About the Interview with Dave Dickson - Getting Started

Scroll down to read bios of the band, the author, special thank you's and the interview dedication.

This interview is designed to read chronologically from the top down. Although we've separated out the topics into online "chapters," it truly is a record of one long, unfolding conversation. Although there is some discussion of the new collaboration between Michael and Andy, this interview took place prior to the official "rebirth" of Hanoi Rocks in March of 2002.

Assumed knowledge
The typical Hanoi Rocks fan has enough knowledge of the basic storyline to jump right into the interview. Those who aren't familiar with the band's history might just want to read the rest of this page, dive into the interview, and see what happens. However, if any confusion results, refer to a Hanoi Rocks web site to fill in any needed information.

About Dave Dickson
In the 1980s, Dave Dickson was one of the giants of rock music journalism in Europe. He continues to publish in many diverse areas. In addition to being the author of thousands of articles on every rock band imaginable, Dave is the author of Biographize, a biography of Def Leppard. One of Dave's most significant accomplishments was his championing of Hanoi Rocks in Kerrang!, the influential U.K.-based rock magazine. Hanoi Rocks had no more loyal supporter in the media than Dave Dickson. Although Dave was not the first journalist to write about Hanoi Rocks in Europe, he is widely regarded as the band's most poetic and important correspondent.

About Hanoi Rocks
There are detailed biographies of Hanoi Rocks online, the best one lives on Jukka Halonen's Hanoi Rocks web site . Here's Jon Reed's attempt to sum it all up in 500 words or less: Recently cited as "the most important underground rock 'n' roll band of all time" by a music journalist on VH1.

Hanoi Rocks was formed by lead singer Michael Monroe, lead guitarist Andy McCoy and three mates from Finland in 1981 - mates who will forever be known to fans as "Sami, Nasty, and Razzle." (In actuality, the band started gelling with various lineups in 1980 and Razzle didn't enter the picture until 1982, but remember this is the quick version of the story). Hanoi put out five celebrated studio albums and one live recording in one furious period between 1981 and 1984.

The Hanoi Rocks sound was distinguished by its irreverence and boundary-defying diversity. One apt description of the band's visual impact is "cowboy glam" - a phrase which captures the band's street-tough roots and its image of decadent, outlaw beauty.

On December 8, 1984, with the band on the tantalizing brink of worldwide fame, Hanoi's much-beloved drummer Razzle was killed in a car wreck in L.A., with drunk driver Vince Neil of Motley Crue at the wheel and Razzle in the passenger seat. The crash was widely reported, but the impact of the fatal crash on the world of rock music was not generally noted in the United States.

At the time of Razzle's death, Hanoi had recently embarked on their first U.S. tour, having created an international buzz throughout Europe and Japan. The surviving members of Hanoi Rocks briefly attempted to carry on, but they soon recognized that the soul of the band was forever altered by Razzle's passing. With one of the crucial parts missing, there was just no way forward.

Hanoi thus became a legend "frozen in time," preserved from the mortal process of aging - a symbol of living fast, dying young, and departing the scene in tragic glory. All the maddening questions of fame, fortune, and "what might have been" thus went unanswered, creating hotly-debated questions such as the ones tackled in the Dave Dickson interview.

Despite the band's untimely demise, Hanoi Rocks' "glam" look and "dirty rock" sound had a huge impact on the U.S. rock scene in the 1980s. Numerous "hair bands" got their visual inspiration from Hanoi Rocks, and Guns N' Roses ascended to mega-stardom with Hanoi as their major musical influence and visual blueprint, modified to fit their personas and their roots in the U.S. market.

On March 28, 2002, Michael Monroe and Andy McCoy announced the "rebirth" of Hanoi Rocks - a decision that created both anticipation and controversy amongst the faithful. Regardless of the future of Hanoi Rocks, they have a place in rock history and in the hearts of their rabidly loyal fans.

About Jon Reed, our web host
There's no need for much of a bio here, as it's hard to miss Jon Reed on a site filled with his tirades. But for those who want to know: Jon Reed is a business-by-day/psycho-writer-by-night American in his mid-30s. This web site represents his attempt to flesh out the ranting-and-dreaming writer-persona that was abandoned years ago in financial desperation. Thus some of the writing on this site is the "best of the old" and some is the "best of the new." Jon Reed is rumored to be working on several book length projects and he loves getting emails from site visitors. This "Interview with Dave Dickson" project was developed by Jon Reed in spare time and is intended as a not-for-profit tribute to Hanoi Rocks and its diehard fans. Please note that the phrase "Jon Reed Goes Off On:" appears at the top of each page on this web site and is not necessarily appropriate to each individual page topic.

There's a number of hyperlinks throughout the article in order to shed more light on the players involved. Some are used to shed light on amusing or obscure topics. We didn't attempt to provide a link for every possible reference, just the most interesting/hard to find ones. The choice of which web site to link to a particular reference was a judgment call. There was a concerted attempt not to link to any consumer sites or sites with pop-up ads, however, two links were used to Amazon.com in order to point to a rare image file. Anyone who wants to report a broken link or who has a question about linking pages with this site should email Jon Reed directly.

There are a handful of scans in this article, mostly of Hanoi Rocks articles that appeared in Kerrang!. Thanks to Kerrang! for publishing all this great material. All of the articles by Dave Dickson that appear in this interview are the copyright of Dave Dickson, 2002, and cannot be reprinted or reproduced without express permission of the author.

More thank you's
None of this work could have happened without the efforts of numerous Hanoi fans and collectors. Thanks goes out to these folks.

Special acknowledgement
None of what you're reading would have been possible without the savvy design, editing, and coding skills of Rachel Meyers. You (still) rock my world!

This project is dedicated to my childhood friend Lee Nave. One day you put Two Steps From the Move on my turntable, and after that, nothing was ever the same.