I just felt so empty. I still feel that empty spot.



On June 14th, Along with 200 or 300 other folks, I made the journey down to Windansea beach in La Jolla to say goodbye to ‘Robb’ as his childhood friends knew him. It was a beautiful San Diego California day, One like I’m sure Robb saw many, many of in his youth. The service started around 6:00pm, Robbin’s father starting things off with a moving 20 minute tribute to special people in Robbin’s life. 10 or 12 friends got up & said a few words…some told stories. It was rather strange to see the 4 surviving members of RATT copiously avoiding each other…they didn’t even LOOK at each other!! BUT they were ALL there and I give them credit for at least saying goodbye. Warren was definitely emotional as he spoke about his friend. It looked to me like he wished he had done some things differently…but that’s just my opinion.


The sun was setting at the end of the service…A bright red ball of fire melting into the sea….The sun was setting on Robbin’s life too. He once told me ‘Don’t feel sorry for me…I lived enough for ten men…I did everything I wanted to do’. I’d like to believe that…I do believe that.


One thing I took away with me that day was the pleasant revelation that there had been SO MANY other people that had stepped into his life over his last 10 years to lend him a hand when he needed it. It almost seems like we were all part of a predestined ‘Team’ that passed along the reins silently so that King could be more comfortable…I felt more at ease knowing that so many people HAD cared…people that recognized a free & loving spirit…despite his flaws, we took him as he was…Warts & all.


I wish things could have been different but I know that I am a better person for knowing him, As is anyone who had spent any amount of time with him. He just had a way of putting out that vibe…of Love.


Love ya King, I miss you…I’ll see you again.


Journal Outtake:


Originally when I wrote the ‘Journal’, it was more than twice as long and after finishing it there were a lot of things that I felt at the time, were either too personal or not really worth including …also it was so long, I wasn’t even sure people would want to read the damn thing! Some of the sections were rambling and VERY long winded….Here’s a sample chapter that was removed.


 This one was really the first section written, the section before ‘Meeting a King’ but after the intro, at the Very beginning of the journal. It seemed rather irrelevant and kinda silly because of my extreme ignorance, so I cut it out…the first of many chapters to go…looking at it now I guess it lends some perspective to the overall story.


Like a Dream

After leaving Neil’s I started getting excited, thinking about all of the things I wanted to ask Robbin. I might not get a second chance to talk with him and I wanted to make it count so I actually wrote a long list of questions so I wouldn’t forget anything.


They were mostly things related to the guitars I had, but also some questions about that magical time between 1984-1987 when RATT was on top of the hard rock world…one of the biggest bands from my home turf of Los Angeles.


I felt sort of special because I had what I considered to be a ‘special ticket’ to go & see him. His close friend Neil Zlozower (whom I was also rather awestruck at meeting!) had just given me ‘permission’ to go & see him…Neil said it would be alright, so surely Robbin would take a few minutes to talk with me. Hopefully I wouldn’t stick my damn foot in my mouth!


I had a plan, I would shamelessly drop Neil’s name. You know, ‘Hey Robbin, how are you? I talked to Neil & he said it would be OK to come & visit’


Even though I had been vaguely informed of his current situation, In my excitement, I pictured him just as he appeared on the cover of all those magazines back then, the larger than life presence and the leader of RATT. I figured he would look much the same….surely a little worse for wear because he had been ill….but still largely unchanged.


It was August and a typically warm day in Los Angeles somewhere in the mid 90 degree range…bright & clear with some scattered billowy white clouds and I remember thinking, ‘Wow, what a great day to go & see Robbin, to finally meet one of my favorite guitarists of the ’80’s’.


Driving over, I checked & re-checked the address of the place ‘Hancock Park Convalescent Hospital’. The Hancock Park area of LA is considered kinda upscale and ‘riche’ so my mind conjured an idyllic setting with well manicured grounds and lots of security. I initially drove right by the place, mainly because the area didn’t match my mind’s image of what it should look like!!


I doubled back and found parking on the street in front of the hospital…I was surprised to say the least. It faced a busy, noisy street and there were no ‘grounds’, just a plain looking entrance in a somewhat dingy looking building. This couldn’t be the right place. Could it?


I went inside and a young, attractive Asian receptionist smiled and said ‘How may I help you?’ As I looked around the rather bare & plain lobby, I said ‘I’m here to visit a patient, Robbin Crosby’, half expecting her to tell me there was no one here by that name. Instead, she looked a little surprised and, handing me a clipboard to sign in, said quietly ‘I’m so glad you’re here, he hasn’t had many visitors. Are you a friend or family?’


At this, I felt my eyes shift slightly as I fought to comprehend what she had just said….I finally blurted out ‘Uh, No I’ve never met him, he doesn’t know me’. She said ‘Oh, well OK the elevator is there and he’s on the second floor, room 203’.


On my way up I thought to myself. ‘Something isn’t right, am I in the right place?’, then the elevator door opened and I stepped out. I looked left & right and immediately felt disoriented because there were elderly patients everywhere I looked, crowding the narrow hallway. I had never been in such a hospital so I was completely unprepared.


I walked toward a nurses station and I felt I was in a surreal movie….elderly ladies were grabbing at me from wheelchairs and old men were leaning up against walls seemingly catatonic or mumbling to themselves.


A nurse, without saying a word, pointed to a door near the end of the hallway when I asked where Robbin was. I walked over and with my heart jumping out of my chest, silently entered the room.


There were two beds, one was occupied by an elderly man with sunken cheeks who merely looked at me blankly…I looked to my left at the bed closest to the door and my knees went weak. My throat felt like it had suddenly closed & dried up.


I saw a man whom I didn’t really recognize, a large man with long greasy, lank hair who was sound asleep and snoring gently. I stood transfixed slowly taking in the details.


The darker hair, the sweaty bloated face, the dirty stained hospital gown, the enormous body, the messy small table cluttered with all sorts of stuff, the two get well cards taped to the dingy wall, the faint odor of human waste, antiseptic and sweat.


It WAS Robbin Crosby but my mind could not process the reality…


Without realizing it, I had dropped the paper I had brought with my questions on it….I stood for what seemed like forever trying to figure out what I should do….should I leave? Should I cough? Should I wake him? Should I ask a nurse for help?


In the end, I just stood there… looking from the quizzical look on the face of the man in the next bed, back to Robbin sleeping peacefully.


Robbin…… Is that really Robbin? How can it be?? This is not what I expected…I suddenly felt very foolish and utterly stupid at my naive notions of this man and his very real state. This was not what I expected…this is not what I expected!!


After a minute I silently placed the brown bag containing the bottle of Peppermint Schnapps on the table and left the room. I don’t really remember leaving the hospital…I just remember the tears I felt on my cheeks and the helpless feeling that I had somehow intruded, seen something too private…yet he never knew I was there.


To me it was like a dream. Did it really happen?


It took me a week to gather enough courage to go back…to try again.

Warren Demartini – Ratt’s Axe Master Still Shredding!

By Andrew Catania

Acclaimed for his astoundingly fast minor scaling, wide vibratos and rated among the best metal guitarists of the world –  Warren Justin DeMartini aka Torch is an acclaimed musician who ruled in the limelight in the music sphere for the entire decade of the 1980s.

Born in Chicago, Illinois, on 10th April 1963, and the youngest of the five brothers, Warren DeMartini’s family moved to settle in San Diego during his early childhood. Two of his elder brothers Bernard and James held a strong affinity towards rock and later ventured into forming their band. His grandmother too was a professional musician and used to play piano for background score for silent movies in her time. So, music was kind of an old legacy that transcended into Warren DeMartini and his brothers.

Warren Demartini

DeMartini’s first exposure to guitar was when his mother bought him one, at seven years of age. It was a small guitar that went out of tune after a couple of jams. Angrier than aggrieved, little DeMartini demolished the instrument, and it was not until he turned 14 that his fingers came back in touch with the chords. This time it was a Cimar Les Paul copy of an electric guitar.

It was right since his childhood that DeMartini what he wanted to do in life. Music was his lifeline, and rock and metal had become his passion. With a proper instrument in hand, DeMartini delved headlong into the pursuit of his dreams and started to strengthen his grip and refine his skills over the tact and intricacies of heavy metal, glam metal, and hard rock.

DeMartini staged his first concert at the age of 15, with ‘The Plague‘ in an event held at La Jolla High School. Although it was not a huge feat, the concert sure brought DeMartini the exposure that he needed. DeMartini’s name started creating waves in the local music industry and was declared as the ‘Best Emerging Guitar Player in San Diego.’ After graduating in 1981, DeMartini enrolled himself at a local college. Until then, his name had started resonating in the music sphere and eventually landed him an invitation to join Mickey Ratt. He accepted the offer and moved to Los Angeles where he joined the band’s lineup as the lead guitarist, replacing Jake E. Lee.

DeMartini’s role as the lead guitarist paved new ways to success for the band. Aside from rendering his playing skills in the leading capacity, DeMartini also started experimenting on his musical penmanship. He has contributed great lyrics for some albums released by Ratt. Ratt was releasing successive hit records, including for platinum albums. The band ruled the entire decade of the 1980s and disbanded after DeMartini parted ways in 1992.

After bidding farewell to Ratt, DeMartini played for a short while for Dokken and later for Whitesnake. He also set up his solo profile, with an EP ‘Surf’s Up!‘ and a full-fledged album ‘Crazy Enough to Sing to You, and two more albums titled ‘Collage’ and ‘DeMartini. He also played for Dio for some time. In 1997, Ratt was revived, and DeMartini is an integral part of it til this day.


Interview: Stephen Pearcy – His New Solo Album and Ratt plans

By Andrew Catania

An axeman composer, a master musician, a skilled producer, an excellent lyricist, and an experienced record label owner, Stephen Eric Pearcy is a complete music institution on his own. The prominent music figure rose to a stature of global prominence in the decade of 1980s at the platform of his brainchild RATT, a heavy metal band that he co-founded in 1983, with lead guitarist Robbin Crosby. This joint venture turned out to be a rocking feat and eventually became his original identity. Not looking back since the launch in 1983, RATT ruled the following decades through multiple gold, platinum, and multi-platinum record selling releases.

Unlike his contemporaries, Pearcy had no significant interest in music from his childhood, instead favoring automobiles and car racing. He might have become a race driver, but destiny had other things planned for him. Having met a severe car accident, Stephen fought for his life for six whole months lying on the ICU bed. It was then that someone presented him with a basic acoustic guitar, and Pearcy started fiddling with the chords. The magic of the strings did not take much time to bewitch the sporty Pearcy with its melodious charisma, and after recovering from the accident, Pearcy decided to test his mettle in the metal music domain. After a lot of learning, jamming and a couple of side performances, Stephen Pearcy eventually co-founded Mickey Ratt, which was later named as RATT.

The band established a healthy regional following through frequent performances in eminent local clubs. Then, the release of their first EP brought the band into the limelight. This was just the start for the band. The EP’s success fueled Pearcy’s motivations, and the combined efforts of the lineup resulted in the release of their first album titled ‘Out of the Cellar’ in 1984. The multi platinum album broke all previous records, uplifting the music competition of the decade to a whole new level. However, this too was just a start, and Pearcy was determined to bag more success and fame.

At a time when RATT was ruling the music charts with its fiery performances and had already had three gold-selling albums and four multiplatinum-selling albums, Pearcy’s restless nature compelled him to take the high road, and he eventually bid farewell to the band in 1992.

Despite his other associations with Arcade, Vertex, Vicious Delite and special guest appearances, it is still RATT that accounts for his original identity in the domain of music. He has tested his skills in some genres such as rock, industrial and heavy, glam and alternative metal, on a variety of instruments. He has also established a sound solo portfolio and launched his record label in 1995. Stephen Pearcy has also pursued a career in acting and holds some significant appearances in Camp Utopia and Wicked City to his name. Stephen Pearcy is now entirely focused on extending his solo profile. He ran his label called ‘Top Fuel Records’ and published his biography titled “Sex, Drugs and Ratt ‘n’ Roll” in 2014.

We recently had a formal chit chat with the versatile maestro about his past, influences, techniques, his upcoming solo record and personal viewpoint about his association with RATT. Here is the interview, presented with all the intricate details for his fans and music enthusiasts. Read on.

I listened to your album it sounds excellent.  It brings me back to the Sweet Cheater days of RATT.  

Ah, I’m glad you said that!  Thank you.  That was a conscious thing to do.

Ok.  This album, I am reading what you said, the creativity was different from your previous bands.  How was that?

You mean with Ratt?

Yes.  Ratt or Arcade

Yes.  My solo stuff,  especially with my co-writer Erik, my lead guitar player is the stuff we do it could cover something like very Zeppelin like ‘73 to the boldest thing on the planet.  That’s what I like about how we write; it gives me room to move in other directions.  What was a conscious decision with Smash was to make sure this record had a lot of diversity and all songs got the same attention?  It was a beginning and end and some stuff in there you know, Kix is for kids, that kind of thing. It was way different.  It took a while to record this album to write it and everything.  We wrote so much music, and every time we thought we were onto something he would show me something else, and I would go nope that’s number one now.  So this was constantly happening, and the songs just kept getting better and better, and I’m able to do a lot more with my solo music, talk about things.  You know a little more mind expanding per say or just stretch you know the light and the dark and the colors to change to ebb and flow everything. We wanted this record to have everything. It was just like the EP, and that’s where we made sure we were conscious that there was a lot of breathing room in most of this material.  That it just wasn’t cluttered and there was room to breathe like the EP you know or at least other songs that I wrote back in the day.


This has got Ratt written all over it. I mean I know you’re trying to solo, but you’ve got Beau Hill out there mixing it

Yes, I’ve got to clarify something.  Beau Hill mixed and mastered one song.  We couldn’t get him to the full project, so we pretty much took that schematic from I Can’t Take It, and we just went from there but I still have a song in the can that he mixed and mastered.  We tried everything with this record there was no stone left unturned when it came to this, ideas and just being diverse.  Like Physical Graffiti or something.  I wasn’t trying to accomplish Physical Graffiti. Otherwise,  there would have been 20 songs.  I had the 20 songs.  I get to stretch more with my solo stuff, and a song like Ten Miles Wide is going to be the video single before the record is released.  We start shooting in about a week.  That is Erik my guitar player channeling Robbin Crosby without a doubt.  It is something Robbin would have come up with without a doubt, you know. Right out of the box you know, smack, Ratt! You know what, what can I say, my voice, it doesn’t matter if it’s me doing an industrial record without the Charlie Vortex it’s still my voice and that’s cool but I don’t try to change my voice to suit anything I just try different things and see where it takes me.  It’s like a road trip, and you don’t know where you’re going until you get there. We’re happy with it though we accomplished it.  I’ve only released the lyrics on two records.  One was Detonator which I was reluctant to do and Smash.  On Smash I was thrilled I put the lyrics on there because a lot is going on in that record lyrically that people will open their eye’s to instead of having their eye’s bleeding.  You know a lot is going on in that record inside a distinct tune like Lollipop or something.  I have to have something entertaining in there.  This stuff is interesting,  to say the least you know

Absolutely!  Working with Erik how is that different from working with Warren with songwriting and guitars? 

With Ratt music whether it was Warren or myself or Warren it’s a little more complicated because we know what we have to do and we’re actually kind of demoing stuff now for something later on in the year I hope but with Erik that guy is a writing machine and so am I so if he give’s me something and it hit’s me somewhere I mean it’s done in one day. But with Smash even though we had song’s like that I made sure that the lyrics were as perfect as they could be, said what they had to say and I changed the lyrics so many times on these song’s I mean literally I had lyric’s for song’s and scrapped them and started over but he’s just a writing machine.  He might just come up with a title and say here’s an idea that I have and the next thing you know I’ve got Lyric’s written for this thing already.  It’s crazy! It’s a unique writing situation I have with him I’ve been working with the guy for 15 years now.  He’s been in my solo band so we have this different kind of chemistry to where Warren and the other guy’s in Ratt whether it was Robbin or Juan or collectively all of us or one of us or two of us it’s a little more ‘we’re thinking’ Ratt music you know what I mean?


With the solo stuff,  we’re not thinking anything we just go for it and make sure it’s the best we can do


Your voice sounds a lot better on this album.  Have you re-done anything or is it just activity-wise you’re just stretching yourself out?

Well you know, it’s a slower record it’s a whole different environment number one, number two there’s not a lot of triple tracks, double tracks per say there’s more melody stuff over the lead tracks than anything you know like early Zeppelin or Judas Priest or something it’s just one guy, me, you know. I think there is only one song where Erik sing’s a bridge part, and that is way uncommon.  I took a different approach you know I didn’t want it to be like the Ratt schematic.  It’s unique in itself with Beau, and that’s how we get our sounds.  I sing a central a low and a high and then we throw the melodies over that.  With this record we took the approach like OK we’re just going to do the lead vocal track and then we’re going to put the melodies or whatever below or above it, so we took a different approach, and it’s evident you know what I mean there’s not a lot of poop going on there’s no auto tuning there’s not a lot of crazy stuff going on

Like I said Sweet Cheater sound, there’s just nothing, there’s just you.

Yes and you know it was a conscious thing, so we did accomplish what we wanted.  We started, we made sure we stayed true to what we were doing and just went for it, and if it weren’t right we’d put it aside and get back to it later, and if we didn’t like it, we’d start on something else.  That’s the way it works when I do solo stuff now, so it worked out for good. We spent a lot of time it was probably three month’s in the studio off and on, but it was more like a year of writing

OK.  You still have your label correct?

Yes! That I started in ‘95 yes. I licensed a record to Frontiers

That was my next question. How did you get involved with Frontiers?  Because I know you have so much going on you’re a producer you’re a label, you’re a director, drag racing you’ve got your hands in all kinds of stuff

Yes,  the last thing I did is I’m trying to get into music with tv and stuff and still do that.  What I had planned was a four song EP release and then when Frontiers got wind of I Can’t Take It and stuff they showed interest in Shulman who’s an old Atlantic relation so I was like OK well sure let me instigate this I usually do my stuff so I pretty much went for it and jumped tracks as I said and the next thing you know it was like alright you’re doing a full record now so let’s get busy, and we did.  We just went at it and gave him the best thing we could give him.

Regarding licensing with Frontiers are you just doing a one album deal or do you have commitments after that with them depending on how this does?

No,  I believe there is an option yes.  I’m sure we’ll do another solo record with them yes.  First I’ve got to get a Ratt record out

erik-5 greg-5

Is all of the legal stuff done between all parties involved with Ratt?

Yes the dust has settled pretty much, and it’s getting cemented, and yes the thing with Ratt is to look,  we have the ability to say look we don’t want to do anything for a year or two or three it’s just pen’s right, so that’s what happens. As we were doing that Warren didn’t want to go out there without all of us ‘the original’ and someone just decided well I’m going out there and I’m going to do my own thing and I’m going to call it this.  Well,  unfortunately, that was a bad move not only for our fans but business and the real integrity of the entity.  So hence this person created all these things going down.  I don’t want to mention names or bad rap or nothing because justice is peace and things are done and taken care of and like I say the dust has pretty much settled and we’re going out and doing our thing.  Ratt’s first show is February 11th, and then we headline M3 you know a lot is going on there, but it’s got to be done right.  There’s a lot of this mess created but one thing you can’t do especially a person who didn’t write music or anything is trying to change a course of history and its four member’s you know, and that was the worst thing I thought possible you know we’re not ones to get out there and chit chat for the sake of doing it.  It’s not like the Hitler approach where you tell the people the same thing enough they’ll believe it.  Our audience isn’t that stupid.  They’re brilliant they’ve been around for thirty years you know.  You can fool some of the people some of the time but not all of them hence things took care of themselves pretty much and so we’re moving ahead.  A lot more to go down and like I said Warren, and I have already started dabbling and writing, and we’ll see what happens.  We’d like to get something out sometime this year, but we’ve still got a lot to accomplish and take it slow and easy and make sure it’s done right time and make sure there’s no if and’s or buts and hopefully,  we can have another few years out there for everybody.

Absolutely without a shadow of a doubt! Do you think there is any reconciliation between you and Bobby Blotzer?


OK. No all I know is there are Warren and myself, and Juan and Carlos are back in the game, and we’ll figure out who’s on the fifth when we get there.

Carlos was a great addition to the last album

Yes.  The first two songs Carlos and I wrote for Infestation.  It was crazy. I sunk my teeth into those songs so fast.  Some things just happen the same with writing with Erik or Warren sometimes.  The last thing I just did with Warren him and I he showed me this riff and the next thing you know I’m in there singing and writing lyrics, and we’re looking at each other going this is cool, and this was what, a few weeks ago?  I just like writing.  I don’t stop, but I do have an obligation with Smash, and it’s an excellent record, and it needs to be heard it needs to be out there. We’ll be out there playing a lot of songs from it live.  Some Arcade.  I’ve got Frank back on guitar from Arcade, my solo band

No way did you?

Yes! He’s back in the mix and-and, so we’re ready to go.  We’re going to have a good time and like I say Ratt’s gearing up to do some good things nothing to be able to talk about now really, but it will be a beautiful, fulfilling year, to say the least.

When you look at Arcade, the first one A/2 that came out if the grunge thing did not take that would have been a platinum-selling album.  I still play Arcade in the car to this day.

I love that record

Nothing To Lose your vocals you were spot on. I thought that was one of your best albums vocally
Thank you

I still play it and these kids today say who’s this?  Is it Ratt?  I said no Stephen Pearcy is from Ratt, but this is Arcade you’ve got Fred Coury on drums you guys were just in tune.

You know I’ve got to tell you that was Johnny Angel co-wrote all those songs with Fred and myself and it’s one of those records that just happened you know.  Every song it was just almost handed to us lyrics came easy it just came easy it was a great deal.  We had Epic/Sony behind us, and I didn’t skip a beat you know we were just off and ran.  I wrote again got diversity with Mother Blue Sons And Daughters and then Nothing To Lose I wrote with Jim Vallance.  Never Going Home, Jim Vallance I mean that was an excellent record.  The second was a little more aggressive.  I had Holford solo producer in there, and so that was a bit more aggressive.  I still like that record too but the first one, it’s one of my favorite records.

You have a busy year ahead of you I know you host M3 you guy’s are headlining M3


Are you going to have your single band with any of the same dates as Ratt or is that going to be a no-no?  

No, they are two different entities.  We plan on doing other stuff with Ratt because we want to get out and start hitting other parts of the planet. We’ll see I mean I’ve been told about some great things that could be happening and tours, and so we’ll see.  Nothing I can say now like I say the dust is still settling and still a lot of things to take care of and once that’s done there’s some good stuff that could be on the horizon there.  You know packaging and getting this out there so.  A year is a long time.  Band’s don’t tour like they used to anymore and I don’t want to you know. I’ll be happy doing two to four solo show’s a month if possible, and with Ratt you never know.  We’re taking it easy, starting carefully you know one step at a time and take it from there

You know the promoters are going to be coming after you guy’s to put you on some festival’s with some big names I am sure because you’ve got pretty much the whole kit and kaboodle of Ratt out there

Yes! It’s going down as we speak, yes!

Your voice sounds great in the past but you seem stronger than ever on this album and I can envision you singing with Ratt and Warren DiMartini I’ve always had him in my articles as one of the top ten greatest guitarist’s of all time and Juan is phenomenal with his bass flipping upside down and everything else we’re going to hear some fantastic song’s that’s why I can imagine we’re going to see you guy’s doing something with some big band’s. 

Yes,  there’s some good stuff in the works.  That’s about all I can say.  We’re very excited first with Smash, and the dust has settled or is settling here with Ratt, and we can put things back into perspective, and the real entity is the people who come out and like what we do.  It’s already 33 years old this month, 33 or 34.  As long as we’re around, I think making the right moves is the only way to go about doing it.  I don’t want to go out year after year after year for the sake of doing it.  It should be special you know, and that’s what it’s going to be
Excellent! Well,  Stephen,  I wish you good luck on your solo album.  It sounds great.  Your voice sounds better than ever.  You sound like I’m 11 years old again popping my Sweet Cheater in and telling my big brother about you guys.  


I appreciate that man.  I’ve done so many interviews today, and that’s the first one that hit the nail on the head! That was the approach I wanted to take with these songs to go back to that basic breathing.  You don’t have to think much.  It’s right there in your face, so I’m happy to hear that! Thank you!

Just out of curiosity do you think Detonator was a good album for you guys?

You know you believe in every record you do and you know there’s some record’s like the Yellow record we did it after the fact, and it’s not one of my favorites although there are some moment’s and that’s all you can do. It’s all timing you know.  It’s all everything has to be lined up to get that.  With Detonator we weren’t in a good place you know.  We had been on the road non-stop doing these arena tours for years, record after record and we were pretty crispy, pretty abused and pretty addicted.


We were a fucking mess and so going into Detonator Robbin wasn’t all there with us so that was the beginning of you know I see the end right there but we had a new start after that probably blessed by him and people who still want to hear us but Detonator to me it was a good record.  You can only do with what you’ve got when you’re given only four colored pencils, and you’re told to create the universe.  You’re given a black pencil, and that’s all you’ve got well you’ve got to make do with it.  That’s about it,  you know. So we did what we could.  I like the record.  There are some great songs on there.  I think Way Cool is on there correct?


Way Cool Jr was on Reach For The Sky.  Oh OK, Shame, there are some good songs on there and Child Beyond scratch my head

Yes, Dirty Job


Thank you very much for keeping that flame alive with Ratt & Roll and your solo projects.  You’re out there it sounds like you’re on the ball.  That first song that Beau Hall did I said we’re right back to the Sweet Cheater days!

Right on brother, I appreciate it!  Yes, we’re pleased with the record

Alright! Congratulations and I’m sure we’ll be talking soon!

Thank you very much, I appreciate it!!

The Many Talents of Warren DeMartini

By Andrew Catania

If you don’t recognize Warren DeMartini’s name, maybe you know the nickname Torch, or Ratt, one of the most successful metal bands in the 1980’s. Born on 1963, he soon developed a taste for music, in particular for the guitar.

When he was 15, he bought his electric guitar, and this was when he took his first lesson. Clearly, he had a gift because, not much time after that, he formed his first band – The Plague.


While still in high school he joined different bands, and it was in 1979 that he had his first concert. At only 16 years old, he won the “Best New Guitar Player in San Diego” at Guitar Trader on Clairemont Mesa Blvd.

Despite DeMartini, he always kept his music, and different bands close, he still went to college. However, during his first semester, he had the opportunity to work with Mickey Ratt, in Los Angeles. Music has always been his passion, so he dropped everything and went to Los Angeles. At this point, he had no idea Ratt were about to be formed.

Ratt fans simply loved Warren. The way he led the band and he also co-wrote some of the Ratt’s biggest hits like “Dance,” “Lay It Down,” “Round and Round,” and “Way Cool Jr.”  They were a tremendous hit in the 80’s and people still remember them after almost 40 years.

DeMartini’s and Ratt’s fans were very disappointed when the band broke up, and each member followed its direction. In the case of DeMartini, he passed through a couple of groups just before he decided to go solo. He released his work in 1995 and 1996. In the same year, Ratt got back together and still launched two more albums. However, things were not the same neither for the band or the fans. Ratt’s last album, Infestation, was an incredible record.


Warren as a great guitarist continues to go from band to band.  He also took the time to design the Charvel Warren DeMartini Signature Snake – Ready to Ratt-n-Roll guitar designed to his exact specifications.

With such a bright future ahead, it’s disappointing how he didn’t have a clear shot in his career. Looking back, the only opportunity he had was when he joined Ratt. However, with all the break-ups and reunifications, Ratt lost their mystic.

Considered by many one of the best guitarists in the world, we truly hope to see more of Warren in the future.