Hanoi Rocks (1979-1985, 2001-2009): a Glam Metal band from Helsinki, Finland.
innish band Hanoi Rocks leaned toward old-school '70s glam rock and did it with more conviction than many of their peers. The brainchild of Andy McCoy (Real Name: Antti Hulkko) and Michael Monroe (Real Name: Matti Fagerholm; vocals) in 1976, but they weren't a band proper until 1980 when Monroe restarted the act and recruited Nasty Suicide (Real Name: Jan Stenfors; guitar), Stefan Piesmack (guitar), Pasi Sti (bass) and Peki Senola (drums).
Their debut came in for form of a Scandinavian only release titled Bangkok Shocks, Saigon Shakes, Hanoi Rocks (1981) but the line-up had already changed to Monroe, Suicide, McCoy (now on guitar), Sam Yaffa (Real Name: Sami Takamaki; bass) and Gyp Casino (Real Name: Jesper Sporre; drums). For their parts, McCoy had previously played in two Finnish punk rock acts, Briard and Pelle Miljoona Oy, along with Yaffa (in the second band) while Suicide played with him in the first.
Soon after the completion of their sophomore set Oriental Beat (1982), recorded in London, Casino was sacked and replaced with Razzle (Real Name: Nicholas Dingley; ex-Demon Preacher/ex-Dark) for Demolition Blues (1982). In 1983, after the release of Back To Mystery, they left the indie circuit to join 'CBS' and immediately started to get interest in the British music press with their Two Steps From The Move (1984) release. They subsequently hit the British charts for their first and only time with a cover of CCR's Up Around The Bend. Their luck ran out quickly thereafter for while in the US, Razzle was killed in a car crash on 7 December 1984; Vince Neil (of Motley Crue) was the driver of the opposing car and was convicted of "Vehicular Manslaughter" - in essence: careless and reckless driving causing death. The departed comrade was replaced with former The Clash drummer Terry Chimes, and when Yaffa left Rene Berg (ex-Idle Flowers) stepped in. But Monroe never got over the loss of Razzle and in 1985 he announced his intentions to leave and in May of that year Hanoi Rocks played their last show. Several compilations and "best of..." albums emerged immediately after in the form of All Those Wasted Years (1985), Best Of Hanoi Rocks (1985), and others. Monroe went on to a solo career, Piesmack joined Pelle Oy, then quit music altogether while McCoy pursued his side project the Urban Dogs and then went on to form the Cherry Bombz with Suicide, Chimes and ex-Toto vocalist Anita Chellemah but that lasted barely a year before he went off to form Cheap N' Nasty. A reunion of sorts emerged with Monroe, Suicide and Yaffa emerged as Demolition 23 in 1994.
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