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ReWind with David Michael-Phillips of King Kobra!

Sliudge ReWind w/ David Michael-Phillips of King Kobra!


David Michael-Phillips of King Kobra – nearly 50 & still rocking!


We first chatted with David Michael-Philips of King Kobra back in Sept 1999 20 Questions. Now it’s just shy of a dozen years later and we’re giving you the official Metal Sludge ReWind with mister three first names!

It’s safe to say this guy has experimented with more bleach than a Clorox employee – yet he’s still rocking a full mop. That alone is rock n’ roll enough for Sludge! Enjoy our recent chat with King Kobra guitarist, Hairy Michael-Phillips.

1. Wow David, long time no chat! We did a 20?s w/ you in Sept. of 1999 when Sludge was an infant and only 1 year old. Who wudda thunk. Here we are a dozen years later. What’s new with you & King Kobra?

We have a new album on Frontiers Records, the self-titled “King Kobra” with all original members (except vocalist Paul Shortino). That’s Carmine Appice (Vanilla Fudge, Ozzy Osbourne, Rod Stewart), me (Keel, Lizzy Borden, Big Cock), Johnny Rod (W.A.S.P.) and Mick Sweda (Bulletboys). Wow, what an all-star lineup and all yours for about 10 bucks.

2. With the new King Kobra coming out, what is the touring plans now that all members are between 50 & 65 years of age?

Cut me some slack, I’m the only one who’s not 50 yet (although by the time this “goes to print”, that might change). But think about the marketing angle – we have more than 250 years of musical experience. That’s pretty good, right?


Paul Shortino, David Michael-3 Peat, Carmine Appice, Johnny Rod, Mick Sweda


3. Speaking of age, has Carmine lost any chops? It’s official that he’s eligible for Social Security by years end?

I believe your math is a little off, but Carmine definitely still has his chops. And I think he gets the AARP discount at movie theaters.

According to WikiPedia his date of birth is Dec. 15th 1946, which makes him 65 this year.

4. We see in the most recent press shots for KK that you & Johnny Rod are still rocking the mega bleach. Is there some trick to keep all that hair still on your head? Are you part gorilla?

I have tons of hair, but it’s all gray. No wig or toilet-seat head for me. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

5.  In our 20?s in 1999 we asked, and you said the following….“When can we expect the big King Kobra reunion tour, or maybe King Kobra’s “Latest & Greatest” CD to be issued on Cleopatra?  Any chance of any of that happening?”

DMP: “Reunion? What, are you kidding? That’s like the reformation of the 1969 New Hampshire Elk’s club Barbershop Quartet. A total non-event. Actually, if the price is right, count me in.”

Well. Is it safe to say, the price was right?

The price is never right. You know that. And now, there’s even less booze and strippers…

6.. Rate a Guitarist 1-10. A 1 being someone who sucks donkey balls, a 10 being a shredder!

Joey Allen of Warrant = which one is he…? I don’t recognize him in any of the pictures. Just kidding, I like Joey – 6ish?

Mick Sweda of King Kobra/Bulletboys = does some great, original stuff. 8.

Randy Piper former W.A.S.P. = 5, and that’s being kind, based on the first W.A.S.P. album.

Satchel from Steel Panther = I think the wig actually makes him play better. 9 with wig, 8 without.

Dj Ashba of Guns N’ Roses/Sixx: AM = hard to tell – my eyes glaze over whenever I see him in that faux-Slash top hat. 5, maybe 6 or more if he would take off the hat.

CC DeVille of Poison = he plays guitar? I did not know that.

Jason Hook of Five Finger Death Punch = shredder, a 9.

Bruce Kulick / former KISS = tasteful, a 7.

Slash of Velvet Revolver = classic, a 10, 9 on a bad day.

Eddie Ojeda of Twisted Sister = Does the number have to be a positive one?


David Michael-Ferrari during his stint in KEEL

7. Last we checked you said “I have three sons , 6 months, 3 and 6” – if our math is correct, they are now 12, 15 & 18. Any rockers in the making? Any Heavy Metal  blood in those kids?

No rockers but me and the Mrs. We added a daughter to the clan two years after our last interview, but you are correct on your math with the other kids’ ages. Bravo. Who says Metal Sludge interviewers don’t have any intelligence…? (actually, I might have said that myself).

8.  Going back to the end of King Kobra. It seemed like ¾  of the last known version of KK (Mick Sweda, Lonnie Vencent, Marq Torien) decided to form their new project with new drummer (Jimmy D’Anda). Obviously they went on to get a big deal, tours, a few hit singles, etc..


Carmine Appice, Mick Sweda, Marq Torien, David Michael-Clorox, Lonnie Vencent

Why were you not involved, or was there something ugly at the end that prevented you from joining the Bulletboys? And are you bummed that you are not part of the Bulletboys former member’s listing on their Wikipedia (See below)

Former Bulletboys members

·         Mick Swedea – guitar

·         Jimmy D’Anda – drums, percussion

·         Lonnie Vencent – bass

·         Tony Marcus – guitar

·         Marc Danzeisen – drums

·         Tommy Pittam – guitar

·         Robby Karras – drums, percussion

·         Dj Ashba – guitar

·         Steven Adler – drums, percussion

·         Jason Hook – guitar

·         Vik Foxx – drums, percussion

·         Brent Fitz – drums, percussion

·         Melvin Brannon II – bass

·         Scott Taylor – bass

·         Paul Newman – drums, percussion

·         Keri Kelli – guitar

·         Denny Johnson – guitar

·         Michael Thomas – guitar

·         Ryche Green – drums, percussion

·         David Weeks – bass

·         Scott Groffi – bass

·         Tory Stoffregen – guitar

·         Danny Seven – drums, percussion

·         Stephen Allan – bass

·         Danny Watts – guitar

·         Charlie Wayne Morrill – guitar

·         Rob Lane – bass

·         Chris Holmes – guitar

I actually was involved at the very beginning, but never really got along too well with the singer. Judging from the long list of names above, it appears I wasn’t the only one. Very impressive list, as well – some of the names I’ve even heard of. BTW, does Metal Sludge have a Wikipedia entry?

Of course we do SLUDGEPEDIA. We have everything we need over here except for hair for the owners head. Got any to spare?

9. Tell us about your band BIG COCK with Robert Mason (Warrant). You released 3 CDs and then what?

Funny, but we were having some trouble getting gigs with the name Big Cock. I also had to continually remind my kids not to tell their teachers at school the name of Daddy’s band. I guess I really didn’t think that one through…ha, haJ Good band and great fun. You may not have heard the last of me and my Big Cock…


BIG COCK counting to 5 – Colby, David Turner-Phillips, Robert Mason, John Covington

10.  Give us your thoughts on the tribute/cover band craze? It seems like Steel Panther is a bigger draw than 95% of the 80s bands hands down.

Seems ironic that cover bands wouldn’t even have any songs to play if original bands hadn’t written the songs first – but cover-banding appears quite lucrative, so I’m all for it. Who is Steel Panther, btw? They’re the ones with the wigs, right?

11. Give us a touring memory from the following cities.

Los Angeles = Country Club on New Years Eve 1985. David Lee Roth came to see us. Big fan.

Chicago = Never played Chicago, but owned 2 Dean Guitars made in the Chicago area. Good beer and hot dogs, too.

Orlando = Seems like touring all the cities in Florida took forever. Saw the group Stranger, the night before our gig. They were good.

Dallas = Strippers, strippers, strippers…did I mention the strippers?

Boston = very cool old theatre called the Orpheum. A few Spinal Tap moments trying to find the stage…

New York City = one of the last gigs at Studio 54 before it closed. Awesome old building with a million secret rooms…I think I saw the ghost of Andy Warhol.

Nashville = girls. And barbeque.

Seattle = never played there but heard it rains a lot.

Denver = King Kobra went to a club after our show and jammed with the local cover band. It was fun, as I remember? Couldn’t find a White Castle.

Phoenix = Mark Free decided it was too hot to wear his normal stage clothes, so he wore a t-shirt and Dolphin shorts instead (if you are old enough to remember what Dolphin shorts are, then you know what I’m talking about and shame on you)


King Kobra Line-up # 137 live @ “Gazzarri’s” in Hollywood.

Larry (bass), Explorer Michael-Phillips, Carmine, Johnny Edwards, Jeff Northrup

12. Kill, fuck, marry. You need to kill one, fuck one, and marry the other. Who do you pick (Lindsay Lohan, Lady Gaga, Courtney Love)

Easy – fuck Courtney Love, marry Lindsay Lohan and kill Lady Gaga (she’s a man, right?)

13.  It’s a random week night. Tell us your schedule from 5:pm til bedtime?

Check kids’ homework, eat dinner, gym, band practice/recording/gig, tuck daughter in, trip over the dogs while brushing teeth, watch the Food Network, try to make more kids with Mrs. David Michael-Philips, repeat…

14. It’s been 15+ years since Mark Free became Marcie Free. Have you had any communication with Marcie since the change in his/her life? And, was there ever a hint, or anything that would have led you to believe that there was a Marcie stuck inside Mark’s body?

It’s very hard to comment on this since we were not that close and Mark was always pretty private. All I can say is that it doesn’t surprise me. Kinda strange, though.


Johnny Rod, Carmine Appice, Mark Free, Mick Sweda & David Grizzly-Phillips

15. Any thoughts, memories, a meeting or story about these fallen rock n’ roll brothers?

Randy Rhoades of Ozzy Osbourne = never met him (only Ozzy and Rudy), but I’m a big fan.

Kevin DuBrow of Quiet Riot = I remember a fellow band mate threw an ash tray at him at FM Station one night. He looked scared.

Steve Clark of Def Lepppard = never met him – not a big fan. I like Mutt Lange, though.

Robin “King” Crosby of Ratt = met him a few times back in the day. Nice guy. Tall.

Mike Starr of Alice in Chains = who?

Ronnie James Dio  = many good memories. Always called me by name and always gracious and kind. A class act.

Dimebag Darrell of Pantera = met him at Cardi’s in Houston when he was 17 or 18 and playing covers. Great player. Asked Pantera bass player Rex if he wanted to join King Kobra when johnny Rod left in ‘87. He declined. Good career move.

Tim Kelly of Slaughter = played a show with Slaughter in 1990, I think – still trying to block that one out. Didn’t meet Tim, though.

Kurt  Cobain of Nirvana = demented genius. I have one of his albums.

Randy Castillo of Ozzy Osbourne = a great drummer who left us too soon…

16. Name the 3 high points and the 3 low points of your music career to date?


·         Singing “Lick It Up” on stage with Gene Simmons of Kiss when we (King Kobra) opened for them in 1986.

·         Eddie Van Halen’s porn-star party at his house a few years ago. He played “Eruption” in his backyard to about 5 people complete with all the jumps. Awesome. I also got to sit next to Valerie Bertinelli and watch a VH rehearsal one afternoon. That was cool.

·         Danny Zelisko of Live Nation introducing our debut gig in 2006 – “…in all my years I never expected to say – would you please welcome…Big Cock!”! Ha, ha – classic.


·         Coming off tour opening for Kiss in 1986 and having to immediately look for a day job.

·         Totally botching a private audition for Cher.

·         Having La Toya Jackson refuse to ride the bus with us at a gig in Acapulco, Mexico.

·         Seeing a Motley Crue rehearsal at SIR on Sunset (also, my car got towed while I was inside – but that’s the good part)


We’d like to think a low point was the pink stuff in the hair!

17. Finish this sentence… “The Biggest misconception about… “ example: The biggest misconception about MTV is…they play videos.

Jani Lane is = he will show up sober…

Hollywood is = that you will not meet a nice girl, settle down and get married…(but hey, it happened for me!)

Being signed is = your troubles are over. It’s all uphill from here.

Carmine Appice is = he can actually play from memory all the exercises in his Realistic Rock Drum Method books.

Money & fame is = it is the root of all evil – but I’d rather be rich, unhappy and have fake friends than poor, unhappy and have fake friends…J

The Internet is = it was invented by Al Gore

Nikki Sixx is = the events described in “The Dirt” are a figment of Neil Strauss’s vicarious imagination.

Drugs is = that they help make you a better songwriter, performer, star, etc. Well, it actually DOES work for some people.

Fake tits is = that they are a substitute for the real thing.

The King Kobra reunion is = worth every minute of its collective 250 years (see question 2).

18.  If you could stop the aging process, for the sake of expanding your musical career, at what point (age) would you put that button on hold, and use the knowledge and combined youth to take over the world?

Whose aging process can I stop, because there are a few folks I know that have not aged well…

19. How much money do you have cash in your pocket, right now (change included)?

You caught me on a payday – $45.00! Whoo-hoo!


I wanna sing! NO – I wanna sing. I want bleached hair, NO I want bleached hair!

20. The Last of Johnny Michael-Philips…

The last time you ate fast food (what was it) = last week – Jersey Mike’s subs (#7, Mike’s Way with chips and a Mango ice tea)

The last time you signed an autograph = today. I had to sign my son’s 6th grade reading contract. And a bunch of checks…

The last TV show you TIVO’s (taped) = Funny or Die, Tim & Eric’s Awesome Show – Great Job

The last time you re-strung your guitar = last week. Even though I play 11 stringss, I’ll break a string after about 3 hours. That’s just the kind of muscular player I am…

The last famous person you talked to on the phone = yesterday (does Carmine count?)

The last time you bleached your hair = my hair has been gray since my thirties. I color it every month or so.

The last time you had diarrhea = not recently – I’m pretty regular. And not because I eat prunes.

The last kind of cereal you ate was = Frosted Mini-Wheats or was it Count Chocula?

The last concert you watched from the crowd = Clutch and Motorhead last month – the mosh pit is the best place to experience Lemmy in all his glory.

The last time you cried = now, as I’m finishing this interview…

Get caught up on all things King Kobra, Big Cock & of course David Van-Phillips below. TWITTERKINGKOBRABIG COCKDAVID on FACEBOOK

Now for the “look at me I know famous people photo collage” featuring what’s his 3 names!


Great, thank you, When is my next lesson again sir?


My Weezer cover band has a new vocalist & he’s older than me! Is that even possible?


The God Father of Metal & a true Disciple.


2 kids with a dream. But they ended up in King Kobra & Keel, Oh well.


Mark Free: “Paul can I blow you after show?”

Bruce Kulick (Peeking over wall): “FUCK, these guitar assholes are moving in on my gig!”

Mick Sweda: “Fuck this shit. My costume sucks compared to Eric’s!”

Paul Stanley: “Now now boys. There’s plenty to go around. It’s a long tour you know.”

Metal Sludge

Metal Michael Phillps

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