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History - Part 4 - 1984
1984 started with belly tickling feelings but still manager Vesterinen kept his feet tightly on the ground:”We don't have too many expectations of what's going to happen this year. This is all only a logical consequence of what we've done. The band's got a good feeling now. Everything's gone exactly we've expected. There aren't any kind of troubles looming behind a corner.”
Living in London was now little bit different after they've moved from the suburban areas filled with rats and garbage to city centre. There Andy and Anna lived in a luxurious one bedroom flat near Oxford Circus. They told that their rent was £100 a week. That didn't burden them financially especially after Anna got a job from Scorpio Sound Studios. Now the band's rock'n'roll life had more humane shape after being skint for many years. A good example is Andy's daily routines: if the band wasn't rehearsing, recording or shooting a video, Andy woke up at 2pm. Then he watched movies from a video and ate something. After this he popped in a record store or just played guitar at home. Quite often Andy went to some music club and returned about 2am with his friends who usually left at 4am wherever they were going.
It was also important that the chemistry between the members wasn't cracking and nevertheless Andy and Michael had claimed afterwards that Hanoi was just their project Andy told in 1984: "Of course we're a band. Otherwise we'd be called Monroe and McCoy. That sounds cool, I admit. Playing with a familiar team is more tempting to me than being just a solo character.”
Lido Music was in charge for selling concerts in Finland. Michael: ”It's groovy to play in Finland. There's totally own unique feeling, though a thought of moving back to Finland is out of the question. People in there has that strange sorry-that-I-even-exist –attitude. No wonder Finnish bands aren't succesful at international music business 'cause you have to believe in yourself and sometimes you have to use your elbows to get through.” Andy: ”Finland would be cooler country if here would be at least twenty five million living innit. It pisses me off to see this incredible controlling. They don't let people to have fun, there's always some security guy or a cop. No freedom at all. That's not Finnish mentality. Here's still very nifty people. People would change themselves if the surroundings were different. I hope we'd be so big one day that we'd have some political power.” Michael: ”You can't live in here. I can't walk in the streets 'cause I fear someone's gonna conk me.”
They evaluated their own history too. Andy: ”Yeah, I played in a punk band with Tony (odd nickname of Sam Yaffa used by Andy). I still got a gold record from that period. Shit. I changed myself 'cause I didn't believe in that. That was so dumb. All this anarchy shit, all the politics. It was condemned to die sooner or later. Those kinda things never last... But rock'n'roll is another thing. That's worked for twenty years now. I just want to play rock'n'roll. Infact, I didn't like that punk stuff, I dig bands like Mott The Hoople or Shangri-La... Like everybody, ya know. There were few good punk bands but just few. Most of 'em were crap. Of course it kicked ass, ya know, when Sex Pistols came. That was a good thing. That was basic stuff. But they fucked that thing too. That turned out to be just another fad. Nowadays those punk-rockers are same kinda like hippies were in the sixties – really pathetic.”
Though things were moving on, the band didn't lay down on a job. Vesterinen: ”Back To Mystery City sold over twenty thousand in Japan and we start to handle this properly. Strange thing is that most of our work lies in Scandinavia. Sweden, Norway and Denmark.” Year was going to be busy but that didn't worry the boys. Michael: ”There's no vacation ahead, but playing's cool.”
(Dear reader, it is extremely difficult to find out the exact concert calendar for the year 1984 because so many concerts were cancelled or re-scheduled. Hope you remember this when reading furthermore of this story)
January 1984 – Finnish Tour
Hectic year started with a short Finnish Tour. Michael: ”At dance places fans have been surprisingly quiet when previously in these same places kids used to dance alot and be like raging loco's.” Andy: ”You go partying when you go to a gig. I want to see the attitude there. I want to see the power. Playing's gotta be fun. We don't try to be deep and intellectual. We don't want to teach anybody.” Michael: ”We give the feelings to the crowd. Every song's gotta different feeling and I live by them, thinking about my own experiences. You gotta give everything on stage. I gotta control the crowd. If I got ten thousand inside the venue I gotta be as big as the crowd.”
3 Jan: Evijärvi (venue unknown)
5 Jan: Turku (concert hall). Some sources say this concert was scheduled to be in Joensuu but obviously they were in Turku. Michael: ”In Turku the security thought we were there to burn that concert hall made of bricks down. They immediately started to rave about regulation this and regulation that and they even tried to throw Andy out before the gig. I can't get it, they first hire us and then they try to bring us down with that attitude.”
6 Jan: Suonenjoki (Mansikkapaikka). Gyp Casino's Road Rats as warm-up band. Some sources say this concert was scheduled to be in Saarijärvi.
7 Jan: Nivala
8 Jan: Oulu (YMCA Sport Centre). Michael: ”At 7am I take the train and go to Helsinki. I imagine I travel through Siberia. People dressed in grey and brown stare at us. And they stare very long. The trolly lady looks like some old granny from Russia. Very puzzling but still exciting journey.”
?? Jan: Kouvola (City Hall)
January 1984 – London, England
After Finnish tour Hanoi returned to London to rehearse the songs for the forthcoming album. Michael: ”At the end of January we rehearsed new songs here in London. Bob Ezrin came to see us when we were halfway through the songs. 30 January Andy travelled with Bob to Toronto to make arrangements to songs and the rest of us followed in February.” Original plans were to record the album at the Manor Studios (Virgin's studio facilities in Oxfordshire, Great Britain). About the final plans Michael told: ”Recordings will be started on 20 February at Record Plant in New York. We tape some of the stuff there and finish the album from 6 to 24 March at Ezrin's PhaseOne Studios in Toronto, Canada. Album's supposed to be ready after those sessions and it should be available at record stores on 7 June.”
Before the trip Hanoi had demotape with 15 songs and according to the tape, next album was going to be more rocking than previous Back To Mystery City. Andy: ”Last LP was a pop album, next one's gonna be tough rock. We play good rock'n'roll. Raw and loud.” Michael agreed: ”I can say that it's more straightforward rock like Uriah Heep or something but more sophisticated. Album will have different kind of songs but rock is the main idea. Like in Oriental Beat.”
February 1984 – Toronto, Canada
Practising in Toronto. Michael: ”First we were in London, where we trained songs for the LP and then we flew here in Toronto to practise more. My ears have been locked for two weeks now.”
February 1984 – New York, USA
Recordings kicked off on 20 February at Record Plant. Soundchecks were made. They spent three days looking for appropriate bass sound but drumsounds took only one day. When the sounds were perfect they started to record basics to the album. They also recorded songs Under Waterworld and Never Get Enough which was released in a boxset in 2001. This was the first time Michael met his friend-to-be Little Steven. Also Andy made contacts by meeting Alice Cooper. Andy told to Alice that he had written few songs just like that for him. (These have never been released at least by Alice Cooper himself).
February 1984 – Toronto, Canada
After first sessions boys moved to Toronto where the rest of the album was recorded. Michael: ”We've lived, recorded and been blitzed in New York City for two weeks... Then we started to feel the need to move back to Toronto's snowy sunshine.”
March 1984 – Toronto, Canada
6-24 Mar: Finishing the album.
PhaseOne Studios had 24 tracks (huge by that time standards) and that helped to create airy and fulfilled sound. Michael: ”Ezrin was arranging the songs. Album will be excellent. Our best one. Record's gonna be fuckin' great. Everybody just have to buy it.” Razzle: ”We've learned more from Ezrin than we have learned during all those years before him.” Ezrin was a hard man with commitment and he assumed that the band acted the same way. Boys of Hanoi joked that they print “Produced by Adolf Hitler” on the cover of the new album. They also had spare time. Andy: “I remember when we had fuckin' borin' time in Toronto we went to buy gallons of Gordon's Gin. Then we had a drinking competition, who was fastest. I always lost. Ya know, warm gin is bloody awful. Once Timppa Kaltio won the competition by drinking half a gallon in 45 fuckin' seconds. He passed out immediately and we just put the dough he won into his pockets. Shit, winner passed out but here's the prize.”
23 Mar: Toronto (Larry's Hideaway). First Northern American gig.
March 1984 – New York, USA
25 Mar: New York (Danceteria). Party to celebrate the ending of the recording of Two Steps From The Move. Songs. Malibu Beach Nightmare, Motorvatin', Mental Beat, Oriental Beat, Don't You Ever Leave Me, Until I Get You, Tragedy, Two Steps From The Move and I want You were heard. Razzle and Andy had flu and Michael wasn't too happy about the gig: “Bullshit! Bad sounds, they couldn't hear my singing... First gig in three months.” (In one article was mentioned that the band performed at Boston before this gig. Previous time table supports this view).
25-28 Mar: Plans to perform at Toronto and Ottawa (unconfirmed)
28 Mar, Spit, Boston, MA 29 Mar: Plans to perform at New York Danceteria (unconfirmed)
30 Mar: Plans to perform at Washington (unconfirmed)
31 Mar: Plans to perform at New York Danceteria (unconfirmed)
March 1984 - Finland
All Those Wasted Years (Double Live Album)
FIN: Released by Johanna Records in March 1984, HANOI DLP 1/2
JAP: Released by Nippon Phonogram in March 1984, 2OPP-82
UK: Released by Lick Records in April 1984, LICLP 5/6
Castle Records, ESM CD281 (1995)
First copies had a missprint of All Those Waisted Years Live album and the video of same name were recorded at 19 and 20 December 1983 at Marquee Club in London. Andy: “We ain't gonna change our style dramatically. We released this live album 'cause our set will be changed after this new LP. We take new songs into the set and some even newer songs.”
Both concerts were mixed by Mick Staplehurst and the producer was Overend Watts. Album was mixed at Ampro Studios and mastered at Utiopia. Cover photos were taken from still pictures from the video by Kari Riipinen and a bloke called Gogh who's identity is a total mystery. Band thanked Timppa (Timo Kaltio), Lurch, Paul from Ampro, Paul from Pearl and all those who attended Marquee concerts.
Video included also song Blitzkrieg Bop. During this song Michael played drums and Razzle sang. 55 minute video was directed by Marc Oliver and in 1984 video cost £19.99. Andy was happy about the video: “That stage was way too small but the sounds on the video are fuckin' awsome. It's bloody good live video but I think we could have been more ragged. Whatever, you can easily spend time with it. That's entertainment and that's why we're here.”
April 1984 – England
After returning to England boys were spending time in London. Plans were to shoot a promovideo to live album (1-5 April). First single from the album was supposed to be released on 6 April but these plans were cancelled due to reasons we give later in this story.
April 1984 – Germany
8-19 Apr: Plans to make a tour in Germany, Italy and France but they only played in Germany.
8 Apr: Hamburg
9 Apr: Bochum
10 Apr: Frankfurt
11 Apr: Munich (Alabama Hallen) with a total of 87 spectators!!
April 1984 – British Tour
22 Apr: Norfolk (Kaister Holiday Kamp).
23 Apr: Nottingham (Palais). Nottingham Tapes video was filmed. Tickets cost £4.00. Setlist: Back To Mystery City, Up Around The Bend, I Can`t Get It, Motorvatin`, Lightning Bar Blues, Boulevard Of Broken Dreams, Don`t You Ever Leave Me, Tragedy, Malibu Beach, Underwater World, Don`t Follow Me, I Feel All Right, Taxi Driver and Blitzkrieg Bop.
The band noticed that the forthcoming album didn't have material for a clear hit single. This was corrected with a cover song, a real classic: Up Around The Bend by CCR. That turned out to be a bullseye. The story how this song ended up to Hanoi's new single is quite hilarious. It takes us many years back to Eriksnäs horse stables in Sipoo, Finland. There a 9 year old boy called Nasse (later better known as Nasty Suicide) received a cassette from his friend where this song was included. Nasse really liked the song and played it everywhere he went. Finally this cassette came with him to Hanoi's rehearsals. Up Around The Bend was recorded just before the Japanese Tour at Roundhouse Studios in London. David Tickle (Prince, U2 & Sting) mixed it at Triden Studios in London. Tickle and Ezrin produced it.
May 1984 – Japanese Tour
7-26 May: Scheduled tour in India, Thailand and Japan. Bombay and Bangkok were dropped out of the schedule. In Japan Hanoi toured succesfully and made many radio and TV appearances. Tour started with taping a Super Station TV programme in Tokyo. They were interviewed plus also played Malibu Beach Nightmare with playback.
All Those Wasted Years was released in Japan on 10 May.
Ticket prices were huge when compared to standard price level of that time (17 Euro's), so band received excellent fees (approx. $10 000 per concert). Beside to that the organizers paid hotel payments and travel costs inside Japan. Seppo Vesterinen: “Japan is one of those countries in the world where you really can earn some dough.”
Photographer Kari Riipinen travelled with the band and he wrote about this tour in his autobiography: “I'm not sure how much of those drug stories are infact true. Probably they are, although what I saw during that tour, things are not that simple. I called Finnish embassy. First they said that Hanoi has given orders not to let out information of their whereabouts. Finally they told it to Vesterinen. I took a cab. Wow! Gotcha. I went there high and mighty. They were playing pingball beside a counter. First thing what they said was 'Fuckin' Riipinen, what the hell you're doing in here?' I thought that fuck you, Sami Yaffa, what you're explaining? They acted like some fucking stars.”
“It didn't take me long to see they were really huge stars in Japan. There came few groupies to hang around them, five or six chicks... They had saved almost a year to attend Hanoi's tour. They lived at the same hotels, travelled on same planes and trains... In one train there were two carriages full of school kids on a field trip. When we went there and they saw Hanoi Rocks, they all started screaming like hell. I got film material from that. I realised then that they were really big stars in there...”
“Of course it was exciting to travel with them. Service worked really well. Limo was always waiting for us. Night clubs had famous singers and free booze and grub. They even had a groupie magazine where they compared different stars. How David Sylvain or Boy George or Andy McCoy would be in bed. They got their own thing there...”
“We passed Nagasaki by train, that A-Bomb place. We're in a restaurant carriage. I'm sober but legless Andy's singing and I'm taking photos. Andy is in a flat spin and kisses the window. In the evenings the hotels are full of girls. We went to a local night club. We didn't have to pay a dime. Access to everywhere. They still had their youthful eagerness. I wouldn't have same kinda energy 'cause I'm older. I'm not surprised that some band members became snouty and went out of the line 'cause of all that attention. But I was also surprised to see Michael Monroe going for a swim at six or seven in the morning. He kept himself in condition. I didn't see anyone using drugs. It was just boozing. Mike wasn't even doing that... I came along with Seppo well. He handled the Japanese tour brilliantly. Of course there was also that English tour manager, Bishop. Vesterinen took care of his jobs and the road manager did separate jobs... Seppo did his job well. Very much a pro touch to everything. And Andy dig him... I've never seen Hanoi performing like here in Japan. They've got their own unique machinery. I've never seen that kinda soundchecks. They had many gizmo's to gauge amps and P.A.”
One Japanese fan described in some magazine: “Students had a nightjob and they worked all the year really hard just to get into the tour with Hanoi. Those who have a dayjob saved from the salary.”
14 Apr: Tokyo (Nakano Sun Plaza). 17th gig in 1984. The band travelled from Tokyo to Osaka on a high-speed train.
15 Apr: Osaka (Mainichi Hall). Concert lasted for two hours and there were 2000 inside. Mainichi Hall was sold out. 80% of the audience were girls. Nasty: “Nobody will believe this in Finland. People think that the journalists are just exaggerating and are our pals.” Razzle: “I didn't remember how much I missed Japan before we returned here. I assume next summer's British tour will also be successful. We've got a huge fan base there.” Seppo Vesterinen: “They've given the organizers a warning that they'll not rent Mainichi Hall anymore if other bands also cause same kind of reaction.”
16 Apr: Fukuoka (Sunplace). Fukuoka's 2000 seater hall was only half full but the crowd was twice as wild.
17 Apr: Nagoya (Shikokaido). Also Nagoya's hall was half full. After the concert the band met Japanese singer Honda to whom Andy had written three songs. Andy, Sam and Razzle had also visited in one of his albums. On a train trip from Nagoya back to Tokyo Michael and Andy were interviewed by Japanese Rock Show magazine. In Nagoya Andy had received custom made black McCoy guitar from Aria guitar factory. There was a Hanoi Rocks rose-logo printed on it. Photographer Riipinen: “It was such a time that they received so fuckin' many guitars. When they came back to London, dozens of them were nicked at Heathrow. I think they had a deal with Yamaha." (Riipinen remember incorrectly. It was Aria, not Yamaha). "Incredible commercial deals. Short TV ad in Japanese TV and they got dozens of guitars for that.”
18 Apr: Tokyo (Yubinchokinkaikan). The floor before the stage almost crashed because of the weight of the fans who had packed in front of the stage. They paused for five minutes until they've moved the fans away from the stage. Razzle: “Terrible situation. Dozens could have died if the floor had crashed. They would've dropped over thirty feet over the other fans.” Sam Yaffa: “That was a close shave. After the break it was corny to come back on stage but the fans understood the situation and after four songs everything went smoothly again.”
19 Apr: Tokyo (Shibuya Kokaido).
“I cried when last time we were leaving Japan” (Razzle)
June 1984 – British Tour
After returning to London the band rehearsed for few days. After that started a British tour with a warm-up band Pet Hate which after this vanished to oblivion.
2 Jun: Leicester (Polytechnic)
3 Jun: Stevenage (Bowes Lyon House)
4 Jun: Brighton (Pavilion)
5 Jun: Birminham (Powerhouse though some sources announce Tower Ballroom). During Looking At You which was an encore, The Damned's Rat Scabies visited Hanoi on stage.
6 Jun: Sheffield (Top Rank)
7 Jun: Manchester (Hacienda Club)
8 Jun: Newcastle (Mayfair)
9 Jun: Glasgow (Strathclyde University)
10 Jun: Ayr (Pavilion)
(continue after the release of the single)
June 1984 – England
Nevertheless of the hype the band had created, papers wrote that by June 1984 each album's worldwide sales were only 10 000 copies. World and definitely the band waited for the new album to be released. And as they finally had scraped together a song that would become a new hit, the first single was to be released.
7” single: Up Around The Bend / Until I Get You
12” maxi-single: Up Around The Bend / Back To Mystery City / Until I Get You / Mental Beat
A-side's taken from Two Steps From The Move but unlike other songs in the album, this was recorded at Roundhouse Studios in London. David Tickle handled the mixing of the song at Trident Studios in London. Tickle and Ezrin were the producers. Song is credited to John Fogerty of CCR. Until I Get You, Back To Mystery City and Mental Beat were taken from All Those Wasted Years live album that was recorded on 19 and 20 December 1983 at Marquee. Mick Staplehurst was the concert engineer and Overend Watts was the producer. Song was finally mixed at Ampro Studios and mastered at Utiopia. Song is credited to Andy. Sleeve design is by Daryl Lee.
7”: AAB HANOI S 1
7”: CBS A 4513 (This version had a removable tattoo inside)
12”: CBS TA 4513
12” maxi-single: Up Around The Bend / Until I Get You / Under My Wheels / I Feel Alright / Train Kept A Rollin'
CBS DA 4513
(British Tour resumes)
11 Jun: Blackpool (Bier Keller)
12 Jun: Cleethorpes (Winter Gardens)
13 Jun: Raleigh (Pink Toothbrush)
14 Jun: Cambridge (Fisher Hall)
15 Jun: Dunstable (Queensway Hall)
16 Jun: Guildford (Surrey University)
19 Jun: Exeter (Riverside)
21 Jun: London (Camden Electric Ballroom). Probably in here a drumstick flew out of Razzle's hand and hit Nasty to the head so hard he dropped immediately. After this Nasty was taken outside to breath some air. Later he returned on stage fresh as ever.
22 Jun: Cambridge (Fisher Hall)
After Cambridge concert they taped a video for Up Around The Bend in a manor owned by one of the directors of Playboy magazine. Michael: “That shooting scene was a hotel. Before it were a pool and a terraced restaurant. Shootings took just one night from 8pm 'till 7am.”
June 1984 – Finland
After shooting the video the band had three days off and they decided to make couple of concerts in midsummer festivals in Finland. Though concerts had technical difficulties and there were other unclear events that police force also came to settle, band's popularity was sky high in their home country.
22 Jun: Riihimäki (scheduled but unconfirmed)
23 Jun: Siilinjärvi. Hanoi played only two songs and then left the stage. Andy to OK-magazine: “Can ye tell to our fans how sorry we are about that midsummer night gig in Siilinjärvi? Everybody there now thinks we were just snobbish and meant to be nasty but infact this gig was ruined already and we couldn't influence it anyway. It'd have been better to stay away this time. One Finnish music agency got us the Sun Dance Festivals but nobody cared to tell us anything or discuss with us about the contract.”
Michael: “We didn't know where we gonna play until at the airport.” Andy: “Guess what kinda feelin' we had when we realised at Siilinjärvi that the loan gear wasn't workin' at all? That's why we had to stop after two songs.” Michael: “That was the last gig in Finland without own gear.” Andy: “Nothin' works in Finland. Everytime the gear's too lowpowered. We wanna have good sounds in Finland as well as all around the world. Here was again that sort of Russky feeling. They claimed that we were boozin' at the backroom and they called the fuzz. Thank God they were sane and finally on our side. I Had bad vibes about the whole situation. But it was fuckin' cool coming to Finland after long time. We go to USA in October and we tour three or four months in big festivals as warm-up band for really big names. That's a good start. No contract's been signed yet but I assume the big names must be same kinda like us. Some Def Leppard would be good.”
24 Jun: Kaustinen
It is confirmed that they played at Saarijärvi, Kaustinen and Jokimaa.
June-July 1984 – British Tour continues
25 Jun: Stafford (Top Of The World)
26 Jun: Leeds (Warehouse)
27 Jun: Nottingham (Zhivago's)
28 Jun: Liverpool (Bier Keller)
29 Jun: Colchester (Woods Leisure Centre)
30 Jun: Folkestone (Lee's Cliff Hall)
1 Jul: Oxford (Sound Cellar). This was the last concert of this British Tour and band played four encores. The last encore was raging Blitzkrieg Bop though the band had earlier decided to give up on it. After the tour were some interviews and photosessions in London. Rest of the summer band spent just by resting and gathering strenght to forthcoming tours: Andy, Anna and Sam in Spain, Razzle in Isle of Wight and Mike and Nasty in London.
LP: Two Steps From The Move
Working title for this record had been Silver Missiles And Nightingales. This title was changed just before the release to Two Steps (Original tasty title wasn't thrown into the bin but it was used few years later by Andy and Nasty when they made an unplugged album).
Bob Ezrin of Lozem Production Inc. produced the album. Up Around The Band was produced by Ezrin and David Tickle together. Bass and drum parts were recorded at The Record Plant in New York by Jay Messina, Tom Swift and Ringo Hrycyna. Vocals, guitars and other instruments were recorded at PhaseOne Studios in Toronto by Rod O'Brien, Lenny deRose and Ringo Hrycyna. Bob Ezrin, Rod O'Brien, Lenny deRose and Ringo Hrycyna made the final mixings at PhaseOne.
Up Around The Bend was recorded at Roundhouse Studios in London. David Tickle mixed it at Trident Studios. Record was mastered by Greg Calvy at New York's Sterling Sound Studios. Simon Cantwell designed the sleeve. Front cover picture was taken by Hito Ito of Total Danger and back cover picture by Simon Fowler. In inner sleeve are mentioned the following persons: Bob Ezrin – keyboards, percussion and backing vocals; Timo Kaltio – guitar technician; Jo Murray – production co-ordinator; Jeni, Lisa, Juliet and Michelle – cheerleaders and Kevin Bell – guitar techinician. Razzle used Pearl drums.
According to Andy band tried to move away from mainstream rock towards guitar based music. Record was supposed to be closer to 1982 released Oriental Beat rather than previous Back To Mystery City. Andy considered Two Steps was more closer to his own music than Back To Mystery City. Andy: “During the last record I let the others give their contribution to the album and so it became more like a pop album. Makkonen digs pop but after you've heard this album you agree with me that he suits better to a rough rock band to scream his head off. Yeah, I thought now it was time to make a straightforward rock album again.”
Album still sounds excellent after many years. Andy: “The good sound of the album isn't totally caused by Bob Ezrin. We designed 'em and made 'em fuckin' carefully before the recordings. In guitars I used the same set as on stage. Usually those jellybean studio engineers say that using 'em won't help in the studio but they're wrong. I wanna say to every band who's going to the studio for the first time that if you got bad sounds you can't fix 'em after recordings. You gotta have everything alright when the sound comes out of the amps.”
Razzle: “We chose Bob Ezrin to produce this album... Cooper.. Kiss.. He's done good job. We also needed someone to help us and kick our butts to keep us goin'. We've had some problems. Bob for example helped in the arrangements. Because of him we also play better on stage. Yeah, he really kicked our butts. It was marvelous to work with him.” According to Andy, Ezrin didn't try to alter the band radically. When he got an idea he just introduced it to the band. Andy: “He's okay. He didn't change or chivvy us in any way. If he had ideas he just told us about 'em. He helped a lot with arrangements of the songs 'cause I didn't have time to do everything myself.”
Andy said that all the songs except Up Around The Band were his compositions. Andy, Ezrin and Ian Hunter took care of the lyrics. Andy liked Ian Hunter and told he was musically quite close to him. Andy: “We were in a hurry to practice new material after British tour. We then noticed that all the songs didn't have proper lyrics.” Then they decided to ask Hunter, whom they already knew, to help them.
Andy introduced the album to Esa Koivio of Sound-magazine:
Up Around The Bend: “Nasse really dig this. We jammed one day and I remembered this song from Nasse's tape. We played it and it sounded fuckin' great. We thought that we should include this to the set. After couple of gigs I wanted it to album. We had finished the recordings but I called Bob and he came to London where we put it into tape.”
High School: “Or more like Quit High School like it was named originally. We thought this was a bit dull. What ya doin'? Quit high school just to be in the dole queue? I wasn't diggin' it. It tells a story about a cat who thinks is there any point being in school and study 'cause this system's screwed. It has some funny lines in the lyrics. Like 'I tell the little buggers what to wear, I show them how to sit and dye their hair. There will be no customers at our swimming pool, there will be no ugly girls in my high school'. That's cool song.”
I Can't Get It: “Me and Hunter originally wrote the lyrics but Bob re-wrote the whole song. I wrote this about life's certain aspects everybody can identify with. That's one of the life's basic things. There are always things you can't get. But I also thought that this song's got humouristic point of view, you know, laughter behind the tears. That's a bitter song.”
Underwater World: “What can I say? Cool song, really swings. I don't want to say anything about the lyrics. You can make your own conclusions.”
Don't You Ever Leave Me: “Well, when we originally wrote this we screwed that up so badly we had to re-write it. As a song it' s bloody good and this version's just the kinda the original should've been. I think we might release this later as a seven incher.”
Never Get Enough (Original title of Million Miles Away): “It was a love song to Anna first but I added some things. I write all my love songs thinking about Anna but like I said it's grown since the first version. It's no longer so personal song like it was. Everybody can join into it now. I wanted a song where feelings change constantly.”
Boulevard Of Broken Dreams: “Song about dope. Things I went through years ago. Tells about illusions you start with but end up as broken dreams when you've realised where using them has taken you.”
Boiler: “I really dig London's Cockney culture and Boiler's that kinda pub singalong. I wanted to catch the feeling that London pubs have. I like helluva lot of that song. More I play it, better it sounds.”
Futurama: “That's good ole snotty little song.”
Cutting Corners: “About everyday life. We cut corners in everything. It's easier that way, like when you cheat in school by writing the possible answers in your palm. Same system goes through your life.”
You don't have to be an Einstein to notice that there isn't Two Steps From The Move named song and Razzle tells about the process of leaving it out this way: “We made that song especially for this album but we were so fuckin' angry about the final result that we decided to leave it out. Maybe we'll release it in the next one.” Razzle wasn't quite wrong about that but not in the way he meant it. First time the song was released was after the break-up of the band in a collection album The Best Of Hanoi Rocks.
25 Aug: London (National Rock Festivals, Lilford Park)
?? Aug: Reading (Reading Rock Festivals)
7” single: Underwater World / Shakes
12” maxi-single: Underwater World / Shakes / Magic Carpet Ride
12” maxi-single: Underwater World / Oil And Gasoline / Shakes / Magic Carpet Ride
Shakes was recorded at Two Steps sessions and it was produced by Bob Ezrin. Magic Carpet Ride was produced by Andy and Gregg Brown. Oil And Gasoline was recorded at Greenhouse Studios in 1984. Bass was played by Gregg Brown who played at afro-funk band called Osibisa. Producers were Andy McCoy, Michael Monroe and Gregg Brown.
7”: Released by CBS at August/September 1984, CBS A 4732
12” (3 songs): Released by CBS at August/September 1984, AAB Hanoi X2, CBS TA 4732 and CBS WA4732 (this was a picture disc)
12” maxi-single: Released by Nippon Phonogram at August/September 1984, 15PP-46
20 Sep: London (Hammersmith Palais). This was supposed to be a kick-off to a tour with The Damned. This was cancelled because of the break-up of The Damned.
September 3rd they taped a TV show at Musik Convoy in Warstein, Germany and performed the song Up Around The Band with playback.
October 1984 – Britain
Two Steps From The Move released in Britain on 8 October.
Razzle: “God damn it, huge fuck-up's by the company and management. We needled to them about it quite heavily. Record's been in the shops around the world for months now. Of course we wanted it to be released at the same time all over the world. Our purpose was to blow the rock world at the same time. Well, nevertheless it took its own time everybody seemed to be happy about it.” When they finally released it in Britain, Hanoi started touring with Johnny Thunders (Thunders toured with them 11.10-22.10) and Babysitters. At that time forthcoming Hanoi Rocks member Terry Chimes was in Thunders' band.
1 Oct: London (Lyceum). Johnny Thunders played with the band during encores Be-Bop-A-Lula and Gloria.
10 Oct: Manchester (Hacienda)
11 Oct: Newcastle (Mayfair)
12 Oct: Sheffield (Polytechnic)
12 Oct: Hanoi Rocks' part in the TV programme The Tube is aired. Hanoi's part was taped ten days earlier. All in all they performed seven songs to be aired in different programmes.
13 Oct: Aylesbury (Maxwell Hall)
14 Oct: London (Lyceum). Lyceum's record crowd: 2200
15 Oct: Cardiff (New Ocean Ballroom)
16 Oct: Bristol (The Studio Ballroom)
17 Oct: Coventry (Polytechnic)
18 Oct: Edinburgh (Caley Palace)
19 Oct: Glasgow (Nightmoves)
20 Oct: Leeds (Leeds University Union)
21 Oct: Leicester (Kaiser's Ballroom). Few songs recorded to Rebels On The Run promotape. Some of the Thunders songs ended to Johnny On The Rocks bootleg.
22 Oct: Hanley (Victoria Hall)
7” single: Don't You Ever Leave Me / Oil And Gasoline
12” maxi-single: Don't You Ever Leave Me / Oil And Gasoline / Malibu Beach (Calypso version)
Leave Me was produced by Bob Ezrin. Oil And Gasoline was recorded at Greenhouse Studios in 1984. Gregg Brown of Osibisa played the bass. Andy, Michael and Gregg Brown were the producers. Maxi-single version of Leave Me differed from the album version (drums and spanish rap). Calypso version of Malibu Beach (also known as Malibu Nightmare or Malibu Beach Nightmare) was recorded as a joke after a 53 day Finnish tour in 1981. Nasty played bass because Sami missed that part of the sessions.
7”: Released by CBS in November 1984, CBS A 4885.
12”: Released by CBS in November 1984, CBS TX 4885 & CBS WA (This version included 3D glasses because of the 3D picture in the cover)
Two Steps From The Move was a succesful record from the Finnish point of view though it never really hit the top ten lists globally. By November 1984 over 200 000 copies were sold world wide. In America 60 000, UK 50 000 and Finland 20 000. Pyramid Records handled the Scandinavian distribution and CBS international. Band earned 20% from every sold record (1,7 Euro's from every 8,5 Euro record).
Michael: “It's quite the same are we in the top ten lists or not, it's not that amazing 'cause our last album made a visit to independent list. Of course it would be cool and we hope that this album reaches as high as possible but this music industry's incredible in a way that when you've finished one thing you start to think about the next project. Our music's progressed steadily. We produced our first album, second was produced by one miserable Brit who didn't fit in at all but still musically we were better than in the first album. Third LP we did with ex-Mott The Hoople men, Buff and Overend, and that was a cool experience. This new one insisted lots of work but that's why it's our best LP so far.”
During the hectic schedule Michael had time to think about his stardom: “I became a musician 'cause I had nothin' else to do. I could've stayed home and went to schools but that would've turned me into same kind like my friends. I didn't create Michael Monroe character just for Hanoi Rocks. I was Mike Monroe. That was my personality.” Michael: “It's fun to read stories about the band but they don't affect me at all. It's only one persons opinion. British magazines write very positively about our gigs but also those praises start to bore you. They can be very dangerous 'cause then you easily just stay lazy and be satisfied to yourself.” Michael: “I can't imagine livin' without Hanoi. This is my life now and I don't wanna do anything else. We get along easily, much better than few years ago when we had quarrels every now and then. Principally we could stretch this thing as far as we want to but you'll never know. Time will tell.” Nevertheless Andy was going to have 30 grand in his pack pocket in few months time, Michael saw financial things differently: “Hanoi Rocks hasn't turned us rich. I haven't got millions in my bank account. I got just enough dough to keep my flat in London, to live quite nicely and to buy clothes whenever I want.”
November 1984 – Sweden
This was a point when the band was taking their biggest step in their career – a first real American tour. This also turned out to be their most crucial step in their career. But before that they made a short prep-tour in Sweden.
2 Nov: Gothenburg (Mudd City)
8 Nov: Malmö
9 Nov: Stockholm (Ritz)
10 Nov: Stockholm (Ritz)
11 Nov: Stockholm (Ritz)
“In this particular night, Ritz's spacy cellar room in Stockholm work as a meeting place for Finns who have emigrated from Finland. Of course there were also the top music business men from Helsinki, e.g. Atte Blom and Juha V. Mattila. Stocholm's Ritz is divided to two concert halls and a pub and it's not as spacy as New York's Ritz but the athmosphere's more dense. Fans came up hours before the concert to get good places. At midnight the D.A.'s came on stage. Energy burst was so huge from the first chord and Andy's guitar drugged the audience to rock hard. The show was built around Andy and Mike while other band members stayed at the background. Music was a mixture of new and old. Old familiar songs made the audience to party like hell before the stage. Up Around The Bend was the one that the audience liked most from new songs. Concert was well planned and the routine has turned Hanoi to more professional way.” (Pseudonym TNT in Rumba-magazine)
November-December 1984 – US Tour
US tour kicked off with tour manager Andy Griggs and Seppo Vesterinen and they were about to grab both fame and glory. Michael: “In America we only have three days off during this thirty day tour. Very hectic tour but we like to do it this way, we don't get bored so easily then. That rhythm leaves off all the partying. During the last twelve months I've learned that singin' is such a physical thing to do that if you're not in good condition your singing's gonna be bad. I practice every day going through certain karate movements and I also like swimming.” Nevertheless afterwards Sami's decisions in January 1985 were explained as tiredness to life on the road, he had different opinions during the American tour. Sam: “Yeah, we got horrible pace in here. Thirty-eight gigs inside fourty-two days. Only four days off. I'm used to touring so well that it doesn't bother or distress me at all. We got a top tour bus with all the modern conveniences. Touring is the best way to see the world. Now we zig-zag across the America, like New York, Philadelphia, Texas, New Orleans, Arizona, California.” Andy: “We're gonna play in small venues that take thousand to two thousand people inside but it would be good to play in bigger ones also. If we had a chance to do that we'd take it.”
Sami and Andy thought about the possible stardom that might come across. Sam: “I'm not against being a superstar. If I couldn't go outside alone there'd be always someone around to do the errands.” Andy: “It'd be gross! I never want such a thing. That wouldn't be living. When we went to England papers wrote that we were going to conquer the world. Bullshit. We went there 'cause we were asked to. Being a superstar or conquering the world haven't been in my plans ever. I do this 'cause I love it.”
14 Nov: Buffalo
15 Nov: Rochester
16 Nov: Manchester, New Hampshire
17 Nov: Boston. Seppo Vesterinen: “We have a deal with Epic and that's a good company. When we were in Boston we ran out of cash and Epic immediately sent a huge bunch.”
18 Nov: Providence, Rhode Island
20 Nov: New Haven
21 Nov: New York
23 Nov: Brooklyn, New York
24 Nov: Pleasantville
25 Nov: Washington DC
26 Nov: Baltimore
27 Nov: Norfolk
28 Nov: Philadelphia
29 Nov: Syracuse. Andy: “Then in one small town at east coast Mike Monroe twisted his ankle. It was my fault, you know. I broke a bottle on the stagefloor and Mike jumped on a sharp piece from it, fortunately it wasn't that sharp, but he still twisted his ankle. We had to cancel few gigs.”
30 Nov: Toronto, Canada
1 Dec: Detroit
2 Dec: Chicago – Razzle's birthday.
3 Dec: Cleveland
4 Dec: Detroit (Trax Club). Andy: “Detroit was good. Everything went swell compared to the first gig which was a total bomb.”
5 Dec: Atlanta (688 Club). Cancelled. Andy: “We took a bus to Atlanta, Georgia.” When they arrived to Atlanta the concert had already been cancelled. Andy: “We had a party in Atlanta. Very groovy.”
6 Dec: New Orleans. Cancelled.
7 Dec: Houston. Cancelled.
8 Dec: San Antonio. Cancelled.
9 Dec: Dallas. Cancelled.
Because of Michael's foot they had few days without work. During that they flew to Los Angeles to advertise the last part of the tour – California. Andy: “We flew to L.A. Roadies and gear came by the road.” Andy: “We heard that the Los Angeles Palace gigs were sold out in half an hour. We really waited that to happen... Stadiums were next in line. When we arrived in L.A. the guys from Motley Crue came to meet us after they heard we were coming.”
Andy: “We came to L.A. in Saturday night and on Sunday was Vince's party....”
9 December 1984 – Redondo Beach, California, USA. The Death of Razzle.
Razzle died on 9 December 1984 in a car accident where Vincent N. Wharton (better known as Vince Neil) lost the control of his car and crashed to two other cars. Vince Neil was in drunk and the reason they were driving was to buy more alcohol from the local off-license. Seppo Vesterinen: “This break in tour schedule derived from Michael's twisted ankle and therefore we came to Los Angeles to do some TV and radio interviews. Razzle's friend, Motley Crue's singer Vince Neil, lives nearby and Razzle went to see him on Saturday. They took Vince's sports car but soon after departing Vince's house the car started to hydroplane when they hit the water from a broken hydrant. Vince hit two other cars in high speed and spinned in the air many times. Car fell down possibly on Razzle's side and the death was immediate. According to the information I have received, one person from the other car they hit also died and one has been injured badly.”
According to Kerrang-magazine (December 1984) there was a rumour that Andy McCoy had been in the car with Vince and Neil but official sources denied this. Andy: “I had to tell others about Razzle's death. I felt I was in the middle of a cop movie when they asked me did I know him and how closely. I went to hospital with Motley's drummer Tommy Lee and all I could ask was that did Razzle suffer. Fortunately not, he died instantly. I don't blame Vince. Let's see what's gonna happen to him. California laws had been tightened before the accident and this kinda thing will be compared to second degree murder.”
Andy: “Razzle always wanted to see Los Angeles. When he finally got there, he died before he could play there.”
12 Dec: Phoenix. Cancelled.
13 Dec: Escondido. Cancelled.
14 Dec: Los Angeles. Cancelled.
15 Dec: Palo Alto. Cancelled.
16 Dec: San Francisco. Cancelled.
December 1984 – England
The original plans were to have few concerts in England with Girlschool as warm-up band.
20-21 Dec: London (Marquee Club). Cancelled.
22 Dec: Portsmouth (Guildhall). Cancelled.
23 Dec: Birmingham (Powerhouse). Cancelled.
Seppo Vesterinen was optimistic after the accident: “Popularity in America was totally different compared to first British tour, not to mention first Finnish tour. Everything has gone perfectly and after seeing people's reaction I still believe America will be Hanoi's main area. Media has taken the band well and papers, magazines, radio and TV have shown the band well.”
Andy have later described that time period as more sinister: “When razzle kicked the bucket, I thought we gotta put stop to this band. Macke wanted to continue and we wanted to play that Europe A Go-Go in Helsinki as a memorial concert to Razzle.”
Seppo Vesterinen: “We haven't talked about the future of the band. Everybody's still shocked of what happened to Razzle. Only thing we've decided is the concerts in Helsinki at the end of January. We try to perform them by using an outside drummer. Hanoi Rocks want to perform to Finnish fans and make those Helsinki concerts as a memorial to Razzle who had many loyal fans in there.”
Seppo Vesterinen: “After the funerals, we had to think about the band and tried to find a proper drummer for the Finnish concerts. The drummer of Lita Ford was available like Tommy Lee of Motley Crue. The best choice would be a bloke who already knows the band and the songs.” Seppo Vesterinen: “Razzle's parents wanted to have simple silent ceremony for their son. They didn't want the press to come because this would be the last meeting with him. Cyndi Lauper sent a huge flowerbouquet. And nevertheless they had some quarrels with Twisted Sister, they also sent flowers.”
29-30 Dec: First rehearsals with Terry Chimes. Michael: “Terry Chimes, our new drummer, is our old friend. He's known from The Clash and Generation X. He probably won't stay long but he's good, fast learning and he made a real favour to us by coming to the band on so short notice.” As an outsider I'd be really curious to find out why the band didn't ask their old drummer Gyp Casino...
Despite the bad news, officially Andy still kept trying: “I met Alice in New York and wrote him couple of tunes. He's postponed the recordings of his future album by couple of months so I don't know will I make it at all 'cause we have to jump-start a new band.” Later he has told about how the things really were: “I wanted to break the band right after Razzle died. I knew two months before that that Sami's leaving. He had plans to quit right after the American tour.”
31 Dec: London (Greyhound Club). Michael and Andy visit London Cowboys concert. Nasty just watched beside. It has been exactly four years since the band made their first ever Finnish concert. The feelings weren't very celebrating.
Razzle always wanted to see Los Angeles. When he finally got there, he died before he could play there.