20 QUESTIONS WITH…
KNAC.com FOUNDER ROB JONES
Rob Jones is not only the founder of KNAC.com, he’s been around the Sunset Strip scene forever. He’s also responsible for the cover photo of Poison’s "Look What The Cat Dragged In" so blame him!We also found plenty of photos that Rob Jones took, but we couldn’t find many photos of Rob. So if anybody has any photos of Rob to use with these 20 Questions, send them in!
We’ve been trying to get Rob to do 20 Questions for awhile now, and he finally broke down and agreed to do it!
1. What are you currently up to? This is the only chance to plug your shit.
About 3 inches, a little under par, I think it’s the cold weather. Tell Donna she can add that to her chart and I’ll update her next summer!
2. How did you end up photographing rock bands on the sunset strip? Who did you shoot and will you show us some of your more famous work?
I used to go to the Hollywood Record swap meet at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood and buy photos from a couple guys. Got a camera for Christmas one year, and just started teaching myself. Started out with doing shit for Quiet Riot, right place right time I guess. They used my live shots in a poster, songbook, Washburn Guitar ad, cover of BAM Magazine, etc. Was an aspiring guitar player and started taking guitar lessons at this record store near OC California with a guy named George Lynch in 83. Kept showing him what I was shooting, shot them live all while learning the studio and convinced George to let me do Dokken’s 2nd album cover for Tooth and Nail in 84. I was all of 16. Also hung out with Tommy Lee in those days. Through his sister, met the guys in Poison the first week they came out to LA. Started shooting them, did the Look What the Cat Dragged In cover and just kept going from there. As for more "famous" work, I’m still seeing shit I forgot about. Jamie St. James just released a Black N’ Blue live album and used my shot on the cover from 84. Ya never know anymore. I was so fucked up those days there might be pictures of me out there with Bastard Boy Floyd in compromising positions. I was young and needed the money.
3. What does a typical day in the life of Rob Jones consist of? Break it down for us.
Wake up, scratch my nuts, piss, rub one out, shower, light up a smoke, check e-mail, surf sludge, eat, surf more sludge, surf KNAC.COM make sure we’re slammin’ the masses, light another smoke, surf porn, make a few calls, eat dinner, rub another one out, light the last smoke of the day and start it all over again in the morning.
4. What hard rock/heavy metal band should give it up and call it a day?
Anyone who isn’t proud of their musical past, cashed the checks, lived the life and now makes excuses for all of it saying "it wasn’t the real me". At
least a whore admits they are a whore. Be proud of what you do, no matter what, if you don’t like it make it better, but don’t ever make an excuse,
own your shit, good and bad, especially if you took it to the bank.
5. Rate the following rock photographers & KNAC DJs past and present. 1 being somebody who sucks and 10 being the bomb diggity.
Neil Zlozower =10 Zloz is a fuckin legend and as a photographer, is what most everyone else getting into the biz aspired to be. While some may dispute that, Zloz is the real deal. He isn’t just a photographer, he lived the live of everyone he shot. He’s a rock star in his own right. Gotta respect that dude, he’s hardcore.
The Rack = 10. I remember a young chick walking in almost 4 years ago that was only a fan of the music and that was it. We put her behind the mic and being the fan she is, related to a huge audience and they related to her. She’s made her mark and is now on a new adventure.
Mark Weiss = 10 The East Coast Zloz, but from what I remember in my limited exposure to him, much tamer.
Crazy Craig = 10 The fuckin funniest mother fucker I know.
William Hames = 8 Class Act, the king of Japanese photo shoots for American Metal bands.
Long Paul =10 My partner in crime and biggest smart ass in recent memory. Did ya see his autograph for sale on E-Bay?
Annmarie DiSanto = 10 1/2 Started out at the very bottom and fought, kicked and scratched her way to success in a tough business. Smart girl and great photographer. Kudos to her for making it.
Tawn Mastrey = 10 Her legend precedes her. She bleeds rock and roll and is also the real deal. Wish we could afford her here!
Glen LaFerman =10 A buddy. Great guy whose work I admired many a drunken coc’d up nights in the Rainbow.
Ross Halfin = 8 for his work. Never met Ross. Owned England and Kerrang when it came to rock photography. Fucker
John Scarpati =10. Always loved that fuckers lighting man.
6. How did you come to be in control of KNAC when you had nothing to do with it back when it was a radio station?
Radio and MTV was not supporting the music that was my blood. Knew the Internet was where it was going, knew there was alot more people like me. Just because the music wasn’t the flavor of the day, didn’t mean the audience went away. Called all my friends from the old KNAC and said, hey I have an idea. Got the rights from the old owners and here we are. Bloodied, Battered, Beaten and the Biggest.
7. Besides photography, you’ve also worked with a variety of bands in other capacities. What bands have you worked with and what exactly did you do?
Well, I started to go out on the road doing photos. I always picked up on shit really fast, especially business related shit. Was out with Pretty Boy
Floyd and had to clean up a mess with a promoter that the tour manager couldn’t clean up. Created a shitstorm, PBF fired the tour manager and I fell into it. Spent several years on the road in various capacities from dicking off to Tour Management with Pretty Boy Floyd, Shotgun Messiah, Tuff, Motorhead and others. Came home and didn’t want to be on the road anymore. Fucked up on coc, owed everyone money, was a giant asshole, got evicted more then a few times, living on couches and scamming McDonald’s for Big Mac’s so I could eat. Ended up on the streets.
Finally got tired of it, took the straw out of my nose, got my shit together, went to work for various record companies doing radio and retail
promotion ( had established relationships with alot of those guys taking the bands around). Out of a job in 93′ (the co. I was working for closed shop)
I met the manager of Motorhead, got hired to take "I Ain’t No Nice Guy" to radio because Sony didn’t believe in the record. Made it a top 30 rock track and stayed with Motorhead for over three years. Got into consulting, came up with the KNAC idea and boom, here I am.
8. Pick your top 10 songs from the past year:
Listen to KNAC.COM, theres too many to name.
9. If you could destroy any single CD from existence, what would it be?
None that I would destroy, they’re all good for something including coasters or weapons or money for smokes if I take em to the Wherehouse and sell em, but the one I would bring back is Skrapp Mettle. Let’s see how many remember that one? With the fuckin’ classic "That Load", the greatest
single rock track dedicated to the blow job of all time.
10. What do you remember about the following years:
1973 = The babysitter letting me suck her tits.
1977 = Finding Kiss.
1981 = Finding Motley.
1985 = Finding Poison.
1989 =Finding Pretty Boy Floyd. -ok so I’ve had better years -
1993 = Finding Motorhead
1997 = Starting KNAC.COM
2001 = Having the largest audience in KNAC.COM’s existance.
11. Who in your mind are the most overrated and underrated bands of the past & present?
Light up a smoke, this is a complicated one.
Underrated bands are mostly the bands who stick to their guns and just rock. Motorhead for example. They define integrity and define underrated. I
remember Lemmy saying, "Fuck the labels, I’ll sell my fuckin records outta the back of me truck". One problem, Lemmy doesn’t drive.
I think most bands who are sticking to what they do are being called dated and are often overlooked/underrated. Alot of it is just timing. Doesn’t make em bad bands, just means they are doing what they know and sticking to it. Just because they don’t wear masks and aren’t pissed at the world doesn’t make em suck. Bad songs make em suck, and thats across the board, whether following the trend or setting it. Never pick your audience, let your audience pick you. You think Slipknot would have seen the level of success they had if they came out on the same day Look What the Cat Dragged In did? Yet Tuff, who never had much level of "sales" success at all, can come out with a fuckin’ parody track in 2001 that gets them more attention then they had when that stuff was the flavor of the day! Look at Mustaine, he listened to others and got "distracted". Integrity brought him back around to his foundation. I can think of a few bands that didn’t make it back. Stayed a vicitim of commercial success and left the roots upended. Megadeth is another underrated band that fuckin’ kills. Everyone wants to jump to record sales as a gauge for "rating". Neither Megadeth, nor Motorhead have sold as many records as many of the bands out there, but these fuckers will die with it in their veins. They do it because it’s who they are, not what the billboard charts say they are.
Overrated bands? We’re seeing the same cyclical shit the labels are famous for. Bands can be just as guilty. For argument’s sake, go look in your
"exposed" section and count the bands that are hot today that used to look like fuckin’ Rikki Rockett did. Anyways, find a band that explodes doing a certain thing and it’s all they sign, thus flooding the marketplace with the same records with different musicians and a different names. Having said
that, there are bands out there that may have been doing what they do for a long time, and due to the current musical climate just got noticed, and now they are called "trendy". Not their fault. There are bands who listen to too much of the flavor of the day, and just follow it. In my cognizant musical lifetime respective to my tastes, it’s happened in the 80’s with hair bands and it’s happening today with "Nu Metal". I’m not saying anything
most don’t already know and could give a fuck less if the certain people don’t like me saying it. We’re face to face and side by side with the
audience, we are the audience, we see it and it’s direct impact. We play a good variety of everything, we play what the audience asks for, and we try
and expose everyone to all kinds of shit that either lives or it doesn’t. No one but us or the audience has EVER told us what to play. The die hard
Maiden/Slayer/Ozzy regime thinks the new stuff sucks and it’s too rappy and "not metal" (I’d still like SOMEONE to define metal, shit I remember when Bon Jovi was called "Metal") and the angry pissed off kids into the "new" thing of the day never listened to Sabbath Bloody Sabbath and think all this stuff today is brand new, groundbreaking music. It isn’t. Today it’s just now even more socially acceptable to be more verbose, shocking and angry in it’s presentation. It scales with societal acceptance. Elvis shocked em, the Beatles shocked em, Sabbath shocked em, Kiss shocked em, Manson shocked em and Slipknot shocked em. It just escalates every time it’s done. Today, it seems the music suffers from it. It’s broken, and it will come back to the mean, it always does. A weeding out process takes place when there is this much of the same thing in the marketplace, people get burned on it and in the end, it just goes back to fuckin’ straight up rock n’ roll.
12. What rock star deserves a smack in the mouth and why?
See answer #4
13. Finish the following sentences:
Axl & GNR could: have killed Doug Goldstein with the shit they put that man through, he’s fuckin superman.
The Cathouse in 1988 was: the place I was going to when I got robbed at gunpoint.
A Warrant show at the Country Club: is a place Jani Lane clicks his heels three times and says, there’s no place like…
Listening to KNAC seemed: to have much more impact on people’s lifestyle then any other call sign I know of.
The Rainbow on a Saturday: ain’t what it used to be.
Mud Wrestlers from the Tropicanna: have run out of Hollywood rock stars to marry.
Vince Neil started: realizing there’s more to life then being Lewd, Crued and Tatooed.
Poison almost: fucked every chick that walked the strip in the day.
Most bands on Sunset: took themselves WAY too fuckin’ seriously. See Decline of the Western Civilization for good reference.
X-Posuer 54 must have: been where I did the least amount of coc of all the clubs of the day.
14. Of all the bands you’ve worked with, who was the cheapest and treated you the worst?
Bob Dall is the cheapest mother fucker on the planet! I tip my hat to him, that’s why he’s still livin large! Love ya Bob!
Treated me the worst? Hard to say, I was so fucked up most of the time, I probably deserved some of the shit I got. So I couldn’t fairly answer this
question. But, Jani Lane does comes to mind….
15. Rate the following bands on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 being a band that’ll be gone next year and 10 being a band that’ll be around for the distance.
Define distance. There’s no Sabbath or Kiss in this list if that’s what your asking.
Drowning Pool =
System Of A Down =
16. What’s next for KNAC?
Bigger, Badder and Better than ever in a new world order.
17. Who was the biggest disappointment in studio at KNAC to date?
18. Yes or no, has Rob Jones ever:
Wore make-up & hairspray = no
Barfed in your sleep = no
Imagined sucking on The Racks ‘Rack’ = no
Paid for sex = no
Considered joining Hair Club for Men = I’m not just a member, I’m the president.
Saw C.C. DeVille with a hard on = no, when I was hanging out with him the most, cocaine precluded that from happening.
Tour managed the Big Bang Babies = no
Wondered what Lonn Friend actually does at KNAC = no
Gotten a blow job while talking on the radio = yes
Gone to Dr. Rockett for advice = no
Wanted to put "7-11" into heavy rotation at KNAC = I have a certain partiality to that song, so it would be unethical.
19. Would you like to tell the crowd about your partial false teeth and how you got them?
Ha. Riki Rachtman had started another club, I think it was called "Circus" or some shit like that. It was up on hollywood blvd. I was coming out of the club and was running and sliding on the wet marble sidewalk at 2:30 in the morn, lost my footing, made an abrupt stop on someones star, and went face first into the ground. Riki about shit his pants. Everyone thought I got my ass kicked. Nah, just did a dumbass move and learned the hardway that wet marble and boots don’t make for good sidewalk skiing.
20. Time for Metal Sludge’s Word Association. We mention a name and you give us your thoughts.
Gene Simmons = Makes no bones about "money is everything". Shrewd businessman, will sell you your mother and the pictures of her blowing him.
Paul Gargano = Never had the pleasure of meeting him.
Lemmy Kilmeister = The genuine article. Makes no bones about "integrity is everything". A true legend that alot of bands could learn from.Fred Durst = Too much too fast.
Lonn Friend = The Metal-physical guru of Rock and Roll.
Gerri Miller = Faithful to what she does, if she were a band, she would fall in the underrated category. I think Metal Edge was probably the only rock
mag to never publish my work back in the day.
Nikki Sixx = A living example of how to find your way to inner peace in life after seeing it all. Honor, Integrity and a genuine good human.
Hard Radio = Suffers from Al Gore syndrome, think they invented the Internet. Nice hobby they have.
Bret Michaels = Long time friend, good human, gotta respect the staying power of that band.
Gerry Gittleson = Man what ever happened to that guy. I think i still owe him money for blow.
Anthony Focx = My memories of him are foggy! HA! Life is about choices, he’s made some bad ones.
Clear Channel = All my ex’s live in Texas.
Jani Lane = You mean that singer fuck? See question 4.
Now that’s some good, indepth shit! Looks like Rob and Jani Lane won’t be exchanging Christmas cards!
Thanks to Rob and KNAC for all their support over the years!
In case you are too stupid to figure it out, KNAC is at www.knac.com