Steel Panther Makes Triumphant Return to Hollywood!
Lexxi Foxxx looks on as Michael Starr tries to show how big her tits were.
THANKGIVING SPECIAL: STEEL PANTHER MAKES TRIUMPHANT RETURN TO HOLLYWOOD, AS THE GOOD TIMES KEEP ON ROLLING
By Gerry Gittelson
Metal Sludge Editor at Large
HOLLYWOOD – It’s Thanksgiving week, and Steel Panther has a lot to be thankful for.
The ultra-fun party band that started more than 10 years ago as a comedic parody act making fun of glam-metal bands while playing all covers like “Down Boys” and “Paradise City” has evolved into one of America’s top rock acts. The foursome, led by singer Michael Starr, tours large halls all over the world, having headlined expansive shows while also supporting Guns N’ Roses, Def Leppard, Motley Crue and other superstars, and when back in Los Angeles they play Mondays at House of Blues in Hollywood – always to an adoring, mostly-female crowd that’s willing to show their tits for every big riff or infectious lipstick smile from one of the guys.
Steel Panther rock the Download Festival in the UK in front of a sea of fans
This past Monday, Steel Panther returned to House of Blues after a successful, soldout-in-advance European tour, and in the backstage dressing room before the show Starr took a sentimental moment to count his blessings.
He’s living the life of the mostly-ex rock stars Steel Panther still makes fun of, but Starr can easily recall the days when it was not so easy, the times in Hollywood when he was barely making it day-to-day, eating Top Ramen and trying to scratch together enough change to make it to rehearsals.
“I remember my mom being strung-out and kicking me out of the house because I couldn’t pay rent,” Starr said. “I had no where to go, so I moved in with my guitar player Satchel, but that’s what really gave me the fire to keep going, and we’ve been together ever since.”
Starr, always regarded back in the day as an undiscovered gem because of his soaring voice and blond, rock-star image, bounced around the Hollywood club scene for years, at one point forming a band with Ratt’s Bobby Blotzer called Route 66 before joining L.A. Guns for a couple of years beginning in 1997.
He eventually found some success with Atomic Punks, a Van Halen tribute band, and that was the embryo of Steel Panther, first called Metal Shop then Metal Skool before finally adopting the present name with Satchel (who had played guitar in Rob Halford’s post-Priest band Fight), bassist Lexxi Foxxx and drummer Stix Zadinia.
Michael Starr (Ralph Saenz) first did our Metal Sludge 20 Questions back in April 1999. A few years later Danger Kitty was rocking and in 2001 Michael did our Sludge ReWind. Also, check out his original Michael Diamond 20 Questions from June 2001.
“At first, we had to beg for gigs,” Starr said. “We started on a Monday at the Viper Room because no one would book us any of the popular nights, and after the show I would tell the crowd, ‘OK, see you next week!’ as if we had a residency there, but we didn’t. But sure enough, we would get invited back the next week, and that’s how it started. We’ve been playing every Monday ever since. We’re the longest-running show in Hollywood history.”
Satchel gets wild for the fans at House of Blues Hollywood
Satchel appears to be getting raped by woman on stage.
He tries to calm down crazy girls who approach the stage topless.
Looking back at a Satchel (Russ Parrish/Ratchet) Metal Sludge feature February 2002.
A record executive named Monte Lipman caught one of Steel Panther’s Monday performances and eventually signed the band to Universal – but at first the foursome, having evolved into mixing in originals, was not so quick to agree to a record deal.
“We just didn’t want to be part of that whole machine,” Starr said.
Eventually, Steel Panther signed, but on its own terms, reaching No. 98 on the charts with their debut “Feel The Steel,” then No. 40 with their second release, “Balls Out,” featuring such tongue-in-cheek, raunchy singles as “17 Girls in a Row” and “Just Like Tiger Woods.”
Steel Panther has gotten bigger and bigger, and when the annual Thursday in November arrives to count their blessings, they’re grateful and about as humble as you can be considering they’re always surrounded by girls pulling their tops off.
“Showing your tits at a Steel Panther show is a world-wide phenomenon,” Starr said. “I’m kind of an expert by now – I can tell which plastic surgeon, and I can check for cancer lumps. I can check for ovarian cancer, too – with my penis!”
Satchel looks to be outnumbered by woman and bare breasts!
Michael Starr appears to be enjoying the onslaught of semi nude females
Satchel riffs out as the girls rock out with their tits out.
It’s 2012, and Steel Panther is living the life, as the members drive luxury cars like Starr’s Cadillac Escalade.
“How successful am I? I can buy any kind of beer I want now,” Starr said. “It’s Thanksgiving, so it’s time to count your blessings, and Steel Panther has the gift that keeps on giving – herpes.”
It was just past 11 p.m., and the group was getting ready to hit the stage. House of Blues was packed with close to 2,000 spectators, and when the curtain rose and the lights came on, the place went crazy.
The group mixed originals with fan favorites like Van Halen’s “Panama,” White Lion’s “Wait” (Michael Tramp was in the audience), Ozzy Osborne’s “Crazy Train” and of course Guns N’ Roses “Paradise City,” as girls continued to jump on stage, peel off their clothes and make out with each other.
Michael Starr sings to the girls
Lexxi & Starr hanging out pre show
Clearly it doesn’t suck being Michael Starr.
A Steel Panther concert is quite a spectacle. Even hardened rock journalists can sometimes feel the shock value, and that’s a good thing. There is no one else like Steel Panther, and there probably never will be in. The group is utterly unique, utterly entertaining and utterly thankful to be granted a rock legacy beyond their wildest dreams.
This was not how anyone planned it, and it’s a dirty job, but someone has to do it. At first, everyone thought Steel Panther was merely a fad, but the group has managed to carve a rock n’ roll legacy that might just last forever. Three cheers.
Lexa Vonn of The Plastics and a friend get friendly
Michael Starr salutes the sold out crowd.
Gerry Gittelson can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org