|There's A Riot Going On!
By Babu Barat
Axl Rose Defends His Actions
On July 2, 1991 16,000 St. Louis Concert goers attended the Guns N' Roses show at the newly constructed Riverport Amphitheatre, 15 miles west of St. Louis in Maryland Heights, Missouri. The band took the stage to a standing room crowd thrilled to see the band after it's three-year absence from the city. Guns N' Roses performed several cuts from its debut, Appetite for Destruction, as well as numerous tracks from its forthcoming Use Your Illusion twin albums.
An hour-and-a-half into the show, while performing the song "Rocket Queen," it was obvious something was wrong. Vocalist Axl Rose began to shout into the microphone, "Take that… take that… take that away from him!" to the security guards along the front of the stage. Rose paused, realized that his words were not getting through and said, "Then I'll take it from him." Rose then leapt into the first few rows of the crowd and a scuffle followed. The rest of the band, seemingly bewildered, continued to play. Seconds later, Rose was returned to the stage by Guns N' Roses' own security crew. He motioned for the band to stop playing and announced over the microphone that due to the poor security, "I'm outta here." Slamming the microphone down, Rose stomped off stage, followed shortly thereafter by the rest of the band.
Approximately 20 minutes passed while the house lights remained off; half of the crowd chanted, "Bullshit! Bullshit!" At about 11:30 p.m. the house lights were turned on and the band's roadies began removing their equipment from the stage. This infuriated the crowd, who began booing and throwing cups of beer and soda at the stage, pelting the road crew. As the shower of cups turned to bottles, cans and anything else the crowd could get their hands on, one fan took it upon himself to climb onto the stage and make a dash all the way around the risers, where he was met by roadies and security guards. This personal moment of glory was cheered by the fans. As the runner was dragged from the stage, a surge on the floor broke down the four-foot-high chain-link fence that was used as a barrier during the show.
Seeing that matters had gotten out of control, Guns N' Roses security man Ear Gabbidon secured a microphone through which he attempted to tell the crowd that the band would return if they would calm down. This was too little too late; the crowd was beyond the point of rationale. Shortly thereafter another announcement was made that the show was over, but this only fueled the crowd's anger. Several police officers converged on the stage. At this point, the venue's security, B&D Concert Services, was making itself scarce. There were a few of them scattered among the people, but they were having no effect on anything. More and more people found their way onto Guns N' Roses' stage. More police officers were called in. At one point there were as many as 25 policemen on the stage and they met the crowd with their nightsticks, beating several people who were helpless. Chairs were ripped from their hinges and thrown by the crowd, sections at a time towards the stage. Police and security threw these and other objects back into the audience.
Mayhem broke out. Concert goers were out of control. The authorities were out of control. Hundreds of people crowded onto the stage, tearing it apart and throwing large metal pieces at the authorities. Tables from the box-seat area of the venue were flung towards the stage. At the height of the riot a fire hose was brought to spray people who attempted to enter the stage area. Fights broke out between fans and the authorities.
Leaving the venue, fans could be found taking home parts of the band's stage, speaker cabinets, drum set and anything else they could claim as a souvenir. Trees and other brush were uprooted and burned. Trash cans were emptied and their contents set aflame. Windows at the ticket booths were smashed. Signs designating parking sections were torn down. The band's projection screens were destroyed. In the hours that followed a "Code 1000," the riot call, was dispatched to every major police department in St. Louis County. Over 500 police officers were called in. The use of tear gas to disperse the crowd was reported, but denied by local authorities.
Ultimately 60 people were sent to the hospital. Many other injured persons made their way home. Fifteen people were arrested on charges ranging from disturbing the peace to destruction of property, and damage estimates from the venue are in the middle six figures. Since the majority of damage was to Guns N' Roses equipment, the band's damage estimates are even higher.
Following this unfortunate incident the mass media were quick to point the finger at Axl Rose and the rest of the Guns N' Roses camp. Accusations were made in every direction. The police were contemplating whether to file charges against the singer for "inciting a riot," but said they needed to make a thorough investigation before any action was taken. The ball has just begun rolling for civil suits. The police, security personnel, fans and officials from Contemporary Productions (who were the show's promoter and major investors in the Riverport Amphitheatre) made comments and accusations against each other and the band to the press.
I am the editor of Just Rock, a St. Louis music tabloid. I was interviewed by the Los Angeles Times for an eyewitness account of the riot. Later that week, I received a call from Guns N' Roses management saying that Axl wanted to speak with me regarding the incident.
"The riot happened because we left the stage after we had done an hour-and-a-half show," Axl said, "which we were contracted to do. The people want a lot more out of Guns N' Roses and usually they get it, but that night they were upset because they weren't getting it. The place allowed bottles and knives and whatever else inside, which is evident from looking at the videotape. It was all over the stage. The people pretty much had an attitude that they could run over security. There's a reason to have a 'better not fuck with security' attitude in the crowds: It's for their safety. I'm sure a lot of people got hurt that wouldn't have because of all the craziness. When we left the stage the venue was not prepared to call us on that circumstance. The rights that I have and the band has are written all the way through our contract. Nobody has really ever questioned it. Nobody has said, 'No, these are my rights and I'm claiming them right now.' Usually if you have an experienced staff at the venue, if there is a problem you can call the show, go backstage, get the problem worked out and come right back out. None of that happened. Nothing happened except for the riot. They just weren't prepared. And when we called them on it, all of the mistakes they made surfaced."
Riverport only had a handful of shows up until Guns N' Roses. They had Steve Winwood, Jimmy Buffet, the Ninja Turtles and Mannheim Steamroller. I had interviewed Gregg Hagglund from Contemporary Productions and asked him how Contemporary was going to prepare for a Guns N' Roses crowd. He said, "We will be prepared. I don't think, initially, that we're going to change a lot of things. I think that the party revelers will respect the environment that they are in. It will be a lot bigger crowd. There will be a lot more of them. Those will be the only differences in terms of how we treat the crowd. We will just have more people to deal with, more customers." What do you think of that?
That's not very intelligent. At Alpine Valley, our first shows, they put in new sod every year. $100,000 worth of sod. During the first show, that sod was on the stage. Also, other things happened at the St. Louis gig that I wasn't told about until two days after the gig. Duff didn't want me to get excited.
Such as Duff getting hit with a bottle twice during the show. Duff knows I would have called the show and he didn't want to be responsible for whatever happened out of that. Duff's attitude is, "I'm a man about things. I got hit with a bottle, big deal." My attitude is that no, you don't allow yourself to get hit by bottles because that encourages it in the future. If someone goes and tells a story that he threw a bottle at Guns N' Roses, three years, five years from now some kid could remember that story he heard at a kegger, and throw at someone else and take them out. I learned this from Lemmy of Motorhead. I have more respect for what Lemmy's gonna tell me about how to run a rock show than some kid on the street going, "That's kinda wimpy that you pulled off." It's like, no, I'm sorry, I listen to people other than you.
How do you feel about the false reporting of the event? The adults in this community are assuming that you jumped into the audience and the riot erupted immediately: That's wrong.
And they think I did it just because I wanted to stop somebody from taking my picture. The camera was the last straw, the final thing. I was sick of, at that point, with the security in the front. There was a weird space in my mind the entire night. I was thinking, "Something isn't right up here. Why is there this weird attitude, this passiveness, in the security?" There was no feeling that they were on the same team as us. Their feelings towards the crowd wasn't right. A young boy and a girl were getting shoved over here while rowdy bikers are being allowed to do whatever they want. What is going on? I was very confused.
During "Jungle," I don't stand during "Jungle," I just stood there and watched a security guy shove a young kid and walk about four feet out into the aisle just to act tough and show the crowd that he was a man. Then he turned around to me with a smile of pride on his face. I looked at this slob while he was looking at me with this pride on his face and going, "See what I do to your fans?" It took me a couple of days to understand the look on his face… I was very confused. I was like, "What is going on with these guys?"
Our people have worked the Rose Bowl, the Super Bowls, the Olympics, Grand Prix, they've played on major sports teams and they run their own security companies now. They've been around professional events for a long time. They've seen a lot of things and they do their best to make sure that nobody gets hurt. They will take someone out if they have to, but usually there is a lot of warning. One thing that is not being said in the press is that Earl Gabbidon was on the headset and he warned those guys in the front that either the cameras go or the show is off. He warned them four times. He was doing his job.
Who is Earl?
Earl is part of Guns N' Roses security. He's a large black man. He's played for several professional football teams. He has been around. He told them the cameras had to go. The security at the venue just didn't plan on me calling them on it. Sometimes it's not a big deal. But when I say something to security and the person is in reach, and the security just doesn't care, it's wrong! They're playing favoritism with the crowd over the artist who's paying their salary that night.
More than half of those crowd-control guards had just been hired.
It's a two-week old venue.
Many of the security guards there that night were new to their profession. They were letting people sit wherever they wanted…
We don't encourage certain strictness. We prefer general-admission seating because it's a lot more fun.
I saw two people with cameras from where I was sitting. And I could only see a very small part of the crowd. I saw numerous bottles and cans. I saw a girl putting a camera between her legs and another girl putting one in her bra.
When someone says, "Axl didn't want his picture taken," they are not considering the big picture. We are the most bootlegged new band in history. There are over 47 albums out. Even songs that are on the new record. When I play "November Rain" people cheer. They know the song. It's already sold a few million copies on bootleg. When people aren't working together to help avoid that, it really gets me mad.
How do you react when the people, your fans, who are saying, "I won't ever buy a Guns N' Roses record" or "Axl is this" or "Axl is that"? They're blaming it on you just because everybody else is pointing the finger at you.
They don't want to take responsibility for their own actions. I dived into that crowd. And when I dive I'm aware of what can happen. I wasn't aware that they were going to tear the place down, but I'm aware of all the legal things that can happen with me. Someone getting hurt or whatever. But I've got a videotape of people destroying our equipment. It wasn't the building's equipment. I think people got ripped off of a good show. When my audience is denying me the right to call my show for reasons that don't have anything to do with them, that's not fair. We realized the police were not handling the situation. Their method was not working.
After you guys left the building people were getting beaten by the police. I saw two police officers go up and beat a guy with their sticks. Then two other officers came up behind them and pulled the first two officers away. They were like, "What the hell are you doing?" People were going crazy. People were hurling parts of the stage at other people. It was like a war zone.
A lot of people don't realize that we tried to come back, but we found out the drums were damaged while the police were on the risers, so we couldn't. We felt we had a better chance of calming everybody down than the police, but by that time everything was too far gone. We were told to leave and now people are saying they don't remember that.
I've learned a lot about power in this situation. And the abuse of power, and the power that we have, and the responsibility of that power.
Contemporary Productions has been receiving calls from other promoters asking whether they should cancel the Guns N' Roses show.
We're not really worried about that. We don't want people to get hurt at shows. That's our main concern. When you're dealing with people who are not as concerned with the music or the crowd as much as the money that they can make from it, they're not taking everything into account. We care about how the show is run, and that people have a good time.
When we played at Rock In Rio II, Dave Mustaine of Megadeth had been trying to get me to hang out with him the whole show. He had all kinds of people coming up to me and asking me to talk to him and so on. But due to my past experiences with Dave Mustaine, every time I've talked to him, no matter how good the conversation or how good I thought things were, a couple of days later he would try and pull a fast move, backstabbing, just to get himself some coverage. It's just somebody I didn't want to hang out with. It was handled nicely. The only person I spent time with in any of the bands was Billy Idol. We came back to L.A. and Dave's on the radio saying that they won't be playing any dates with Guns N' Roses. That there were deaths at the show. Guns N' Roses shouldn't have played on the night that they played and all this other stuff. What Dave didn't realize is that Guns N' Roses was one of the reasons there was a Rock In Rio II. The people who ran the television station down there and were major financers wanted to see Guns N' Roses. The owner of the television station wanted to see Guns N' Roses. We had the say-so of who was allowed to play. One of the deaths was caused by the police shooting the fire marshal for not allowing 20,000 people with tickets in the show when they allowed 20,000 people without tickets in the show and were taking the money for themselves. There were 80 bootleg Guns N' Roses T-shirt booths run by the chief of police. The other deaths happened during Megadeth's show. We went onstage early because Judas Priest had pulled off on their own accord, and then said that we asked them to leave the stage early, trying to make us look bad. We had told Judas that they could play as long as they wanted, they could have whatever they wanted. The only thing they couldn't have, which the fire marshal wouldn't allow, was their pyro. Then Rob Halford is in magazines saying that I wouldn't allow him to have his Harley. I heard about that during the day. One of the guys who worked with us was in my room with a walkie-talkie, so I grabbed it and said, "Tell Robbie he can have anything he wants." There was no way I wasn't going to allow Judas Priest to do whatever they wanted, because I didn't want bad vibes. Judas Priest was one of the major influences on my singing because Rob Halford is one of the technically best in the world at what he does. And for me to tell them that they couldn't have their Harley is stupid! This guy was saying that I wouldn't allow it, which was a lie!
The crowd was really rowdy up until the time we went onstage because a lot of people came to see Guns N' Roses. We had four songs in the Top 10 and a number one song down there on MTV, and four songs on MTV's Top 10. We were huge at the time. We didn't know how huge we were until we got there. There was my picture right beside a picture of the hostages in the war; on the front page. It was like, "Axl takes his shirt off." It was really wild. The promoters and some people in the press were thanking us for going onstage when we did because it calmed the crowd down. When I called a friend of mine in L.A., Del James, I described the show as really "nice." He said, "That's not a word that you usually associate with Guns N' Roses." Something happened when we went onstage. It calmed the people down. They were happy that we were there. We try to keep the crowd enjoying the show rather than getting violent and beating each other up. We will leave the stage if the crowd is too crazy. Leaving the stage is usually done to calm things down. A lot of times that works. You leave the stage so the crowd calms down and then you come back. Or sometimes you leave the stage and then the crowd will get rowdier, and if it does then you come back so they will calm down.
That night in St. Louis I got hit in the eye when I jumped off the stage. When I did I lost a contact. I wear these experimental lenses and I didn't know I had another set. So I am half blind going, "Okay, I can't see. The show is over. As a matter of fact my next few shows are over." I was really upset. I didn't know what I was going to do. I didn't know that I had anymore lenses. But once I realized I had another contact I got the band together and we were going to go back out because now they know there is a problem with security and stuff, so things are going to be handled differently. But by that time the riot had already started and there was nothing that could be done. The police were trying to figure out whether they should just arrest me and let the crowd do whatever they wanted to do. It's really hard to handle the frustration I get, and the anger, at being portrayed consistently so negatively. There are certain areas of the media who do that to me all the time.
Why? The sensationalism of creating a bad guy. I've had problems with the Hollywood sheriff's department, and had 14 officers in my hallway, and people wanting to sue. Then we find out there are six members on this council that can't afford to side with Guns N' Roses, even if we are right, because of how it would look for them. They're dealing with people who don't want rock 'n' roll around. So they can't afford to vote in my favor even though I have a legitimate case. A lot of people jump on the sensationalism of saying, "Yeah, he's the bad guy." It's how they make all their friends.
One of the things I got up thinking about last night is that St. Louis is the place where I said, "What? Am I a liar? Do I have a reputation for lying?" I think I have the exact opposite reputation. It's in our music and everything we do. That's one of the reasons why Guns N' Roses is successful and people are into it much as they are. The truth comes through and you can feel it in the music. We're being as honest as we can. Whether you like opinions or not is another story. But it's real.
The St. Louis Post Dispatch dug up every negative aspect of the band in their headline article. Once they established this negative vibe they went into blaming you for the riot.
Well, they have a lot of people who go, "See, we told you!" There are a lot more of those people who care about the news and the newspapers than the kids. It's kind of like the Rock the Vote thing. A lot of people want me to get involved in Rock the Vote. I say, "What happened last time you had all these rockers Rock the Vote? You found out that none of them voted." Well, I've never voted because I haven't had the time to explore any of the candidates and find out more about them. Most of the time it comes down to which one is the lesser of the two evils anyway, for me. My attitude is, I have got my life to live and I guess I'll just have to deal with whoever gets into office and whatever rules they make. I barely have the time to do what I'm doing now.
Let me read you some of the coverage from the St. Louis Dispatch. "Guns N' Roses, the band that helped ignite a riot late Tuesday night at the Riverport Amphitheatre, has an aptly named debut album: 'Appetite for Destruction.' The band - and lead singer Axl Rose in particular - seem to be as good at generating controversy as selling music. Two young men were trampled to death while Guns N' Roses played in 1988 in England. In Atlanta, Rose jumped from the stage to grab a security guard. And in Philadelphia, Rose fought with a parking-lot attendant. Millions of Americans heard two of the band's members utter profanities last year on the American Music Awards, and ABC later apologized. Rose has been arrested on a charge of hitting a female neighbor with a wine bottle. Another band member - a guitarist known as Slash - is a recovering heroin addict."
You know what is really strange about the whole thing, and at the same time a really heavy weight to deal with, along with all the negativity? This will do nothing in the long run, but make us even bigger. That's very strange.
The funniest thing about the whole event is that they are saying Guns N' Roses will never be invited back.
At this point, it's like, St. Louis, wait a minute? The album will come out, and if they want Guns N' Roses they can buy the album, but these people tore up our equipment and they're saying it's my fault. As far as coming back, I don't know. How much will I be offered to come back? We probably will come back if we're offered enough and security is handled well enough. Other than that I have no interest in playing St. Louis. Not that I hate St. Louis, I just go, "That's the place where they tear up your equipment."
Do you mind the rebellious image that follows the band? Do you think it is good or bad for the band?
It can work good. But as of right now we are considered the most dangerous band in the world. That's kind of a good reputation to have as far as a rock band is concerned. That means you're doing great and you're going to do better. At the same time we'd like more people to like us and enjoy us and not have negative opinions of us. Guns N' Roses fans are a very strange breed. I find more and more that I have less in common with my fans than my fans have in common with me. Do you know what I mean?
Why do you say that?
Or that I have certain things in common with my fans, but they don't have things in common with me. This is because I have a lot of responsibility. I have a big job. We work very hard at what we do. I have never been the type of person to go to a show, even when I was little, who tries to pull the singer off the stage when he shakes my hand because, "I just have to have Axl Rose here right now." I've never been like that, but a lot of Guns N' Roses fans are that way at the show. Out of 10 people whose hands you shake while you're onstage, three try to pull you in every time. I don't understand that. If I'm injured I can't do my job and go on with my life. And there's 10,000 to 130,000 people here, depending on the size of the audience, that are going to be ripped off out of a show because some person had to pull me into the crowd with them. I don't get that! I don't get… "I love Guns N' Roses, yeah!," and then throw a bottle at the bass player. Duff has the biggest bruise I've ever seen on an arm because he was hit by a bottle and he didn't want to tell me onstage. If I had known that, we would have left the stage a lot earlier! And if it happens another night, we will leave again!
Can you compare this to what happened to Sebastian Bach and Skid Row last year?
You can compare it, but it's not right. I didn't randomly throw a bottle into the crowd. I'm not against Sebastian for that. It just happened so quickly for him. He got hit and he threw the bottle back because that had never happened to him before. My thing was that security was determined that nothing was going to happen to this guy with his camera. I told them three times on the microphone. They heard me. They were like, "No, we're not going to do anything." Okay then, I will!
Part of me goes, the promoters, the people that put that show on, the people that hired those people to work the front of the stage, and the people that hired the people to do the checks should be responsible. Also the way they chose to sell the amount of alcohol they did. There was supposed to be a two-beer maximum. There was no maximum. There was supposed to be ID checks. There were no ID checks. They got what they deserved. I think if St. Louis were to look at it correctly, they would put these guys out of business and keep them away from their kids, not Guns N' Roses. Guns N' Roses just brought it to the surface.
It's like the song "One In A Million." I'll get lambasted and filleted all over the place over that song. Dave Marsh will be writing about this "We Are The World" consciousness, but Dave, I don't know where you were doing your "We Are The World" consciousness, but we were getting robbed at knifepoint at that time in our lives. "One In A Million" brought out the fact that racism does exist so let's do something about it. Since that song, a lot of people may hate Guns N' Roses, but they think about their racism now. And they weren't thinking about that during "We Are the World." "We Are the World" was like a Hallmark card. After what happened in St. Louis I think people will think about running a show more carefully. We have talked about this among our people and everybody is very supportive of how I am going to be about this. If I go to a gig and I have negativity from the local officials at the gig, and I have negativity from the venue's security, if I have any type of negativity and an attitude like "We don't work for you, we do what we want, we don't care," we will not play that night! All this will be established before I go onstage or we're not playing! I am not going to go into any place and make a lot of people money who don't give a shit about me or my band. I'm not going to be just somebody else that the promoter uses.
The night of Warrant [July 5], the first show since the Guns incident, the venue was not selling liquor.
I don't condone that. But if you're going to do it, you better have everything down. I'm not talking about heavy-handed security, I'm talking about well-run security. Have you ever seen the movie Roadhouse where Swayze says, "Be nice, be nice, until force has to be used, be nice." But be on top of it. That's what we ask for.
There are a lot of simple precautions that could have been taken that weren't. Things like bracelets with punch holes along with a hand stamp to limit your drinking.
I thought about all that stuff. If I was a fan going to these places and they made me wear a bracelet, I would be mad. But it took what happened in St. Louis for me to realize that they do it for your own safety. It's like when you get on an airplane and they give you that whole speech about where the exit doors are, or when you can smoke. You can get mad at all of that, but it's all done for your safety. When they don't want you to bring bottles or knives into the show, that is for your safety. We don't want cameras and videotapes and tape-recorders, that's for our safety. I like hearing a bootleg of a band I like just as much as anyone else, but at the same time I have to enforce that there's no cameras, no videotapes and no tape-recorders because I don't want crappy material out there. I want to approve tapes before they go out. If we did a shitty version of a song one night for whatever reasons and we had technical difficulties, I don't want that being a representation of me out there. There's things done to protect the fans and there are things done to protect the artist. In St. Louis there was no respect for fans or the artist. It pretty much comes down to whoever hired that security and who really didn't give a shit. The reactions towards me are only natural. That's the way it's been in rock forever. It really makes you mad and you wish it wasn't that way, especially because I know that's not what happened… and it's happening to me.
We all work together. If you have one bad link then you're in trouble. If you have negativity from the local officials that are working the show, if the police hate rock 'n' roll bands or if they hate anyone with long hair because they think everybody with long hair is a drug dealer or whatever (which is sometimes hypocritical because sometimes you have cops dealing cocaine. I had three cops as my guests at that show. I met them at a strip bar. It was my first time to a strip bar on this tour and I met three police officers who happen to be Guns N' Roses fans and I had them come to the show), if the people in the front at the venue don't care about the band, or whatever, whenever there's a weak link people are going to get hurt. Well, the officials who were working the gig were definitely not into rock 'n' roll. The people at the venue just wanted to get paid and go home. They didn't really care either way. And maybe they'll get to hit some little kid and work out some frustrations on somebody's head. I saw some of that going on. Whenever there is a weak link people are going to get hurt. We just said that's it, we're outta here! Usually when you do that somebody figures out how to get things back together. They didn't know how to get that together. We tried to do it on our own and it wasn't possible. Guns N' Roses will go on to be Guns N' Roses and do what it's going to do, and it will leave this situation as part of its past.
I'm sure it's a combination of a lot of things. Guns N' Roses wasn't completely innocent. I wasn't completely innocent. I'm sure we could have handled things better too, but I think we were the last link in the chain. And then we said, see ya! We're not putting up with it.
Guns N' Roses pretty much calls its own shots with a lot of other people trying to call other shots and trying to tell the world that this is when the record is going to come out and whatever. It's like saying there are delays on the record. There are no delays on our record! There have never been any delays on our record. The record will not come out until we're done with it. But Geffen Records says it's going to come out by May 24th or whatever. We try to meet those things, but we've known from day one that the record wasn't going to come out until we're ready. That's one reason why we worked so hard to sell so many records the first time around - so that we could make sure we got this record done exactly the way we wanted to. Then the press comes out with how we are delaying the record. No! What do you mean delaying the record? It's my record! Delaying it? Do we want another Godfather III? No. We don't want Godfather III with our record. We want it to be right! We don't want it coming out six weeks early and saying, "I wish we would have had the time to get this part right."
Axl, I appreciate your time.
Oh, and by the way, I never hit the guy with the camera. All I did was grab his vest and didn't let go of that motherfucker for anything. I dived in and grabbed that guy and did not let go of that guy. The only guy I hit was the security guy who was screaming at me and grabbed me, and I didn't even hit him, I slapped him. I was like, "Wake up!" I wouldn't let go of the guy with the camera because the security was trying to get me to let go of him so he could get away. I was like, "No, no, no." Those four guys were yelling and driving me nuts the whole night. It had nothing to do with us playing. They were like "we know Guns N' Roses and we're going to prove we're his best friend and we are his biggest fan and so on." I was like, "Shut up!" I don't care about people screaming, but this guy kept on waving his motorcycle card for his gang, the Saddletramps. I just didn't care about it.
We don't like people to get hurt. One of the things I am happy about is that security should be run a lot differently from now on, for the first time in our lives in dealing with venues. I've had a lot of problems with the security for a venue beating up kids and nobody does anything about it. I'm the closest person to the situation because I'm right there on the end of that ramp. I'm not going to let a kid, or especially a friend of mine, get beat up by security if he didn't do anything. In Atlanta I dived in and I had police saying I hit them. I never did, but I had to plead guilty because we didn't have any money at the time. Lie? Yes, I guess I did lie once. I lied and said that I hit four cops. I guess we should reopen the case and take me to trial for perjury. But I didn't have $56,000 to pay them off under the table.
One of the things that I want to do is make sure that this is not overlooked. A lot of the media want to consider this unfortunate event dead in the water. They'll say it's not news anymore. They will try to drop it after only putting the negative points out. I want to get past that. I was a part of a very unfortunate night for everybody. It wasn't a good time for us. I wasn't Mother Theresa that night.
Thanks to Laura for this article.