Michael Monroe

1971 – Helsinki
Michael's real name is Matti Fagerholm (also called as Makke) and he started his musical career in 1971 when he formed Black Magic, inspired by Black Sabbath. Soon after this he changed the band's name to Hoople, this time inspired by Mott The Hoople. The band included Michael's brother and their cousin Olli Hilden

End of 1970's – Helsinki
During the end of the seventies (1976-79) Makke played in a band called Madness with Mikko Tiililä, Pera Perkola and Kari Kuosa. First they rehearsed in their home at Töölö District in Helsinki and in 1977 they received a training flat from Pärinäpirtti which located at the downstairs of Church of Töölö. Andy Hulkko's Briard was also practising there. Later Kuosa was replaced by ex-Briard drummer Sidi Vainio. In addition to practising at Pärinäpirtti Madness also played few gigs, e.g. at Apollo School. During these concerts Andy used to make the soundchecks for the bands. It was clear from the beginning that Makke was the backbone of Madness while others just focused on having fun.

At the end of seventies Makke also played at Easy Living and he used to hang around with the bands of Maukka Perusjätkä and Ralf Örn (Maukka & Nahkatakit, Ralf Örn Pop and Maukka Perusjätkä Ja Sota Apatiaa Vastaan. In English= Maukka & Leather Jackets, Ralf Örn Pop and Maukka Perusjätkä And The War Against Apathy). During these projects he met his future bandmate Jan Stenfors.

After making acquaintances with Makke, Andy asked him to join Briard as second guitarist but that project faded away after their singer Räkä-Malmi (Snot-Malmi) insisted Makke to cut down his long hair. Malmi thought Makke's image wasn't suitable for a punk band. Later Makke and Andy played with Jesu Hämäläinen at the band called Bolin. Despite the differencies of opinions Makke played bass and sax with Malmi every now and then at Briard.

In 1979 Makke was supposed to play bass at Andy's and Jesper Sporre's (later known as Gyp Casino) Nymphomaniacs which was formed in Stockholm. He managed to attend few rehearsals before the band was folded. After this Andy tried to get Makke to play bass at his newly formed Pelle Miljoona Oy but this also went down the toilet because after few excellent rehearsals they hired a 16 year old Sami Takamäki from Espoo.

1979-1985 – Hanoi Rocks

1983-1986 – London
In 1983 Sam Yaffa, Nasty Suicide and Razzle were recording Fallen Angelsalbum with Knox (from Vibrators). Andy and Michael were visiting the album under pseudonyms of Cosmic Ted and Flashing Psychedelic Kid.

After Razzle died, the band thought of hiring either Mark Laffin (Generation X) or Rat Scabies (The Damned) to replace him. They finally chose Andy's friend Terry Chimes (the original drummer of The Clash). After Sami had retired from Hanoi, they thought of hiring Jimi Sumen (e.g. Classix Nouveaux) to replace him but he refused politely. They then hired band's old friend Rene Berg (Idle Flowers). You must put weight on the word 'old' because he was actually much older than Andy or Michael. During the last tour in Poland it was clear that Rene wasn't the right choise for the band and after they returned to London they sacked him. Longtime roadie Timo Kaltio replaced Rene to become the last bass player of the band. Hanoi Rocks finally broke-up when Michael announced his departure. After this Michael wrote songs with his room-mate Stiv Bators. During 1985 Michael and Nasty visited Johnny Thunders at the album Que Sera, Sera.

1986 – 1990 – London/New York
After visiting the recordings of Little Steven's Sun City charity album, Michael and Stiv flew to New York to attend the videoshootings of the title song. During the shootings, Michael was so delighted about The Big Apple that he decided to move into The States. In 1986 he gathered New Yorker musicians together and formed Secret Chiefs. They also played few concerts in Finland. However, the band transformed radically in 1987 and it didn't have a single original member in it anymore. With Secret Chiefs Michael also recorded his first solo album Nights Are So Long. In 1988 Michael visited Los Angeles where he played one gig with Sam Yaffa.

1989 – New York
Because of his solo album Michael was offered a world wide record deal with Polygram and in 1989 he released his second album Not Fakin' It. Nasty Suicide played in few songs with Michael and he also attended Michael's touring band. Axl Rose (Guns n'Roses) performed in the video of Dead, Jail Or Rock'n'roll taken from the album. Not only Axl was a devoted Hanoi Rocks fan but also the whole Guns n'Roses announced of being fans and therefore GNR's own record company, Uzi Suicide, released every Hanoi Rocks album in America on coloured vinyls. After Not Fakin' It, Michael was seen playing with super stars like Steven Tyler who invited him on stage to play sax with Aerosmith during the song Big Ten Inch Record. This happened in a birhday bash of legendary guitar maker Les Paul who was celebrating his 75th anniversary. In 1989 Slash and Axl from GNR performed at the last concert of Michael's US Tour in L.A.'s legendary Whisky A Go-Go. The warm-up band was Sam Yaffa's group Stronzo. Slash had also performed with Michael earlier in the tour (Chicago). In the New Year's Eve of 1989 and at New Year's Day of 1990, Michael played with Don Henley, Bryan Adams and Huey Lewis at Tokyo Dome to 70 000 spectators. This same show was also seen at Osaka and two other Japanese cities.

1990-1993 – New York
After touring around the world in 1990 Michael noticed that his new album was not available at big record stores nevertheless reviews had been positive. In addition to this, after returning from Japanese tour he saw an ad at MTV that he had no knowledge at all (For example, the ad claimed that Michael was the brains behind Hanoi Rocks. The best thing according to him was that Hanoi Rocks didn't have brains at all). Michael insisted that the ad should be banned but Polygram didn't like his opinions and decided to stop marketing the album at the same time. His manager didn't like Michael's honesty and their relationship inflamed badly.

In the early 1990 Sami Yaffa moved to New York and instantly joined Michael's band. It was Sami's idea to change the name to Jerusalem Slim and they hired Steve Stevens as guitarist (Billy Idol's band). Jerusalem Slim was active about a year and in 1992 they decided to break-up because of musical differences between Monroe and Stevens. Michael was against of releasing the album but Polygram wanted some consolation. Ironically, after this project Stevens joined the band of Vince Neil (who had caused Razzle's death). During the same year Sami and Nasty were performing with Michael in his band in Japan and in USA. During 1990-93 Sam Yaffa had a band called Love Pirates with Gass Wylden (Pretenders) and Michael attended few of their gigs playing harmonica. After being let down by Polygram, Michael tried to end the contract at any price.

In 1991 Michael was visiting GNR's album Use Your Illusions I. Michael played harmonica and saxophone in a song called Bad Obsession.

In the nineties Michael was gigging with Syl Sylvain (New York Dolls) in a band called Trash Cowboys.

In 1992 Sami, Michael, Little Steven (Bruce Springsteen's E-Street Band) and Rat Scabies (The Damned) were planning of forming a band that was later called as Demolition 23. Little Steven and Rat Scabies were replaced with Jay Henning (Star Star) and Jimmy Clark (Blondie and Ramones).

1993-1994 – New York
In 1993 Michael visited GNR album The Spaghetti Incident and sang a duet with Axl Rose in a song Ain't It Fun. In the same year he performed with GNR in England and played a harmonica in a song Knockin' On A Heavens Door. Later that night he was called to play with Ronnie Wood (Rolling Stones) to play Honky Tonk Women.

In Spring/Summer 1993 Michael and Sami recorded with Slash (GNR) a song Magic Carpet Ride that was later used in a movie Coneheads. During this time Michael, Nasty and Sami visited a tribute album for Johnny Thunders (I Only Wrote This Song For You). Michael wrote songs Disappointed In You and So Alone to this album. Michael also visited his warm-up band's (Warrior Soul) album Chillpill. There he played sax in one song and harmonica in another. He was also seen as a guest artist during their gigs.

1994-1995 – London
In 1994 Demolition 23 released their first and only album – Demolition 23. When they were supposed to start their European and Japanese tours, Jay Henning couldn't attend because of the problems concerning his passport. Michael invited Nasty to cover him.

In 1995 four members of Hanoi Rocks were seen at the same time on the stage of Tavastia Rock Club in Helsinki. It was then when Andy joined Sami, Nasse and Makkonen to play with Demolition 23 the songs Problem Child, In The Year '79 and I Feel All Right. Later that year (in the middle of the European tour) Nasty announced his wish to leave the band and soon after this the band was buried nevertheless they had a promising start. In 1997 news of Jay Henning's suicide in his home at Virginia hit Finland.

1995-2002 – Turku/Helsinki
After Demolition 23 Michael and his wife Jude Wilder moved to Finland. In the summer of 1996 Michael was seen playing with Finnish musicians, Jimmy Clark of Demolition 23 and Björne Fröberg (The Nomads) at Messilä Midsummer Rock Festivals. Michael's cousin Olli Hilden also played in the band. Their collaboration had started as early as in 1971. In the autumn of 1996 Michael started recording his third solo album, Peace Of Mind. Michael played all the instruments himself except drums (Jimmy Clark). He had in mind of taking Sami Yaffa to play bass but because he was at that time playing in a Jan Stenfors' band these plans were dismissed.

In 1997 Michael played sax at Backyard Babies' song Rocker which can be heard at their compilation album Highlights. During the same year he played one concert in Toronto, Canada with local musicians. Few days later they also played a concert in New York. Michael visited Backyard Babies in their concerts in England and Japan. In 1999 he released his fourth solo album Life Gets You Dirty. In the summer of 2000 Michael performed two concerts in Buenos Aires, Argentina with local band Zero. Jude Wilder, like always, was a backing vocalist. During 1997-2001 Michael toured around Finland with a band that constantly changed its members. In 2000 Timo ”Timpa” Laine and Kari ”Lacu” Lahtinen from Tampere attended his touring band. In 1999 Michael as himself visited in a movie about Andy McCoy (Real McCoy).

In the winter of 2001 a 4 CD boxset of Hanoi Rocks was released. While promoting the boxset Michael and Andy saw their relationship becoming closer and they ended up to play at Ruisrock Festivals in Turku as Hanoi Rocks Revisited. The band didn't include Sami or Nasty but just studiomusicians. This happy re-union was shadowed by Michael's wife's sudden death on 19 June 2002. In the winter of 2002 Michael released a live-EP Take Them And Break Them in Japan. Because Hanoi Rocks Revisited was received well Andy and Michael decided to continue as Hanoi Rocks. Still other original members weren't seen in the band when their first album 12 Shots On The Rocks was released in 2002. Hanoi Rocks' story continues and they are performing all around the world. In January 2003 Michael released his fifth solo album Whatcha Want.


Rock Like Fuck!

Michael Monroe