Tuff frontman Stevie Rachelle recalls being found ‘not guilty’ of battery after beating man up
Tuff lead vocalist Stevie Rachelle has just released the 12th instalment of his Tuff Diaries via Metal Sludge and has detailed how he was able to defeat a battery charge in court after getting in a fight and beating up a man that had repeatedly written some negative things about his band.
The following is an excerpt from the 12th instalment of the Tuff Diaries from the Metal Sludge website:
“Will the alleged Defendant please rise.
Before I get too deep into 1990 I want to go back to earlier in the year.
I was issued a request by the City Attorney to appear in a Van Nuys Court hearing on February 7th 1990.
I was being accused of Section 242 Penal Code – Battery.
This was stemming from a late 1989 incident that happened at Spice Club.
I was at the Hollywood Boulevard club when I spotted Hot Rod Long.
Long, real name Christopher Ellington was a local writer.
Similar to the bands, I guess as a critic – he too was trying to make a name for himself after moving here from Virginia.
“Who the fuck is this Hot Rod Long guy?” I asked myself after seeing his attacks on our band.
No Clue, but clearly he knew who I was.
Long wrote several disparaging articles in various local zines about me for months….
First it was a blurb in his club blog, which then evolved into full features with huge headlines telling the readers what a piece of shit I was.
Now, I wasn’t exactly a choir boy, but I would like to believe I had many more friends than enemies.
To my knowledge, I had never met this guy and didn’t know why he was out to get me.
Other zines and writers usually praised us, and we were well liked.
Of course we had our naysayers, but nothing like the venemous words he wrote.
Hot Rod was anything but a fan and went after us bigtime, especially me.
He wrote about how bad I sucked, I was a punk and a talentless poseur.
The usual stuff.
That night as I approached him I realized he was much bigger than I was.
My guess is he was pushing 250 pounds at the time.
I know it’s not politically correct to say, but Hot Rod Long was a big fat nerd.
At least that was my general assessment at the time.
As I walked up I was thinking: “Ok you fat fuck, we’ll see who the punk is now.”
He was just entering the club foyer when I politely said: “Hey dude. What’s your fucking problem with me?”
Ok, so maybe I wasn’t polite.
He immediately engaged me, calling me names, finger pointing in my face and his big fat head and glasses were begging to be altered.
A heated exchange of words ensued, and then a push.
Honestly I don’t remember if he pushed me first or I pushed him.
But soon he was coming at me and I tripped him to the ground.
I punched him numerous times in the face until his glasses were in pieces on the floor.
However that wasn’t enough.
You see, I can be patient, and put up with a fair amount of poking.
But once someone crosses the line, I turn into Kirk Douglas.
Kind of like when he was denied breakfast in “Falling Down.”
I then kicked him repeatedly in the head.
Unfortunately for him, I was wearing cowboy boots.
Just like in gangster movies, with every kick, I added outloud: “You piece of shit”, “You stupid fuck” and “Watch your fucking mouth”
Security ran up and pulled me off him but not before a tornado of fists and kicks put dough-boy on his back.
Gerry Gittleson (Hollywood Rocks) and Rueben Blue (Rock City News) were both there to catch the tail-end of the beating.
Oddly, Hot Rod had written for both magazines overtime.
Michael rushed me out of the club and we headed home.
The following week Hot Rod detailed the incident in an article in Hollywood Rocks about how he was viciously attacked by the Tuff singer.
My guess is most of Hollywood didn’t read it and those who did thought, “Good, he deserved it.”
This guy was an ass and earned every bit of my fury.
Just for the record, he didn’t just write a bad review. It was multiple rants, writings and he was going out of his way to attack me (Tuff) in the local press.
A short time later I was summoned to court by mail.
I showed up, and did my best to look innocent.
Ellington brought some medical papers claiming he had seen a Doctor.
He was complaining of a concussion and some hearing loss.
I vaguely recall the Judge noting his size compared to me and a lack of witnesses.
In the end, the courts didn’t feel there was enough evidence to pursue the charges.
So, I walked.
Not sure, but I’d like to think Hot Rod Long learned a lesson that day.
But as much as people supported me, he had his supporters too.
One of them was David Crowley.
Another writer/critic who would review Tuff later in the year.
Where Hot Rod left off, Crowley picked up.
I have no idea what I ever did to offend these guys, but they had it out for me.
For the record, I am not bragging here or think this was the best way to handle things. But I was a 20-something hanging out in Hollywood in the 80’s.
I am not a bully, but being the Glam pretty boy back in the day, as you might imagine – there was a lot of shit talking thrown my way.
To quote Motley Crue: “Just cause I wear make-up doesn’t mean I can’t kick your ass!”
Robbie Crane watched me ignore a shit talker at the “Whisky” one night.
This dude and 2 friends were following me around taunting me non-stop.
Robbie told them; “Leave him alone.”
Finally I took off my jacket, handed it to Crane and I unhinged on these guys.
His friends were begging me to stop.
But it was too late.
After Crane pulled me off the guy, they carried their friend into the bathrrom covered in blood.
Going forward Hot Rod Long opted to take the high-road regarding Tuff.
My thought is he made a good choice.
Talk shit, get fucked up.