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THE GLOVES ARE OFF … WildSide drummer Jimmy Darby disputes various history as told by former guitarist Benny Rhynedance

Jimmy Darby of WildSide

Metal Sludge — In the latest from the WildSide camp, the band’s drummer Jimmy Darby continues with his detailed interview over at Sleazeroxx.

Part 1 was published back on March 8th, and this is the second half of that interview.

Olivier over at Sleazeroxx has done several detailed pieces on the band WildSide over the years, and this one is right in line with the others.

Darby answers a lot of questions, that WildSide fans have been asking for years.

We’re sharing some select excerpts below from Part 2 with Jimmy Darby of WildSide.


WildSide classic lineup: Benny Rhynedance, Marc Simon, Drew Hannah, Jimmy Darby and Brent Woods


Sleaze Roxx: In 2003, Stevie Rachelle’s record label RLS Records put out ‘The Wasted Years’ by WildSide. Do you consider that to be like the third album from WildSide or what do you consider that release to represent?

Jim Darby: I wouldn’t say that its a third WildSide — like a formal written third WildSide album. I would consider it more of a compilation with some bonus tracks, unreleased tracks. We didn’t go in and record a new album. Again, some of that stuff was stuff that we had written, that Benny [Rhynedance] had written and Brent [Woods] had recorded. That was done at the time that you had asked earlier or Benny had mentioned that we didn’t have songs ready Some of those songs that weren’t ready are actually on that album and were already recorded. I would call it more of a compilation with bonus tracks. I think that’s the best description.

Sleaze Roxx: What about the various WildSide reunions? From what I understand, they have never involved Benny. What’s the deal in that regard?

Jim Darby: Well, again going back to Brent and Benny never being musically compatible or personally for that matter for the most part… Let me say that I cannot say never. From the time that I was in the band. It may have been great before I was around but I never saw a big camaraderie between the two of them and musically, frankly, I think that anyone who listens or saw us live could agree that it’s just two different levels. Brent is a virtuoso guitar player and they — I am trying to think of a nice way to put this — but it just didn’t work for Brent playing with Benny anymore. If Brent had it his way, we would have played with a single guitar. There were rhythm guitar parts that needed to be played. There was also a lot of bad blood as I mentioned earlier from Benny not quitting the band and being fired. So there were a lot of factors that were in play here. It wasn’t just blackballing him from participating. I do believe that it was somewhat mutual. He also didn’t live in the city — the very first reunion was [on] short notice. I think I heard about it… Drew called me two weeks before.

Sleaze Roxx: Wow!

Jim Darby: And what do I think about playing a show at The Roxy? I thought he was kidding.

Sleaze Roxx: [Laughs]

Jim Darby: And we ended up selling out The Roxy and it was a great show. We had a lot of fun.

Sleaze Roxx: I am glad to hear that he is doing pretty good. Now what about — Benny obviously has had a social media presence for WildSide and what are your thoughts in that regard?

Jim Darby: [Laughs] Yeah, well, one thing — I am not on any social media. I’ve just never had the time just to do that. Most of what I have seen is through other people showing me on their Facebook or somehow, on their screen shots. Seeing this history of WildSide, part one to whatever.

Sleaze Roxx: Five or six I think. [Editor’s note: You can check out ‘The History of WildSide’ Parts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 as penned by guitarist Benny Rhynedance via Metal Sludge]

Jim Darby: Yeah, again, these stories about quitting the band and the ways things happened, a lot of it is hard to read because it’s not accurate. The reason that it’s called ‘WildSide News’ now was because the four of us — four of five who were also there and saw what happened and read these versions of what happened — either exaggerated or completely made up. There’s too much of it to go into the details. Some of the stories are true. They may have a sliver of truth mixed in with bullshit but the reason that it’s called ‘WildSide News’ is that the four of us were not going to have him represent the band, misrepresent the band unilaterally. To go out and call himself — a single person — WildSide when none of the rest of us were involved. We didn’t have any say. I believe that when we did these reunion shows, people were coming up to me and telling me about conversations that they had with me on the WildSide Facebook page. That wasn’t me that they were talking to. Apparently, they were getting answers from me from Benny’s Facebook page. So yeah, none of us were involved in any of that so now it’s changed to technically a news page so he can talk about things the way he chooses.

Sleaze Roxx: I don’t think that you guys have a page for WildSide, right, like on Facebook or Instagram?

Jim Darby: No. I think Drew has a Twitter [account]. I’m not sure. Nothing active really. I guess in one sense and Benny seems to point this out often, that he’s the one that’s taken the reigns and the time to do that. I suppose that that part is true. I just wish that what he said was all true. I wish that he gave the real version of the story. Like I’ve said to you earlier when we were communicating by e-mail is that I think that our story [laughs] is far interesting enough not to have to make shit up. Just getting to the tours that we did, recording at Eddie Van Halen’s house, getting the astronomical record deal that we did get, the opportunity to do the things that we did, recording with [producer] Andy Johns, putting out that album that we are so proud of [and] that turned out so great — there’s enough real stuff to talk about that it does not need to be glamorized anymore. I don’t think, or fabricated.

Sleaze Roxx: So does that mean — and I know that Benny had opined that a WildSide original [line-up] reunion would never happen now. Do you think that is the case as well?

Jim Darby: Well, let me say one more thing about the reunions that you asked [about]. Brent gave Benny an invitation to send a tape of himself. Not only have we not heard him play guitar in 20 years, we have not seen him. We don’t even know what he looks like. Neither does anyone else on his Facebook page. I don’t know that he has shared any photographs of himself in 20 years. I don’t know that that matters so much but it would be good to know. We’re all older guys now so whatever! None of us has seen Benny. I talked to Marc [Simon] the other day and I asked him, ‘When is the last time that you saw Benny?’ and he said, ‘When he was in the band with Bruce [Draper].’ Marc is the one that talks to him the most.

So, not that that matters but we’d like to know, especially how he plays. Brent extended an invitation to him in writing that ‘Send a tape. Send something. Come down, rehearse. Let’s hear… Can you still play?’ And if that would have happened, he might have been part of that. So that said, I don’t think that there is any possibility whatsoever at this point beyond even playing now because of all of the things that have been said. He made snide remarks of Brent I think as of yesterday [March 7, 2021] or today [March 8, 2021]. He called him “Trent Goods” or something. I am not sure what that even means but yeah, it’s just too much little jabbing here and there. He’s done that with Drew as well. He hasn’t lately but in the past, he would throw little things out there about Drew’s life or family names or whatever that might be that wasn’t cool. It sort of crossed the line.

WildSide takes time out of their busy schedule to take a photo with a fan!

Sleaze Roxx: That’s a pretty cool hangout! – {Jimmy talks about recording at 5150 and hanging out with the Van Halen brothers and band}

Jim Darby: Oh my God! I was 13 years old [laughs] with my walls wallpapered with Van Halen posters and eight years later, I’m at his house doing our first major label album. It was insane! And so, it didn’t even seem real but we got used to it. And Sammy [Hagar] was there. Sammy was the singer of the band at the time. The first day that we went up there, I was sitting back watching TV with Alex. Michael Anthony and Sammy — what great guys those two were. The Van Halen brothers were a different breed man. They’re just… They’re almost superhuman [laughs]. It’s weird to be in the room with Eddie and Alex Van Halen. But especially coming where all of us did. I was in the line in the rain at 13 years old to get nosebleed tickets to go see them and now, we’re at their house. So yeah, they’re in there recording. Andy started doing the tracks and again, along the lines that for the drums, he’s replacing drummers, everybody started doing their individual parts. And when it came time to record the guitar tracks, basically something most people — I think that Benny talked about it on his website [Facebook page] — his tracks being replaced but they were entirely replaced. ‘Under The Influence’ — the album that everybody loves does not have Benny playing guitar.

Sleazeroxx: I knew you were going to say that [laughs]. That’s crazy!

Jim Darby: It’s 100% Brent. So Andy Johns listened to Benny try to record some tracks and Andy Johns wouldn’t have it so Brent redid every single part. When you listen to ‘Under The Influence’, the only thing that you are hearing from Benny Rhynedance is background vocals. When you hear ‘Under The Influence’, every single guitar note you hear on that album is Brent Woods.

Sleaze Roxx: Does Benny know this? Does he know that all of his parts are gone?

Jim Darby: Does Benny know it. Yes, he does. He’s even alluded to it I believe. I don’t know if he knows every single part. I think he said that some of his parts were redone. The fact is all of his parts were redone. Andy has passed away [on April 7, 2013] so he wouldn’t be able to collaborate but Brent is still around. I am sure that Brent would happily let you know. I think I’ve seen on his website / Facebook that he’s mentioned that parts were replaced and basically, that was from Andy Johns’ direction. As the producer, he demanded that they be redone by Brent.

Sleaze Roxx: At the end of the day, that was sort of common place back then. If a producer didn’t like the way a certain musician sounded in the band, sometimes they just wouldn’t use them in the recordings, right?

Jim Darby: There is a lot of that, Now, we didn’t bring an outsider. It’s all Brent. He was part of the band. Certainly, he was “the band” in that regard. So there were no outsiders brought in but yeah, Benny did sing background vocals on the album. He had a great voice that complimented Drew’s [voice]. I didn’t sing a single note. Thank God!

Sleaze Roxx: [Laughs]

Jim Darby: Nobody wants to hear that.

To read the Full Interview, please visit Sleazeroxx



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