Stevie Rachelle recalls being recruited for Hanoi Rocks guitarist Andy McCoy’s new band in ’89
Tuff singer and Metal Sludge principal Stevie Rachelle continues to share his story via a series of articles on Metal Sludge called the Tuff Diaries and is now on his ninth instalment. In his ninth instalment, Rachelle covers a lot of ground including being recruited to join Hanoi Rocks guitarist Andy McCoy in a band in 1989.
The following is an excerpt from the ninth instalment of the Tuff Diaries:
So Tuff is definitely moving the needle on the local scene, but also in the industry.
We couldn’t get a record deal to save our lives, but clearly someone thought we, or perhaps, I, had what it took to go to the next level.
At some point I was contacted by Gold Mountain Management via the Tuff Hotline.
Gold Mountain was a big management company who represented everyone from Bonnie Raitt, to Belinda Carlisle, Beastie Boys and eventually Nirvana.
A woman called and left a message for me personally.
I returned her call and she informed me that Andy McCoy of Hanoi Rocks was interested to have me sing for his new band.
I was somewhat flattered as I loved Hanoi Rocks, especially Michael Monroe who had officially went solo by this point.
She invited me to their offices in Studio City.
Michael came up with a plan, that I would take the meeting and listen to their pitch.
But after hearing them out, I would present them with the Tuff press package and demo.
The day of the meeting Michael drove me and waited in the parking lot.
I checked with the receptionist and she picked up the phone.
“Stevie Rachelle is here….” as she spoke into the receiver.
After confirming with whomever answered, I was invited to an upstairs office.
There was a woman, whose name escapes me and a couple of middle aged guys.
I remember being in this big office with windows facing busy Ventura Boulevard.
It was just me, and these industry people looking me up n’ down.
After some time in this business, I have done the show cases, the auditions and meet n’ greets.
It’s always an odd feeling when you know you are being judged, or visually and verbally qualified by others.
They asked me some basic questions about my age and where I was from.
The woman starts telling me there is a big industry buzz on Andy as he was part of Hanoi Rocks.
McCoy was also the band’s primary song writer.
By this time Guns N’ Roses – who were heavily influenced by Hanoi Rocks were becoming a massive band.
They also told me how there was going to be a huge push for his band, a big record deal and world tours.
I had a few questions and didn’t hesitate to ask, “Doesn’t Andy have a serious drug problem?”
To which they all replied, “No, he’s 100% clean” blah, blah, blah.
I didn’t believe it but listened to their pitch.
I can vividly recall them telling me they are trying to find the hottest singer available to replace Michael Monroe as Andy’s new frontman.
They then went on to tell me that I was on their radar and they knew I was turning a lot of heads with Tuff…
After hearing their offer, I suggested Tuff as a whole.
“Maybe you should consider working with Tuff instead and help us shop for a deal?” as I hand them a large manila envelope.
The woman opens the folder looks over the cover sheet, bio and focuses on the 8×10.
She then peeled through our press kit and remarked at how much coverage we’d already had as a local band.
“Your band has definitely made a mark, and you seem to be stealing a lot of hearts Stevie.”
The lady made a few more comments about my look.
In 1989 it’s no secret that image was a huge part of a company’s agenda to sell or promote their artist.
Anyway, so the staff at Gold Mountain gave me their best shot, but it didn’t even remotely interest me.
I was so determined that Tuff was going somewhere, they could have held out a million dollar check and I likely would have passed.
Young, dumb and full of cum for sure.
Fast forward to the early 90’s Tuff played a show at F.M. Station and Andy’s new band Shooting Galley were the openers.
We all shared the dressing room and VIP area upstairs behind the club.
I recall Andy McCoy being there, out of his mind on whatever.
He walked right up to me and said, “How come you didn’t want to be in my band?”
I was kind of shocked he even remembered this as he wasn’t even at the meeting.
I was also in awe of his teeth.
They were rotted, brown, black, missing and he could hardly form words.
It was sad actually.
And it made me angry as I looked at his label and (likely some of the same) management people all congratulating him on a great show.
I thought to myself, “Do these people not see he’s fucking whacked out of his mind on heroin!”
It really did turn my stomach.
In the end, Shooting Gallery went nowhere and barely made a blip.
However, if they called today and did offer that million dollar check, I would join tomorrow.”