Small town glam rockers Dirty Gunnz allege ex Enuff Z’Nuff singer Donnie Vie manufactured ‘backyard meth’
MARYVILLE, TENNESSEE — In a shocking late-night phone conversation, Dirty Gunnz guitarist Chris (Krizzy Gunnz) Anderson alleged that infamous Enuff Z’Nuff front man Donnie Vie brought batteries and Drano among other household items into the Tennessee home Anderson shares with his wife and daughter in an attempt to manufacture “backyard meth.”
In recent days Metal Sludge had been working to corroborate rumors the former Enuff Z’Nuff singer had once again fallen on rough times.
Sources close to the Chicago native allege that Vie, whose legal name is Donald Edwin Vandevelde, was severely strung out on drugs and threatening to take his own life. In recent weeks, one source said Vie had even been checked in and held at a halfway house near Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
Metal Sludge first reached out to local Maryville glam band Dirty Gunnz earlier this week by messaging the official Facebook page of the band. Singer Micheal (Gunnz) Hurst and his brother Mark (Stich) Barnhart, who plays drums in the band, initially denied anything was wrong with Vie and even mentioned the 50 year old was working.
Vie has never been known to have worked a job other than writing and performing music.
According to an article published in The Daily Times May 10, 2014, the group had recently worked with Vie and helped bring him to Tennessee.
Anderson elaborated in an exchange of Facebook messages on the recent happenings involving Vie: “I’d ask Micheal (Hurst – Gunnz) about the facts while at his house. I will not allow drugs around my house or family and I believed that Donnie respected that.”
In a follow up phone conversation the guitar player told Metal Sludge, “When I realized Donnie was manufacturing in my home, I asked him to leave.” That is when the guitarist alleged Vie had brought batteries and Drano to make what Anderson referred to as backyard meth, which is also commonly known as methamphetamine.
According to several sources and confirmed in The Daily Times article, Vie first stayed with Hurst, who is married and the father of two, but after alleged incidents involving missing CDs, DVDs and clothing from the home, Vie was asked to leave.
Anderson noted that he then allowed Vie to stay at his home for a short time and is still holding onto what is left of Vie’s valuable belongings, which includes more than one guitar, to ensure he would not pawn them. Anderson added: “The man just needs to get on with his girl and life, we all hit some snags. He means well.”
The guitarist also informed Metal Sludge that Vie is looking to head to Nashville.
Vie himself has had a well-documented history of challenges related to drugs and alcohol—some the singer has admitted to, others he has denied.
Aside from misdemeanor arrests, Vie was also witness to the murder of a Los Angeles women by his former landlord. Vie himself testified in court as to why he didn’t report the murder he witnessed. The rock singer is quoted in this 2007 Anti-Music article saying , “The way I’d grown up, you just don’t rat people out.”
Despite a turbulent private life, Vie is the classic voice of the Chicago-based group Enuff Z’Nuff.
Founded in the mid-80s, the band released their debut album “ST” in 1989, which led to a pair of hit songs “Fly High Michelle” and “New Thing.” Legend has it both the meaning of both songs points toward drug use. In fact, stories have circulated for years that “Fly High Michelle” was written about a close friend of Vie‘s who had overdosed.
In The Daily Times May article – FOUND HERE: part of which is quoted below – Hurst talks at length about Vie, his struggles in life and his recent move from Las Vegas to his journey by Greyhound bus to relocate to Maryville—a small town 15 miles south of Knoxville.
In a short passage from the extended article, the paper reported, “Of all the places ’80s hair metal star Donnie Vie chose to relaunch his solo career, he picked Maryville.
“Credit that decision to a devoted fan of Vie and his old band, Enuff Z’Nuff — Blount County resident Michael ‘Gunnz’ Hurst, lead singer of local glam band The Dirty Gunnz who’s been following Vie’s career since he was a kid. When he pulled up to the Greyhound station in Knoxville to pick up Vie last week, Hurst could scarcely believe the turn of events himself.
“‘Here he comes through the door with all his bags, and it was so surreal,’ Hurst told The Daily Times on Friday. ‘I kept telling myself, ‘This is so not happening. I’m about to wake up and this will all be a dream.’
“For Hurst, working with his idol has been a dream come true — as well as a challenge.
“‘It’s totally outside the box for me, and he’s just the opposite of what I expected,’ Hurst said. ‘I expected a wild, crazy, stay-up-all-night guy, but he’s the most down-to-earth, sweetest person you could ever meet.’”
In less than two months, the dream of working with Vie appears to have come to an abrupt halt.
In a message to Metal Sludge, Hurst wrote, “You know I’d rather not get into the stuff that happened here, just for my wife and 2 kids sake.’ He continued with, “I just need to reach Chip (Z’Nuff) or someone to get him help. I still love Donnie, he was what got me into singing and I want him to be ok. But at this point I don’t know what’s true and what’s not. Donnie has been gone from here for a month or 2. I haven’t talked at all to him.”
The very man who used words like “surreal” and “dream” upon Vie’s arrival in East Tennessee ended his most recent message with: “I have removed myself from the whole thing, I pray he will find his way.”