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History - Part 6 - The Aftermath
In this part we go through interviews from 1985 until this day about the break-up of the band. It's useless trying to collect them inside one entity. Like Mike Monroe has said: "Opinions are like arseholes – everybody's got one".
Michael: "The only thing I had in mind then was that I won't continue with Hanoi. That would've hurt me more than done good. I have fond memories from Hanoi but that thing had to stop. All the signs pointed to the fact that I had to leave. Hanoi wasn't the same kind of a band it used to be. Its music would've been okay but not good enough for me. Most of the things that happened to Hanoi just happened, without plans. It used to have magic but now the band's just like any other rock'n'roll band. Razzle was the one who lighted up the spirit of the band. He joked a lot and made us feel good. When Razzle walked in, Hanoi Rocks was then perfect."
Michael: "Hanoi was my dream and it came true. That was cool. No, I don't have dreams anymore."
Michael: "Hanoi Rocks had two main characters, me and Andy and one of us had to always give in. When Nasty and Terry joined Andy, it wasn't an issue of who turns back on who. It was just about their own decisions. I feel secure now, I can live as I like."
Michael: "Andy wants to do everything by himself so it was useless for me to make any suggestions. Hanoi was going to be same kind of a band like Foreigner or Reo Speedwagon and I didn't want that to happen. We wouldn't have that same feeling anymore and I didn't want to see that band on stage."
Michael: "I wrote many songs then" (during Hanoi Rocks period) "but you know how Andy felt about my songs. At first I offered many good tunes to him but when I noticed he wanted to make all the decisions I stopped that. I had influence only then when we made the arrangements 'cause Andy's songs had lots of different parts and that. I stopped writing own songs 'cause I thought it would be useless 'cause Andy wanted to control everything."
Michael: "I really don't know why Andy acted such a way. I guess we're two very different kind. Principally we were opposite to each other. Our collaboration worked for a while but then... it was time to separate (laughter)."
Michael: "Working with A. McCoy was impossible. I can't work with people I don't respect and I can' t respect those who publically slam old bandmates down."
Andy: "I was the Hanoi Rocks! I still keep going on. Poof-Makkonen? No, he was a singer. I was the Hanoi Rocks. But poof-Makkonen's still my pal. He's cool."
Andy: "Breaking Hanoi up wasn't difficult. Band didn't work properly anymore. I had long before that feeling that it was useless to keep on goin'. Everything changed after Razzle died and Rene Berg wasn't good enough bass player we needed."
Michael: "That band was so important thing to me that I wanted to keep on tryin' though we had our disputes. But when Razzle died and Sami wanted to leave I thought why grift anymore 'cause the family feeling was gone."
Michael: "Everyone understands that when you lose someone close to you it'll take a long time to get back. It took me almost a year before I totally recovered. Going through such a phase takes time and you can't erase it from your memory just like that and get involved into something new. There aren't any bad feelings about breaking up 'cause I knew it was the right decision. Band wasn't meant to continue and Razzle's death during the American tour was a clear sign about that."
Michael: "One thing I mostly miss from Hanoi Rocks was the friendshipness, we did all the things together. Of course it's still there but the original spirit died with Razzle and Sami. Rene Berg never was the guy who could fit in. He didn't have any opinions. He just wasn't part of the group."
Michael: "Hanoi was a way of life and a family to everyone of us but when two new blokes came in, that idea vanished and it was just a group with musicians in it. I split the band when I realised that. I don't want to do things where I can't give 100% contribution. You can achieve to good results only if you believe in what you're doing. You gotta know what you're doin' to make any sense to that. Sometimes Andy didn't have that sense."
Andy: "That so called bass player we hired to cover Sami was a total nightmare to us. I went to his room and from his suitcase bursted out zillion different kind of pills. That was one fuckin' nightmare. Everytime we had a dinner I was soaked with vodka. I ran out of methadone and I noticed that Warsaw schmack didn't suit me at all. I started beltin' heavily. Everybody hated this new bass player. During the first gig we thought he moved too much on stage, at second night we cut his cable so short he couldn't move at all and at third we didn't even introduce him to the audience. During the fourth night we took all the spotlights off from where he was standing so he had to play in pitch black darkness."
Andy: "Hanoi Rocks was a good band but its story ended when Razzle died and Sami left. Terry Chimes and Nasty Suicide plays with us (Cherry Bombz). We had to boot Rene Berg 'cause he didn't cope with the constant playin'."
Sami (about a year after his departure): "Tired? I was mentally and physically tired, if you wanna say so. I just needed a vacation."
Sami: "In the peak of our career? Yeah, I've heard that yap-yap about hundred times by now, ya know, that we were in the peak of our career and if we had done this or, ya know, done that blah-blah. We had a big deal with CBS but I think we never were near the peak. We had been together for five years and the band wasn' t a band anymore. It hadn't been that for ages. There was no point in playing anymore when the band started to repeat itself. That was a load of crap what we did. Hanoi Rocks WAS a fuckin' good band. Five freaks that looked good on stage and who played honest rock'n'roll in a way they liked. Withouth lickin' anybody's arse. Hanoi Rocks wasn't a one man band like Andy claims, that he invented the whole thing. That's bullshit and he knows that. We were a BAND, good looking band... Andy's always got this thing, ya know, you gotta be cool."
Sami: "I had in mind of leaving the band during the previous summer, ya know. I bought airfares to Spain but that just didn't happen."
Sami: "What? I left the band 'cause of Anna! Haha, that's another rumour, ya know, when they don't know the real facts they start to write about me snatchin' Andy's girlfriend and that's why we couldn't play together anymore. I didn't snatch her, it just happened, ya know. And me and Andy have always been good mates and still are. I left Hanoi Rocks 'cause I didn't want to be in it and go through all the routines day in day out, ya know."
Sami: "Why would I be bitter? It's fuckin' good thing that Hanoi Rocks split."
Sami (during Demolition 23 period): "I'm sick and tired of hearing about the re-union. That's never gonna happen. I know that. That was a big part in our lives then but that's over a decade ago now."
Andy: "We were in that critical point of our career when Razzled died. But I haven't been bitter about that. About the chance we lost, you know. I think it was God's way to announce that we were going too fast."
Michael: "Anything can happen. Breaking up wasn't a certain thing. The only thing that really pisses me off is the death of Razzle. Everything that happens has got a reason to do so."
Nasty Suicide (Jan Stenfors) (in August 2003): "We were going to break-up anyway before the final break-through."
Seppo Vesterinen: "Hanoi was really close to make it. They had entered big record companies all over the world. CBS in Britain, Phonogram in Japan and Epic in The States. Rights of the songs were owned by a very respected company and they had excellent agents in America as well as in Europe. You couldn't have better starting points. Before the split they released their first album in USA by Epic. During the first week 45 000 copies were printed which is excellent figure to any band. Video kept rolling in music channels three or four times a day. Everybody talked about Hanoi and the press was excited about them. Also tour itself started well. I'm pretty sure that if they had finished that tour and if they had been booked to the next one to warm-up some big name, Hanoi Rocks today would be bigger name than Bon Jovi or Mötley Crue."
Michael: "Sometimes I think about the past and I have great memories but still, it's important to live the present day. I don't regret anything and I'm still Sami's and Nasse's good friend." You're not friends with Andy, then? "Andy? Andy McCoy? Who the hell is he? I don't want to work with him anymore. He's no use to anybody. It's impossible to work with him."
Michael: "I'm not having plans with Andy but I don't have that feeling that I won't play with him ever again. Andy's really talented."
Michael: "We didn't think about the albums enough and that's why they're not perfect. We didn't stop and think and make any plans. We just played and went there where something was happening."
Michael: "Everybody used us, record company and other bands. As far as I'm concerned, Hanoi Rocks is dead and buried. All the hassling is behind and I've fixed my things."
Michael: "I wasn't a millionaire when I left Hanoi. Never had such money. Sometimes we had cash, sometimes not. But not millions."
Michael: "I never had a clue about music business. I didn't even know what the word publishing meant. I wrote many songs during Hanoi but Andy never gave me the chance. Only exceptions were my songs where Andy wanted to add something from himself. Then we credited that to us. I always wandered that Andy had so many guitars and all the money. I thought where the hell he got the dough from."
Michael: "I didn't speak with Andy for three years. Now I met him at Iggy Pop concert and we call each other every now and then. It's better to be pals."
Andy: "Me and Mike accused each others like brats after the split. Now everybody knows that it wasn't just one person's fault."
Nasty: "What's left for me from Hanoi? At least I have no financial difficulties though I'm not Springsteen or something. But I guess none of us has starved after the break-up."
Nasty: "I thought then that we must continue 'cause Razzle would've wanted it that way. That was difficult but I think it was worth it. Sami didn't care about coming to Poland... I understand that. We only did those Poland and Helsinki gigs... It was okay."
Nasty: "Hanoi Rocks was like hitting your head against the wall and at the same time think it's fun. The whole thing started to repeat itself. Everybody expected only certain things from Hanoi."
Andy: "We've been together quite a lot before this album (Shooting Gallery) but now we've had no time. We're okay now. I hope that they (ex-Hanoi members) have everything alright and they wish the same to me. Mike was at L.A. mixing his record but we were in different studios, so I haven't heard what he was doing. I have heard the rough mixing of Nasse's LP and that was fuckin' great. Then I heard the final cut and the engineer had taken all the energy away from the songs. That pissed me off so fuckin' enormously. But I've heard that his next album is much better."
Sami Yaffa (in August 2004): "No, no-one's asked me to join the re-union for reasons I don't know. I think the new Hanoi Rocks has got nothin' to do with the original band. Not according to their music or attitude. This is a totally different train. I love Michael and Andy and wish them all the best – whatever they do."
ALBUMS RELEASED AFTER THE BREAK-UP:
Rock And Roll Divorce
This album is more or less a very vague. Mick Staplehurst recorded it at the final gig in Warsaw Rockerina Festivals on 19 May 1985. In the back cover is a story how Andy stole the tapes and designed the sleeve. This concert is also available at Spirit In The Sky bootleg.
Released by Lick Records in August 1985, BOOTLIC 7
The Best of Hanoi Rocks
This collection has 13 songs. Two of them taken from All Those Wasted Years live album and ten quite easily taken so called "best of..." songs. It also has unreleased song Two Steps From The Move. Package also includes a 12" maxi-single with songs Malibu Nightmare, Do The Duck, Hometown Breaktown and I Love You. Malibu is the song that was first heard at The Venue –EP. Do The Duck belongs to the same joke category as previous song and I Love You is exactly the same version that was released on Briard's album Miss World. It was only re-named to Me And My Habit. Hometown is the only previously unheard song, though being quite boring.
November 1985, AAB HANOI LP 3 (+ 12" bonus maxi-single)
Yahoo! HANOI LP 3
Dead By Christmas
Double collection album. First 10 000 copies had Do The Duck flexi-disc inside.
1986, Raw Power RAWLP016
1989, AABCD 4
Tracks From Broken Dreams
-After Two Steps From The Move sessions, Hanoi went to BBC's studios at Maida Vale to record songs Boulevard Of Broken Dreams, Underwater World, I Can't Get It and Don't You Ever Leave Me for Tommy Vance's Radio One show. Tony Wilson was the producer. This was the last time when the whole band gathered in a studio to record songs. Six weeks later was recorded "Magic Carpet Ride" but that was more or less Andy's and Michael's studio piece.
Rebel On The Run was originally released as a B-side to Malibu Beach. It was recorded at Alaska Studios and it was mixed by Dale Griffin and Overend Watts at Silo.
Oil And Gasoline was recorded at Greenhouse Studios in 1984 and it was first released as a B-side to Don't You Ever Leave Me 12" maxi-single. Gregg Brown of Osibisa played bass. Andy McCoy, Michael Monroe and Gregg Brown produced the song.
Shakes was recorded during Two Steps From The Move sessions. It was originally released as a B-side to Underwater World 12" maxi-single. Bob Ezrin was the producer.
Malibu Beach Nightmare (like Malibu Nightmare and Malibu Beach Calypso Version) was recorded as a joke at Finnvox Studios in Finland after the 53 day Finnish tour in 1981. Risto Hemmi was the engineer. Later this song was re-made to Back To Mystery City LP. Nasty plays bass after Sami missed the sessions.
Its Too Late" (like "In The Year '79") and Problem Child were recorded at Farmyard Studios outside London in May 1982. At those same sessions they recorded Whispers In The Dark, Beer And A Cigarette and Self Destruction Blues. In his book Marshall McCoy Andy said: "In another studio we played Taxi Driver and Beer And A Cigarette." Because it is very likely that the latter song was recorded at Farmyard studios outside London in May 1982, it is expected that also Taxi Driver was recorded at the same place. Ian Morais was the engineer and Andy and Michael were the producers. Some of the songs weren't supposed to release ever because they were recorded after a rehearsing sessions with one take.
Do The Duck was recorded as a joke at "Bangkok" sessions in Finland.
Two Steps From The Move was a demo version of a song that never made to the album of same title. Harmonica track was different than in the song Bob Ezrin produced or the song that appeared at The Best Of Hanoi Rocks collection. Song was recorded at Greenhouse Studios in London in 1983. Andy and Michael were the producers. This was more or less a studio experiment from them.
I Love You and Willing To Cross The Ocean" were recorded at Two Steps demo sessions. I Love You was an unreleased song before this album but the riff of Willing ended up as a part of Boiler Song.
Released by Lick Records in 1990, LICK LICLP 10
Lean On Me
At the end of Tracks From Broken Dreams collection album it is clearly stated that there will not be released any previously unreleased material from Hanoi Rocks but they scraped from the studio floors the following unreleased tunes: Menaced By Nightingales (written by Andy, Michael and Bob Ezrin), Fast Car (by Rene Berg), Rock'n'Roll (by Michael, Nasty and Rene), Life's Been Hard (by Andy), Heart Attack (by Andy), Shame, Shame, Shame (by Andy) and Lean On Me (by Andy). Heart Attack nearly was included to Andy's Building On Tradition LP. Shame, Shame, Shame was included to Shooting Gallery's album Teenage Breakdown with new lyrics.
Michael: "Those songs are quite rough and unfinished but cool thing to some of the fans."
OTHER COMPILATION ALBUMS OR BOXSETS RELEASED:
1985: Million Miles Away (Nippon Phonogram, 28PP-1013)
1985: Up Around The Bend, Super Best (Nippon Phonogram, PPD 1044)
1985: Story (Nippon Phonogram, PPD 3086)
1985: Tracks From Broken Dreams (Nippon Phonogram, PHCR 2)
USA Promo album:
1989/1990: Rebels On The Run (Uzi Suicide, PRO CD 3738)
1985: Malibu Nightmare / Do The Duck / Hometown Breakdown / I Love You (AAB BONUS)
1986: Do The Duck (Castle)
1986: Pills / Gloria (Space Faggots, 870115)
1986: Tokyo Sundown (Trade Mark Of Quality, TMOG 72106)
During this new millennium every album's been released as re-mastered versions. Some albums have also interesting bonus material.
I wasn't a millionaire when I left Hanoi. Never had such money. Sometimes we had cash, sometimes not. But not millions.