I will say that this was the first (and certainly not the last) time that I had a run-in with Mr. Vince Neil. He may be the biggest asshole in music. As the presenting station, we were supposed to introduce all the bands. But about two minutes before I was going to go onstage and intro Vince, his road manager came over and told me that they didn’t want or need me to intro Vince.
OK. That’s cool. I’m just chilling, drinking Vixen’s beer, so I don’t really mind.
Vince goes up there, blows his wad in the first song, like he’s been doing for years, and I wander out to take some pictures for the station’s website. I’m in between the stage and the barricade, down in front. The security and staff are cool, knowing who I am and that I’m just going to take a few pictures. About a minute later, one of Vince’s security guys grabs me from behind, by the shirt, and tells me to “stop taking fucking pictures, asshole! Vince can’t sing with your fucking flash going off in his face.”
I got outta there and was bewildered. Apparently, all the flashing lights on stage and all the cameras in the crowd are doable, but my camera was the devil’s tool. Whatever. I have since seen the Crue a few times, and the band rocks. But every time I met Vince, he was a complete prick to anything that isn’t a whore trying to polish his chrome. It’s easy to see why so many people enjoy stealing music on the Internet.
I’ve met plenty of other “rock stars,” and for the most part, they’re cool. You say something lame like, “your music means a lot to me” and they say, “thank” and forget about you the next moment. I suppose after so many years, so many towns, so many miles, so many faces that it’s tough to be 100% sincere every time. Once in awhile, you get to meet a kick-ass guy or gal who’s engaging and funny and nice and actually talks to you. (Jackyl and Jesse James Dupree come to mind IMMEDIATELY. So do all the guys in Drowning Pool and Nonpoint.) I’m not saying that they don’t have bad days, but for the most part, I’ve had great interactions with each of those bands and they seem to legitimately enjoy the company of their fans.
Hell, I don’t even like The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus [Editor’s note: Does any self-respecting man?], but their lead singer, Ronnie Winter is pretty fucking cool. They were playing Rock Fest in Cadott, WI, last summer, and they were signing a bunch of merch after their set. I got something signed for my woman and called to tell her since she’s a big fan. Ronnie was cool enough to get on the phone and shoot the shit with the old ball and chain for a few minutes. That’s boss-level type shit.
Sadly, the nice ones can’t erase the memories of the “rock stars” who are complete dicks… but more on them at another date.
Brian Simpson is a DJ at the active rock radio station 95.7 The Rock in La Crosse, Wisconsin. He’s also a hardcore fan (having been to 50-odd concerts) and a hard-riding scooter biker (his scooter is fashioned after the Green Goblin).