“I grew up in a home where I was the little one. I grew up with my mom and my older brother, and he was 13 years older than I was. So when I was a small kid, he was a teenager.
“We had a fantastic influx of teenage culture in our home, and my mom was a very liberal, open-minded woman. There was very little censorship, and I mean from a very positive point of view.
“I was immediately exposed to rock music and pop music, television, news, movies, and as far as I remember, I was never spoken to as a child. I was very well aware of what was going on in the world.
“Of course, I didn’t know the details, but I definitely knew Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, I knew there was a war in Iran and Iraq, stuff like that – I watched the news. I watched what everyone else was watching.”
“I’ve always been a great fan of songs, radio songs. This was the mid-’80s, so if you threw a glance at whatever was popular in 1984, I will have very great memories of those songs – they are most likely to have had some sort of importance in my life.
“I’m talking about [Mike Oldfield’s] ‘Moonlight Shadow,’ Nik Kershaw’s ‘The Riddle,’ Men at Work, stuff like that. I still love that sort of mid-’80s radio pop.
“My mom was born in 1942, so she is a part of the ’60s. She gave me the whole Beatles, Stones, Pink Floyd, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, all that… Whereas my brother was very much into punk-rock but also hard rock. He loved AC/DC, he loved Rainbow, Motörhead, Metallica. He was also a very big fan of Ramones and Sex Pistols, you name it.”
“The one thing I gravitated towards the most – the first record that I ever got was from my brother, he had ‘Love Gun’ by KISS. I must have been three at the time, I immediately took that record, not only because of the monsters, but probably because there was a heck ton of chicks on it.”
“It was not on it, so I have suspected later that it was probably a so-called pre-loved record, I think it was probably used it, but I got it from him, you know, he was not a big KISS fan so he just gave it to me.
“He just bought a lot of records, and some records that he bought were just handed over to me. At the same time, ’83-’84, he also gave me ‘Stay Hungry’ and ‘Shout at the Devil.’ So those were my first three records.”
“Immediately at that point when I was little, I started dressing up. He [my brother] was a punk rocker so he had belts with spikes on it, and all kinds of stuff you could dress up with, and he was a very sweet guy.
“He was babysitting me a lot, and he would dress me up with his stuff. I have photos at home when I’m three-four years old dressed up in his stuff – I wanted to look like Dee Snider and Nikki Sixx. I had mom’s stockings on and all the stuff that sort of looked like the stuff that they had, and they also had like high-heeled boots.
“It was at the beginning of the ’80s, so I dug through mom’s closet and found similar high boots, that I sort of could climb into, and you know, I used to jump around our couch and I had a broom that vaguely looked like a Flying V guitar, kind of like the one that [KISS guitarist] Vinnie Vincent had.
“My mom had knitting sticks, and our couch was not a Chesterfield, but it looked like a Chesterfield, so it had little bumps on it, and it sounded a bit like a drum kit. I definitely started there, my first step as a musician was beating up on our couch.”