JOEY VERA Interview Page 4
By Diego Negrete
DIEGO: So, what about the next phase.
JOEY: Well, we formed a band with Brad Parker in La Canada. We called it Saphire. It lasted about 3 or 4 months. That was a big turning point in all of our friendships, the day Brad called me and said he wanted to kick John out of the band. After thinking about it for about a week or so I decided to stay with Brad. So that was a heavy scene because John was like my total best friend in the world. It was one of the hardest things I ever had to do. So, for obvious reasons, our friendships began to separate.
DIEGO: But, you went on.
JOEY: Well yeah, Sapphire reformed with another singer and a few other drummers, and the last drummer we had was Tommy Lee who later went on to Motley Crue. So that's how I got to know Tommy. The band didn't last that long but it was a huge learning experience. For one; I had to deal with the departure of one of my best friends. And Two; ending up playing with someone like Tommy who, even back then, was a phenomenal drummer. I learned so much from him as a bass player and the relationship between bass and drums.
DIEGO: Have you run into him lately?
JOEY: I haven't really seen him in years. I think he had a hard time dealing with the accident. It was hard for him to look me in the eyes after that. (Joey and Tommy got into a serious car accident together one night after an Armored Saint gig up in the mountains.) It was so long ago; I hope he doesn't feel bad to this day. It was really nobody's fault.
DIEGO: You guys ate shit pretty bad. I didn't go to that gig. I was grounded that week. But I remember we wheeled you out onto the deck at County General Hospital. There were about 12 or so of us. Tommy was there too. Zack and Dirk were there...they brought booze. Ronny brought pot. It was f**king hilarious....we got you so stoned you didn't know where you were. And I brought you Mac Donalds and you devoured it. I suppose I could tell the story of the Candy Stripper...Nah!
JOEY: Patients and doctors were freaking out on all of us!
DIEGO: When will we ever grow up? (Laughing) So what happened after Sapphire?
JOEY: Tommy and I quit after about 6 months. We did a few auditions around town. We kinda stayed together as a team for awhile, looking for another band. One day Tommy called me up at home and said he talked to someone about another audition but that it was for a drummer only. I said 'that's cool, whatever.' He felt bad that this band didn't need a bass player. But he asked me if I wanted to cruise along to the meeting. I said 'sure,' so when we got to this guy's house, and when he open the door I saw that it was Nikki Sixx. I remembered him from the band London. They were total New York Dolls influenced.
DIEGO: Did he come to the door all rocked out!? Leather boots? Spikes? Wearing his Black BC Rich Warlock bass?....All f**kin' evil n' shit.
JOEY: (Laughing) No, his hair was actually down. Its funny you ask because I learned a secret from him that day. We sat down in his living room and he was telling Tommy and I about his plan for Motley Crue. 'Yeah, I'm thinking about starting this band,' he said to us. He had 'Motley Crue' written down on a piece of paper. 'This is what I'm thinking of calling it.' He showed us the paper. I didn't think much of it at the time. And then his girlfriend came over and we all decided to go out to a club. I remember Nikki saying, 'hang on, I'm gonna go do my hair.' So, he went in the bathroom and I saw him, there he was, sitting upside down with a blow dryer and a big f**king brush and this huge thing of Aqua Net...going ssspppsssshhhhhhh! Spraying and brushing and blow-drying his f**king hair. And when he came out his hair was like.....Nnnyyyaaa!! Here was this huge rock star! And all I could think was 'that's so f**king cool , man!' (laughing).
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