Stevie Rachelle recalls how he dealt with people throwing ice during Tuff’s live shows in the early ’90s
Tuff frontman and Metal Sludge principal Stevie Rachelle has just released his 18th instalment of the Tuff Diaries. This time around, Rachelle speaks about many topics including new Tuff bassist Danny Wilder, the band searching for a new record label, moving up from living in apartments to a house with a pool, and dealing with troublesome people in a crowd. The first instalment of the Tuff Diaries dates back to June 2018 and there will be a total of 25 instalments.
The following is an excerpt from the 18th instalment of the Tuff Diaries:
“I’m Not Gonna Take It
This kind of stuff has been happening to bands for as long as there have been live shows.
But, I was definitely not one to put up with much of this.
And what is that?
I will tell you here…
So we’re playing at a place called “The Mirage” in Minneapolis and its late September.
As our show is going along I see someone throwing ice at the stage.
This place holds about 1,000 people but my guess is we had 250 maybe 300 people there tops.
Most of them were close to the stage, and everyone seemed to be enjoying our set.
Well, except for the guy in the New York Jets jersey about 15 feet back.
Since I have been down this road before, I don’t react to the guy throwing ice at me at first.
I mean, I am essentially setting him up for humiliation, a beating or both.
Every a song or so he nonchalantly tosses a few pieces of ice at the band.
I ignore it the first few times, but now it’s gotta end as he’s not stopping.
Again, I don’t show any signs that I am aware this is happening, which makes him get a little more comfortable and he continues his little game.
After about the 5th or 6th time I see the guy is wearing a football jersey and as he tosses the ice, he then slides behind the crowd to try and blend in.
However, what he doesn’t know is that I am also a Black-Belt in dealing with a heckler in the crowd.
He and his buddies are giggling away as they pelt Tuff and their singer with ice cubes.
We’re more than halfway through the set when we play “I Hate Kissing You Goodbye” and now I am strapped with an acoustic guitar as well.
Again, this guy is tossing ice at the stage and I am aware of where he is in the crowd.
But just when he least expects it, his night of tomfoolery ends.
After we play the ballad I take my guitar off and ask the crowd: “So is everybody having a fun time?”
Which of course is met with the expected cheers and positive response from the crowd.
“Well you know what, I am having a great time too… but I’ll tell you right now… (as I walk right to the end of the stage and laser focus my eyes on the bad guys)… if I catch one of you Fuckers throwing ice at me, I will jump off the stage so fast….”
Now the whole place stops, listens and turns as I point to section where the ice is coming from.
“…..and beat… (the crowd is a bit noisy, so I shush them) … beat the Fuck out of you in front of everybody… and if you don’t think I can do it, throw another piece of ice, cause I will do it… I will beat you like a piece of Fuck!“
Now I stand there staring this guy down from the stage.
I will admit, I had a very loose trigger in my younger years, and I put up with more than my fair share, but if you crossed that line… look out.
Yeah, I was a little bit Axl and a little bit Bach… but I was 100% Stevie Rachelle from Hell and this guy was going to soon learn where that nickname came from.
“I swear to God I will do it… you are throwing pieces of ice at me, and I don’t Fucking like it. I will kick the Fuck out of you, I swear to God I will.”
Now the entire place is listening to me threaten this guy and the whole crowd is staring in his direction.
He’s acting like he didn’t do anything and plays stupid.
I go from Mr. Nice Guy to Mr. Nightmare in seconds.
He might have thought I was all talk, but once I stepped off the stage and the crowd parted he quickly realized I was more than talk.
I am now right in his face and as I grab his jersey he is no longer smiling and is giving the: “Who me? What did I do?” look, however it’s too late for that.
Everyone around him had been pointing: “It’s him” and “He’s the one throwing stuff.”
Rachelle from Hell is now on the floor and about to go Sammy “The Bull” on this guy as security approaches.
I was legit pissed and this was not the first time that I left the stage to Fuck someone up.
Ask the smart-ass in the crowd at “Annie’s” in Cincinnati Ohio circa 1991.
Or, ask Robbie Crane who has pulled me off more than one guy that I was in the process of hospitalizing.
Anyway… lucky for him, the security guard saved his ass and likely saved me from going to jail as well.
Now they escort him out of the club as the crowd cheers and I retake the stage.
I explain in short that this stuff won’t fly with me and the show goes on.
Regardless of me being a Packers fan, it was a guy in Jets jersey in Minnesota who tested me that night.
Thank you Minneapolis, you’ve always been a friend to Tuff.
Slave Raider is forever in my heart!
If you want to see it all unfold in real time, watch this video below at the 48:00 minute mark.