Metal Sludge

Metal Sludge

HAPPY BIRTHDAY … Metal Sludge Was Born 25 Years Ago on September 1st 1998 & Here Is How It Came To Be



Metal Sludge Launched September 1st 1998, 25 Years Ago & Here Is How It Came To Be 

Stevie_Rachelle_Signature_Metal_Sludge_June_2018_1— This was first posted in 2018 on the 20th Anniversary, and I figured it would be cool to share it again here today, on the official birthday of Metal Sludge, September 1st.

As the site passes a quarter of a century on the world wide web, I want to thank you for all of your continued support over the years!

Looking forward and thank you again for all.

Stevie Rachelle


— September 1st 1998

Twenty years ago today (now 25 years) Metal Sludge was launched onto the World Wide Web.

Here is how it came to be from my perspective.

After years of people reading magazines, fanzines and newspapers…the Internet was born.

And my idea for this website, was born in the summer of 1998.

“The Internet was mainstream among researchers by 1989, among Silicon Valley movers and shakers by mid 1995, and by most US households by 2001” says Quora.Com

But before we dig into the fetal stages of Metal Sludge, let me set up a few small details.

In late 1995 my band Tuff decided to call it quits.

After a decade plus of chasing the dream of becoming a rock star, the dark clouds had covered many of us for good.

Or so it seemed.

In 1996 I was working full time managing a moving company and living as normal as could be.

Then in the fall (September) I had this odd moment while watching a Packers’ game to form a music project related to my favorite childhood team.

It came to me… and in an instant, I was focused on Cheeseheads With Attitude.

In the next 2 weeks, I wrote and recorded ideas with some musician friends. And by November our debut CD “Straight Outta Wisconsin” was released.

Fast forward to the Super Bowl of 1997 and a different dream became a reality – the Packers won.

I won too.

My project was a huge success with coverage from ESPN to the cover of U.S.A. Today.

Not to mention every radio station in Wisconsin was playing the songs and we were in newspapers, playing bowling alleys and appearing at Packer related events non-stop.

And get this, I put a cool quarter of a million dollars into my pocket to boot.

I was still working, and planning the 2nd C.W.A. release in the fall of 1997.

Another great year and a back-to-back trip to the Super Bowl for the Packers.

Oh, and another year putting 6 figures into my pockets.

I have to say, it was crazy the financial rewards that came from this … well … silly idea.

Also, I never set out to get rich or make big money off of this either.

Sure I funded it, and was thinking “How can I recoup” the few grand I had invested, but never did I dream it would bring the dollars that it did.

For the record, C.W.A. is still active (part-time) today playing a handful of shows each football season.

Following our 1996 debut and sophomore release in 1997, we also put out a CD in 1998, 2003 and 2011.

It’s now 1998 and I decided to write, record and release my first solo CD.

I teamed up with Michael Raphael of Jailhouse and he helped me craft my ideas into great pop-rock folk songs.

Stevie_Rachelle_Keith_Ryan_Cartwright_1993_1I released “Who The Hell Am I” in early 1998 on my own indy label.

After Tuff had been through a few major record label contracts, I launched RLS Records back in 1994.

Stevie Rachelle and cousin Keith Ryan Cartwright circa 1991. Keith helped run RLS Records, tour manage and much more over the years. 

For the record, RLS had 2 meanings.

The first, was Record Labels Suck Records because I was convinced that all record labels sucked.

And the second was Rachelle’s Lyrics & Songs Records.

This was essentially the home for all my releases from Tuff, C.W.A. and now my first solo effort.

We (my cousin Keith and I) did everything a real record label did, only smaller.

During the summer of 1998 I was trying to do whatever I could with the solo project to get noticed, obtain press and of course, sell the CD.

I played shows with Gilby Clarke, Juan Croucier’s solo band Liquid Sunday and Kip Winger.

The Kip show was going to be at Country Club in Reseda.

For this show I personally called Gerri Miller of Metal Edge and invited her.

I left a voice mail but she never returned my call.

After a few days I called again, but no return call.

I found this odd, as we had been friends for years.

Gerri and I had talked many hours on the phone over time, it was mostly and always about the music business.

At some point I was speaking to another industry friend and mentioned my calls to Gerri which went unanswered.

In short, our mutual friend informed me that Gerri had heard my messages and then told them something like, “I don’t know why they even bother, it’s over.”

She pretty much dissed me, Kip Winger and the whole genre of music with her words.

I was angry, hurt and felt betrayed.

No, we were never best friends but I felt she was out of line with the comments.

Especially since I had known Gerri for more than a decade.

Our band had been to her place in West Hollywood and she had even asked for us (Tuff) to be part of the first ever Metal Edge Records release a few years earlier.

DemonDoll_Nov_2015_160_600_1I also sat on a few industry panels with Gerri, and felt that I wasn’t just a guy from a band in her magazine, but also a friend.

Being included with the likes of Doug Thaler, Gerri and other industry people, I felt I had at some point, I guess I garnered a little bit of respect.

Add to this, I was never the party guy, never drunk and always very professional in everything I was involved with.

In truth, Gerri Miller didn’t owe me anything, but I did have a decade long business relationship with her and Metal Edge.

Adding this, when I self released “Fist First” through RLS Records in 1994, I purchased full color ad space in Metal Edge.

I wasn’t just looking for a freebie handout or rock on the rise photo – I was also a business man.

My point is, had I been calling for ad rates, she likely would have returned the call.

Either way….

So now at the height of the low point for 80’s bands – me included – she was just another person, outlet, business contact who felt like I was no longer worthy of their time.

Her careless thoughts and words got back to me… and I reacted.

The moment I heard what Gerri had said about me, my music and the rest of the guys from the 80’s era  –  I was furious.

I have no ill will towards Gerri Miller today, and haven’t for years.

Editor’s Note: Sadly Gerri Miller passed away in March of 2021.

But the fact is, her words influenced the decision to launch my own media outlet.

A website called Metal Sludge.

I thought, “If I can’t get these magazines to cover me, then I will make my own media outlet and become the press myself.”

This was in the summer of 1998 and I called my good friend Shawn and told him of my idea.

We immediately started spit-balling back n’ forth and the idea of Metal Sludge was born.

For anyone who ever thought the site, its writers or either of us HATED the 80’s… your assumptions could not be further from the truth.

We loved the 80’s and loved all that went with it.

But we also knew the excess.

Aside from the drugs, drinking and women.

There were also stupid moments by some of the bands who helped define the era – many of which were super ridiculous.

Some were worth a laugh and some cringe worthy to say the least.

Chris Holmes in the pool in “Decline of Western Civilization – Part 2 The Metal Years” was worth a laugh.

Sebastian Bach throwing a bottle into a teenagers face from the stage, well, that was shameful and helped disgrace the 80’s.

Along with Vince Neil’s car crash, and many other’s arrests for DUI’s, overdoses and domestic abuse on their partners.

So from the start, our idea was to build a place where fans of these bands could gather (online) to talk about, share stories and vent about all things related.

Over time we were called the National Enquirer of Rock n’ Roll, we were TMZ before there was a TMZ, and I happily accept either as a compliment.

However we never reported a sighting of Elvis or Bigfoot at a 7/11.

However if we did make some over-the-top crazy claim reporting, “Bigfoot spotted backstage at a Slaughter concert” – it was referring to Gerri Miller and us just being downright mean.

Yeah, we were mean, big deal.

Of course this was 20+ years earlier, and in the modern climate of the world, the internet and the woke folks who are offended by everything, well of course we can’t say all that today, but we did in the beginninhg and there is no changing history.

The same way Howard Stern, Opie & Anthony, or even Saturday Night Live are restrained or restricted from not offending anyone.

Oh well, such is the current life we all live in, and now everyone has to walk a straighter line for fear of being cancelled.

And for anyone who wants to challenge the Metal Sludge track record over our entire history – name a false story we reported?

There isn’t one…

But of course our site, my site, this site has hurt some feelings over the years… fair enough.

What’s that old saying, “The truth hurts!”

Off the top of your head, make a list of the stories you read on the site and thought this can’t be true.

It’s laughable when I’ve read comments on social media about Metal Sludge over the years.

“Oh that’s not a real site“, or “Consider the source” and “Fake news”.

Do you know how many people called me, text’d and e-mailed saying, “Dude! There is NO WAY Warren DeMartini has been fired from Ratt!”

Metal Sludge broke that story along with countless others.

We published stories about who had been fired, who was hired or going to be, and sadly at times who got arrested, suddenly overdosed or died.

It’s not always a great thing to report the news, especially if it’s not all good news, but we’re all living in reality here – not fantasy land – so why not call it like it is.


Now back to the summer of 1998.

From the beginning we also decided to do this anonymously.

My idea was to be like The Unknown Comic or The Masked Magician.

Unleash comedy-like content and jokes, along with telling the secrets of the industry but without anyone knowing who we were.

We also looked to some of our favorites for ideas, like Howard Stern, Saturday Night Live and Playboy Magazine.

Over the next several weeks Shawn and I both brainstormed what to include on the website.

Remember, at this time, in the mid/late 90’s, there were very few websites online.

And there were virtually no social media outlets.

Just to give you an idea of where we were at this point.

KNAC_dot_COM_Logo_1Metal Sludge launched September 1st 1998.

Bravewords = 2000
Blabbermouth = March 3rd 2001
Kerrang = Summer 2001
Sleazeroxx = 2002
Myspace = August 1st 2003
Facebook = February 2004
YouTube = February 14th 2005
TMZ = November 8th 2005
Twitter = March 21st 2006
Metal Sucks = December 2006
Instagram = October 6th 2010

A big shout out goes to KNAC who actually launched in February 1998 as an internet based radio station.

But in a nutshell, Metal Sludge was well ahead of the curve with our idea.

In truth, we had little to no knowledge about how the internet really worked.

Shawn started doing some research and at some point found this web-server hosting company called Geo Cities.

We both became consumed with our idea.

For those who don’t know, Shawn was a fan turned friend, who also helped film and edit a bunch of Tuff related videos for our releases post Atlantic Records.

With the Tuff band essentially retired for almost 3 years at this point, I was itching to do something rock n’ roll related. And C.W.A. although fun and financially rewarding…it wasn’t filling the void.

At some point during one of our conversations I told Shawn I had an idea for the writers on the site.

Andy_Secher_NYC_1990_1Going back to 1990 when Tuff signed to Atlantic Records we were in New York City at dinner with some industry people.

One of those people was Andy Secher, the editor of Hit Parader Magazine.

Andy Secher and Stevie Rachelle at dinner in New York City during Atlantic Records press week.

Andy was also, a partner in Titanium Records.

This was the imprint label that signed Tuff and they were under the Atlantic Records mother-ship label.

Kind of like Poison signed to Enigma under Capitol Records.

I was talking to Andy about Hit Parader and asked about “all the writers” and contributors to the magazine.

Andy told me, “I write all the articles.”

I then questioned, “But I see different names as written by – throughout the magazine.”

Andy then told me the following, and for the record, Andy was a big sports fan.

He said, “Stevie, I will be writing a review and watching a baseball game at the same time.”

He then told me, “I take the pitchers first name (Rollie Fingers) and the 1st baseman’s last name (Pete Rose) and use Rollie Rose for that review.”

I thought that was brilliant.

He also told me he didn’t always want to put “his name” on every review, if you know what I mean.

I kind of took that as, if he published something ‘not so nice’, it could come back to haunt him.

Does the Guns N’ Roses song “Get In The Ring” ring a bell?

So I told Shawn, “Let’s use different rock stars first or last names to come up with our identities for Metal Sludge.”

Shawn took Jani Lane, Jon Bon Jovi and Vince Neil to make, Jani Bon Neil.

I took C.C. DeVille, Eddie Van Halen and Nikki Sixx to make, C.C. Van Sixx.

Donna Anderson, was Donna D’Ericho and Pamela Anderson and so on.

Metal_Sludge_Logo_Jani_Bon_Neil_1998_1999_1Then we brought to life characters like Bastard Boy Floyd, Ozzy Stillbourne, Blas Dokken, Blackie Z’Nuff, Dana Brittingham and away we went.

Shawn also came up with the idea to do 20 Questions, similarly to the way Playboy would do their interview each month.

He also came up with the idea to have a male and female monthly feature where we would do a short interview and post info about the fan.

Shawn was from Detroit area and a huge fan of Insane Clown Posse, who called their male fans Juggalos and female fans were referred to as Juggalettes.

So, he coined the names Sludgeaholic and Sludgette.

We wanted the Sludgeaholics to be kind of an ugly rocker dude, unshaven, overweight or tattooed. And look kind of like The Beast.

Then the Sludgettes, would be hot, sexy, scantily clad and looking like The Beauty.

I came up with the Hair Club For Men chart, where we would detail rockers who were balding, wearing weaves, wigs or extensions.

And I was happy to add my own name to the list of balding rockers. Ugh.

I also came up with the Penis Chart.

Over the years this would become our most popular section.

In short, or long depending on how you wanna look at it, here is where we would take groupie stories and rumors about how big or small a guy’s dick was.

Then add the dirty details from a fan and add a little slap-stick comment of our own to the entry.

Metal_Sludge_Sludgette_2018_1Of course my name was added here as well and thankfully I got more dick than hair.

As usual all of our Sludgettes were hot, young and sexy.

In addition to these whacky columns, we had standard reviews of CDs, DVDs and live shows too.

But always with a slight twisting of the arm if you will.

Metal Edge had Rock On The Rise.

So Metal Sludge called our column Rock On The Decline.

We also listed results of concert draws, attendance figures and the money generated from a specific concert.

This we called Sludgemaster, like Ticketmaster.

But at some point we were served a cease and desist from the company and pulled that section down.

Soon the popular Rock Never Stops tours started up with Quiet Riot, Slaughter, Firehouse and similar bands on the package.

Of course we renamed it the Rock Always Sucks tour and blasted it with all kinds of crazy insults.

And remember, we didn’t insult it just to be dicks either.

We would get reports of the bands fighting with each other, members acting like entitled drama queens or quitting mid-tour.

Cue the Sludge Wire where we would let loose.

Which of course the Sludge Wire was a take on the popular monthly column from Metal Edge they called News Wire or Metal Wire.

Adding snippets of press releases, or related rock news and then we would add our snarky commentary.

It was always sarcastic, and we would color code the comments.

The real news was in black and white.

Then if Jani Bon Neil commented, it was coded RED. If Donna Anderson commented, it was coded PINK. And if Blas Dokken commented it was BLUE.

Examples of a Sludge Wire are listed below.

“A Really Fat Sludge Wire” October 13th 1999
“No Gimmick Needed Sludge Wire” October 20th 1999
“Ozzy Stillbourne’s Bitter Halloween Sludge Wire”
October 26th 1999
“Open Up & Say Ahh Sludge Wire” November 3rd 1999

Metal_Sludge_front_page_scarren_October_12_1999_2018_1Over time the Sludge Wire became hilarious, and not just because of Shawn and I.

No, we had multiple rock stars themselves, who wanted in on the fun.

Over the years there were endless digs, jabs and insults leveled at rock stars via our Sludge Wire that came from their peers.

The front of Metal Sludge on October 12th 1999.

Aside from the Sludge Wire, we had guest interviewers and contributors from gold and platinum selling bands.

And of course, a ton more from bands that were one and done with their record deal.

We had a ton of support from many rock stars and they all loved the site.

That is until they got Sludged themselves.

At some point we’ve Sludged everyone, and some guys hated us, then loved us then hated us again.

While others loved us at first, then hated us when they became the butt-end of a joke, but most came full circle and understood it after the fact.

I believe with social media over the years, many people became more aware of themselves, and how the average fan could suddenly critique them and the world could see it.

Then there were a few, and when I see a few, I mean a few, who were and are forever angry…{cough-Sebastian Bach-cough} and Da’ Blotz.

Funny thing is, Bach was one of the first ever rock stars to contact us, and told us he loved the site.

What’s even more nuts, is we were only online for 6 days when he first messaged us.

Then he got owned in a Sludge post from a fan, that we printed of the fan’s experience with him – and he lost his shit ever since.

Here are 2 snippets from the first year in review timeline related to Sebastian Bach.


Blotzer was pretty much the same, loved us and then hated us.

He loved it and wrote things like, “I am glad I am not in Slaughter” in interviews he did with us. But when he got made fun of, he became sour.

Hey Blotz, newsflash, you’re not in Slaughter.

By the way you’re not in Ratt either.

Moving along….

The way that rock stars reacted, often dictated how we’d treat them in return.

We were always cool and respectful out of the gate.

But if someone acted like a cunt, then we’d throw it back at them x 10.

Of course a lot of these guys were use to getting their asses licked by everyone.

But not us.

Over time we gave out some FU Awards and put some bitches in their place.

Metal_Sludge_Logo_Super_Balls_1998_1999_1Along with giving out the Super Balls Award to a guy who would match our wit and brutally tell the truth.

I mean what guy doesn’t want to be awarded with a flying nut-sack wearing a cape?

It was always entertaining to us and the readers when a interview would come back full of shit talking.

No one likes a slow pitch interview or a softball answer.

So being brutally honest, and a bit hardcore – was the Stern side of our site.

We’d ask a guy how many loads he blew in his last girlfriend’s ass, and if he ever pulled out a muddy helmet after.

Or if he ever jacked off in traffic.

Fun stuff, unless of course you’re a wimp.


The site started out slow and had like 21 visitors on day 1.

Soon enough though we were picking up steam and by early 1999 we were getting thousands of hits per day from all over the planet.

But this silly idea, was becoming a lot of work and in some ways a game as well.

We were trying to remain anonymous and there was a small circle of friends who knew who was behind the site, but in reality only a fistful.

Also, Shawn was savvy and learned how to use a proxy to hide our IP address when emailing rock stars for interviews.

In basic terms, we could write someone and if they traced us, it would look like the email was coming from China, or Bangladesh or even Des Moines Iowa.

Metal_Sludge_front_page_scarren_Feb_1_2001_2018_1He would change this all the time, and occasionally we’d get someone with some internet knowledge message and say, “You guys are based in Alaska?”

Soon enough our site was so popular we were getting bombarded from labels to advertise their 80’s related releases.

Enter the money!

This was the front page of Metal Sludge on February 1st 2001.

Now we’re selling banner space at $ 800.00 per month, and multiple labels are buying multiple banners.

So, I had to get us a merchant and bank account.

In registering the name Metal Sludge, I went to the clerk of courts in San Bernardino County.

Purposely out of Los Angeles County where most people might search the name.

And when I registered for a DBA (doing business as) I registered Metal Slvdge.

Not Metal Sludge.

I change the U to a V.

Which if someone sent us a check, a bank wouldn’t question a U or a V in the spelling in the PAY TO THE ORDER of line.

However, if someone searched Metal Sludge in online records. It would NOT show up.

Soon enough a California Federal Bank account was in place.

Along with a P.O. Box which we changed a few times.

We had 1 in San Bernardino California, one in Minnesota and one outside of Chicago just over the border in Indiana.

Funny thing is, along the way we had other people front for us.

Kind of like a drug dealer, “Hey, take this here, and do this, and we’ll give you X. Y and Z.”

We had to try and cover our identities somehow and we did.

Friends, girlfriends and at some point even fans of the site were doing our dirty work.

This included the idea to have a fan, attend a show, say they were sent by Metal Sludge and ask to interview >insert rock star name here<.

And guess what?

Metal_Sludge_front_page_scarren_June_3_2003_2018_1It worked like 99% of the time.

It worked so good, that the rock stars were usually totally cool to the fan. And the fan would end up backstage, on the bus and get treated like royalty.

And for years…no one really knew who we were.

Metal Sludge became kind of a big deal for bands at some point.

Or at least it seemed so.

A screen capture of the Metal Sludge cover page from June 3rd 2003.

Our first full year was broken down in a timeline that we posted on the site in early September 1999 – A Timeline A Year In Review 1998-1999.

Sooner than later we were interviewing the who’s-who of multi platinum rock stars, and a laundry list of D-list no-hit wonders as well.

Nikki Sixx, Tommy Lee, Steven Adler, David Coverdale, Alice Cooper, Zakk Wylde, Lemmy Kilmister, Kevin DuBrow, Rikki Rockett and Jani Lane.

That turned into members of Skid Row, Kiss, Black Sabbath and even the elite players like Billy Sheehan, Paul Gilbert and Mike Portnoy.

Then we started unleashing the rare stuff, like 20 Questions with members of Slik Toxik, Sleeze Beez, Kik Tracee, Killer Dwarfs and Wild Boyz.

It seemed that these interviews were almost as popular and well received as the biggest stars.

We also did follow-up interviews a year or two later which we coined the Re-Wind, then a 3rd installment we called the 3-Wind and eventually the Back-4-More and 5-Wire too.

In total Metal Sludge interviewed upwards of 500 rock stars, porn stars, famous wrestlers and various other entertainment related celebrities.

It was a weekly thing for the better part of a decade. But like all things, it gets old, and the internet evolved in so many ways.

Remember, this was still the late 90’s and early 2000’s so there were few options for many of these bands to get noticed.

It’s also a time when a guy like Jizzy Pearl was singing in L.A. Guns and then Ratt.

And for most of those years there were 2 L.A. Guns, and Kiss had all original members again while Tommy Thayer played assistant.

Obviously the magazine was slowly dying and waiting every 30 days to read about what happened 2 months earlier was soon unacceptable.

Metal_Sludge_Metal_Barbie_Christie_Kane_NJ_NY_2018_2Especially when a show would happen at 10:00pm, and the fan could be back home at 1:00am, and email a re-cap to us.

Note: This was before smart phones, so there wasn’t any sending info via phone – just yet – they had to get home and email us.

Then the next morning, Metal Sludge could tell you about the concert train wreck in Denver, Hollywood or Pittsburgh from a firsthand witness.

As time went by, .jpgs (images) were made more easily uploaded and ready to share. And soon enough, video the same once YouTube launched.

With the popularity also came the overload of incoming and content.

What to publish, or write about and who to cover.

Just like a magazine and its editor or staff, we were able to pick and choose what we wanted on the site.

With that, also came Shawn’s favorites, versus mine or someone else who was contributing.

The Metal Barbie Christie Kane models our Poison Green Metal Slut style baby tee.

At some point there was a demand for a Metal Sludge t-shirt.

And like everything we included a theme with our swag.

Different styles and different colors like; Skid Row Red, Poison Green, the BulletBoy Blue and Vixen Hot Pink.

Soon that turned into Baby Dolls as well where we tweaked the logo for part of the girl’s tops to read Metal Slut.

We also carried embroidered Hats, Beanies and custom Baseball Jerseys.

I recall one Holiday season where we did roughly $25,000.00 just in Sludgendise sales in 1 month.

At some point we were being contacted by clubs and promoters asking us about doing an event.


So we communicated through emails with a So. Calif. Promoter named Jimmy D and put on the first ever Metal Sludge Extravaganza at Paladino’s in Reseda California.

This was the summer of 2001 and it was a huge success.

We hired the local gods Metal Shop, who soon evolved into Metal Skool.

Today they play globally to massive crowds and call themselves Steel Panther.

We charged $500.00 to use our name, and hundreds of people showed up.

Follow up events were successful as well and at some point branding our name was used for an entire summer tour in 2003.

This was the first ever Metal Sludge Extravaganza tour featuring Faster Pussycat, Enuff Z’Nuff and various other 80’s related acts.

We sorted a deal with the clubs and each venue in every city had to pay us $500.00 to use our name.

metal_sludge_Steel_panther_paladinos_1The deal was, send us a Money Order, payable to Metal Sludge Entertainment, to our P.O. Box for 500 bucks.

See a whole photobucket of images from a Metal Sludge Extravaganza event at Paladino’s on September 19th 2004 with Metal Skool, aka Steel Panther 

Once we received their money, their show date, venue address and details were added to the site for the tour.

The tour played in 37 cities across North America.

You do the math… and yeah… it was fun collecting nearly 20 grand and we never left our homes.

By this point we were making money off of advertisements, merchandise and more.

And our site was hugely popular getting mentions in the biggest published rags around the globe, including Rolling Stone, Spin and Playboy too.

I have to say at some point it was kind of mind boggling that so many people were into the site. And we didn’t set out to make money, or get rich but rather to have fun and be creative.

As time went by more and more people were asking “Who runs Metal Sludge?”

This was becoming much harder for me, as I lived here in the Los Angeles area.

I was also part of the scene, and by this time (2001)  I had reformed Tuff as well.

With the reboot of Tuff, I released a song called “American Hairband.”

It was an anthem for the 80’s and a fuck you to grunge. And it was a bona’fide hit.

The song was suddenly played everywhere, CD sales took off and now I was smack dab in the middle of the hairband world even more.

Going out and having people approach me to take a photo with them, while wearing their Metal Sludge T-shirt or simply talk about the week’s news on the site was always a bit uncomfortable.

Evel_Dick_Stevie_Garbageman_Tod_Burr_Sludge_5_2018_1At the same time I would be at a local Sherman Oaks post office mailing out dozens of packages of merchandise and run into Bruce Kulick or Carlos Cavazo.

Meanwhile chatting up a random industry person with a bin of packages at my feet – all stamped with a METAL SLUDGE return P.O. Box from Indiana.

Evel Dick, Stevie Tuff, Garbageman and Tod “T” Burr at a Metal Sludge Extravaganza in 2005.

As much as we had going on with the site it seemed one thing led to another.

Somewhere along the way Shawn and I started discussing releasing a compilation CD.

In the late 90’s and early 2000’s there were these super hit CDs called “Now That’s What I Call Music” and they were a big success.

Of course like everything else, we decided to do a parody of these and released “Hey That’s What I Call Sludge Vol. 1“.

The disc had 24 tracks and was released in early 2004.

Our debut musical selection featured songs from FireHouse, Kevin DuBrow of Quiet Riot, Lit, Jizzy Pearl of Love/Hate, Tuff, Wednesday 13 of Murderdolls and many others.

My Tuff song was a parody of Bloodhound Gang‘s “Dear Chasey Lane”, which I turned into “Dear Jani Lane.”

A very Sludgelike style tune that also was well received.

Metal_Sludge_Hey_Thats_What_I_Call_Sludge_Vol_1_CD_2018_1Even by Jani himself.

After he heard it he emailed me and said, “Stevie, I like your stuff, very campy” and like all his messages signed it… Ciao Jani.

The Metal Sludge All-Stars were also imvolved, and basically this was Metal Shop/Metal Skool (Steel Panther) before they were signed to Universal.

They were in-between names and some legal mumbo jumbo was also going on so they couldn’t use either.

So we all agreed that they would be the Metal Sludge All-Stars.

Michael Starr, Satchel, Lexxi and Stix were a big part of the release with their original version of “Death To All But Metal” and several comedy bits laced throughout the CD.

Something else that became a little challenging was moderating our message boards, forums and chat rooms.

Cyber bullying became a new thing and some fans were brutal.

We equated the Metal Sludge followers in a way like the Howard Stern followers.

They were very loyal, and would support the site, make signs at events, call into radio shows or attend concerts proudly wearing our colors.

But some of these fans also argued, and at times threatened each other.

It was like the Whack Pack.

Some were more famous from their Sludgeaholic award, or from getting pictures with rock stars or even conducting an interview with them.

JSoichi_Scott_Sludge_2018_1Over the years some people took on an identity from Metal Sludge and became semi-famous themselves.

Many of whom had unique names like Garbageman, C.C. Banana, mOji, Tollywood, Ponch, Arkansas Cracker, Soichi from Japan, Smilin’ Mike, KillDieDead and Angry Jewboy.

Soichi from Japan with Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian.

Someone who took it to another level was Evel Dick.

Many will recall Evel Dick won Big Brother 8 in 2007.

Then there were the girls, who were also getting lots of attention.

We would usually pick hot young chicks and it was somewhat of an honor I guess.

Crazy to think, but it was – and over the years more than a few have contacted the site and said, “Hey, I am 32 now, married and trying to get a new job and my Metal Slut award is the #1 link on a search engine with my name. Can you please REMOVE it?”

Rikki_Rockett_Poison_Metal_Sludge_2000_1Like the rock stars, we’d also ask the Sludgettes crazy questions. Which of course were things like “What rock star had the biggest dick?” or worse.

At some point we posted something along the lines of, “Wear your shirt to the show, and meet the stars.”

Then we’d share others who had done so and got to meet >insert rock star here<.

Rikki Rockett was one of the first to be accepting of the site and our fan base.

He also was one of the earliest 20 Questions we did.

Rockett was a big fan and supporter of Metal Sludge and even offered to do the Dr. Rockett column, where he would answer fan mail.

Rikki Rockett of Poison wearing a Metal Sludge shirt on stage, but it appears he forgot his pants on this night.

This was an extension of our column Ask The Stars.

We would reach out to band members and ask if they would answer fan mail (email) and then we’d publish it.

Of course this was always fun, or at least we’d try to make it that.

Another column we came up with was our Exposed section.

We would find or be sent old photos of rock stars in their younger years, or from previous bands.

Many of these images were less than flattering and we were exposing who the stars really were.

Metal_Sludge_Nikki_Sixx_Exposed_2018_1We ran a photo of Nikki Sixx from middle school, where he had glasses and looked like a nerd, the caption simply read, “Shout At The Devil”.

Nikki Sixx looking punk rock and heavy metal back in middle school.

It was golden and that section was a million laughs for sure.

Probably more so, because in the 90’s most bands were trying to hide their 80’s past.

A great example was getting photos of grunge bands like Disturbed when they looked like a bunch of glammer boys.

Again, all of this was a decade before social media really took off, so we were doing stuff that had never been done before.

It seems over time most “got it” and understood the Metal Sludge approach.

But some of the usual suspects clearly took themselves way too serious.

And they became easy targets.

Enter Sebastian Bach some more.

The funny thing is that this guy had the world in the palm of his hand for a moment in rock n’ roll time.

But after you strip away the platinum records, sold out arenas and pin-ups, what do you really have?

Metal_Sludge_Disturbed_Exposed_1Disturbed members looking more like they were in Danger Danger circa 1988 than a Nu-Metal band from the 90’s. 

I guess our point with Metal Sludge was to show the world who they were really  worshiping.

As years went by social media has done a great job of this.

Stripping away the glitz and glamour of being a big star.

It’s no longer just a video, song or a photo in a magazine.

Now the fan along with the rest of the planet can see what their favorites look like pumping gas, eating at SubWay or talking on a cell phone outside a hotel.

Also, for the record Metal Sludge wasn’t out to get anyone.

And sure I knew many of these guys from being in a band myself, playing shows together but most I didn’t know beyond that.

However with this site myself, Shawn along with the rest of the (interested) onlookers started to see who was made of what.

I will use the term, thin skin here.

Metal_Sludge_Jeff_Pilson_Dokken_2018_1Some guys could care less if their CD got a 1 star review or 5 stars.

While others would virtually melt down when the review wasn’t making them out to be the best thing since sliced bread.

Jeff Pilson of Dokken rokken his Sludgendise. Jeff was always an upbeat and fun guy when it came to Metal Sludge. 

Something else that became obvious.

Certain guys kept popping up and on the radar for being…well, down right dumb.

I don’t have to type the names here, some are still alive and some are not.

But over 20 years we never wrote anything crazy about the drummer from Tesla or the guitarist from Def Leppard, or the bassist from Aerosmith.


Well, because they never got arrested for possession, never got a DUI (that we know of), never beat their wife, never jumped in the crowd to fight a fan or fell over barfing onstage.

And are these horrible things?

No, not at all. But if you slip up – own it.

Baz_Loves_Sludge-300x160It’s called taking responsibility for your actions. Being an adult.

I can’t recall where this photo came from, but if memory is correct it was somehow related to Metal Sludge. As you can see – Baz wasn’t too happy here. 

So when certain guys, or their camp, or their fan base would cry foul, “You are always picking on him” we had a simple response.

Bitch please!

No one picked on anyone.

If the shoe fits, wear it.

I also understand there is no law against being a dick.

But let’s not forget, there is no law against having an opinion of someone who’s acting like a dick just the same.

These are grown ass men, who don’t need to be coddled like kindergartners – and if they do – then they need to be told what’s up.

Plain and simple.


Well now we’re 6 years into this thing and there was tension on the inside as well.

It’s a weird analogy, but the relationship Shawn and I had – was kind of like being in a band at times.

We both had ideas about what to write, what to put up on the site and of course we butted heads.

Iann_Robinson_MTV_Sludge_Shirt_300x160Not so much at first, but in time it was like 2 guys who both wanted their song to be the single.

We’d be jabbing each other with “this got a great reaction” and then “but this piece, not so much” blah, blah, blah.

Music reporter Iann Robinson was also a fan. In addition to doing our whacky interviews he also wore our swag on MTV.

Truth is Shawn was much better at writing than I was, and he did the lion’s share of this stuff.

His FU Awards, Jani’s Page Sludge, the Beyond A Bitch Award and Random Thoughts columns were all epic reads.

He was also the site’s editor if you will. And he did a great job of picking and choosing for sure.

But just like in Tuff, where Todd and Jorge were better musicians than I – that didn’t mean I couldn’t contribute.

And I did with both the band and this site.

What is crazy is we did this for 5 years and 11 months together, add to that the months leading up to our 1998 fall launch.

Basically we were doing this for 2,000 days and nights.

Multiply that by a few articles per day and we’re talking about 3-4 thousands articles over the life of the site by the middle of 2004.

Metal_Sludge_front_page_scarren_November_7_2005_2018_1Metal Sludge cover page November 7th 2005, Tracii Guns, Amir Derahk and Butter Bean? #WTF!

It was 6 years, thousands of posts, special events, a U.S. tour, a CD release, endless merchandise, advertising and the list goes on.

Looking back I have no complaints, other than – I wish I knew now what I didn’t know back then.

We both needed a break, or at least a break from each other and something had to give.

The shortest version is, Shawn wanted to stop doing the site – or so he had me believing that was the case.

But I did not.

This was being debated for some time and in the summer of 2004 it kind of got to a place of no return.

The site was up and running, but just like the bands… we were going through the motions but barely speaking for weeks and months at a time.

I made a decision and on August 1st 2004 unveiled myself.

The time leading up to this date was very stressful.

In the end, it got ugly and involved 3rd parties.

I won’t elaborate beyond that, other than we eventually settled our differences with a face-to-face meeting and hand shake.

I have not spoken to, or seen Shawn since.

I hope one day Shawn and I can communicate again to look back and laugh on this site and our friendship previous to it.

Without Shawn, Metal Sludge would not have been what it was.

We were a team, but like a lot of teams – the lineup changes.


After I exposed myself I was very shocked at the response.

I was not sure what to expect, but had all kinds of numbers running through my head.

WildSide_Block_2013_150X25060% will be cool, 40% will be mad.

Then thinking,, “Maybe it will be 50/50…”

Truth is, the response was 99% positive and 1% negative.

Of course there were likely many comments said behind closed doors and not to my face that may have been not so positive as well.

But I didn’t care 1 way or the other.

I am a live by the sword, die by the sword kind of guy.

I recall one rock star who reached out to me at some point.

“Dude, what you did ruled. Giving everyone the proverbial kick in the ass, which we all deserved. Me included.”

Kevin DuBrow told me that straight away in a phone call shortly after my coming out party.

There were many comments, mostly good and it was a good feeling knowing more people accepted it and got it – than did not.

Those who were offended, and may still be today are in the minority.

Of course not everyone was thrilled.

And it was especially interesting to see how certain rock stars swung from our balls for years, then stopped swinging.

Scott Ian of Anthrax is one of them.

Scott could not have been a bigger fan of the site.

He did all the interviews, encouraged all of his band-mates to do them and actively took part in all kinds of games and online fun.

Scott also did a few Tour Diaries where we’d ask a rock star to send in a blog about their tour, be it daily or weekly.

Metal_Sludge_Stevie_Rachelle_Tuff_Vh1_Least_Metal_Moments_2018_1His support also included him wearing our swag on stage, in photos, on MTV and Vh1.

But after it was realized that a guy from the hairband Tuff was behind the site, he went as cold as ice.

Shortly after coming out, I was invited by Vh1 to be a talking head on one of their shows.

It was for the “40 Least Metal Moments” special.

Stevie Rachelle on Vh1’s “40 Least Metal Moments” 2004. 

The day I shot included Scott Ian and WWF wrestler Chris Jericho.

All 3 of us were in a tiny green room before shooting as a producer went over a few things with us.

After a few uncomfortable moments of Scott acting like I was either a wall, or simply didn’t exist – I reached out my hand and introduced myself.

To which he replied, “I know who you are” and turned away.

He didn’t say another word to me.

Did I care?


But for a guy who sucked my electronic dick for 6 years, I thought it was pretty bitch ass of him to react that way.

There were other odd meetings as well, after I came out as “the guy” behind Metal Sludge.

Like the night I was sitting in the Rainbow Bar & Grill having dinner.

At some point I see Evel Dick and Jani Lane get seated a few booths over.

I had not seen or communicated with Jani since revealing myself as part of the Metal Sludge dynamic duo.

And for anyone who read the site in the early days, then you know that Jani got it pretty good – but also deservedly so.

He knew it, he earned it and in time he owned it too.

So I called Evel Dick’s cell and he answered.

I am now watching him from about 10 feet away and I ask, “Hey man, what are you doing tonight?”

I could see he was half laughing seeing it was me calling, and not sure what to say as he answers. “I am at the Bow with Jani.”

After a minute I told him, “I am sitting behind you, turn around.”

To which he turns, sees me and starts laughing.

As he hangs up I see him lean over and I am quite sure he told Jani, “Stevie Rachelle is sitting behind you.”

But before Jani could turn around I walked up to his table.

He just looked up at me and kind of shook his head, but in a funny way.

“Sit down, right here next to me” said Jani smirking as he firmly grips his hand onto my neck.

Jani_Lane_Stevie_Rachelle_Rainbow_2004_2005_1Dick laughed and my cousin Keith was with me too.

Jani Lane and Stevie Rachelle at the Rainbow Bar & Grill having their first meet n’ greet since the Metal Sludge heyday.

I sat down next to Jani and we’re now face to face.

He’s just staring at me and pretty quickly he got a little angry, “I got a divorce because of you…” in a strong tone was one of the very first things he said.

….but I cut him off quick.

“Hold it.

“You are gonna tell me, that I am the reason you are divorced?” as I stared directly into his eyes.

Both of us getting a little loud as Dick and my cousin book-ended the booth.

Jani thinks for a second, and then says, “Let me rephrase that.”

We then went back and forth and both unloaded some thoughts and it got a bit heated for sure.

In the end it was all good.

We sat together that night, laughed, hugged and shook hands.

It was all in the past and he was cool with me.

In the coming years after that Jani had reached out to me more than a few times and we were all good going forward.


Around late 2004 I was also taking meetings with Vh1 and Viacom about a T.V. show idea that Shawn and I had been working on for a few years.

We had been in talks via emails with William Morris Agency since 2002 about The Metal Sludge Hour.

We wanted to do a T.V. show like Headbangers Ball meets Saturday Night Live.

Something with our humor tinged content related to Heavy Metal.

Over time this idea evolved a few ways but we never officially took meetings even though the major Hollywood agency knew our stance.

They (W.M.A.) even agreed to signing a NDA (non-disclosure agreement) to protect our identities.

This was also part of the complexity that was Metal Sludge.

We had what I had perceived as a million dollar idea, but we were trying to do it all anonymously.

At some point we had to no longer be a fake name with a P.O Box and emails.

This was also part of the reason why I wanted to reveal who we were or at least, who I was.

So I start taking conference calls with show producers in both Los Angeles and New York City.

They are excited to produce a show with our brand name attached to it.

The internet is hot and so was reality T.V. in the mid 2000’s.

Metal_Babe_Mayhem_Sky_160_600_June_1In late 2004 I am invited to Viacom in Santa Monica California where I meet with producers and staff about The Metal Sludge Hour.

The idea was to play some music, do some interviews but also include a goofy skit kind of like SNL would do.

We would have a host and a co-host with a few sexy girls thrown in for good measure.

It’s funny at some point these fine folks at Vh1 and Viacom were blowing up my phone.

They wanted to hear ALL of my ideas.

And it seemed they were asking 1,000 questions.

I reached out to Riki Rachtman about this, and he politely warned me to be careful, as if I had done a deal with them, in short, I would be likely giving up the rights to my idea, the show, and more.

Not that Headbangers Ball was his idea, it wasn’t, it was MTV‘s property, but Riki was just telling me a few tips and opinions.

Mainly because, it seemed many of them (at this time) didn’t know much about this exact style of music, or the 80’s.

At least not the people I was dealing with directly, and for what its worth, all of this hairband, 80;s stuff was way out of date and not cool at this point.

Remember, it was a dozen or so years since grunge took over and buried the 80’s.

And like Disco, when the 80’s died…. It was ugly.

Nobody wanted anything to do with that era, but Metal Sludge in some ways helped to turn some heads along the way.

Now our site was hugely popular, and maybe we were onto something.

Kind of like Steel Panther was, before they were even called Steel Panther.

Speaking of, I always felt that watching them live was like Metal Sludge in band form.

I recall seeing them one night in Hollywood and Tommy Lee was there with Pamela Anderson.

They stopped the show, and began berating Tommy and telling him rap sucked and how they were gonna take his chick backstage and fuck her head off.

The whole place was in stitches, just roaring with laughter.

Tommy was a good sport though, got up and played a song while Pam danced around and Michael Starr assaulted her body.

They did the same thing to Tony Romo and Jessica Simpson and many other celebrities.

Man, they were awesome early on as Metal Shop aka Metal Skool or Danger Kitty, and they’re just as awesome now as Steel Panther.

Sorry for the side-track, they just rule.

So….after several phone calls, emails and meetings I tried to slow the process to find out…where we stood.

I wanted to sort some kind of deal – before I spill my every last gut about this show.

Well they soon got very cold feet when I wanted to be a little more solid on who, what, where, why, when and how much.

Not that I was expecting a check that day, but I had reached out to a few others (like Riki) who had dealt with Mtv, Vh1, Viacom in regards to shows…and let’s just say they gave me a heads-up.

As life called, I became a Father in 2004 and again in 2005.

Soon enough I am a new Dad with 2 kids, Tuff is relaunched, I am running Metal Sludge and then I decided to manage this band from Sweden.

For anyone who recalls, I met Vains of Jenna in July of 2005 and dove in head first as their manager.

That is a whole different set of blogs and diaries that went for many years as well.

At some point in 2005 my cousin Keith Cartwright had worked in T.V. for some time producing segments for everything from commercials to random cable shows.

He got a small company involved and we (he) filmed and produced a pilot for me.

The Metal Sludge Hour was in the works.

He put together a great little promo show if you will.

We invited several guests to be part of the project.

We filmed the core of the show in a North Hollywood rehearsal studio.

And our panel all sat on road cases with amps, drums and music gear as our back drop.

We wanted it to be a cool rock n’ roll vibe, not a round table with chairs.

The guests were Paul Gargano the editor of Metal Edge magazine, Dj Will from KNAC and Sunset Strip promoter extraordinaire Happenin’ Harry.

Also, yours truly – the C.E.O. of Metal Sludge.

We had a cool 4 person panel that had worked in all facets of the industry for decades each.

We filmed this and had our musical guest as Quiet Riot.

The late Kevin DuBrow and Frankie Banali were on hand and did a great interview.

In addition we shot a Q&A with twin Sludgettes interviewing Jackie Enx.

Enx was the transgender drummer from Rhino Bucket.

CC_Banana_Kiss_2018_1Other clips include Playboy model Lana Kinnear (pka Lana Star of W.O.W.) as our Sunset Strip hostess outside the Rainbow and C.C. Banana backstage at a Trixter concert in New Jersey.

C.C. Banana backstage with the band Kiss. Paul points to his favorite website logo and Gene looks on likely thinking “WTF!?”

There were other little tidbits as well, and to this day it has never been aired or shown anywhere.

But, in time…The Metal Sludge Hour will likely make its debut on YouTube.

Fast forward a few years imagine my surprise when That Metal Show hits Vh1 in late 2008.

Hey Viacom and Vh1, you’re welcome.

I was never contacted, never considered and never compensated in anyway.

Not a thank you and not even a fuck you.

According to my email record, notes and the related, the same people who crawled up my ass in 2004 and 2005 – took our Metal Sludge idea and made it their own.

They then hired an East Coast radio guy named Eddie Trunk along with 2 comedians, Don Jaimeson and Jim Florentine.

This was not kind of like our idea, it was 100% our idea.

The interviews, and original sizzle real of this, all shot back in 2004 and 2005 has never been shared anywhere, but oddly, it’s amazing similar to exactly what Viacom produced as That Metal Show.

They simply removed the word “Sludge”, pushed me aside, and off they went, several years later.

I had some close to me who knew the details ask me, “Why don’t you get a lawyer?”

Had it been a huge success and there were millions of dollars in the kitty, they would have heard from me.

But I thought the show was an average cable channel level production and not worth the energy.

Besides I was busy being a Father to 2 kids, and step-Father, big brother and manager to 4 adult (almost) Swedish kids (Vains of Jenna) at this time.

I was balls deep in 8-10 projects and had little time (or money) to chase this into the courts.

At some point maybe there will be an in detail look at how it all unfolded, with emails, names, dates, and screen captures to show the time-line, who, what, where and when.

Welcome to Hollywood folks.


Other crazy things that happened with Metal Sludge over the years.

I recall one night getting a embedded video link in our email, and it was kind of vague, but the message said “watch this”.

I clicked it and it was a Vh1 commercial.

The music was half faint, clearly rock n’ roll and very blurred and fast moving at first.

With something like a heart beat getting louder and closer.

Then towards the last 10 seconds the music became a bit more clear and familiar and all of a sudden the camera froze on this exact scene with a girls top about to be lifted.

Metal_Sludge_Home_Sweet_Home_2018_1It was from Motley Crue‘s “Home Sweet Home” video from 1985.

Then it said something like, “They’re back…”

This was late 2004 and Motley Crue had not been with all four members in some years.

So naturally we put up a post and in short said, “It looks like Motley Crue is back together” and added the embedded video.

Of course the site exploded and we got a ton of action.

Including people accusing of us editing together a professionally shot commercial, all because we were trying to create news I guess.

That is laughable.

So within 24 hours of this going up my phone rings and I answer.

“Is this Stevie Rachelle of Metal Sludge?”

“Yes it is, who is this?”

“Hi Stevie, my name is Katie McNeil, I work with 10th Street – we manage Motley Crue. Where did you get that video?”

I kinda laughed and replied. “I have my sources.”

Katie giggled and then asked nicely for me to remove it, which I said, “That won’t happen.”

I then asked her, “Where did you get my number anyway?”

Katie, “I have my sources” as she laughed.

Jizzy_Pearl_IGMCTF_150_Block_Jan_2018_1I laughed as well.

When she realized I wasn’t going to remove it she made me a deal, “How about if I send you a different one, you run that and remove this?”

I agreed, as long as it was a similar (cryptic) message. Which it was, and I swapped them out.

Katie then told me, “Do me this favor, and I will hook you up with some tickets to shows this coming tour.”

We made a deal and Katie and 10th Street were GREAT to us.

I was given multiple sets of front row tickets for shows in numerous cities all over North America.

Oddly, I never used any myself, but gave them to Sudgeaholics and some folks who I wanted to gift them too.

In looking back I am not sure if this was purposely leaked to us or what but it became obvious that Metal Sludge was making its mark in the business.

Soon after our breaking news, Vh1 aired the commercial and Motley Crue were back.

They also did that press conference and performance at The Palladium in Hollywood on December 7th 2004.

Katie hooked me up and I (Metal Sludge) was there, VIP with all the rest of Rolling Stone, Spin and other industry folks.


I got another tip, “Dj Ashba is the next lead guitarist in Guns N’ Roses.”

This was an anonymous caller on my band hotline number that was still working in 2009.

I ran an article on March 15th  2009 and announced, “Guns N’ Roses name Dj Ashba as new guitarist”

The headline hit and the news spread fast.

That night my phone rang from an 805 area code.

This is Ventura County, just north of Los Angeles.

“Hi, Stevie Rachelle please” said a voice.

Billy_Dior_Book_Sky_160_600_1“This is Stevie…”

“Hey Dude, how are you? It’s Dizzy Reed.”

“Hey Dizzy, how are ya – it’s been a while.”

Dizzy then asked where I heard this, and pleaded with me to remove it from the site.

I refused and nicely told him, “I have a source, I am not removing it.”

I then added, “Besides, if it wasn’t true, you wouldn’t care enough to call me.”

We had a nice little chat, and went down memory lane to the late 80’s when his band The Wild would open for Tuff at Troubadour.

He understood but I guess was trying to help protect whatever it was they were doing.

A week later on March 23rd 2009 it was official and Guns N’ Roses announced Dj Ashba as their guitarist.

This was just 1 of the many cool stories we broke on Metal Sludge.


There were sad stories as well.

Randy Castillo revealed in his December 2000 interview with the site that he was battling cancer.

Sadly as we all know Randy passed away in March 2002.

A few months after Randy died we started getting incoming messages late at night in February 2003.

Soon it was apparent, something went very wrong with the pyro-techniques at a Great White show in Rhode Island.

The week that followed was gut wrenching as we were updating reports with dozens dead, and hundreds wounded.

So sad, and unfortunate losing all those good people who just wanted to go to a concert.

After years of running this site, we get all kinds of tips and stories.

And crazy to think, as outrageous as some leads (tips) sound or appear to be – most of them end up being true.

I recall reading our Gossip Board one night in early December of 2004.

Some fans started writing about a shooting at the Damageplan show in Columbus Ohio.

This was Dimebag and Vinnie’s new band on tour playing the Al Rosa Villa.

As people began to blog about what happened, I had this weird feeling it was all true.

I had played this venue before and the things they wrote about the club, parking lot and which hotels were next door, were all familiar to me.

Soon enough reality set in and word got out that Dimebag was killed.

Metal Sludge was one of the very first sites to report about this tragedy, and it sucked updating this news.

It also sucked in late November 2007 when rumors started spreading about Kevin DuBrow.

People were text’ing me he had died, so I called his cell phone.

It rang and rang, then went to voice mail – and my heart just sank.

I text’d Alex Grossi, and he replied; “It’s true.”

I felt so bad for all the guys, Frankie, Alex, etc.. ugh.

Once again I had to write another horrible headline.

Kevin became a friend, and loved the site.

Writing an article about a friend dying sucks.

Same with Jani Lane, Greg from Sister Whiskey, Danny Wilder who played with Tuff and more recently Vinnie Paul.

Editor’s Note: Since this original article, we also lost Eddie Van Halen, Frankie Banali of Quiet Riot, Jeff LaBar of Cinderella, Jeff Beck, Jessica Hahn, Randy Rand of Autograph, Brian Howe of Bad Company, Alec John Such of Bon Jovi, Manny Charlton of Nazareth, Bob Kulick, Mike Howe of Metal Church, Dusty Hill of ZZ Top, Bob Nalbandian, Wayne Swinny of Saliva, Steve Grimmett of Grim Reaper, Meatloaf, Charlie Watts of The Rolling Stones, Joey Jordison of Slipknot, Taylor Hawkins of Foo Fighters and others.

Metal_Sludge_Keith_Stevie_Frankie_Kevin_1The site has brought so many laughs for fans everywhere.

Myself included.

Frankie Banali, producer Keith Ryan Cartwright, Kevin DuBrow and Stevie Rachelle fall 2005. On this day we filmed the Quiet Riot interview for The Metal Sludge Hour. 

But I can honestly say I have cried over this site as well, and having to hear and report a story of someone dying is not easy to do.

Not just the rock stars, but the Sludgeaholics as well.

C.C. Banana, Soichi from Japan and the most famous Gossip Board poster ever – IggyPopWillEatItSelf.

It may sound silly to some, but these guys were real people who like some of the rock stars – touched so many others with their existence.

Metal Sludge is not just a website but a community as well.

Just like a guy walking in the grocery store who sees someone else wearing his favorite teams jersey – there is often a smile, thumbs up or something to acknowledge that common interest.

Same applies with a fan of Metal Sludge.

There are fans of the site from around the world who have met because of this silly dot com.

The site has helped bring a lot of people together and put a lot of smiles on many faces.

Like Bon Jovi said, or was it Loudness?

“500 faces 1000 eyes” and “I’ve seen a lot of faces, and I’ve rocked them all.”

Metal Sludge has done all that too.

I am happy to type this.

I am proud of what I have done, and what started with a silly idea 25 years ago.

I don’t know what else to say, but thank you.

This goofy idea has been a big part of my life along with everyone who has supported it in anyway.

I love the support and I equally accept the hate.

Tracii Guns once told me this, “Stevie, if you don’t have any haters, you’re not doing it right.’

I am pretty sure I have some, but I am okay with that.

Here is to another 25 years… if I make it… if not, I guess there is always the Way Back Machine!

Thanks everyone, see ya on the internet, at a show or in the gym.

Stevie Rachelle “From Hell”



People have said to me for years, “You should write a book, I’ll buy it.
That’s not likely going to happen… not anytime soon at least. But if you are down with my blogs, my band or my various projects – I say thank you. 

I have self-released roughly 50 projects on CD. Cassette, VHS, DVD and Vinyl since 1994. All on my own. Without any label support. None. 
I have also kept Metal Sludge alive, afloat and online since 1998. For Free. You cannot imagine the workload a website of this magnitude can be.

No Kickstarters, no Go-Fund Me, and no Pay Me now and I’ll make a CD in a year and send it to you later. 
I am also self-managed, self-booked (most of the time) and 100% self reliant. A 1-man gang. 

If you want to support in anyway, buy a CD or Vinyl record from me, or a T-shirt. Or send me something direct via Pay Pal. 

I am not begging. I am not sick and no hospital bill. Nope, just continuing my service to the fans that support my Rock N’ Roll. 

My direct Pay Pal email is – send a dollar, send ten or send fifty. Send whatever you like, or nothing at all. 

Many independent websites have Donate buttons, Metal Sludge has NOW added one, Top Right of this page.

No pressure, but hey, it’s an option if you care to do so. 

Thank you for all your loyal support of my projects.

There is more to come, more blogs and more music too. I have something in the can now it just hasn’t been packaged just yet. 

Thank you again and all of your support is greatly appreciated. 

Stevie Rachelle


Read my TUFF DIARIES blogs linked below, numbered and dated.

Entry #1  How I Made My Way To California, 31 Years Ago Today  (June 25th 2018) 
Entry #2  My First Meeting With Tuff, “Is That All Your Real Hair?”   (June 29th 2018)
Entry #3  Tuff audition, Jim Gillette screams, a near fist fight & our debut show  (July 5th 2018)
Entry #4  The Metal Years, Famous People, Cocaine, Kiss & Sex with a Miss Gazzarri’s  (July 14th 2018)
Entry #5  Guns N’ Roses, Del James, 1988, Sound City, Strippers, Crabs & You’re Fired!  (July 30th 2018)
Entry #6  Summer on Sunset, Vinnie’s Invasion, Tracii’s Glue Gun, Vain & Sex by a Dumpster (August 11th 2018)
Entry #7  MTV’s NYE Big Bash, Riki & Taime’s Cathouse & My Girlfriend was a Poster at Spencer’s (August 20th 2018)
Entry #8  Jon Bon Jovi, Sebastian Bach, Rick Rubin, Howie Hubberman, BulletBoys & Gazzarri’s (Sept. 16th 2018)
Entry #9  Summer Tour ’89, Andy McCoy, Def Leftovers, Max the Model, Z-Rock, Tommi Gunn & Lit (Oct. 10th 2018)
Entry #10 G’bye 1989, Jessica Hahn, Skid Row, Martha Quinn, Young Gunns, Flyer War & Cock-Rings (Nov. 9th 2018)
Entry #11 Hello 1990, Texas, Britny Fox Tour, Strippers, Hells Angels and Atlantic Records signs Tuff (March 24th 2019)
Entry #12 Ready to Record, Howard Benson, FM Station, Jani Lane, Court heaing & my 1st Playmate  (June 2nd 2019)
Entry #13 Recording Atlantic debut, Bret Michaels, Kane Roberts & Sex is fine, but no sleepovers (Aug. 27th 2019)
Entry #14 New York City, Mixing our Record, Publishing Deal, Video Shoot , Cherry St. & Tigertailz (March 25th 2020)
Entry #15 Hello MTV, The Nelsons, Jason Newsted, U.S. Tour, London & our Stolen Ryder Truck (May 19th 2020)
Entry #16 Lita Ford, Jason Flom, 75+ Shows, Cocaine, a Lawsuit, Sweet F.A. & the Freeway Fight (July 29th 2020)
Entry #17 Hello 1992, Gene Simmons, More Money, the L.A. Riots, a New Bassist & Jason Flom Part II (March 2021)
Entry #18WildSide, Dee Snidet, Tour Fun, Baywatch, Label Search & Living In Reseda (Aug. 2021)
Entry #19 Michael Resigns, River Phoenix, Thirsty Whale, He’s Got a Gun, Stolen Van & Danny Quits (Jan. 16th 2022)
Entry #20 1994, Northridge Earthquake, Kurt Cobain, RLS Records, releasing “Fist First” (May 2022)
Entry #21 “Fist First” Tour, Making F#@king Videos, Building Bunk Beds & O.J. Simpson (Dec. 2022)
Entry #22  1994  TBA
Entry #23  1995  TBA
Entry #24  1995  TBA
Entry #25  1995  TBA

TUFF DIARIES Entries #22 through #25 coming soon…..

If you want to Donate to support TUFF DIARIES, please know that I Thank You!

TUFF DIARIES Entries #1 – #21, with #22 through #25 coming soon…..

Tuff @ Facebook –  eBay – Amazon– iTunes – Instagram – Twitter – Store – Discogs – YouTube 

Stevie Rachelle @ Twitter – Facebook – Facebook 2 – Intsagram –  Reverbnation – Metal Sludge – Donate




Metal Sludge is not responsible for offensive comments. That said, you have no right to free speech on this site. This is our site, and we are not the United States government. We reserve the right to edit all comments, and to moderate all comment threads, as we see fit. Happy Sludging!