W.A.S.P. FAQ Like A Beast
W.A.S.P. FAQ Like A Beast
As always, this page is under construction. Any
input is appreciated
Last Updated March 9, 1997
Who the hell are W.A.S.P.?
Who are/were the members of W.A.S.P.?
- In the mid-eighties, W.A.S.P. were the top shock rock heavy metal
band, carrying on the theatrical stage traditions founded by Alice Cooper
and KISS. And like the aforementioned bands, they mainly used the shock
rock theatrics to get themselves noticed. Despite the gruesome stage
show, their strongest attribute has
always their music, which combined the best elements of fellow LA Club bands
like RATT and Mötley Crüe with the heavier European style of metal seen in
Iron Maiden and Judas Priest. Shortly after their first album, nearly all
of the theatrics were dropped from the show, in part because it began to
overshadow the music. And not content to just live off of their former
glory, the band is still around with founding members Chris Holmes and
Blackie Lawless, and are set to release what many believe will be their
"comeback" album- Kill Fuck Die, and return with a world tour that also
marks the return of their psychodramatic stage theatrics including a
handfuls of live worms thrown in the crowd, a pig being hacked to pieces
with a chainsaw, the rape of a nun with a penis-knife and the onstage
abortion of her mutilated fetus. Not for the sqeamish!
What does W.A.S.P. stand for?
- Blackie Lawless- lead vocals, bass, guitar, etc.
Blackie Lawless was a former member of the New York Dolls during the last few weeks before
they broke up. He moved from New York to L.A. with Dolls bassist Arthur
Kane to form the Killer Kane band, although that proved to be a short
lived project. Kane returned to New York but Blackie stayed in L.A.
Around 1978 he formed a band called Sister with Chris Holmes
which was one of the first metal bands to use occult symbolism such as the
pentagrams and horned hand sign that would later become a heavy metal
clichè. After Sister broke up, Blackie formed a band with Randy
Piper called Circus Circus. After the breakup of Circus Circus, Randy and
Blackie started a new band with Chris and called it W.A.S.P.
Blackie Lawless is the real creative force behind the band, writing about
95% of all of their music.
- Chris Holmes- lead & rhythm guitar 198?-1990, 1996-current
Blackie discovered Holmes through a nude photo in
Hustler and recurited him for Sister. Chris is W.A.S.P.'s second longest lasting member. He
was a founding member and played with the band until alcohol problems and
musical differences led to his parting ways after the Headless Children
tour. He has now returned to the band, co-writing several new songs,
performing on the new album Kill Fuck Die, and playing recent shows in
California and Europe.
- Randy Piper- lead & rhythm guitar 198?-1985
Blackie met Randy through a friend of Ace Frehley and they formed Circus
Later Randy was a founding member of W.A.S.P. and played on the
first two albums. After his departure from the band, he started a new group called
Animal. There were reports in the metal mags that they were perfoming a song
called Rock You Like An Animal, which was said to be the original version
of Animal (Fuck Like A Beast). Although not much was heard from the band
at that time, Randy has now reformed Animal and they are currently rehearsing in the Cincinati area and
recording demos. (Note: the rumor that Randy had joined a counrty band is
- Tony Richards- drums 198?-1984
The drummer on the first album. Apparently was kicked out shortly before the first
US tour due to personality conflicts and/or heroin problems (unconfirmed).
Now is no longer pursuing a musical career. (Note: the previous information that he
had joined Randy Piper's Animal was incorrect)
- Steve Riley- drums 1984-1987
Before W.A.S.P., Steve was in a band signed to Epic records, called The
Bees, and also played in Keel. He joined W.A.S.P. for the first tour and played on the Last Command,
Electric Circus, and Live In The Raw albums. He left after the Electric
Circus tour to join LA Guns, and can be heard on their new album American
Hardcore, and all others (except Vicious Circle and the first one). The
split with WASP must not have been an amicable one, because now he refuses
to talk about his former band.
- Johnny Rod- bass 1986-1990, 1992 tour
W.A.S.P. had toured with Carmine Appice's band King Kobra, where Johnny
played bass. After Randy Piper left Blackie switched from bass to guitar and brought in
Johnny as their new bass player. Although Blackie played bass on the
Crimson Idol album, Johnny rejoined the group to play on the tour. The
band was having conflicts with Johnny getting into fist fights with the
road crew and other problems, but before he could be fired he robbed a
liquor store and now is serving his time in jail.
- Frankie Banali- drums 1989 - 1995
After Steve Riley left, Quiet Riot drummer Frankie
Banali first played on Headless Children, although he was not listed as a
band member and didn't appear in photos until later. If memory serves me
right, I remember reading that Blackie had asked him to join the band but
he wasn't ready to leave Quiet Riot. Frankie has played drums on all of
the W.A.S.P. albums since but has not toured except for Headless Children, due
to his QR commitmets. He is still a member of Quiet Riot, also.
- Bob Kulick- guitar 1992 - present (studio only)
Bob Kulick has a long list of studio credits, including Paul Stanley's 1978
solo album and his work with Meatloaf. He also played on Paul's solo
tour a few years ago. He was recruited to play on the Crimson Idol and
also performed on Still Not Black Enough, although he didn't tour with
W.A.S.P. becuase of commitments to his own band. His brother is former KISS guitar
player Bruce Kulick.
- Stet Howland- drums 1992 - present
Stet did some drumming on Crimson Idol and also played on the
tour. He did a couple of songs on Still Not Black Enough, and plays on
Kill Fuck Die as well. Stet was going to leave the band after recording
the new album, and Blackie and Chris began auditioning new drummers, but
in the end they worked out their problems and Stet remains with the band.
- Doug Blair- guitar 1992-1993 (tour)
Doug played guitars on the Crimson Idol tour, but apparently he didn't
quite fit in with the band and has since been replaced with original
guitarist Chris Holmes.
- Mike Doda- bass 1996-present
Former Arcade member Mike Doda is the latest member to join W.A.S.P. and
played on their recent shows in California and Europe.
What was that about the Ku Klux Klan? Are W.A.S.P. some neo-fascist racist
- According to an old interview with Blackie, they picked the name
W.A.S.P. because it could mean several things to several people and would hopefully create
controversy. According to Blackie, one interpretation of the name refers
to "the right wing of the Ku Klux Klan." Another was referring to the
white middle class upbringing that Blackie came from. And it also could mean
Wasp, as in the vicious insect that will sting you to death.
Later they came up with We Are Sexual Perverts. There were also
rumors that it stood for We Are Satan's People.
What is Blackie's real name?
What was that story about how Blackie discovered Chris Holmes?
- No. They just like to piss people off and stir up controversy. In
all of their lyrics, interviews, and everything else, I have never once
heard them make any racially derogatory comment.
What are some of their outrageous stage antics they used to pull?
- Hustler magazine had a
monthly feature called Beaver Hunt where readers sent in nude pictures of
their wives and girlfriends. The pictures were mostly female, but they'd
always have one titled "One For The Ladies". Around 1978, while Blackie was
living in LA, he was reading an issue and
there was a nude picture of Holmes that said "Rock N Roll Animal" and mentioned that he was a guitar
player. A friend of Blackie's, who was the drummer for the Motels, was
over and Blackie showed him the picture. The drummer recognized Holmes as
friend of a friend of his. Blackie felt that Holmes had
the look he wanted so he contacted him and after an audition he joined
What's that song that they're playing over the ending credits of Videos
In The Raw?
- Shit Eating- According to an interview
with Chris Holmes, he used to stuff chocolate bars down the back of his
pants before the show. Later, he would reach down the back of his pants
and smear the chocolate on Blackie's face and mouth, then fling some out
into the crowd.
- Meat Grinder- Blackie would throw live rats into a meatgrinder, then crank
the handle and pull out hamburger from underneath the grinder and fling it
out into the crowd.
- The Rack- They would bring out a large
wooden case, like the one with the skeleton on the cover of the first album. Blackie would open it up to reveal a
topless woman inside. He would then take out a large knife and simulate
cutting her throat. This can be seen in the Japanese version
of Live At The Lyceum, London. A tamer version can be seen during their
cameo in the cheesey sci-fi film The Dungeonmaster.
- Drinking Blood- Blackie would bring out a
skull filled with blood. He'd then drink from it, pouring blood all over
his face and chest.
- Raw Meat- Similar to the Meat Grinder, they would bring out a box of
raw meat and fling chunks out into the crowd.
- Rocket Pack- Randy Piper used to wear a backpack with rockets on it
that shot smoke.
- Shoot From The Hip- By the time of the Last Command Tour, the band had
dispersed with most of the bizarre acts. But one new one they added was a
codpiece Blackie wore that shot sparks. "Now I've got to find a way to
flame-retard my balls," he was quoted as saying in one interview.
- Live Worms- On some of the new shows they played in Europe this
February, one of the new stage acts they did was to throw shovelfuls of
dirt and live worms out into the crowd. One fan who got a mouthful can
confirm that the worms are real!
- Pig Decapitation- Another new act done during the song "The
Horror" is a pig that gets hacked up with a chainsaw until Blackie chops
his bloody head right off. Derek from the S.A.V.A.G.E. fan club asked
Blackie if they really did butcher up a pig... his response was: "well, you
eat bacon, don't you?"
- Nun Rape- Probably the most shocking act of the new show appears
during the song "Kill Your Pretty Face" when a giant cross is brought out
with a nun strapped to it, her legs spread open with
chains. Blackie comes out to reveal a phallic knife attatched to his
codpiece, and runs it across a grinder shooting sparks off as the nun
shakes in horror. He then goes up to the cross and rapes her with the
knife, then buries his face between her legs and pulls out a bloody fetus
(with the umbilical cord and all)
which he impales on his dick-knife.
- The song is Douche Bag Blues, one of the B-sides on the European Live
Why have the last three albums been released everywhere else six months to
a year before the U.S. release?
What does F.D.G. stand for?
- Apparently Blackie has said that it was because he wanted to release
the albums closer to the time when he was going to tour, although this does
not seem entirely correct. If memory serves correct, they toured the
States for Crimson Idol before the US release of the album, and there was
no tour for First Blood.
- Also possible, it could have to do with legal bullshit and problems with the
record company. It's no secret that the metal scene has gone back
underground in the US and many former big selling bands have been getting
dropped and later turning up again on independent record labels because the
major labels are afraid to put out anything that would be labeled as
metal. Much of Crimson Idol is a big indictment of the record industry and
there's no doubt that much of the bile being spewed (Chainsaw Charlie in
particluar) could be directed at Capitol records. It's no surprise that Crimson
Idol was their last full
studio album on Capitol, with First Blood probably being put out as a
contractual obligation album. This is all just my speculation, though.
What does B.A.D. stand for?
- Fucking Decadent Generation
What does L.O.V.E. Machine stand for?
- Three possible expanations:
- Bondage And Discipline. Although he didn't come out and directly say
it, in one interview on a picture disc, the interviewer asks him what
B.A.D. is for, and Blackie answers something to the effect of "the song is
about sex. You listen to the lyrics again and tell me what it stands for"
- Black And Decker. According to an interview he did on the syndicated
radio program Metal Shop, he said that before the first album, they were
shopping for sponsors and they thought Black & Decker would tie in well
with the sawblades and bolts and stuff they wore. Obviously, B&D never
approved of this, but they kept the reference in the song anyway.
- Nothing. Like L.O.V.E. Machine and 9.5.-N.A.S.T.Y. it could just have
the periods because of the tie in with the W.A.S.P. name, and they spell
out B-A-D in the chorus. The other two stories could just be
embellishments to keep interviews interesting.
What is he talking about at the end of On Your Knees when he says
"What in the fuck was that"
- Large Outrageous Vagina Eater. Ha! Just kidding. See explanation
number three above regarding B.A.D.
Did Chris Holmes really get married to Lita Ford?
- According to the Metal Shop interview, they were recording the
album in Southern California using very sensitive equipment. In his
headphones, Blackie could faintly hear a Mexican radio station and asked "What
in the fuck was that." He thought it was funny, so they left it on the end
of the recording.
What ever happened to the solo album Blackie was talking of
- Yes, but they're now divorced.
- Considering the fact that none of the original members appeared on
it, The Crimson Idol could have been this record. Most likely he just decided
to keep the WASP name.
If you've got any other good bizzare facts or other generally useful
information about the band, e-mail me.
Tidbits, Trivia, and Rumors:
- Blackie was offered the role of Sammy Curr, the Satanic rock star bad guy in Trick
Or Treat, but had to turn it down because he didn't have the time to take
out to film the role. He said in an interview at the time that he really
wanted to do the movie and regretted having to turn it down.
- Before he started in rock n roll, Blackie was going to try a career in
baseball and had played in the minor leagues.
- When Blackie was a teenager he was a hellion (big surprise, right?) and
got into a lot of trouble for vandalism and things like that. His older
brother had also been a real troublemaker and had been sent to reform
school for robbing a grocery store and his dad sent him into the army to
straighten him out when he turned eighteen, and later went off to fight in
Vietnam. When Blackie started getting in trouble, his dad sent him off to
military school in Florida, around 1970, for a year and a half.
- After filming the video for Scream Until You Like It, Blackie was so
thrilled with the little ghoulies that he bought one from
the film company.
- After the success of their initial release, the Animal single, the band
had originally intended to include the song on their first album and had
even re-recorded the song. The record company felt that the song would be
too much for American audiences, though, so they refused to allow the song
on the album. The band then had to go back into the studio and record a new
song, The Flame.
- According to one source, Manimal and Harder Faster were not recorded
live for the Live In The Raw album. Both are studio songs mixed with live
- After The Crimson Idol, Blackie
recorded an album worth of slow songs and ballads, but eventally scrapped
most of them and recorded Still Not Black Enough instead.
- According to a Japanese interview, Hold On To My Heart was orginally
written for The Headless Children, but Chris Holmes refused to play it.
- If you own a vinyl copy of the first album, check the band of vinyl
near the label. Engraved on it is "We Are Sexual Perverts."
- Before W.A.S.P. and Mötley Crüe, Blackie and Nikki Sixx (who
is one of Blackie's best friends) tried to record an album together. After
three days in the studio, they decided that the sessions were so terrible
they scrapped the whole idea.
- Here's an interesting one, thanks to Bill from S.A.V.A.G.E.: During late '82 or early '83 W.A.S.P. recorded a demo for a song called
"Master of Disaster". Blackie was not happy with the song in its present form
and set it aside, to go back to later. At the same time Kevin DuBrow caught
wind of the song and Quiet Riot started to play it live, so, Blackie decided
to scrap the whole song so people would'nt think he had stolen it from them.
But, the way Blackie works it did eventually resurface in a different form.
Parts of "Master of Disaster" did become the theme music for the "mirror" in
"The Crimson Idol", much like "For Whom the Bell Tolls" became "Gypsy meets
the Boy" on the same album.
Thanks to fellow WASP fans for their input on this FAQ and the Discography.
I couldn't do this without you!
Derek Anderson from S.A.V.A.G.E.
Bill Mittler from S.A.V.A.G.E.
John Bonner (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Jean-Claude Jaeger (Jean-Claude.Jaeger@scinfo.u-nancy.fr)
Joseph Anthony Yosick (email@example.com)
Johnny Petterson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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