SHARK ISLAND's RICHARD BLACK On Rumours That AXL ROSE "Stole" His Stage Persona - "Now, With So Much Dirty Water Under The Bridge, It Doesn't Really Even Matter"

November 30, 2020, 3 years ago

news hard rock richard black axl rose

SHARK ISLAND's RICHARD BLACK On Rumours That AXL ROSE "Stole" His Stage Persona - "Now, With So Much Dirty Water Under The Bridge, It Doesn't Really Even Matter"

In a new interview with Misplaced Straws, Richard Black of Shark Island talks about the current band and record, and gives a great history of what it was like for bands in the 80's L.A. scene. He gets into great detail about how Guns N' Roses singer Axl Rose "stole" his stage persona and didn't try to help the band once GN'R got signed. An excerpt follows:

On the rumors that Axl Rose stole Richard's stage act:

"At first, I avoided it and didn't want to talk about it. And there was a reason for that because if you look at it from my perspective, if I say anything at all, it is perceived as sour grapes... 'Well, you're just jealous because that happened and that happened, you know?' So I had to keep quiet. Couldn't really say anything. Now, with so much dirty water under the bridge, it doesn't really even matter. And frankly, as far as what I see Axl Rose doing is not very attractive at all. It doesn't look good to me.

"I was a trained modern dancer, you know? I did that, too. I mean, I was a singer, a songwriter, a dancer. I spent a considerable amount of time training and doing all this and thousands of hours on stage. And then here comes a couple of people off the turnip truck and show up in town, and it's pretty obvious that my kind of stick was appropriated.

"I'll tell you one of the things that really got me was we were there at Gazzarri's, like I said, every week, and at the time everybody didn't have cell phones and video cameras with them all the time. People were sneaking in camcorders with VHS tapes. I mean, I don't know how you could, I don't know how they managed to do that. There were people in the back. The places were packed. I mean, the shows were packed shoulder to shoulder, and if it was wintertime, you had a big jacket, you throw it under you. Anyway, I went over to Axl's pad one time, like some kind of an after-party or something. And he had a TV going in the living room area and on top of the TV, there was I don't know, 8 or 10 VHS tapes, all marked with "Shark Island". He taped some shows verbatim, boom, and one playing as I walked in on TV, no bones about it, nothing was hidden. Well, you know, my heart sank when I saw that. Because I already knew at that time that Guns N' Roses were getting down with David Geffen and that whole thing. And I knew that the person with the biggest mouthpiece is going to be able to claim whatever, so what can I do? You know, what can I do?

"He wasn't able to do anything nearly as good as what I was doing. I'm not trying to boast or anything, but truly. So what happened is the first song that came out is 'Welcome To The Jungle', right. The video of 'Welcome To The Jungle', even by Guns N' Roses standard, is largely different than what came after that for them. For Axl, for everybody. It was very much a different vibe, he was dressed differently, more glamour, after that and they decided to try to look like Hell's Angels or something. They kind of shifted gears to that. And we weren't that I was never into that. I was more into, like, elegance and decadence and a trifle raunchy. That's what I kind of tried to be. That was like what my intent was.

"So if you look, if one were to look at 'Welcome To The Jungle' and one were to remember the Gazzari's-era time, then the whole similarity is very obvious. But in the grand scheme of things, he ended up at best, getting kind of a jump start for some kind of image. Image is very important then, it is even now, but no one wants to admit it, but image is very important. How how do you want to be perceived? So it ended after that. I mean, and then when you see him now, you know there's virtually no similarity. But maybe there's little things that you can't maybe put a finger on.

"So I hate for it to sound like, again, like sour grapes. And it's not, because good for him, you know? But I would have hoped... if it was me and something like that would happen, even inadvertently, I would've thrown somebody a bone at that point. I mean, I had I didn't have a record deal for several years after that, and by that time, grunge was already knocking on my door and things were changing. So it was, like, too late, but he could have at any time, any of them, said, 'Hey, I got this friend of mine', or said something in an interview or did something because he knows how desperate it was. He didn't have to cut his teeth as bad as I did for such a long time, because he was able to appropriate something and kind of move ahead of the line, so to speak. I don't have to do all that. All that spadework, dig that ditch. I've already dug the ditch, you know? So that's what that is. And I don't frankly care. My life came out in the grand scheme of things a lot different than I had planned, but I think it's probably, if I really look at it, it's probably a good thing because I think I might have been dead."

Read the full interview at Misplaced Straws.

Shark Island was once the house band at the world famous Gazzaris on the Sunset Strip. Signed to Epic Records in 1989 the band released their debut album, Law Of The Order, and also saw the tracks "Dangerous" and "Father Time" featured in the movie Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, as well as the song "My City" from the movie Point Break.

Richard Black would go on to be part of the short lived supergroup Contraband which also featured Michael Schenker (Scorpions, UFO), and members of L.A. Guns, Ratt and Vixen. They released one album in 1991 before disbanding.

In 2018 the band started work on Bloodline which was recorded in Croatia and Los Angeles. It was limited to self release before being picked up by Deko Entertainment, and fans and critics are liking what they hear.

Richard states this about the new video and song, “Written as a companion song to ‘On And On’, ‘Someday’ is a song about procrastination and our fleeting life as it passes before our eyes.”

View the video for "Someday' below.

Bloodline 2.020 is out now and features the unreleased extended version of “Rocks on the Rocks” and the newly recorded “Someday”.

As part of this deluxe 2.020 version, they are making available limited edition Mega-Bundles (while supplies last), which can be ordered here.

This bundle includes the following items:

- One (1) Shark Island Bloodline 2.020 CD
- One (1) Shark Island Fandana
- One (1) Shark Island T-Shirt
- One (1) Shark Island Signed Poster
- One (1) Shark Island Sticker
- One (1) Shark Island Bracelet

Bloodline 2.020 tracklisting:

"Make A Move"
"Fire In the House"
"Policy Of Truth"
"Aktion Is"
"7 Tears"
"Crazy 8’s"
"Rocks On The Rocks"
"When She Cries"
"Law Of The Order"
"On And On"
"Rocks On The Rocks" (Producer’s Cut)

"Someday" video:

Featured Video

KELEVRA - "The Distance"

KELEVRA - "The Distance"

Latest Reviews