Blackie was born in Florida on the 4th September 1956, but lived in Staten Island, New York for most of his youth. When he was a teenager he got in alot of trouble for vandalism, steeling cars etc...His older brother once robbed a grocery store and was sent to the army to be straightened out. Blackie was badly stabbed in a gang fight at the age of thirteen, and later was sent to military school, but was chucked out after 18 months of a two year sentence for beating up a Sargent Major
Blackie could have become a professional baseball player after leaving high school and play for the Cincinatti Reds, but he choose music. Other previous jobs included:- Working two years for his fathers construction firm (after leaving high school), A gas pump attended and he built fog machines(?).
Chris was born in Los Angeles, California on 21st June 1958(?). His mother Sandy Holmes was an Hells Angel and Chris was kicked out of one school at 7 for savagery, acquired his first driving offence at 11 and sent to reform school at 12. Chris broke more car windscreens than anyone when he was a kid, he did two years in prison at one stage. When in school he used to piss into plastic bags and throw them off the roof at all the other kids at lunch time. When we met Chris in London (June 20th 1999) he jokingly(?) told us that he could not read or write, and that he cheated his way through school.
Chris also once lived next door to Eddie Van Halen.
Sister were the first L.A. band to experiment with occult symbolism (such as pentagrams), blood and face make-up. Some of Blackie's earlier stage stunts were to eat worms and put live rats in a meat grinder. The Sister logo was a inverted pentagram with flames around it and the word Sister going through it! Lawless once quoted :
"If you look at Motley Crue (circu 1984), that was Sister, another band that was too far ahead for its time. We were the first band that I ever saw to use the pentagram. I met Nikki (Nikki Sixx) when he was 19 years old, he came to me when he was just starting and he says 'Are you going to use any of that stuff you used to use?' I said 'Nope!', he said 'You mind if I use it?' I said 'take whatever you want' because at that point, I realised that with an image like that, you end up painting yourself in a corner and you can't get out'
Although Blackie gave Nikki this kind of stuff, he also told him to be careful about using the pentagram, he said:
"Do not dabble in things you do not understand, there isn't one person I know thats dabble with it and did things they would not do"
Its was also rumoured that Nikki Sixx played in Sister, but he and Blackie could not work together, but they remained friends.
Some of Sister's early demos were Sex Drive (which appeared on The Last Command), Sweet Dreams and Don't know what I am (later to become part of The Titantic Overture on The Crimson Idol). Some of the lyrics to 'Don't know what I am' are:
"I look at my face in the mirror,
and I don't understand.
Don't feel like a girl - and its not getting clearer
I don't feel Like a man"
Other bands that Blackie played in around this time were Circus Circus with Randy Piper and the notorious "L.A. school for rock stars" London. If you have a copy of the 1986 London album "Don't Cry Wolf" you can hear a version of For Whom the Bell Tolls which Nadir D' Priest sings. On the album it states that Blackie Lawless, Lizzie Grey and Nadir D' Priest wrote that version of the song.
Early W.A.S.P. were unable to afford their clothes from boutiques, so they used to look in junkyards and hardware stores for their show-biz wardrobe. Chris's step-father was a welder and made Blackie's chainsaw cod piece (pictured left) for him.
ANIMAL, the bands first single was recorded at Cherokee Studio's in L.A. and produced by Mike Varney. Animal did not get any radio air-play but it has sold over 10 million copies.
ANIMAL was inspired by a photograph of two lions mating. Blackie was in an art shop and saw a copy of National Geographic magazine where there was a picture of two lions with the female on the bottom and the male on the top. They both had their heads tilted back and you could tell what they were doing. He thought of the beauty and simplicity of it - no more complicated than that. Blackie stated "I know this may sound odd to you, but it was an erotic looking picture and not grotesque at all"
The artwork on the cover of the re-release of Animal in 1988 (with the woman and the two dogs) Blackie did not like at all - he thought it was in 'bad taste'.
The first album was going to be called 'Winged Assassins'.
When W.A.S.P played an early gig at the Troubadour, they organised for a Red Cross Trailer to be put outside and arranged that anybody who give a pint of blood got in for half price and anyone who didn't got in for free(?)
W.A.S.P. performed "Tormentor "in a film called Dungeonmaster/Rage War. The story revolves around two brilliant sorcerers, one who lived thousands of years ago who turns out to be the Devil, and a modern-day wizard who can telepathically communicate with computers. The old Devil picks on 'Apple brain' as an opponent worthy of battle, captures his gal and threatens to do dastardly things to her unless he can survive seven terrible trails. A W.A.S.P.concert at the the Troubadour is one of them. The boyfriend walks into the Troubadour and sees his girlfriend tied up to Blackie's rack, about to get whipped to death while the band plays "Tormentor". Only surviving a laser battle can save her.
Blackie lived with Nikki Sixx (Motley Crue), Nikki thanks Blackie "Doombrother" Lawless on the Crue's Shout at the Devil album. Blackie also taught Nikki how to set his legs on fire (as seen in the Livewire video). It is also rumoured that Blackie sang backing vocals on the 'Shout At The Devil' album.
Blackie approached Nikki Sixx with Wild Child, but Nikki thought it would be out of Vince's voice range (Could you imagine Vince singing that song? ha ha, only joking!)
During the first world tour whilst W.A.S.P where going to play a gig in Dublin in Ireland, Blackie walked into a shop and saw a headline in a newspaper which stated "American Blood and Sex Rock Group BANNED HERE" he thought he had some competition and wondered who these guys were. At that point he did not know that W.A.S.P had been banned from playing the Dublin gig.
Also they had to sign releases before every show in the U.K stating that they would not release rats into the audience (something that they never did anyway!!!!).
The Roman Catholic Church hounded them too. Priests appeared in the doorways of venues, they were not just picketing the shows they were actually buying tickets, coming inside and praying while the show was going on.
The Last Command album took about four months to record and it took Blackie 6 hours to put the vocals on Wild Child which he did all in one session.
Blind in Texas video was shot in an old movie lot in Tucson, Arizona.
On the back of the tour bus in the video there is a slogan which states :
"Don't Drink and Drive in Texas or Anywhere Else".
In 1985 Blackie's ultimate desert island disc was the Beatles White Album.
Blackie and Chris took part on a all star album for famine relief called "Hear 'N' Aid". The song was called We're all Stars.
On the cover of Inside The Electric Circus (left) Blackie is painted up as a tiger. This was done by the same girl who did David Lee Roths make up on Eat Em and Smile. It was all done in oil paints and took 12 hours to do.
While on tour with Iron Maiden Chris got drunk and ended up in jail in New Orleans. Blackie didn't talk to him for three days.
Blackie once kept E-Type Jags and Horses.
Blackie was offered to play the lead role of Sammi Curr in the 1986 film Trick or Treat. Blackie said that he was the first person that the producers approached, but due to other comments he declined this offer.
Tripper Gore (PMRC) reprinted some of W.A.S.P's Lyrics and Art Work in a book called "Bringing up Kids in an X Rated Society. She never asked Blackie's permission. He give her two options - sue her or to give him a hand written apology on TV.
Blackie speaking about the PMRC stated "They are contravening the first amendment of U.S. constitution, namely the right to free speech".
They were a front just to get Tipper Gore husband Senator Al Gore of Tennessee (now vice-president Al Gore) elected to congress.
On Live.....In The Raw there is a song called Harder Faster dedicated to the PMRC. The song speaks for itself!!!!!!!
W.A.S.P has never played Las Vegas. It is the gambling capital of the world full of sin (yet they have never let W.A.S.P play there!!!!)
Scream Until You like it was a track recorded for the cult horror film "Ghoulies II". It is rumoured that after the film Blackie purchased one of the Ghoulies. (We wonder which one?).
All three singles off The Headless Children - Mean Man, The Real Me and Forever Free entered the Top 40 of the U.K Singles Charts. Before the release of The Headless Children Blackie said that Forever Free would be a big selling single - In the U.K. it was one of their biggest reaching number 25 in the U.K singles chart, which is real good going for over here.
The song "Mean Man" of The Headless Children album is a tribute to Chris Holmes.
One of Blackie's influences is Pete Townshend of "The Who" and on The Headless Children album W.A.S.P. done a cover of their song "The Real Me" from Quadrophenia. Blackie wanted Pete to be in the video of The Real Me and he sent him a tape of the song. Pete wrote back saying that he didn't have time to do the video, but he really liked the song. Another song that Blackie was contemplating doing from the Headless Children was Roger Daltry's "Behind Blue Eyes".
After the completed leg of the European Headless Children Tour, Chris leaves the band.
Blackie once said that the last thing that he does before he goes on stage is to check his socks.
"I have to have the right socks or I can't play. I have actually threatened to hold up a gig if I havn't got the right socks. They are my lucky Raiders socks, I have numerous pairs and the left one has to go on before the right one."
While writing The Crimson Idol album Blackie stated that he went into self imposed exile. He built his own studio called Fort Apache in Hollywood, where the album was recorded. Blackie stated that one of the rooms in the new studio was were he cut the vocals for the song B.A.D.
Chainsaw Charlie entered the Top 40 of the U.K. singles chart. To support this Blackie appeared on a U.K. programme called "Top of the Pops" and performed the song live.
Blackie did not tour for the Still Not Black Enough album one reason being that he hurt his arm whist kick boxing. He did however make personal appearances at various clubs.
When W.A.S.P. played Nottingham Rock City in the U.K (The first U.K. K.F.D. gig) they could not use the fetus in the nun stunt. The reason being the fetus had been stolen on a another European gig a few dates earlier.
When we saw W.A.S.P. play the U.K again a few months later, it was when Chris fell off the stage and hurt his leg. This caused the band to cancel a few dates on the rest of the tour.
W.A.S.P are managed by Sanctuary Management (Merck Mercuriadis, Rod Smallwood and Andy Taylor).
Blackie hated Rod Smallwood first time he met him. He also lived with him for a while and admitted in a Kerrang interview in 1992 that Rod made a good Chili.
Blackies favourite food is Shepherds Pie.
Stet Howland use to be in a band called 'Belladona'.
The above 2 facts were sent to us by Darren Carey - Thanks Dude!
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or rumours feel free to e-mail us
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