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Hanging out with Skid Row & Tesla!

June 16, 2002. The Rock Never Stops tour! Skid Row, Jackyl, Vince Neil, and Tesla. It was a good show, but first a little background is essential.

By 2002, my buddy Dan and I were into our 4th year of doing a radio show at URI. We were probably in our 2nd year of being on the FM station (90.3 WRIU) which is heard all across RI, some of CT, some of MA, and on a clear night, parts of NY. A few weeks prior to the Rock Never Stops show, we had done a phone interview with Skid Row’s bassist, Rachel Bolan. This was a unique interview (for him) because he was at a race track and had about 20 minutes before the race started, so once the engines started, the interview would be over. We talked about the new Thickskin album, new singer, old singer (Sebastian is the man!) and more. Race started, interview over!

So we get to the Providence Civic Center (Dunkin Donuts Center is such a stupid name) and the guest passes we had set up through the radio station were messed up. This sucked, because by the time we got it all squared away after calling various promotion and label reps, we missed Skid Row’s set. But the passes, awesomely enough, were not just tickets as we expected, but all access passes. Back stage we went!

While aimlessly wandering the hallways in the bowels of the civic center, Dan spots Rachel Bolan. I would not have recognized him, but Dan has a way of spotting anyone from any band it seems. Including bumping into Jim Matheos (I think) from the progressive metal band Fates Warning on two separate occasions. But I digress…

“Rachel!” Dan says. “Uh, yeah?” Rachel responds, obviously confused. Dan quick on his toes, “Yeah man. It’s Dan and Rob. We interviewed the other week over the phone. You were at the racetrack getting ready for a race.” Rachel quickly remembers as he probably doesn’t often do radio interviews from racetracks and said something like “Oh yeah! Hey guys, what’s going on? Did you enjoy the show?” We told him we missed his set because of a mix up with the promotions people. He made some comment about that, said “whatever,” and invited us to come “hang out.”

Back stage the whole Skid Row gang was in and out of the room. Rachel introduced us to the band, and offered us beers. It was the best damn Budweiser we’d ever consumed. If this was the 1980’s, I can only imagine the debauchery we may have witnessed, but this was well past their heyday. There were a couple “older” women (and all I mean is that they were older than me) hanging around and Snake Sabo (co-guitarist) was having some fun with them. We took some photos, got some stuff signed, and headed out to see the rest of the show before we overstayed our welcome.

Dan, Rob, and Skid Row! Snake Sabo with his lady friend, Dan, Me, Rachel Bolan

On our way back to the concert area, we bumped into a friend from a different radio station, and decided to hang out back stage a bit more. We somehow ended up chatting with Tesla’s tour manager, and he gave us the best seats I’ve ever had to a show. We watched from the stage; lurking just out of view of  the audience. It was pretty epic. As always, Tesla nailed it. The are such a tight band.

After Tesla finished their set, we got to meet them all and hangout backstage some more. Tommy Skeoch was still their guitarist at this time and we had also previously interviewed him on our radio show. He was so drunk and/or high when we met him though that he could barely stand up. I wasn’t surprised when he left the band for substance abuse a few years later. But he was still the man!

Jeff Keith Us with Jeff Keith (Tesla’s singer)

I believe we met Jackyl as well that night, but honestly, I wouldn’t recognize any of them in a lineup if my life depended on it (sorry Jackyl). Can’t imagine what we said to them that night. “Hey man. Sweet chainsaw playing out there.” I’m sure Dan would recognize every member of Jackyl, even today, because he’s gifted like that. In typical Vince Neil fashion, he locked himself in his dressing room like a fat douche and didn’t meet with any fans that day. Oh well. Skid Row and Tesla were who I went to see anyway.

Fat Ass Vince's Dressing Room The closest we got to Fat Vince



On another note, as I look back at this show and dig out the ticket stub, I see it was presented by Derderian-Julian Ent. I have to assume this is the same Derderian’s who owned the Station Nightclub when it burned down. That was another concert I went to 9 months after this one. And a much different story.




About Rob the Concert Guy

I love live music and will pretty much go to just about any concert. I've made a lot of friends because of my willingness to put that extra ticket to good use. I've been to hundreds of shows and finally I decided I should start writing about them. Better late than never I guess.


One thought on “Hanging out with Skid Row & Tesla!

  1. Ha… I don’t know how I came across your article, but I was at the same show and ended up backstage with Skid Row, too. One of my favorite stories of all time. I might even be one of the “older” women hanging around – even though I was only 24. Too funny.


    Posted by Jerseygrl | October 17, 2017, 6:54 pm

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