Martin Popoff - eBook - Popoff Archive 3: Hair Metal


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The 2018 eBook by Martin Popoff.

As I said in my letter to you asking to vote which genres to do, it’s been bugging me forever that I’ve got this interview archive of all these interviews I’ve done that will never wind up in any of my books, and thus likely never see the light of day... unless I made books out of them, of course!

And voters, thank you for all the input and picking a few or even saying you would take them all. Again, very important: if you have a pile of my books, don’t worry about overlap—this is material I haven’t used in my books, with minor exceptions, a quote here or there. I don’t want to give you material you already have from me.

 So as a way to unlock this material, I’m compiling the raw transcripts, in Q&A form, with a little background info and historical context to each chat, into book form. Popoff Archive - 3: Hair Metal got a ton of votes. After all, these bands are probably the shiniest in terms of gold and platinum records so it stands to reason the prospect of getting a bunch of these interviews polled high.

In this edition, we have the following. I’ve included an excerpt from my lead-in explanation for each.

Warren DeMartini, Ratt, 1997

I had originally lost this in an old computer crash where I overloaded my hard drive. Fortunately back then, I made it a habit of printing out a hard copy of my transcripts.

Chip Z’nuff, Enuff Z’nuff, April 17, 1997

Chip was such a promoter, with that growly voice of his making it almost comical, dealing with his enthusiasm and ambition.

Mike Tramp, White Lion, solo, March 1998

When I think about it, all of the notorious “W” bands of hair metal—Whitesnake, Warrant, Winger and White Lion—they were all pretty damn cool, even if Warrant wasn’t proven serious until Dog Eat Dog. But White Lion was probably the most under-rated of them all.

Gilby Clarke, Guns N’ Roses, solo, October 13, 1998

Here we talk a little solo and also a little Guns. Good dude.

Kevin Dubrow, Quiet Riot, March 15, 1999

Very cool getting to talk to Kevin, who turned out to be an enthusiastic, animated and cheerful deep music fan, counter to the reputation he had grown for himself in the mid-’80s as an obnoxious bridge-burner.

Jizzy Pearl, Love/Hate, L.A. Guns, May 31, 1999

A very realistic and upfront dude, Jizzy is, with a little bit of a bitter, “no apologies” edge to him. For Jiz, it really is what it is.

Phil Collen, Girl, Def Leppard, June 16, 1999

Phil’s a great explainer though, isn’t he? And sharp. Must come from all that healthy eating and exercise. Good on ‘im. I just wished I agreed on the band’s musical choices more.

Dee Snider, Twisted Sister, September 21, 1999

Dee’s always a great chat, candid, knows his stuff, a great explainer and storyteller, which is a requirement of New Yorkers, I think. This deep, deep dig into the band’s pre-Under the Blade material was for one of the two Club Daze rarities albums.

Stephen Pearcy, Ratt, Arcade, October 1, 1999

The idea was that Sony was going to get these bands back together with Kalodner, and try revive hair metal. Didn’t work, even if Ratt proved once again that they were incapable of an obviously and unarguably bad record.

George Lynch and Kirk Harper, Lynch Mob, October 18, 1999

I love the hope in this chat, that the guys could do something meaningful, including get in there and address some environmental concerns.

Johnny Solinger, Skid Row, February 7, 2000

The guys remained quite active for all those post-Bach years, even if part of it must have been a determination to prove their loud nemesis wrong.

Don Dokken, Dokken, May 15, 2000

I always got the sense that Don was in a hurry to get the words out and touchingly honest when getting them out. It always made for an intimate chat, no punches pulled as it were. And oddly, like Lemmy, there’s an underlying bitterness that you have to haul out from between the lines.

Bill Leverty, Firehouse, May 27, 2000

Despite your level of interest in Firehouse, this is a really epic story of the ins and outs of the life cycle of a hair metal band. Good stuff.

C.J. Snare, Firehouse, May 27, 2000

Bill Leverty’s enthusiasm for the band was infectious, and so I was jazzed to talk to vocalist C.J. Snare.

Dee Snider, Twisted Sister, solo, June 13, 2000

There’s quite a back story, one that is illustrative of the push-and-pull that these guys have to go through to get a record on the shelves. And of course now, shelves, what’s that?

Rikki Rockett, Poison, July 14, 2000

It’s easy to forget how much buzz and hope there was about a hair metal revival in the early 2000s, and that was pretty much all due to Poison and their stewardship of these rolling tour packages every summer.

Jeff Keith, Tesla, Bar 7, December 1, 2000

Frank’s a much more jovial interview than Brian or Jeff or even Troy, but Jeff’s got that hippie vibe that makes it all okay.

Steve Riley, W.A.S.P., L.A. Guns, January 15, 2001

Steve always struck me as a guy with his feet on the ground, a grasp of the biz, and in general an honest and confident way to look at it. He knows his place, his drums are his lunch bucket, kind of thing.

Phil Lewis, Girl, L.A. Guns, January 15, 2001

I just love his rock ‘n’ roll back story, coming from Girl to here, bizarrely, like Phil Collen to Def Leppard. But a funny guy, who loves life, and is appreciative of where it’s taken him.

Frankie Banali, Quiet Riot, April 24, 2001

Love his spirit, his fast willingness to communicate and stay engaged, and of course, his monster sound and chops fer miles.

C.C. DeVille, Poison, May 2, 2001

Amusing what a crazy, screeching noisenik C.C. was as a soloist at these Poison shows. You just had to laugh. He was like the J. Mascis of hair metal.

Mark Mendoza, The Dictators, Twisted Sister, July 25, 2001

Like Jay Jay and Dee (much less so A.J. and Eddie), Mark is a born raconteur and explainer, and hence, much substance to this interrogation.

Duff McKagan, Guns N’ Roses, March 18, 2002

Duff? Well, given he’s a punk rocker at heart, even if he’s gotta do something low profile, he’ll do it, because the guy’s gotta rock.

Dave “Snake” Sabo, Skid Row, May 20, 2002

Talked to most of the guys over the years, so a pretty decent historical account emerges in the aggregate.

Bobby Dall, Poison, May 21, 2002

Here we are with Bobby, who is the guy in the band that intimidates me the most, seems to be the most serious, and is said to be the business brains, having done quite well for himself with real estate in Florida, apparently.

Jerry Dixon, Warrant, June 1, 2002

This wide-ranging interview was set up in advance of a package tour, to give the band some press in the hair metal section of our magazine, Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles.

Tracii Guns, L.A. Guns, July 23, 2002

This was an in-person chat, on the bus, on a metal package down-rent from the Poison ones of the day, but in the same “the world is doomed” spirit of playing for a bunch of neon rock castaways.

Phil Lewis and Steve Riley, L.A. Guns, July 23, 2002

I had brought a Roadmaster album with me. Steve played on it, and Phil looks at his pictures and says Steve could have fit right in with a boy band, adding that he looks like Zoolander.

Phil Collen and Joe Elliott, Def Leppard, July 18, 2002

Both Phil and Joe are enthusiastic talkers, and huge music fans, and so it wasn’t hard getting a bunch of historical material. It’s no secret that I’m “one of those,” namely a carbon stamp of a couple million other Def Leppard fans who love the first two albums and quite like Pyromania, end stop.

Learn more about Martin Popoff at

Bonus! - This eBook is presented here as a full high-resolution PDF to maintain the layout of the original book, and provide images at the highest quality. 

eBook File Size - PDF Format - 1.9 MB (261 pages)


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