Seeing Hanoi live for the first time: musical true love

DD: When I first saw Hanoi live, there was this incredible, electric presence. My first thought was, "My God, this is what seeing the Stones in the early days must have been like." Recently, I saw some early footage of Elvis. Even though it was thirty of forty years after the event, I looked at that footage and thought to myself, "God, I wish I'd been there." And suddenly, with Hanoi Rocks, I was there. I had seen a lot of punk, and punk has a lot of energy, which is great, and a lot of attitude, which is great, but quite often there's not a lot of songs. Here, though, was a band that had the energy, the attitude, AND the songs. It was everything I ever wanted from a rock 'n' roll band. Now the question was, "What are you going to do about it?"

JR: Surely the great dream of any music journalist is to go to a little "hole in the wall" and discover a huge band in the very early stages. Maybe the band isn't exclusively your discovery, but as the dream goes, you become an integral part of that early breakout, making friends with the band in the process. For you, that dream came true.

DD: There's a theory that you'll only find one true love in your life, and if you blow that one, that's it - you'll never get a second chance. Later, when Hanoi Rocks fell apart, I thought, "Am I ever going to come across a band like this ever again?" I suspected the answer to that was no.

JR: And did you ever find another musical "true love"?

DD: I've come across a bunch of bands that I thought were great. One thing I have to do in the next few days is to send an email off to Andrew Eldritch. He IS the Sisters of Mercy, and I've been trying to help get his career resurrected. I love the Sisters, I love Bauhaus, and I love The Gun Club. The Gun Club were even more energetic and dangerous than Hanoi, but there was some element missing. Musically and lyrically I love the Sisters, but again, there wasn't that element of danger about them. And Bauhaus were pretty much a finished article by the time I came across them. When I came across Hanoi, they already had a second album out, but things really didn't come together for Hanoi until Razzle came along, and that was right around the time that I was learning about them for the first time.