Vicky Hamilton – “I decided to be the best female RnR manager in the world…”

If you own more than one 80s glam metal album then you’re probably familiar with the name Vicky Hamilton, since you could see it on almost every thank list on these vinyl inserts. I briefly met Vicky at Bar Sinister in L.A. in 2005, and when Robbie Quine (The BARBARELLATONES) told me “You should talk to my friend Vicky”, I thought it would be interesting to send her a few questions…

Can you tell us about your background? When did you move to Los Angeles?

I dropped our of art school in Indiana in 1980, I moved to Hollywood in 1981 where I decided to be the best female rock and roll manager in the world…
I had 2 bands from the midwest that I was pumping when I first moved to LA and that is where it started. I was also a record buyer for Licorice Pizza Record Store on the Sunset Strip.

How did you start managing bands?

By accident! My boyfriend in Indiana was in a band and then the band broke up. I decided to manage his career and help him find a new band. I got the management bug…I worked with 3 bands in Indiana and then decided I needed to move to Hollywood, as to take it to the next level, I needed to be where the action was.

I read that you helped MÖTLEY CRÜE in their early days… In those days, did you ever imagine they could have become so big?

I loved Motley Crue from the beginning. What they were doing then (1981) was really fresh as the glam/metal thing was just starting. LA until the Crue was pretty punk rock. Yes, I did think they could be huge, and I saw it as a new trend in rock…which it was.

EarlyCrue
You also managed POISON. I’ve always read that despite the party image, the band was a hard working one, were they?

No one worked harder than Poison, they didn’t have day jobs, they made promoting the band their day job. They didn’t take “no” for an answer and they were the kings of self promo.

PoisonLips2

Do you remember the first time you’ve heard about GUNS N’ ROSES? Then the first time you met them? They lived at your place for a while, right?

I met Axl and Izzy when they were in Hollywood Rose. I was a booking agent at the time and they came by my office and played me some tracks. I was blown away, and booked them sight unseen. I met Slash around the same time, he was playing guitar in another band I booked called Black Sheep. I booked both bands on a show with Stryper at the Music Machine and that was when GNR started coming together. Yes, they all lived with me, except Duff who lived with his girlfriend while we were shopping a record deal. You’ll have to buy my book to get that story though…hopefully will be out in the next few months.

Gnrearly

When did the band actually start to make enough money to live off their music? Just after the release of “Appetite For Destruction”?

They got an advance from Geffen, but burnt thorough that pretty quickly. I think it took at least a year after the record came out before they had real money to live on.

Talking about managing STRYPER. That must have been very different from dealing with Axl & friends…

I worked as a management consultant to Stryper and Motley Crue, I wasn’t their manager. Surprisingly, a band is a band whether they are Christian or not, the business is pretty much the same. I didn’t live with Stryper and they didn’t date strippers or have drug habits, but it was all about business, just like GNR.

Didn’t you feel that the magic faded away when Steven Adler got fired and Izzy left?

Yes. Those five guys had the magic. When you start taking pieces of the magic away, the sound is different. I don’t think it will ever be as good as it was when those 5 were together.

Are you still in touch with them? Do you think they will ever reunite with the original line-up?

I talk to Slash on a fairly regular basis and I am friends with all the other guys. I have not spoken to Axl since the mid 90’s unfortunately. I wish him well, and hope one day were will get to chat. I don’t think the original lineup will ever get back together, I would love it, but I think the chances are slim to none.

meandslash
You also got FASTER PUSSYCAT to sign with Elektra, right?

Yes, I took Faster Pussycat to my friend Peter Philbin who was an A&R man at Elektra at the time. Peter signed them.

Faster Pussycat early
Any other bands you managed that should have deserved to make it big, but didn’t?

Many! Salty Dog had a good run, but could have been bigger. Lostboys, featuring Randy O from Odin. Darling Cruel signed to Polygram but the record didn’t get as much attention as it should have. Rick Parker, I,Napoleon, Half Way Home, Shadowland, Graveyard Train…all bands I brought or worked with at Geffen, could have had bigger careers…as recently as The Art…sometimes there is no rhyme or reason to this business, but you have to make the best of it.

I read in an interview that it wasn’t always easy for you on a financial level during those years, have you ever thought about stopping band management at some point?

Financially the music business has never taken care of me other than the years I spent at Geffen and Capitol. I have never worked with young bands for the money, it’s always been for the love of the music. Somebody has to try and break new talent, and I have had more success at it than most. Also I had a Grammy win on my own label Small Hairy Dog with June Carter Cash in 2000, I just loved what she did and no one wanted to sign her, so I started my own label to get her music out there.

Were you still managing bands during the 90s?

Yes, I have never quit managing bands! I managed Sex With Lurch, The Art from Sydney Australia. I worked with a great irish band named The Future Kings Of Spain, among many others…

Then you were a booking agent at Bar Sinister in the 00s. Have you done this for any other clubs?

Yes I worked at Bar Sinister for 9 years! It’s a great club even now! I booked The Malibu Inn for awhile…I promote a few shows still here and there.

Do you still manage bands today in this Internet era?

DMeyerI currently manage Diana Meyer http://www.dianameyermusic.com who is amazing singer songwriter who rocks and Co-manage Talk Like June featuring Suzanne Harper http://www.talklikejune.com Talk Like June is California Country and about to play Nashville Jan 17-23, I’m going with them, I’m excited!

TalkLikeJune

Can you tell us about “Glitter Beach”, the musical play you wrote with Robbie of The BARBARELLATONES?

Glitter Beach is mine and Robbie’s love child. It’s a bout a Glam rock surfer dude named Reef Bedrock who invents Glam rock music in 1969. Imagine Rocky Horror meets Hedwig with a little Bowie and Dick Dale thrown in. We are planning on doing a couple more workshops in 2015 hopefully in LA, Vegas and Miami!! It’s such a great musical, Robbie out did himself writing the music for this and it is all about misfits coming together…it’s a beautiful play and I know one day it will be huge! I am hoping to write another play with Robbie soon, I love working with him.

You run the Aesthetic V blog. Can you tell us about this too?

Yes, I am doing a video blog called Aesthetic V Blog http://www.aestheticvblog.com My partner is Micheal Kraemer who was my street scout at Geffen. Micheal shoots the videos and takes care of the website and I put together the interviews. It’s all about the creative process. Its about finding the muse, weather it’s music, art, writing, film…all things creative. Its a way to expose new talent to the world, and get advice from people who are working in the arts. Again a labor of love, but hopefully it will start making enough money through ad sells on the website so we can keep it going. It’s all about the internet these days, and I have had a lot of help from some of my friends like Andy Stack at YouTube and Gregory Markel at Infuse Creative to learn this new medium.

MeandMicheal

Are you still working on your autobiography? Please tell us a bit about it…

I have finished my book! It’s called Appetite For Dysfunction. It’s my life story about all the bands I have worked with, my creative journey through the arts, writing etc. It also goes into my personal life and the process of getting sober etc. It will have a lot of great pictures and stories from the humble beginning of the rock artist you know and love. It’s also about being a woman in the business. I have been working on it for 7 years. The book is finished, just needs a professional edit and I have a manager who is shopping it currently for a book deal, the book has some strong interest. I’m very excited! Getting this book out there is a dream come true for me…hopefully by summer!

meandstevenadle
Vicky Hamilton
Artist Mgmt & Creator of Aesthetic V Blog
aestheticv@gmail.com
http://www.aestheticvblog.com
http://www.vickyhamilton.com

Dr. Boogie “S/T” 3 song EP

(Review by Anguish Young)

DrBoogieI don’t know exactly what gutter these guys crawled out of, but they’ve apparently mixed with the same circle of next generation, punknroll diehards who play on bills with Don Bolles’ Alice Cooper covers band, the Earwigs, and the cream of the L.A. underground’s modernday vanguard—you know—Crazy Squeeze, Black Mambas, Telephone Lovers, Hammered Satin, Dirty Eyes. Keep yer electric eye on Dr. Boogie. Summa these dudes even jammed with the great JOEY PINTER of Knots and Waldos fame.
With a killer logo designed by legendary pop art genius, Adam T. of Altamont Records, DR. BOOGIE are blazing their own smoky trail of snarling guitars, whorehouse pianos and honky tonkin’ harmonicas that impresses upon first listen. They could easily be mistaken for the Diamond Dogs, and that’s high praise, indeed. These dudes are coming on strong, right out of the gate. This is classic glitter glam nastiness blasting outta yer broken speakers with a bona fide sleazy, raunchy authority seldom ever heard in these cold, sterile times; when we’re all expected to nod along and talk about the facking same old gimmick crazed techno, hack actresses with ukeleles, or bogus banjo brigades, some more. You hellions and havenots all know what I’m talkin’ about-dark little old man bar music that celebrates the goodtimes, the booze, the girls and friends you better appreciate now ’cause tomorrow it might all be gone.
These guys seem to really GET the “be alive now” part cause they rock with a true energy. LOVE the vocals and how often you hear me say that? Almost never. Last time we really got a whiff of a band that had this kinda scuzzy heart and soul AND a world class production value, courtesy of one Gabe Lowry, was probably that band, JET, who the Olympics ruined by overplaying their hit like ten years ago. They reminded me immediately of Jo Dog and Paul Black’s Sonic Boom, Dogs D’Amour, London Quireboys, Filthy Lucre. The voice is fabulously suited for this down and dirty style of regal guttersnipe ragged glory. If you like the Faces, the Bounty Hunters, the Jacobites, the Joneses, Free, Mott The Hoople, Flamin’ Groovies, or Silverhead, here are the new boys.
In dark days like this, when the old guard keeps dying off, irreplaceable rocknroll heroes like Ian McLagan, Bobby Keyes, Billy Rath, etc., it’s encouraging to spot the sleazy rocknroll cavalry coming over the hill, knives clenched between their teeth. Scarves and tambourines and blue velvet suitjackets and loud laughs to be had–rocknroll the way it’s supposed to sound. Sharp shoes, sunglasses at night, swaggering lads out on the tiles. I can’t really find anything to not like about these guys. I wanted to make this record when I was in my twenties and almost died trying. I failed, where these guys have succeeded, in a supreme fashion. Chris P., Dustin James, Jeff Turpin, and Luis Herrera just have that magic thing that few ever really come by honest, anymore. This e.p. came out and grabbed me by my frilly blouse and made me wanna go on a diet and play billiards and dance on the bartops and preen by the cigarette machine. Okay you can see how long it’s been since I’ve been to the pub.
These lads will make you want to wear feathers and form a dart team. Think Marionette Meets The Babys meets Detective with a little bit o’ Heartbreakers. Good lyrics, primo drummer, raunchy as hell guitars. This is really fabulous stuff. Rodney On The Roq is even spinning them. They look so young, too. This is probably every bit as good as that first Buck Cherry album. They are almost like a modern day Hollywood Brats. Go see DR. BOOGIE, one of the most promising pub rock/seventies radio pop/trashy punkroll/blues bands to storm the yellow brick road to the ever beckoning, eternally seductive neon lit Hollywood mirage, that always seems to promise strippers and cocaine on airplanes but usually only delivers heartache and despair, in like, forever. They even seem to have a desire to really bring the audience all aboard with them, show everybody a good time, you can just tell they are born entertainers. When was the last time a band cared about the people? The Babysitters? The Waldos? Been a long time, been a long, lonely, lonely, lonely time. You’re gonna love these cats. Trust me, I hate almost everybody. I love “Life On The Breadline”! This is full fledged Evil Kenievil rocknroll! I hope they get a bartender on stage with them like Rod and the boys. Fabulous stuff.

DIG THIS!

http://www.facebook.com/drboogiemusic

http://www.altamontrecords.com/

The Black Marquee Los Angeles “Sessions From The Hive Volume 1”

BMLAalbumThis band from the city of angels has ex-members of CHELSEA SMILES and DUANE PETERS in its line-up, so it would be quite difficult to expect anything bad… Opener “Seven Shades of Shame” has a bit of a 60s flavour mixed to modern rock such as QOTSA, and while “All For Love (LUV)” is a bit of a blink of an eye to the NEW YORK DOLLS, it also has some STONE TEMPLE PILOTS in the vocals and guitar riffs. Some alternative 90s rock traces can also be found in songs like “Dirt Road For Home” or “Just Sayin’.”
The 50s/60s surf rock guitar sound really fit well with the band’s music style, especially in “Madness For Some”, a song that should be the band’s radio hit, or in “Rotten Truth” (there’s almost a bit of Bowie in this one.) The BLACK MARQUEE LOS ANGELES also has no difficulty to write 70s influenced danceable tunes such as “Wolves To Wallflowers.” These guys are definitely big rock fans taking the best of every era, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see the band sharing stages with The JIM JONES REVUE or BLACK REBEL MOTORCYCLE CLUB later this year… If you like Rock with a big R, then big chances are you will love BMLA!/Laurent C.

http://www.blackmarqueelosangeles.com/
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