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From a young social outcast to rock star to paramedic to writer to photographer to Fantasy Camp “counselor”, the life of Kelly Garni has been a roller coaster of highs & lows and incredible experiences, but the one thing that has remained constant throughout is all is the his love for music and his legacy as a founding member of Quiet Riot. The man whom the late great Randy Rhoads called “best friend” still lives a life of music, of performing, and nostalgia. CV WorldWide got a chance to talk to Kelly about his incredible journey...
<CV WW> Let's talk about your early years - when did you first really become infatuated with music; at what point, and what was the catalyst, did you say "I want to play music be a rock star". Did you have any other interests growing up? <Kelly Garni> I had messed around with a guitar when I was 9 or 10 years old, but that was all it was, just messing around. It would be easy for me to say I was drawn to it, but to be honest, it seemed like a hard thing to learn to play, almost painful. Then I met this other kid who has an electric guitar and a good sized amp; when I saw and heard how much noise you could make with that gear, the appeal began to set in. Although it ended up lying dormant for some time.
ing as confused and miserable as me. To me, even then, he seemed to have an aura about him; when I looked at him, I saw him in a different way. I knew right away he was special and just different than the other kids. I had no idea why he struck me like that. I was so young, I had never felt or sensed anything like that before, but something inside me told me that I should get to know him, and that it was important that I do so. There was a magic to him, and it seemed that I was the only one in the whole school who saw it. No one else in the school paid any attention to us…at first.
<CV WW> How did you gravitate towards playing bass guitar? <KG> I didn’t know what a bass was or did until I met Randy. Once I learned it, it came to me very naturally. I’d never want to play anything else. <CV WW> The first step in this was moving to Burbank, CA in the early 70's; soon after, you met Randy Rhoads. How old were you guys when you first met, what can you tell us about that meeting, was it just two kids saying "hey man"? <KG> I was 11 and Randy was 12, he was a year older than me because he had gone to a different school and 7th grade was in a new school for both of us, John Muir High School. Randy is actually 10 months older than me. Neither of us fit in at the new school; we were both a bit withdrawn by nature, him moreso than me, and the new school was the worst thing that had ever happened to either of us. Everything was so new and confusing, and it was a much bigger school than we had ever been to, we felt very out of place. We didn’t know each other in the first few days of school, but I had noticed him walking around, look-
Fuzzy but nostalgic cover of Quiet Riot I - Kelly is on the right.
<CV WW> Why do you think the two of you got along so well? <KG> Well, I think we met at a good time. We were still a few miles from being adults, but we had a good idea of the direction in which we were headed…
especially once we got musically ambitious. But to be sure, we just “clicked” right out of the gate – maybe it was because other than each other, no one in the whole school wanted to talk to us! LOL <CV WW> You two became best friends during junior high, tell us about how you two started playing together. <KG> When I met him, one of the first things he said was that he played guitar. I thought that was pretty cool, but it wasn’t until I went to his house and heard him play that I saw he was pretty serious about it. He was great even then, and he didn’t even know how to play any leads yet. He immediately turned me into a bass player, which gave him someone to jam with…and when he learned a new lead, he would teach me a pattern to play and would do the lead over and over to practice, then try it in different ways. Usually the patterns were only 3 or 4 notes, but we would play them for hours on end. Eventually, we would even turn them into songs. What really changed everything was when we discovered Alice Cooper. When we heard that, we wanted to sound just like him, and it became our mission of sorts. That changed our approach to music. The first thing was to get our sound like theirs; once we did that we learned every AC song that existed, going back to their first album, “Pretties for You”. After we learned all that, we were able to come up with our own things that sounded much like they did. Then came David Bowie… When Randy heard Mick Ronson, we HAD to learn every David Bowie song so he could do the leads. People always come up with these really off the wall players they say inspired him and influenced him; but really, if it wasn’t Buxton from Alice Cooper, or Ronson from Bowie, we didn’t pay much attention. We did eventually play songs from all kinds of other bands, especially the Rolling Stones, we knew tons of their songs; but Keith Richards certainly wasn’t an influence per se. If we noticed anyone else, I would call out Jimmy Page or Ritchie Blackmore, but unless they were in a super freaky band, we weren’t very interested. KISS came along, but we thought they were too "comic book" for us. Not only that, but we thought their songs were unsophisticated, too simple. To us, they all looked and dressed alike, whereas all the other
bands we liked, the players always had their own image that was all their own. We had started to get a bit creative with the way we dressed and looked. Our hair grew long, and we made a lot of our clothes. This became a huge problem in school, because by that time we were in 9th grade and things got really bad for us. The other kids called us fags and really hassled us to the point where it was difficult to go to school. And eventually, we just stopped going. Truth be told, we never went there much anyways. <CV WW> Talk about the years spent hanging with Randy, and the decision to form a band call, let's see, um, oh yeah, Quiet Riot! Well, first it was Mach 1, then Little Women (?!), then Quiet Riot. <KG> It wasn't long before we had progressed to the point that we saw the need to form a band. This really became apparent in a big way when we were around 13. We had already been jamming with lots of older guys who jammed in parks and back yards. We found some guys close to our age, a drummer and a guy who went to our school who could sing a bit and play rhythm guitar. We called that band "Mildred Pierce" which we thought was very Alice Cooper of us. We played at some backyard parties and did some sort of battle of the bands. Other bands followed, and usually we would find ourselves playing with much older players. Which worked out well; we didn't drive yet and these older guys usually had a van or something for hauling all our gear. Other than Mildred Pierce, we had a band called "the Katzenjammer Kids", and during a brief spat that Randy and I got into, there was a band called "Violet Fox" that had his brother on drums, and guy from Mildred who played guitar. No bass player. That band didn't do much. And then there was one
goals. We knew we belonged on the stages at the Whiskey and the Troubador. We also knew our age held us back. Most players wouldn't want anything to do with us because they thought we were just a couple of little kids, who were weird looking to boot. That is, until they heard us play! <CV WW> Tell us about that original lineup - how did you and Randy find the other members? <KG> Playing in Hollywood led to lots of hanging out in Hollywood. And we began to meet people and make friends. We liked it there, it didn't matter how weird you were and everyone loved musicians. One night we were at this girl’s house and she was on the phone with her friend. I overheard her talking about a singer. Since we were always looking for one, I told her to get the guy’s number from her friend. That singer turned out to be Kevin DuBrow. There are two versions of what happened next. One is mine, and the other is Kevin's. Both are detailed in my book. Suffice to say. Some common ground was found and we decided to work with him. After auditioning a couple of drummers, we decided on Drew Forsythe who had been in Mildred Pierce with us. Kevin, who was slightly older than us, had a plan of his own on the road to stardom. He said we needed a manager, which he did get us in short order. Now we actually had someone who not only gave money for things we needed, but seemed to know a lot more than us about the music business. A name was needed. Randy was the one who came up with “Little Women” for a name. And for some reason we all called "the Whore" which is a god awful name and I agreed. But that name only lasted about a week. have no idea what we were thinking. Our drummer was a few years older than us and our singer was al- <CV WW> How did you choose the name Quiet Riot? most 20 years older! But we did play at a club in Holly- <KG> It was Kevin who came up with "Quiet Riot", a wood on the Sunset Strip, which at our age was an ac- name he had heard Ritchie Parfit of "Status Quo" say. complishment. Most of the older guys in Burbank had- Ritchie had actually said "quite right", but Kevin's ears n't even done that yet. For years, the name "Mach 1" misinterpreted the heavy cockney accent as "Quiet Rihas been said to be one of our bands, but we never had ot", a name we all loved immediately. a band called that. Never! Although I'd be the first to say I wished we had used that instead of "the Whore"! <CV WW> As close as you and Randy were, you were LOL the opposite with Kevin...anything specific, natural We went on the play in a band called “Smokey" personalities, where did that friction come from? and our arrival to the Sunset Strip in Hollywood was Were you able to channel it in a positive way at all? official. Smokey was as close to an Alice Cooper kind of <KG> A lot of the friction was because I never wanted singer as we could find. He didn't try to be like him, he him in the band in the first place, whereas Randy was was just very unique like Alice was. With Smokey we able to see some potential I could not. Nevertheless, were able to play at "Rodney Bingenheimers" club, we made him into a passable singer. From there it was which at the time was the hippest place around. We all personality. He was very take charge and bossy, did a lot of growing up during that time. And it became something we weren't used to. He made it very clear very clear that we were headed in a very specific direc- that Randy was the only one in the band who mattion. We always had that singular path ahead, and I tered, other than him. I believe there was also some think it not only defined who we were, but also gave us resentment because I was Randy's best friend. It never
got positive until many years later when we had be- sometimes a violent place, lots of fights. And it was come old men. made up of about 70 % hot girls and 30% guys. A band was judged on its popularity by how many girls <CV WW> What were your original goals, were they showed up at their show. modest or just "shoot for the moon"? <KG> “Shoot for the moon” is pretty accurate. We just <CV WW> Talk about the progression of playing in a knew we wanted to play hard rock and we wanted to club band - small clubs, holes in the wall, then up to do it live no matter what; we wanted to be the biggest bigger venues like the Starwood & Troubadour… band in the world. <KG> It WAS like a ladder…once you had made the grade at the Starwood, you moved on to the Whiskey, <CV WW> In the mid-70's, QR was rising in the and the Troubador and then onto warming up for naranks of the LA club scene, how crazy was the time? tional acts, which is what we did. What was it like for a group of 20-ish members in a hot club scene band back then? I believe you guys <CV WW> Casablanca Records, and a number of othwere the top dog at the Starwood, is the right? er companies (62!) passed on QR...looking back, <KG> The early to mid-70's was a time when it was a with the reason and logic of a lifetime, can you pinblast to be a musician. The whole attitude of the era point any reason? I'm pretty sure a bunch of those was sex, drugs and rock and roll. That's when it was companies are kicking themselves in the ass for not invented. And us basically being kids made it very in- signing QR when you guys were up and coming, but teresting. The funny thing was, once we started doing why was it so hard for you to get signed? stuff over the hill in Hollywood, everyone seemed to <KG> Actually, it was 32 labels that passed, 62 was a forget we were so young. Back then, for bands like us, typo. But still, we couldn't believe what was happening the main goal was the Starwood or the Whiskey, the to us. Here we were the toast of the town in HollyStarwood being the first step in the road. wood, and no one wanted us to make a record. Meanwhile, we watched as a few bands around us got <CV WW> You made mention a few times about "the signed. A reason was given to us, but in my opinion it rules that made the Starwood such a great place to did much harm to the band. Our managers told us that play" - care to elaborate? our songs were not right, that we need to change our <KG> Now, the Starwood was an interesting place. sound and image and be more like some of the pop Owned by the biggest gangster in L.A., loads of dope bands that were coming up in the charts. In other being sold out of the place, no age limit!!!!!! And there words, we were too hard rock, and edgy. We needed a were few rules. If a kid wanted a beer, he simply musical and image make-over. It quickly became a case strolled up to the bar and ordered one like everyone of too many cooks spoil the broth. New clothes else, and then paid for it like everyone else. It was matched the new "pop" direction we found ourselves on. It was easy for Kevin as he actually liked bands like “the Knack” and “the Bay City Rollers” that were both suggested to us as a model for our visual and musical transformation. We were no longer true to ourselves, and I think it showed musically mostly. I hated the clothes I now had to wear, but everyone else, especially Randy, liked their new look. All in all, it didn't make any difference. When we played we still sold out, and record companies continued to pass on us. <CV WW> Glendale College, playing with Van Halen...tell us how that validated QR, playing with/ against the boys from Pasadena. I imagine there was a lot of subtle (and not so subtle) competition for that show, how did you guys get along after it was all done? <KG> This show was a much anticipated one for the whole scene. There was a small amount of friction before the show over the usual things such as where certain amps went and the stage set up. For the most part,
throughout the world, through Amazon and other internet companies. But not back then. It was a much different story." Tell us your thoughts on the music industry and how it's changed (for the better, or worse)? <KG> I have always hated the music business, but the whole thing where labels ruled the industry is long gone. All the things that used to happen in a big fancy building now happen in some kidâ€™s garage. <CV WW> Forward to 1979; you made the decision to leave QR...tell us why? Was it a difficult decision? What did the guys in the band say? <KG> I was dismissed from the band following an incident between me and Randy. What should have been an issue between he and I was handled on a band and management level. At first I was devastated, but after time I felt it was best for me. I was tired of Kevin, the managers and the whole music scene. I was tired of being poor. Most importantly, it didn't affect my and Randy's friendship. I am still very close with his family. <CV WW> Obviously, QR was a huge story in your life, but after QR, you've still lived fully - right after QR, you became a paramedic? Was the rush of a medical emergency similar or different from the rush of being on stage playing? <KG> I had always wanted to be a fireman, so once I was out of the band I started working in that direction immediately. I cut all my hair off just 3 days out of the band. I did become an EMT and worked in the back of ambulances off and on for the next 10 years. I thought it would be a different world than the one I had just left, but it was the same.
we didn't even see them. Kevin and I had a run in with David Lee Roth and Michael Anthony, but it was just a few words thrown. They were on one side of the place and we were on the other. When they did their show, we didn't even watch it. We were too busy having a party in our dressing room. <CV WW> How was it the same? <CV WW> Buddah Records finally signed QR to a <KG> Like Hollywood, the whole business was kind of record deal, but went bankrupt pretty early on in a party zone. A lot of people got loaded and ran calls. I the process...yet another "it figures" moment for the thought I was going to be around more studious and band? Then QR got signed by a Japanese record serious people, but everyone was wild and we always company, released Quiet Riot I & II to much popular- had parties on days off. Those people can get pretty ity in Japan, but not so much in the US: in fact, I don't wild. The nature of the job was like doing a show. You'd show up at a wreck, and the bystanders were believe they got released in the US, is that right? <KG> Indeed, we did get signed to Buddah, and that at your audience, the show was you cleaning up the mess. least got us committed in a studio. It became just a bit Any girl who liked a man in a uniform was like a of a scare when the checks bounced. The Japanese deal groupie. I loved the job though.
saved our asses, but record wise limited our world domination. Apparently, we were well liked in Japan, <CV WW> Wow, interestingâ€Ś and we at least looked forward to going there and feel- <KG> And yes, running calls was an adrenaline rush. I started writing after taking a class. And eventually being like rock stars. came a photographer. I've always tried to take creative <CV WW> You make an interesting comment in the paths. Ambulance was like art. You had to be creative book "These days, if you put out an album, you to make not only yourself survive, but others. That job would just naturally assume it would be available was very dangerous in ways you would think. Photo-
graphy has been very good to me and next year will be 20 years in business for me. I still play music; most currently I have a musical partner in Tomierae Brown, James Brownâ€™s widow. We have been friends since she was 14 years old and she's an incredible singer. I also work with Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp. <CV WW> Rock & Roll Fantasy Camp? <KG> Yeah, it's pretty cool. I'll be doing a book signing Feb 13th and the guests they are having at this event are Joe Perry, Steve Vai, John 5, Michael Anthony and Eric Johnson. But otherwise, I'm a "camp counselor". Regular people pay pretty good money just to jam with the likes of me, how great is that? I get to play with lots of big players (like those guys I mentioned); I do live shows and I have lunch and dinner with these "campers". Some pretty big people do it, itâ€™s a great time. You can find more information out here: http://www.rockcamp.com/index.php.
and do a few songs for the induction show. Mark is a great guy and I am honored that I now have such a good musical legacy with him. <CV WW> The book, "Angels with Dirty Faces" - talk to us about the title, what meaning does that phrase have for you? <KG> The title is from a movie made in the 30's. Randy has always had this image of being angelic and perfect. But he was human, and he had his faults. All and all we could have turned out worse, both of us. But slightly dirty angels seemed to describe us best.
<CV WW> Also, what was the intention behind writing the book? Did you feel cathartic in writing the book, exorcising old demons, or did you just feel as though there were interesting stories to tell? <KG> I wrote the book for fans, no other reason. It certainly wasn't for money. To be honest, it wasn't fun writing this book. And it was even scarier knowing <CV WW> Randy left the music world in 1982, Kevin that someday it would be out there for anybody to in 2007 - you were basically Siamese twins with read. Randy and polar opposites with Kevin, but each year on their anniversary, do you get nostalgic? <KG> I miss both of them every day. Both were my brothers. As for anniversaries, well, March 19th I usually go to where Randy is resting, to be with his family and to thank all the fans who show up. With Kevin, our birthday is the same day. Later, after we reconciled, we would spend that day together, usually at a very expensive restaurant. My birthday just isn't the same anymore. <CV WW> You and Kevin were like cats & dogs during your time together, but it took until the 90's before you guys made nice and patched things up, yes? <KG> If anything makes me happy it's that in the end Kevin and I became very close. It made sense since we had so much history. We used to laugh and laugh at how things were to be between us and the shit we did to each other. <CV WW> You played on QR I, but did not play though you were given credit on QR II, did I read that right? <KG> That is true. And it never bothered me that I didn't get credit. My picture is on that cover though, you just have to find it. Rudy Sarzo has always been gracious enough to give me credit throughout the years. <CV WW> You were also inducted into the Vegas Music Hall of Fame, the 80's - talk about that honor. <KG> That was a lot of fun. In the 80's I was in a band with Mark Slaughter here in Vegas. We got to reunite
<CV WW> "It wasn't fun at all writing this book"...why? Too many painful memories? Were you leery of baring your soul? <KG> Mostly it wasn't fun because it was a lot of work. I have a very bad back from the aforementioned career choice and it was very painful to sit for such long periods of time. I wasn't afraid of having my life "out there", it pretty much already is. I also wanted to wait several more years before I wrote it. But it was really great to find out now that I actually can sit down and write a book. It's pretty hard. But holding it in my hand feels good. I hope to write at least one more book. <CV WW> So no regrets? <KG> I don't regret it, but I understand why I had to write it. There's too many people out there who put themselves into Randy's life when they were barely ever there. <CV WW> “why I had to write it” - can you elaborate? Or was it just to get the truth about your life & the life of QR & Randy out there? <KG> Truths and untruths, they are certainly out there. I wrote the book for the fans; all the ones who have kept his name alive for so many years, and the young people who are just discovering him. He also is often portrayed as being angelic and perfect. I don't think he would have wanted that. He was way too modest to ever even consider he was worth being deified. I tried to show he was a real person, who was like any of us. In addition, a legacy is like a fire, and needs fuel to burn. My book is just another log on the fire, although I'm sure many people named in my book would like to throw my book INTO a fire. LOL1 It was time to clean Randy's house a bit, there are some people out there who do not belong in his memory. My book takes out the trash.
Do you tire of it sometimes? Or, after a long time of reflection, have you made peace with it? It's in your DNA, you know that. <KG> I understand my legacy in Quiet Riot, and I know what a big role it plays in my life. I don't tire of it, but sometimes I don't understand the kind of attention I get. What disappoints me the most is that no one sees me as a musician unto myself, only as the guy who played and grew up with Randy. He taught me bass and did a damn good job. No other bass player can make that claim. I've always wanted to get recruited by a really big and cool band, but that offer hasn't come to me yet. Maybe someday soon…
<CV WW> Aside from Rock & Roll Fantasy Camp, what's next for Kelly Garni, to the end of 2013 & on into 2014? <KG> I have a band "Brownstone" with my good friend Tomierae Brown, she is the widow of James Brown and had also dated Kevin DuBrow for a while, she's an incredible singer. My guitarist Christian Robbins is only 17 and it's great to play with someone young and enthusiastic. I have also been doing some acting. My friend Eric Salas is an incredible video guy and he has <CV WW> In the end, you can never get away from been casting me in some music videos with some pretyour legacy in QR, in music, does that weigh on you? ty big names. And I am having a blast with that! I also still do photography and am active in the local art scene. <CV WW> Any personal message you'd like to offer to our readers? <KG> I am very grateful to all those who have ensured that Randy’s talent remains a significant bench mark, and that he continues to inspire and teach. This is what he would have wanted his legacy to be about.
“Angels with Dirty Faces” is available at Amazon.com
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What to do When Your Car Gets a Blowout
Last Month CV WorldWide showed us information on WHY tire blowouts happen...this month, we take you further and show you what to do WHEN a tire blowout happens.
afely handling a tire blowout at highway speed is sort of like going to class as a star athlete at a college-football powerhouse: do nothing more than sit quietly and you'll probably get a B. Sometimes, the best thing you can do is nothing. A major tire company conducted a training class to about 1500 drivers on how to successfully handle a tire blowout. They affixed plastic explosive to the tire sidewall, which not only blew out the tire but also realistically simulated the petrifying noise of a burst tire. The lesson happened at 60 to 65 mph, with simulated blowouts on the front and rear tires of cars, pickups, minivans, and sport -utility vehicles. The advice from the trainers of the class? Just keep calm and drive straight down your lane. The bravest piece of training for the attendees was to do something completely counterintuitive: Press the gas pedal for an instant. The goal is to hit the accelerator just long enough to stabilize the vehicle. Other benefits of pressing the gas for short instant: It prevents the driver from pushing the brake or turning the steering wheel. If the only thing this accomplishes is to lock up the
driver's brain while they remember what to do, then it’s an unnatural act well executed. By the time the driver clears his/her head, the vehicle will have slowed to a safe speed. Worried about accelerating with a blown tire? The fact is that the drag of a truly blown tire is so great that even with the throttle held wide open for several seconds, few vehicles will be able to do more than maintain their speed. A short press of the accelerator will not make the vehicle accelerate—that blown tire will make the car feel as if you're dragging a parachute. The most common “best practice”, on that would not cause any mental meltdowns, is to stay away from the brake pedal and allow the drag of the failed tire to slow the vehicle to 30 mph—or slower, ideally—before you even considered turning the steering wheel. But it's easier said than done, especially in the real world where there's no driver instructor to remind you not to panic. Driving straight and not pounding the brake is contrary to almost every driver's natural reaction—to brake hard and head immediately for the false safety of the shoulder. If you're in a car equipped with antilock brakes, hitting them might not spell disaster—as
long as you keep the steering wheel pointed straight ahead. This is acceptable, but generally the least of the “successful” options because the false safety of anti-lock brakes leads people to think they can turn the wheel while the car is braking. Bad idea… The worst thing to do is giving in to the temptation to jerk the steering wheel before the car has slowed down. Especially if it's a rear tire that has blown out; in that case, turning the wheel at high speed creates a high likelihood that the car will spin out. One more thing to know: Except for tire nerds, few people think about the difference between a truly blown tire and a tread separation. To regular folks, any failed tire is a "blowout." Yet, a tread separation has more potential for disaster because the flailing tread has the potential to rip into the passenger compartment like a giant, steelreinforced Weed Eater. Unlike a deflated blowout, a tread separation does not produce drag to natu-
rally slow the car. While the tire's carcass will often hold air for a short period, it offers almost no traction. A partial tread separation is, experts assert, the worst-case situation. A partial separation is when a chuck of tread remains affixed to the tire carcass. If it happens on the rear of a vehicle with a solid rear axle, a common design for pickups and SUVs, both rear tires will bounce uncontrollably. Imagine driving on ice with bald rear tires: It's worse than that. Any movement of the steering wheel will cause the car to spin. When a car spins on a public road, it often leaves the pavement. And when that happens, it often flips over. Here, our advice not to jerk the wheel becomes even more pressing. If you suffer a failed tire at speed, drive straight down your lane until your vehicle is almost stopped. Then, ever so gently, ease toward the shoulder. It’s easy to say, hard to do, but try not to panic, keep calm, and you’ll make it through this disaster.
Ron McGill, remember him? Drummer for Whiskey Southern, owner of last month’s HOT Chevelle SS? Well he’s back with yet ANOTHER hot car...a ‘67 Camaro that will blow you away. AND, this month we get to see the newest member of the CV WW team, Corin Shalene Parcells, in all her hotness, making this automobile look gooooood… Some guys have all the luck...
Ronâ€™s Story of the Camaro My father in-law bought the â€˜67 Camaro for $600 in the early 90's. It ran but needed A LOT of work. He built a make shift auto body shop in his garage and started to tear down the car to its frame. Every nut and bolt was touched in building this car. He wanted to keep most of the look original but beef it up with better parts. He painted it himself, built the engine and reworked all the sheet metal. He started by putting disc brakes all around. He fit a 12 bolt Posi rear end on the back. He ordered a 502 ci engine, which was only the 2nd of its size in Vegas at that time. The first belonging to the owner of the Chevy dealership at the time. Hooker headers are attached to a 3 inch exhaust system ceramic coated and flow master mufflers...850 cfm Holley carb...MSD ignition, distributor, and coil...dual electric radiator fans. A Muncie 4 speed transmission with Hurst comp shifter attached to a Center Force clutch makes the 1992 Camaro 16 inch wheels spin and make the asphalt scatter like crazy! The Teal color from a 1992 Chevy truck with SS Bumble Bee stripe is the finished touch.
ollowing the successful Autobiographical release from Dave Mustaine, simply entitled Mustaine, Megadeth co-founder David Ellefson has prepared his own work chronicling his life up to and including his tenure with Megadeth, his struggles as an addict followed by over two decades of sobriety, and personal life as a family man and a man of faith. This book is not another tell-all tale of debauchery and slanderous rumors. This is a profound spiritual inventory of a man who has lived through it all, and who continues to embody a life of recovery and personal surrender in order that it might serve others. David Ellefson has taken the time to speak with Metal Exiles and share with fans some insights into his new book, My Life With Deth.
An Interview with David Ellefson By John Knowles
Metal Exiles: What inspired you to write this autobiography, and release it now? David Ellefson: Well a couple of things. You know, when I came back to Megadeth in 2010 my buddy Joel McIver had interviewed me for several things in Bass Guitar Magazine UK and several things over the years like that. So he reached out to me and said, “You know, I’ve written several autobiographies, and I’d love to do yours and quite honestly I think now’s the perfect time to write it. It will probably take a couple years before we write it and it gets to the street anyway so it would be a good idea to start it now.” Dave Mustaine had just put his book out, and a lot of big things were happening with Megadeth and The Big Four, me coming back into the band, the Rust In Peace 20th Anniversary tour, so big, big stuff was going on. So he really was the one who propelled me to do it. And I’m glad he did because these kinds of books are trendy these days, and there’s a lot of people writing them, and I think the fans enjoy them. But one of the things I was really careful to keep in mind was that I said: look, it’s not in my nature to just slam people and talk bad about people, and I know a lot of these books tend to do that. They tend to highlight debauchery and drugs & alcohol, a lot of brokenness, and often times it’s just a way for people to get some kind
of retribution and get what they feel is theirs by writing a book and sort of throwing everyone else under the bus. I said I won’t write a book like that. Joel was very much respectful of my life, my personal life, my private life, as well as the Megadeth legacy. And to me, primarily first and foremost will probably be Megadeth fans reading it. So I wanted it to be a story that they would enjoy, that was truthful and would be something that was a part of the annals of the Megadeth legacy forever, and in high regard. Metal Exiles: What you have here is not so much just a retelling of the facts – one story after another – but so much insightful spiritual commentary. I found it almost reads as a very thorough First Step inventory. Was this a deliberate choice? David Ellefson: Well yeah because a big part of – as I stated in there 1988 through 1990 was a transitional period for me coming out of drugs & alcohol, getting sober, and that’s also another feature of a lot of these books – and for me I was like, I’m very private. I’ve never held any of that back if someone asks, but I don’t put that out there as sort of my calling card. I tend to keep that part of my life a little more anonymous, because it’s my private journey. And a lot of times it seems with these books, a guy gets 30 days out
of rehab and the next thing you know he’s on the Talk Show circuit with his new book, and I’m like...those dark debauchery days of my life were now almost a quarter of a century ago, it was a long time ago, you know, so I didn’t feel it was necessary to bring it up as just a way to sell a book. It’s really not my life anymore, and hasn’t been for many, many years. But I thought, what is a part of my life is the recovery journey, and that is my current life today, and it’s something that I felt, you know – I look at it in the light of if that part of my life can help inspire some people then maybe now is a good time to start talking more openly about that. Everyone knows me as the Megadeth guy, and the Rock n’ Roll guy, and the bass player guy, and that journey of me becoming spiritually awake, that happened in the last 23 years of my life. So that’s why I chose not to hold that back any longer, and to put that out there, and really talk openly about it. Metal Exiles: Your book also includes quotes from other musicians and friends. Was it difficult to track anyone down and what inspired this idea? David Ellefson: Well there’s kind of two sides when you reach out to friends or people in your industry or your community, you know, one is maybe for an endorsement of the book...and we have some of that as the book now is coming out some people have read it and say their opinion – hopefully high opinion of the book. But you know, I took a little bit different route; I thought you know it would be cool to have some of the people who were there on the journey with me talking about it. Everyone said some, you know flattering and nice things about me but I was really wanting to ask them more about...like Scott Ian for instance made a quote about back when he first met me when he first heard Killing is My Business... and this was Dave’s new band postMetallica, and those are cool moments you know when here’s a guy, Scott, who’s so revered and very public and popular himself as a celebrity and he’s recounting back in the early days when we were all just starting out. And to me as a fan
myself of Rock n’ Roll I love when I get to read from other people who were all a part of someone’s journey. To me it colors the story; it makes it not just me writing about me, it kinda makes it us writing about us. And I love community...and to me the Metal community is always stronger when we stick together. Metal Exiles: Early in the book there is a very interesting parallel you draw between yourself and Cliff Burton. Given that Cliff did indeed have a very unique playing style, I’ve noticed that he tends to be the standout bassist when people talk about the big names in thrash. Your style however, is very technical, and other musicians comment on this in the book. Do you feel after all these years that you have received the credit you’re due? David Ellefson: I think I am receiving it you know, because I think early on Megadeth was a band that has always been and still is revered as a very credible band. We have our credibility; we’ve done a lot of different things obviously. The numbers are big, we’ve achieved a lot. But more importantly, when the dust settles from contemporary popularity, is: what’s the substance behind it? And I think that’s the thing where Megadeth...may win bigger than everybody. And not just the quantity of output, but the quality of that quantity. And I think that we still continue that to this day. And I think having been there through most of it – certainly there in
the beginning of it for the first almost 20 years before there was a season away from it – I think those are the things that start to earn credibility, and earn the respect of people. I think that for me I’ve always wanted to be in a band and be part of a band and be one of the co-creators, and just be part of that thing, and that’s how my life has panned out...so I’m part of something rather than always having to be “the” something. So having to be the solo guy, or “my name’s not first so I’m not gonna do it,” or any of that kind of stuff you know...I’ve taken leadership from kind of a vice-president position and sometimes leadership from rallying the troops and getting everybody synergized and together and helping them march in the same direction...often times following behind Dave Mustaine’s front leadership in Megadeth. And I found that that’s just a quality I have, and I think it speaks to my role as a bass player and certainly to my character as a person. Metal Exiles: I know you touch on it in your book, but can you share with our readers with regards to your rejoining of Megadeth, were there tensions considering the previous lawsuit? David Ellefson: Well, Joel McIver told me, “Look, you’re going to have to talk about your time away from the band, and certainly the legal matters and it would look weird in the book if you didn’t.” And my only thing was: Look, those issues are settled, they’re done, they’re over for me and Dave, and all of us have moved passed them and at some point you don’t just keep bringing up those things. For some they may be juicy gossip and they would love to talk about it, but again, I was like: I’m not interested in that...if that’s what it takes to sell a book, I won’t write a book, you know what I mean? To me it’s about preserving a new friendship that we have, me and Dave. And it’s about preserving a new working relationship and being productive and most importantly making some great music now, and the fans are happy, so to write a tell-all that just sort of spills the beans on everything was again, not my intent and I dug my heels in very firmly on my position of that. So what I think I did do was I did talk about what my life looked like at that time. And certainly some of the emotions that I went through, and identity crisis, and
that season that I was away from the group it forced me to grow up and go through a serious adult transformation that I think, when I did come back to Megadeth...you know Dave and I had spent some time together over coffee and dinner and those are the things I wanted to talk about. Dave and I may have had a falling out, but there was a long period of rebuilding a new friendship. The rebuilding and building a new friendship, that’s what created this moment when I came back and now it seems like where I’m seeing Megadeth is probably more vibrant than ever and quite honestly just as successful as ever. So if anything I think it speaks to everyone being able to put past things behind us, forgive, and keep an eye toward the future to continue building great things ahead. Metal Exiles: Speaking of your time away from the band; that was obviously a time where you could count yourself as one of the many former members of Megadeth. In your book you go into detail about all of those former members over the years. You were always the guy woodshedding with the new members, and helping them adjust. How hard has it been to let go of so many relationships over the years? Are there guys you really wish you still had the opportunity to work with or be closer friends with? David Ellefson: Well I guess the good news is I actually still am friends with everybody. I see Chuck Behler when I go through Detroit, I see Jeff Young at NAMM every year in January, I just saw Nick Menza at an Autograph show in
Los Angeles [editor’s note: The Rock n Roll Autograph Show 2013] just a few weeks ago. I talk to Marty probably once a year through email. This is all with no intention other than to just say, “hey bro, how are you doing?” Because, when you spend so many years of intense confinement together you get to know someone and even though people’s lives may change and the ambitions and directions of their own lives may change, you’ve always got that experience that you had together in a band. And those are really priceless moments that you get to look back on, especially all of these years later. And even the rough periods, you get to have some laughs over it. We’re always connected because of our fans. Our fans are like the world-wide community that in some way keep us connected, because we were a favorite group of people at that time to them. It doesn’t mean we have to reform the band and that line-up, and we don’t have to make music ever, ever again or any of that stuff, but just as a good buddy and a good neighbor to everyone I seem to be that guy that stays in touch with people...sometimes unintentionally but I seem to be that guy that kind of is able to at least leave
doors open to people to if nothing else at least stop by and say hello once in a while. Metal Exiles: What have been some of your favorite experiences since re-joining with Megadeth in 2010? David Ellefson: Well, certainly coming back right away when we were doing Rust In Peace was just phenomenal. Because a lot of those songs Dave and I never ever played even after we recorded it, probably half that album we never did play live. So this was the first time any of us started playing them in a live show setting. And of course we just did the Countdown To Extinction tour last year, and that CD/DVD just came out last week, and I’m so glad we captured that because it just showcased this line-up getting better and better at everything that we do, and I think that capturing that Countdown tour was...you see it, you hear it, you know...the quality of where Megadeth is at now. A couple weeks ago we just did a two week tour with Iron Maiden in America, and we haven’t done a tour with Maiden in America in 25 years. So just a lot of great moments, great tours, Slayer and Megadeth touring together again as much as we did here in the last several years. The Big 4 of course was probably the biggest shot heard round the world in the thrash metal community as a whole. So its really just been an incredible few years. Its like were really getting to just relish and enjoy all those years that especially Dave and I...its like we were planting seeds, and now is the harvest. Metal Exiles: Your last two records with the band have taken a noticeably different direction than United Abominations or Endgame. Can you share the reason for this, and have you guys discussed a musical direction for your next record? David Ellefson: Yes, and yes (laughs). With Super Collider, us being back on Universal Records and just feeling the attention from a major label was a very positive and esteeming thing for us, you know, we went through a lot of years since Capitol Records, a lot of years with a couple of other different record labels, and complete shifts in the landscape of heavy metal. And getting back at Universal felt like...it finally felt like we made it back around the track and we’ve come home safely again. And I don’t know, it
was a spirit of where were at that time that led to the Super Collider record, and I know its been a controversial record and I think probably the biggest controversy is normally we would lead off the record with a “metal” track, like “Kingmaker” for instance, right? And then following that would be the more melodic song such as “Super Collider.” This record was the oppostite. They led with “Super Collider,” which is a very mainstream, simple song, and I think a lot of fans freaked out and said, “Oh no, what happened to Megadeth?” There’s a way that you kind of build in to those things, but for whatever reason that strategy didn’t develop like that on this record. So here you have this anticipation for Megadeth and for someone to hear “Super Collider,” which normally would have been the second track...there was some backlash for sure from that. But I think once people heard the record they went, “Whoa, there’s a lot of great stuff on here, and this is a Megadeth record like we would expect it to be.” You know, “Dance in the Rain,” “Built For War,” “Beginning of Sorrow,” “Burn,”...there’s a whole bunch of stuff that’s true to form with Megadeth. It took I think buying it, having it, living with it to really come to know: Yep, these are our boys, Megadeth! Metal Exiles: David, thank you so much for your time, and we really appreciate how much you put into answering everything and for sharing everything that you did. Is there anything else you would like the fans to know about the book? David Ellefson: Its interesting with the book we’re actually offering a special leather-bound limited edition that we’re only offering to the Megadeth Cyber-Army fan club. We wanted to do something unique, just for the fans that have been the long-timers with us, and really kind of go the extra distance so I think it is cool that we are able to offer that. I am also going to be announcing some book signings, [editor’s note:
Head to DavidEllefson.com/events for more details] so if I am in your area I’d love to meet you, and sing a book for you. Be sure to visit David’s website for more information on the upcoming book signings, and all things related to David’s musical projects in and out of Megadeth. My Life With Deth will be released on October 29th and is a must read for Megadeth fans, and anyone interested in a powerful story of one man’s amazing life journey.
Official David Ellefson Site
Since 2012, “In the Between” has been taking the NorthWest music scene by storm, and has no plans on stopping their rise to the top. With melodic grooves and moving vocals, bringing a dynamic flow to the stage, the band’s desire to bring their best in entertainment and put on an amazing manifests itself in a performance un-equaled in the NorthWest. Kaitlin’s serene vocals, powered by Shane’s commanding guitar riffs, backed by Will’s thundering rhythms, keep the audience focused and moving together in the moment. ITB takes time from their ascent to talk with CV NorthWest Magazine...
<CVNW> Tell us who is in the band, and their role. As of right now the band consists of Kaitlin (vox), Shane (guitar) and Will (drums). We are on the hunt for a new bass player but that search may be coming to a close as we have a few fantastic candidates. <CVNW> Who founded the band? What were your initial goals when you put it together? In The Between was founded by Shane and Kaitlin. They knew each other from previous projects and one night at a local show they ran into each other again. Shane, fresh out of
his original band Lucid Spiral, asked if Kaitlin was still in the market to get something going and low and behold that was the start. I think the initial goals were the same as any other band out there. Get together make some killer music and play some shows. Once the ball started rolling things got a little more serious and required more and more time. <CVNW> The band is fairly new, is this the original lineup? Tell us about the process of putting THIS group of people together. The line-up has stayed the same except for our recent split with our bass player Fish. It was a peaceful split and we wish him nothing but the best. As for getting the group together, I (Will) was browsing Craigslist, and that’s when I saw an ad for this group. Shane posted the ad and it sounded familiar so that’s when I made the call. I had known Shane from years back and his old band, so he sent me the material
and I went and auditioned. After I was in that’s when I called Fish, and boom it was done. <CVNW> What do you think it is about this group that works so well? With this group things just blend together so well. Everyone in the group has their fair share of disappointment and failures, so it was an opportunity for us to branch out and put something together that was pleasing to the masses, and challenged us at the same time. <CVNW> Kaitlin, your powerful and soulful voice reminds so many of Amy Lee, did you do any training to get that sound, or is it just God given? I've been singing since I
can remember. Janet Jackson was my first true love as an artist, but listened to everyone from Meatloaf to Kylie Minogue. I didn't start singing in an instructed swing choir until I was a junior in high school. I briefly took vocal lessons years later when I joined my first band to build power as an individual, and truly understand what it means to find my own voice. I have heard many times I resemble Amy Lee, which I take as a compliment. She has an amazing range and beautiful tone. <CVNW> Shane, are there any particular challenges or ways you change your guitar playing since you are the only 6 string in the group? I have to think about the voicing’s I use and the parts I play live - it's very different than making the recording where I like to orchestrate and harmonize and fill out the sound with multiple guitar tracks and parts. I try to find the most essential pieces for what I play that
ence we ever had is what we draw from for style and technique, but the feel, arrangement and sound that makes the song what it is comes from inside and the feeling we are trying to convey through sound.
still will get the feeling of the song properly across.
<CVNW> “fueled by a strong desire to put on an amazing show” – what elements do you guys believe make your show “amazing”? For our live shows, everything you hear in the CD is what you hear live, all the backing tracks, all the little sound effects, everything. It’s not just guitar, bass, drums, and vocals. We wanted to add character to the show, ad some life. It’s easy to get on stage and just play, but to be a part of the crowd and really draw them in is a challenge. Ask anyone that has seen us play and they are always a part of the show.
<CVNW> Tell us what you think “experimental rock” means? Experimental Rock means something that no one else has done before, which in today’s world is hard to do, but we try day in and day out to put togeth<CVNW> Do you have any parer the best sounding songs and ticularly memorable shows? music for our fans. Without them Why were they memorable? there would be no us. We have played lots of great shows, dive bars, bigger <CVNW> What do you draw upvenues, with Geoff Tate from on when you write songs, anyQueensryche, but our best show thing in particular? was our 1st one together as a When we write songs it’s group. It wasn’t the biggest, and pretty much a chaotic process, we were worried the sound but it evens out in the long run. wouldn’t be right and were pretSometimes Shane will start playty nervous, but it turned out to ing a riff because he is bored, and be a big success. We released our Will puts a beat to it and we just CD that day, and it has been nonkeep going and going until somestop ever since. thing clicks. Sometimes we will be sitting at home and come up <CVNW> Being still a “young with something and call each band”, what do you think it other and try to explain a riff or a your most significant accombeat over the phone. That never plishment to date? works too well. Every past musiOur biggest accomplishcal experience, training and influ- ment?? I would have to say the
release of our EP “Fall in Line”; we did everything ourselves. We had no outside help with the mixing or production of it. That is a hard thing to do, and it was very challenging. But in the long run it was well worth it.
stead of trying to figure out a way to get people out of the house to see a show, we can focus on bringing the show to them if they choose that route. Some people are stubborn and set in their ways and that’s fine, but social media is here to stay so we might as well use it to our advantage.
<CVNW> How has the Seattle music scene been for a newer band, has it been hard to break into it? The music scene up here is a challenge for sure. Walk to the center of downtown Seattle and throw a rock and will probably hit 3 or 4 bands playing that night. So our focus is to step up our game and stand out from the <CVNW> How quickly after you crowd. formed did you record “Fall in Line”? <CV NW> Tell us about your I want to say it took us support of “Love Hope about a year to get “Fall in Line” Strength” – 50% of your online done. Lots and lots of time was sales goes to that charity, yes? spent recording and mixing. That That is correct 50% of our whole drill. online sales through reverb go to the charity “Love Hope Strength” <CVNW> Was it that easy to get It’s a fantastic charity for cancer the EP together? It was pretty easy, not beresearch. We figured why not? cause the music was easy, but beWe have been given so much why not give back? Who knows cause we had fun doing it. We maybe somewhere in the world added so many things to the alsomeone received a lifesaving bum that came to our mind. It treatment from the research they was really a fun project. are doing; to us that is reason <CVNW> What is the status of enough. “Kismet”? “Kismet” is still in pro<CVNW> What are your gress, but one thing can be said; thoughts on social media? Excellent publicity & communica- it will rival any big name band out there. And again we are dotion tool, or necessary evil? Social media is the wave of the future, and it must be embraced. This isn’t the early 90’s anymore where if you wanted to see a show you had to go to one. Now anyone can go to YouTube and watch a live performance without leaving the house. So in-
ing it all ourselves, but we are spending more time and money to make it a great album, and it’s a complete step up from “Fall in Line”. <CVNW> Is the process of recording a full length album easier or harder than you thought it would be? Recording this album has been a long and frustrating process. We want to make sure it’s something people will not forget, so we have been over it again and again just to make sure it’s right. <CVNW> It’s late 2013, what’s in store for ITB through the end of the year and into 2014? Look for our new album released in the spring, and full support for it to follow up. And a possible national tour next fall!
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Featuring Eileen Lee
How did you get started in fitness? By accident! I have struggled with my weight all of my life. I have tried every diet plan, fad, trick, pill, shot, etc., you name it, I’m sure I’ve tried it. I was my heaviest ever in December 2011. I began working with my amazing trainer Jay Horn (http://hornfitness.com/) in early May 2012. (He was filling in for another trainer I was working with and honestly not seeing results. I was actually planning on quitting.) I was basically going to give up and accept I was going to be just another fat, middle aged woman. I immediately switched trainers and have been following his guidance and diet plans ever since and my results have been completely beyond anything I ever could have hoped for. I started out just wanting to lose a few pounds and get healthier. I never could have imagined I’d be where I am now; 45 pounds lighter and doing bikini competitions! It’s just crazy!
suggested I think about doing a show, I literally looked around to see who he was talking to. My initial reaction was “Oh, hell no” and “Me?! You’re on crack!” Well, as I continued to progress with my weight loss and continued to be encouraged to try, I decided why not? I made it a “bucket list” item. Were you nervous the first time you were on stage? It was March 30, 2013 and I was completely and utterly terrified! I did just awful my first show. I look back at the pictures and videos from then and have made it a learning experience. “This is what you should NOT do!” Hahaha!! At least I didn’t pass out or wet myself up there! My second show July 2013 was much better and I had a blast. I was still very nervous but everything went so much better. We will see how I do at the Vegas Classic on Nov. 2, 2013.
Were you always into fitness or athletics? What advice or words of wisdom might you have for peoHonestly no. I always wanted to be in shape and I ple interesting in pursuing this? was always trying to lose weight but it’s been a struggle If you want it, do it but understand it is very my entire life. Now at age 47, I can finally say I did it. HARD work. At my age, it’s just crazy hard. However, with the right guidance, patience, determination and consistency you will be shocked at what you can accomplish. Why did you decide to pursue " competitive"fitness? My crazy trainer suggested it late September 2012. I am proof you don’t have to be “20 something” to do this Never in a million years could have ever thought I’d do either. I plan to continue to compete and look forward to something like that. It never crossed my mind. When he being 50 on stage in a little over 2 years.
Bike: 2007 Red Horse Chopper Bike Owner: Bill VanVolkinburg Pictures Courtesy of: Vantastic Images
Riding in Cold Weather!
Layers Let's talk about layers first. Layers are critical for riding a motorcycle in the cold weather of winter. The number of layers you'll need to wear is based both on personal preference (some people naturally run a little hotter than others) and the temperature outside. Personally, when I used to ride I've worn up to four layers in really cold weather. The key is to have enough layers on that you feel comfortable (maybe even slightly warm) when you step outside and just stand in place (before you ride your motorcycle).
s cold weather starts to roll in this season and the last red leaves fall off the trees, it's time to start thinking about what you're going to do with your motorcycle this winter. For some, winter means buying fuel stabilizer, dusting off the trickle charger, and gently snuggling their motorcycle into a warm corner of the garage. For the rest of us, winter means no change to our motorcycle riding habits except the addition of quite a bit of extra clothing! Many of us clearly fall into the "extra clothing" category - we'll ride anything above 20 degrees (if you had heated clothing, I'm sure youâ€™d go lower). Call us at CVWW crazy or just "thermally gifted," but riding motorcycles in the winter can be really enjoyable. Now, you probably shouldnâ€™t the type that loves to ride so much that Iyoull get out there and freeze your rump off just to get miles under your belt. To make winter riding enjoyable, try to be comfortable, and comfortable in the winter means warm Remember two things and dry. Your bottom layer should always be some type of snug fitting thermal or fleece underwear. This Staying Warm will create a warm layer of air between your body Riding a motorcycle in cold weather comes and this material. (Don't worry about buying the exdown to one simple concept: insulation. pensive wicking materials like Dri-Fit, etc. - you won't Since most people aren't very active on a mo- be sweating much so it won't do you much good). torcycle, their body isn't doing much to produce heat Don't wear so many layers that you lose moon its own to counteract the cold. That means we bility. If you can't hold your arms at your side behave to do everything we can to insulate the body in cause of all your clothing, than it's probably time to order to keep what precious heat that we do pro- invest in either some warmer, or even heated, clothduce actually on our body, and not floating off in the ing. cold winter air. Insulation boils down to two things: layers (to Wind Proofing slow the rate at which our body loses heat), and Now, let's talk about wind proofing. The bigwind proofing (to keep the wind from stealing our gest issue that you will have when riding a motorcyheat). cle in the winter is keeping the wind out. Wind, spe-
cifically wind chill, is your worst enemy on a motorcycle in cold weather. Doing everything you can to stop this enemy is going to go a long way to helping you ride your motorcycle comfortably in the cold. Wind-proofing also takes the most trial and error to perfect. It can take quite a while before you finally plug all of those air leaks! The main thing to do for wind-proofing is to make sure your outer layer is some type of wind-proof material. Leather is by far the most popular choice for this. Ideally, you should look for something that is both wind-proof and water-proof. There are many manmade materials that meet those criteria.
Hands and Feet
You can insulate your body and legs adequately, but when the temperature really drops, everyone has the most problems with their hands and feet. Many people have a similar problem. The reason is that as you get cold your body focuses circulation on your internal organs to keep them warm, while your feet and hands get the shaft. The only way that we've found to keep my hands and feet comfortable in really cold weather is to 1) add additional heat sources, and 2) invest in quality boots and gloves For additional heat sources I use those airactivated hand and feet warmers that you can find in the hunting section of any Wal-Mart. Crack open a Here are a few additional thoughts on wind- couple of these, stuff them into your boots and proofing: gloves, and your hands and feet will be toasty for 5+ Add a windshield to your motorcycle to block hours. the wind. While not stylish, duct tape can do wonders Gloves We've heard stories from people who’ve tried to seal any leaks you might have. Wear a full face motorcycle helmet with quite a few gloves and have found very few that realsome type of covering for your neck and ly do the trick. Gloves can really be a trial and error head - I prefer a balaclava. Most of your heat process for motorcycle riding so make sure that is lost through your head so do your best to you've found the right pair before embarking on your next long cold weather ride. keep it warm! Put newspaper on your chest between your outer layer and the layer underneath it - this In looking for gloves: Make sure that they are long enough that does wonders for blocking the wind (a tip we they completely cover the wrist (remember: windlearned from friends who race bikes). proof, wind-proof, wind-proof!) Find a pair with a hook and loop closure system at the wrist that allows you to tighten the gloves. Good fit - if the glove feels tight at all, get the next size up. We don't want anything to impede circulation! Good insulation - you want the high-efficiency stuff like 3M Thinsulate, not just a bunch of fluff. Good insulation placement - most gloves only put insulation on the top. You want a pair with a little bit in the palm and other parts of the hand as well.
Pre-curved fingers - motorcycle gloves can wear you out if you're trying to squeeze that throttle all day. Pre-curved fingers alleviate this. If at all possible, try to squeeze a throttle before purchasing. Make sure the gloves don't get tight or bunch up you'll really notice it after 30 minutes of riding.
Above the ankle. This really helps with wind proofing. Comfortable to walk around in. I've had motorcycle boots that made me walk like a robot from StarWars. This is not what you want! Insulation is a nice to have, but not a must; you can get most of your insulation from putting extra socks on.
Boots For boots, we are strong believers that you don't have to go and buy a pair of $250+ Harley motorcycle boots to get the performance you need in cold weather. The best pair of boots that we've ever heard of cost $40 from a Wal-Mart somewhere in Missouri (Herman Survivors: Commander model). They are comfortable, waterproof, and windproof and have seen many a rider through a lot of crappy weather. The people we know who own them were so happy with them they took a picture of them in action, not the best pic but you get the idea.
The key features you want in boots are: Fit (you don't want them to be tight because this will reduce circulation and make your feet colder) Water-Proof. Don't even consider them if they aren't.
Finally, after you've got all your gear sorted out there are a couple of things you'll want to be aware of in terms of safety before getting out there in the cold: Frostbite and Hypothermia. Exposed skin is always at risk for frostbite, so make sure you don't have any exposed skin! If you feel like your skin is being pricked by needles, frostbite is on its way and you need to do something immediately. If your skin starts to turn white or waxy and feels numb and hard you need to get immediate medical attention. Hypothermia is a separate concern. Hypothermia is where your core body temperature drops below the minimum temperature required for your body to operate. Hypothermia causes mild confusion, sluggish behavior, poor muscle coordination, and incoherent behavior. If you start feeling cold and can't decide if you should pull over, you are facing an early stage of hypothermia. Pull over immediately and get a hot coffee! If you start shivering uncontrollably, feel sluggish, or even drunk, then you're in serious trouble. Hypothermia is already underway and you need to stop immediately to warm up. Lastly, if you are going to be riding for long periods of time in cold weather or ride in REALLY cold weather, then you need to invest in heated clothing. In these situations, the body needs an alternative source of heat to keep itself warm - and heated clothing is the only way to go. Maybe we'll discuss heated clothing in a later article. Riding in the cold weather is a relatively easy task. It's all just a matter of insulation. With a little trial and error you'll be out there on your motorcycle getting those looks of "he/she must be crazy" too!
ForeverGirl Designs Not only is she the ass-kickinâ€™ frontwoman for WITCHBURN, sheâ€™s also a talented picture ARTIST! Jamie Nova allowed us to talk to her about her personal art pieces and showcase some of her incredible work! We also got to delve a bit into her artistic mind... CVNW: Why do you paint, what is your inspiration? I have always loved painting. getting lost in the colors and the feel of my brush against a canvas. It is an extension of my soul, like my music. My inspiration is life, the vitality of existence. CVNW: Do you sell them personally, or as an official company? I sell them personally, through my Etsy site (http://www.etsy.com/shop/ ForevergirlDesigns) and also on my website (www.jamienovarocks.com) CVNW: How do you decide what to paint? Most of the time it is whatever inspires me that day or whatever my mood is. There are a lot of times that I have pieces commissioned and then I work with the buyer as to what inspires them and then I incorporate their ideas into my style. CVNW: Are they usuable drums or display pieces? The drumheads are for display only but I have been commissioned to paint some Kick Drum front pieces that will display my art without taking a beating from the drumsticks CVNW: Do you do special commissions? Absolutely! Canvas, drumheads, wall murals, t-shirt designs, tattoo designs.... you name it I will do it!