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Michael and Andy - moving on
DD: But the relationship between them did work. I saw them together often enough; there were enough situations where it was just the three of us together, and they might as well have been married. They played so well off each other. Andy was always the smooth operator, but it was never quite the same when Mike wasn't around. It was like part of Andy was missing. And Andy would bring out Mike. Mike was one of those people who could be alone in the middle of a crowded room, and it would be incredibly difficult to get him into any sort of conversation. It was almost like he didn't want to trust anybody. To get the good conversation out of Mike, you needed Andy there. Together they were brilliant, they brought the best out of each other. After all these years, to let bygones be bygones and get back together again is great. I'm just saddened that it's taken this long, but there was a lot of bad blood.
JR: And the end was so shattering. To come so close and to have it slip away. Even as a fan, it's taken me an incredibly long time to come to grips with it, and I'm totally on the outside. I just can't imagine what it was like for them.
DD: Well, basically, everything you lived for is suddenly snatched away, and it's all completely out of your control. They tried desperately to scrabble it back together again, but it was never going to work, and that's soul-destroying. Everything that you've worked for. I forget how long they've known each other, Mike and Andy, but it had been since they were school kids. From memory, I think that Andy and Nasty had been to elementary school together. They'd all been around each other for a long time, they'd all been working towards this great goal, and suddenly, it's just completely gone. Everyone gets hurt by that result, but what can you do? It's completely out of anyone's control. It's easy to cast blame, but if they hadn't been the people they were, they wouldn't have been in that situation in the first place. That's just the way it played out. I was horrified and devastated, but all these years, looking back, it's like, "That's just the way it goes, and, sad as it is" [pause]
JR: In terms of the solo efforts, was there anything that you especially liked?
DD: I liked Demolition 23; I liked the Cherry Bombz; I liked what Mike was doing solo, but it wasn't the same. It was nice that they were doing something, but the magic wasn't there. I like pretty much everything they've done. I liked the Suicide Twins a whole lot. It might not have been the finest album ever made, but there was something I really liked about it. So I liked it, but the magic wasn't there. There are only a few bands that can manage to produce that.
JR: Comparisons to the Beatles can be made here. The post-Beatles solo efforts had moments of inspiration, but the real magic was in how the different elements of the band worked together. You can't take those pieces apart and expect to see the whole. For me, the solo careers have reinforced the legend of Hanoi Rocks in two ways: first, by proving what the guys meant to each other, because they couldn't reproduce it on their own. But also, seeing the solo careers play out, these guys have really stuck to their guns. True, they gravitated towards some pretty cheesy projects on occasion - projects which I won't mention here - but they always seemed to find their way out of those bad projects pretty quickly. OK, so they didn't have any big commercial successes after Hanoi, but they also didn't bend themselves to fit the times. By playing brilliantly and dying young, Hanoi became a legend. But that legend has been reinforced by the "out of the limelight" perseverance of Mike and Andy. Clearly, these guys didn't go off in search of the richest corporate sponsor. They really wanted to make it - badly enough to make it interesting sometimes - but ultimately they didn't want to do it the wrong way.
DD: Demolition 23 was one such example. That was Mike trying to put it all together again, but it was a three wheel cart without the fourth wheel. With Demolition 23, you had Mike, Nasty, and Sami, but because there was so much bad blood between all of them and Andy, there was always going to be a problem. However much they hated Andy, it was never going to be quite right without him. But even if Andy had been there, it still wasn't going to be right, because Razzle couldn't be there. You needed all the component parts to make Hanoi work, and those parts were only together for a little more than a year. Later, Andy tried to do it again with the Cherry Bombz, because he had Terry Chimes, and he had Nasty, and he had a Hanoi roadie playing guitar. So he tried to make a go of it, but he didn't have Sami, and obviously he didn't have Mike, and he ran into the same problems - it just wasn't quite there. I wanted to say to them, "Guys, a terrible thing has happened, so please go away for a year or so and just do nothing. Just think about what it is you're going to do and then come back with something interesting."
I could understand it from their point of view, because they're artists, and they want to carry on - they want to prove to the world that they're still alive and kicking. But from a fan point of view, all the stuff they did after Hanoi was interesting, but it wasn't the same; it was never going to be the same. All these years have passed and yet I've never again come across a band that smacked me like Hanoi Rocks did.