Skid Row (1986-1996, 1999-present): a Glam Metal band from Toms River, New Jersey, USA.
ounded by Dave 'Snake' Sabo (guitar) and Rachel Bolan (yes, he was a he; bass). Following the addition of Scott Hill (guitar), Rob Affuso (drums) and Canadian born Sabastian Bach (Real Name: Sabastien Phillip Bierk, born April 3, 1968, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, ex-Madam-X; vocals; a replacement for original singer Matt Falcon) the band line-up was complete. The subsequent support tour with Bon Jovi and the picking up of Doc McGee as manager resulted in Sabo's personal connection with Jon Bon Jovi.
After being signed to 'Atlantic' in 1988 they enjoyed heavy rotation on MTV for their debut 1989 single Youth Gone Wild. Bach's blonde hair and bratty attitude went over well with their fans. Combining the attitudes of Sex Pistols with the Metallic Glam of Motley Crue, Ratt and L.A. Guns, their eponymous debut just missed the US top 5 barrier, selling a whopping 5 million copies in the USA alone! Sales were further boosted by the Top 10 hit status of the subsequent singles 18 And Life, and the ballad I Remember You.
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For Bach's part, he escaped jail by receiving 3 years probation for a bottle-throwing incident. Now with their bad boy rock 'n' roller images intact, they tasted the coveted US 1 slot (5 in the UK) for their album Slave to the Grind (1991), an album boasting a more aggressive punk influenced sound, even featuring a cover of the Sex Pistols'Holidays In The Sun (originally recorded for their 1989 appearance on the compilation Stairway To Heaven, Highway To Hell) as the 'B' side to their Wasted Time single. The album as a whole failed to generate many hits, but sold on its own as a unit.
After the EP of B-Sides Ourselves (1992), the follow-up album emerged in 1995 titled Subhuman Race. It made top 10 in the UK but barely scraped to the 40 marker in the US They remained silent for some time while they sorted out some internal squabbling with only the "best of..." compilation, 40 Seasons emerging until 1999 when they reformed when founding members Rachel Bolan, Scotti Hill, and "Snake" Sabo decided that Skid Row meant far to much to them let the music fade into rock obscurity. Enter Texan singer Johnny Solinger. Suggested through a mutual friend the band visited Solinger's website and were immediately interested in what they heard. Atlanta native Dave Gara would then be elected as the band's drummer, but that spot was only temporary for Phil Varone would be a more permanent fit. Lady luck was on their side when in 2000 Skid Row landed the coveted opening slot on the Kiss Farewell Tour. It brought Skid Row's music back into view. In 2003 the band made it official with the release of their first CD in some time, titled Thickskin, with Revolutions per Minute following in 2006.
At the same time Rachel Bolan (bass/guitar/vocals) would join with Tommy Southard (guitar) and Phil Varone (drums) to form Prunella Scales and release Dressing Up The Idiot (1999).
During their down time Sabastian Bach formed his own self-titled band featuring himself with Jimmy Flemion (ex-Frogs; guitar), Richie Scarlet (ex-Frehily's Comet), Mark "Bam Bam" McConnell (drums) and "Larry" (bass) to complete one album Bring 'Em Bach Alive (1999). He had been fired by the band in late 1996 after an argument with Rachel Bolan who turned down a show with Kiss on their reunion tour when Sebastian Bach booked a show where Skid Row would have opened for Kiss. Other band members told Bach that Skid Row was too big to be an opening act and that they were not going to do the show.
When the band returned in 1999 Johnny Solinger, formerly of Solinger, was at the vocals slot and their first gig was opening for Kiss on their farewell tour (yet another one).
The fifth album, Revolutions per Minute, was released on October 24, 2006, through 'SPV Records'. Michael Wagener reunited with Skid Row and became their producer for this album.
In 2007, the band recorded Jingle Bells for a Monster Ballads Christmas album.
In early 2010 Rob Hammersmith became the new drummer.
Three separate EP's would be released in 2013. The first chapter was entitled United World Rebellion: Chapter One.
In August 2014, the second chapter of the United World Rebellion trilogy called Rise of the Damnation Army - United World Rebellion: Chapter Two arrived.
On April 6, 2015, Solinger was fired; later that day it was announced that Tony Harnell, formerly of the Norwegian melodic metal band TNT would take the vacant spot. That same month the band released a newly re-recorded version of their classic 18 and Life as a free downloadable single.
On December 29, 2015, Harnell left the band due to health related issues.
On February 13, 2016, they performed a concert with ZP Theart (ex-DragonForce) filling in as their lead vocalist; he was confirmed as a full member in January 2017.
The United World Rebellion: Chapter Three followed in 2016.
In January 2019, a deluxe edition of Skid Row's self-titled debut album was re-released digitally, which included the original album remastered for the first time (with Forever added as the bonus track), as well as a recording of the band's April 28, 1989 performance at The Marquee in Westminster, California.
Erik Grönwall took over lead vocals in 2022 in time for The Gang's All Here (2022). June of that same year, Skid Row performed at the massive Burlington Sound of Music festival.
Footnote: Do not confuse this Skid Row an Irish band of the same name who existed between 1968 and 1971.
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Skid Row's Rachel Bolan, Johnny Solinger, and Scotti Hill.
Photo by: Kate Patten
(CC BY-SA 2.0)
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