So when you get relieved of your rock n roll duty at fronting a popular band that has hit rough waters what does one do?
In the case of former Motley Crue singer John Corabi you drive truck. True story folk’s as John became a trucker driving an semi tractor trailer all across America.
Those kind of stories and more are talked about in “Horseshoes & Hand Grenades” which across the 400 plus pages Corabi tells it how he saw it.
Like any bio out there you get the lowdown on John from his upbringing in Philadelphia to of course when he first discovered music watching The Beatles on Ed Sullivan.
From John fronting his own band “Angora” in Philly to getting in the mid to late 80’s offers to join Cinderella and Skid Row.
The book also focuses on a theme and that is timing. John candidly writes about moving away from Philly to go to L.A (like many did) and watching from afar Cinderella get signed and take off like a rocket back in ’86 with “Night Songs” back home in Philly.
“The Scream” a band John fronted for a few years did get that break when they were signed to a major label only to have Nikki Sixx (Motley Crue) acknowledge in Spin Magazine that “The Scream” was one of Sixx’s favourite albums back in ’92.
Corabi reached out back to Sixx to thank him and had no idea an audition was about to happen in February ’92 when the Crue sacked Vince Neil.
Course the whole Crue story is told from his angle and is done respectfully and it takes up a good portion of the book.
When Motley Crue released the self titled Corabi release in March ’94 the album debuted at #7 on the charts (which was deemed a failure by everyone at the record company) to low ticket sales for the tour which of course everyone finger pointed at John’s direction as too why it failed.
In reading the Crue chapters you get the understanding that Nikki Sixx and Tommy Lee could not figure out what was going on as they continually bemoaned the fact that during the tour when they would play to 2500 people a night in an arena that held 15,000 the same building that four years earlier they sold out twice on the “Dr. Feelgood” tour. It messed them up to say the least.
As John explains the whole marketing team behind the Crue were fired (like 42 people) and by the Crue themselves pissing off interviewers at the time did not help the cause as well.
Remember I mentioned timing well same thing in the Crue. You get the winning lottery ticket to front one the biggest bands from the ’80s yet Grunge came along and derailed all that…
Motley Crue the album was dead in the water and when it came time to record the follow up, Elektra Records wanted to make money so they wanted Vince Neil back so John got let go but still continued to work with them through the recording process which John says was a complete shit show.
John does state matter of factly that it fucked with his head how the Crue could treat him like a king at the start and yet five years later they didn’t want anything to do with him.
Corabi goes on to form Union with x-KISS guitarist Bruce Kulick and after getting hosed by an accountant and not making much money they decided to stop Union. Napster played a part in it as well.
I could give away more as there is a ton of great stories and of course after Crue and Union, John joined RATT to play guitar. More dysfunction as well as John says there is more dysfunction in RATT than there was in Motley! That is saying something.
John Corabi is still out there doing it and for that you have to respect him as he could have easily given up time and time again yet through failed personal relationships, drugs( his own son’s heroin addiction) marriages, cranky cops and customs officials and getting ripped off at times, John just kept going..
deKe’s Book score of Horseshoes & Hand Grenades- 9/10