JOEY VERA Interview Page 5
By Diego Negrete
DIEGO: God, that's so funny! I never heard that story. So, lets get to Armored Saint. When did it all go down?
JOEY: I was in the 11th grade when all this stuff was going down. Tommy and Motley Crue, John leaving the band and all that stuff. I stayed at Wilson and John and Gonzo left to South Pas (Pasadena) High. Then I moved to Pasadena. We all kept in touch. Then one day Tommy called me back and told me about this guitarist named Greg Leon. Well, Greg Leon at the time was considered one of the best guitar players in LA. He did the first Dokken record and I thought 'Wow, he's done something!' When I joined the Greg Leon Invasion I was only 17 and I was playing all the rad clubs...the Whisky, the Troubador...I was like...Wow!
DIEGO: So you were 17 when you rehearsed at Stor More? You used to come to my house and give me bass lessons. My dad thought you were a freak.
JOEY: Yes I was.
DIEGO: I used to think you were this older dude! And I used to look so up to you!
JOEY: (Laughing) Nothing really happened with Armored Saint until after we all graduated. I met Dave Prichard at a backyard party in South Pas. Dave was a year younger. We used to hang out; it was the summer of '81. But it wasn't until that summer, Gonzo and Phil got together with Dave and said 'Hey lets jam!' They started playing in Gonzo's parents garage. Drums and two guitars.
DIEGO: I was called in to play bass with Dave and Gonzo one day after school. It was f**king rad!
JOEY: That's right! I remember. How funny...
DIEGO: Yeah, I ran to Gonzo's from school. Dave was working on the song 'Stricken by Fate' and he told me to play the bass riff. I didn't know what the f**k I was doing so he just yelled at me to keep it simple. Then he exploded on his guitar! I was completely blown away. It was the first time I ever felt such power! I thought 'My God, what the hell is this!' He went off!! But anyway.... that's my one afternoon, claim to fame. So, go on.
JOEY: That's funny (totally laughing at my stupidity.)
DIEGO: Armored Saint was starting to blossom. So what about John (Bush)?
JOEY: After about a month they asked John to be involved because John had a PA system. I think they went as far as saying that he can't really sing that well, but he's got a PA, so let's keep him.
DIEGO: That's hilarious! How true is that?
JOEY: There's even something in our new bio that talks about it.
DIEGO: That's so Metal!!
JOEY: I was still in Greg Leon Invasion and they were always trying to get me to join. I felt that, on one hand, these were my buddies, we grew up together. But on the other hand, I was in this illusion with Greg Leon. We had an investor. I was on a salary, a couple hundred bucks a week...it was big time, I thought. We just finished recording. How could I leave that. And, it's weird to think I was so opportunistic at such an early age. I'm not like that now. I don't just do things for the money now. Blame it on youth.
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