Author Michael Toney spent over 20 years in hotel management, including five years at the Hard Rock in Vegas. Describing himself as “just a fan,” Toney has now self-published Tales From The Stage Volume 1. Consisting of 15 in-depth interviews with hard rock and heavy metal luminaries spread across 236 pages, the question and answer format utilized makes for an easy and enjoyable read. Up first is former KISS guitarist Bruce Kulick. Questions asked range from “Did you graduate high school?” to “How crazy were the after parties?” Unfortunately, Kulick’s replies are rather sedate. Conversely, Tim “Ripper” Owens, former vocalist for both JUDAS PRIEST and ICED EARTH reveals that he “always wanted to give (Priest) his input and they were always like, ‘Next record you can’.” Unflinchingly honest, Owens admits “Iced Earth wasn’t a good fit. I felt like I wasn’t respected.” And if you’re wondering what the most eccentric thing on his rider is? “Sugarless gum.” In similar fashion, Tracii Guns of L.A. GUNS doesn’t hold anything back, boldly stating he will “never play with” (drummer) Steve Riley again. “He is a douche bag that belongs in jail.” Tracii’s craziest groupie story involves “seven girls in the back of a bus in 1988,” yet he drinks chocolate milk after shows! Toney elicits both the expected - and unexpected - out of his subjects, with former W.A.S.P. guitarist Chris Holmes winning the award for most fascinating interview of them all. At age 53, the tattooed madman “still acts like a 14 year-old.” Far from shy, he readily acknowledges spending “half a million dollars” on drugs in his lifetime. Full of dirty little secrets, Holmes confirms the rumour that Blackie Lawless fined him $500 every time he would screw up his guitar leads. Currently driving a “trashed” 1987 Pontiac Trans Am with no back seat, Holmes makes ends meet by doing lights and audio for porno films. Other artists featured in this highly insightful book include: Herman Rarebell (SCORPIONS), Jeff Duncan (ARMORED SAINT), Steve “Lips” Kudlow (ANVIL), and Metal Blade Records Chairman Brian Slagel to name but a few.
Order your copy at TalesFromTheStage.com.