Tag Archive | Rikki Rockett

Movie Review: My Way

My Way Movie Poster

Reminiscent of inspiring music documentaries such as The Punk Singer: A Film About Kathleen Hanna (which provided the Riot Grrrl movement founder with the substantial props she deserved), and Anvil, the Story of Anvil (a film that completely resurrected an unsung band’s entire career), My Way, focusing on singer/songwriter guitarist Rebekah Snyder-Starr, showcases one musician’s quest to find success in the music business while doing things on her own terms.

Directed by Dominique Mollee and Vinny Sisson, My Way centers on an engaging cross-country road trip taken by Starr and her close friend Annika, one of two tambourine players/back up singers in the all-femme Rebekah Starr Band, based in Starr’s home town of Kittanning, Pennsylvania.  Unsatisfied in her marriage to her childhood sweetheart, and having recently been fired from her own family’s corporate business, Rebekah is clearly a woman whose dreams have outgrown her small town environment. With little to lose, and no one else in the band able to leave their day jobs or family obligations, Rebekah and Annika map out their adventure from PA to LA, where their goal is to play a gig on the Sunset Strip, and, ultimately, to shoot a video for the titular song, which is Rebekah’s personal “My way or the highway” mantra which keeps her focused on getting what she wants. It does not hurt that she is completely adorable and has actual musical talent.

During the journey (which took place in 2010), the girls play impromptu acoustic gigs in whatever local roadside bar will have them, earn gas money and promote the band by selling their CDs to everyone they meet, reunite with old friends, and make lots of new ones, while working through challenges that arise in their friendship. The storyline is advanced by the appearance of various music industry insiders such as Poison drummer Rikki Rocket (also a Pennsylvania native) who keenly illuminates both what it really means to struggle as an unknown band, as well as the type of relentless effort involved in eventually making it professionally. Enuff Z’Nuff  songwriter/bassist Chip Z’nuff (who has written original material with Rebekah) and former Guns ‘n’ Roses drummer Steven Adler also add their insight, as does veteran Porn Star Ron Jeremy, who appears as comic relief in one of Rebekah’s music videos (available on the DVD as an extra).

Even if you have not heard the Rebekah Starr Band prior to seeing this film, you will become familiar with many of their songs due to the music’s near-ubiquitous presence on the soundtrack, playing like a car radio under almost every scene in the film, adding a kind of biographical narrative enhancement. Comparable to girl bands such as pre-fame Bangles (when the band was know as The Bangs) or Luscious Jackson, Rebekah has an appealing voice, knows how to write a catchy, pop-punk tune and is an accomplished guitarist. The music has both artistic and commercial appeal, and while she certainly cares about looking her best, Rebekah never tries to “get by” on her looks or exploit her sex appeal. Any woman with an ambition to be a rock musician or any genre of artist would take inspiration from Rebekah‘s story while being entertained and also hearing some good music along the way.

My Way opens at NYC’s Quad Cinema, located at 34 West 13th Street, New York, New York 10011 on Friday, February 27th. Run Time: 93 minutes. This film is Not Rated but is (probably) fine for ages 13 and up..

GRADE: B+

A Shot of Poison Coming Soon to a Bookseller Near You!

shot of poison book cover
The Doctor Is In

Last summer, I spent a few minutes penning a witty foreword to a Rock & Roll Tell-all biography called A Shot of Poison, written by my friend Christopher Long. A Shot of Poison is crammed full of Chris’s true-life escapades and various forms of torture that he endured while working as part of Poison’s road crew for years and years. Since part of Chris’s duties involved being the handler/babysitter/whipping boy for bassist Bobby Dall, a good part of the book concerns what a Doucheasaurus Rex Dall is. But there is a lot of other good dirt that you are not going to know even if you are the world’s biggest Poison fan, and it was a fun read! Here’s what Amazon.com has to say:

“Underscoring life on the road, backstage and in the studio throughout the last 20 years, this biography paints a vivid portrait of the multiplatinum rock band Poison. Based on amazing personal experiences and encounters, this striking recollection spins tales of rivalry within the group, drug use and private recording sessions, revealing a side of the legendary act that will shock and intrigue even their most faithful followers. Proving they were just as vulnerable to the common pitfalls of most successful musicians, this investigation discloses a variety of private issues, from Bret Michaels’ reclusive behavior and the group’s possessive — and often psychotic — fans to their constant competition for the spotlight, notoriety and women. A review of drummer Rikki Rockett’s highly publicized 2008 arrest — taken from an exclusive interview with Rockett himself — is also included.”

What I can definitely tell you is that everything I suggested that Chris not put in the book, because it was so embarrassingly personal, is in the book. So, obviously he didn’t give a shit about maintaining any illusion of having a business relationship or friendship with any member of Poison once this thing hits the stores. Bridge burning! I hope it sells a gazillion copies. A Shot of Poison will be released in April 2010, but you can pre-order your copy now at Amazon.

Happy Birthday, Rikki Rockett!

Rikki Rockett
“Don’t Hate Me Because I Lie About My Age”

Poison drummer, animal rights activist and chain-smoking vegan Rikki Rockett (Born Richard Allan Ream) celebrates a birthday today, having been born on August 8th, 1959. The last time I was on the phone with Rikki – and I admit this was a few years ago – and the subject of age came up, he insisted that he was two years younger than me. Which, no. Gee whiz. It’s one thing to lie about your age to the press, but it’s extremely bad form to lie when that member of the press is supposedly a friend. So, Happy Birthday, Rikki! And just keep in mind that as long as this thing called the Internet exists, people who know how to use the Google will always be able to call you out!

Gayest Drum Kit, Ever!

My friend Chris, who lives down in Satellite Beach, Florida sent me this picture of a drum kit that was designed for him by our mutual pal, Rikki Rockett of the band Poison. Here’s what Chris had to say about this very awesome pink camouflage kit:

“Seeing as how you’re such a drum enthusiast, I thought I’d attach a photo of my new custom Rockett Drum Works kit. I asked Rikki to create something very outrageous and unique (gay) for me. I think he succeeded!”

Chris isn’t gay, but the fact that he described the drum kit as gay bumps him up a few notches in my book. I probably should have posted this yesterday in honor of Gay Pride, but I was too busy running all over New York City, having the Gayest Day Ever with Geoffrey. You’ll be reading more about that later, I’m sure.

Enuff Z’Nuff Drummer Ricky Parent Succumbs to Cancer

Ricky, Rikki, Gail & Mike, 2001
Ricky, Rikki Rockett, Me and Mike Fasano, Glam Slam Metal Jam at Jones Beach, 2001

I’m a little late to the game on this one but I just found out that Ricky Parent lost his long battle with cancer on October 27th, 2007. He was 44 years old. Ricky played drums for one of my favorite bands, Enuff Z’Nuff and he was a super sweet guy and a great drummer. I first heard that Ricky had cancer a few years ago, when Enuff Z’Nuff’s former manager hooked us up with the idea that I might use my skills as a Reiki practitioner to help Ricky with his recovery. Sadly, we could never make that happen, but until this afternoon I thought Ricky had recovered from his illness. My heart goes out to Ricky’s family, friends and bandmates on hearing this sad news.

Rikki Rockett, Drummer, Poison

What a breath of fresh air Gail is! A rock fan turned critic who actually "gets it." My God, what a concept!