When a band meets for the first time with its singer at the bassist parents house and the first thing the singer says to the rest of his future partners is that he has a 19inches cock this is a rather weird hello. It’s even weirder if the mother of the bassist is present at this very moment. But this wasn’t just a singer and this wasn’t just a band, it was Sebastian Bach and Skid Row. After all Dave “Snake” Sabo knew that this man could make him famous. And he wasn’t the only one. Jon Bon Jovi and his parents thought the same thing and Richie Sambora too. Before referring to the Bach connection we have to go back 3 years earlier when Sabo worked in a music store and met Rachel Bolan. The two guys became friends and soon Dave talked about his other two friends he knew from high school Sambora and Bon Jovi. Of course no one believed him at the first place but soon bolan felt he found his alter ego and made the right choice to start writing new material with his new best friend that had so many connections with famous rock stars and A&R from Electra…the glorious debut was almost 100% composed by these two fellas, but the puzzle wasn’t fully completed yet. They had to find a mixture of good throat and showman; a combination of Rob Halford and David Lee fuckin Roth. A month earlier, two support live performances with Bon Jovi attracted the mythical manager Doc McGhee. Matt Fallon the singer of these two shows was just good and couldn’t ride on the giant rollercoaster McGhee had in mind to transform Skid Row from a small opening act they were. Around this period Mark Weiss (a rock photographer) was married, and his wedding had several celebrities as guests. The couple Bongiovi (a.k.a the famous rock star’s parents) amongst them were captivated by the weddings band singer and talked to Sabo about him. The rest is history after the story in the prologue of this article and McGhee when he heard the new version of skid row he didn’t just sign a new band he signed the next big think for Atlantic Records. As he learned that the band members were party guys and especially Bach was a trouble maker he took his measures. He booked a studio located in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin (Royal Recorders) several hours away from New Jersey. But told the band that the hotel that they would stay was a “playboy mansion”, that wasn’t anymore, but he didn’t felt the need to share this information with them. So no playboy bunnies for the Jersey white boys there, just thousand acres of corn to see. The only thing they could do either than focus on the recording of the album during the first days was to hang out with the musicians of the piano bar, which was there to entertain the hotel residents.

A wise decision indeed, as wise was to hire Michael Wagener for their producer. The material was great and the recordings almost perfect and things were getting huge as Aerosmith and Def Leppard came from the resort to hear the album and wish good luck to the rookies. Wagener was pushing things and demanded more from the band. Definitely better drumming from Affuso; insisting on playing like Phill Rudd. He wanted groove, playing on the back of the beat, but damn had to be on time. Wagener also changes the number of the guitar solos that was in the demo tapes and established  the dual guitar patterns that was a must for the ‘80s not only in Heavy Metal and Iron Maiden or Mercyful Fate, but also on hard rockers such as Aerosmith. Of course the album had some other overdubs included an acoustic guitar to thicken “18 and Life”. A song that became a hit single, written by Sabo and inspired by his brother Ricky. All members’ performance was top notch, but it would sound a lot different with another producer. Wagener took the best out of the band -and especially out of this loco Canadian with the great talent and the rich stylistic range of his voice- and made them rock stars from day one. Atlantic Records took the decision about the singles and the track listing, even though Sabo and co had different opinion on these matters, still they had the green, they had the right…  Skid Row’s debut  have sold about six million copies,  something that only an album with songs like “I Remember You”, “18 and Life”, “Piece of Me”, “Big Guns”, “Rattlesnake Shake” where Bach on 2:46 sings like Axl does on “shun n-n-n-n-n-n-n-n knees” in GNR’s “Welcome to the Jungle” from their ’87 album Appetite for Destruction, “Sweet Little Sister”, “Can’t Stand the Heartache”, “Here I Am”, the ass kicker “Midnight/Tornado” and the eternal anthem of rebellious youth, “Youth Gone Wild”, could only sell. These were the days…