SKID ROW

Country USA

Style Heavy Metal/Hard Rock

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Skid Row was formed in Toms River, New Jersey, in late 1986 by bassist Rachel Bolan and guitarist Dave “The Snake” Sabo. The pair added guitarist Scotti Hill, drummer Rob Affuso, and lead vocalist Sebastian Bach, who replaced original lead vocalist Matt Fallon, to the line-up by early 1987. The band began playing shows in clubs throughout the eastern United States.

Jon Bon Jovi had been put in a position to seek out new and upcoming talent. Jon Bon Jovi and Dave Sabo had been friends for a very long time. They agreed that if one of them made it in the music business, he would help the other out. Bon Jovimanager Doc McGhee sought out Skid Row, and signed them. They secured a record deal with Atlantic Records in 1988, and entered the studio with Michael Wagener (of Metallica, Ozzy Osbourne, White Lion and Extreme fame) to record their first album. The album was recorded in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin at Royal Recorders. Skid Row would later open for Bon Jovi, who were touring behind their New Jersey album.

Skid Row, released in January 1989, was an instant success. The record went 5x platinum and produced the hit singles “18 and Life”, “I Remember You” and “Youth Gone Wild”.

As part of Bon Jovi’s ’88/’89 Jersey Syndicate, Skid Row played their first ever UK gig as opening band at Bon Jovi’s outdoor show at Milton Keynes Bowl on August 19, 1989 (which also included Vixen and Europe). The very next day, Skid Row played a hugely successful club show at London’s Marquee Club in Charing Cross Road.

In what is referred to as “The Bottle Incident” by fans of the band, Bach was hit with a bottle thrown onstage from the crowd at a concert in Springfield, Massachusetts, where Skid Row was opening for Aerosmith on December 27, 1990. Bach threw the bottle back, hitting a girl (not the thrower), so he jumped on the crowd to beat the person who can be seen on a tour video released by Skid Row called Oh Say Can You Scream in 1990.

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Shortly thereafter, at another show, Bach put on a T-shirt proclaiming the anti-gay slogan “AIDS Kills Fags Dead”. The shirt was given to him by a fan.

Skid Row returned to the studio with Wagener in 1990, to record their second studio album. Slave to the Grind, released in June 1991, it debuted at Number 1 in the American charts. Slave to the Grind became a major success, with the album spanning the hits “Monkey Business” and “Wasted Time”. Skid Row once again went out on a worldwide tour which lasted over a year, including a leg supporting Guns N’ Roses in 1991 and an appearance at the Castle Donington festival in 1992.Slave to the Grind was a departure for the band; where Skid Row was an album that followed the typical 80’s band formula,Slave to the Grind had a heavier sound, even verging on speed metal with the title track. Skid Row took out Pantera as an opening act on much of the tour supporting Slave to the Grind. Skid Row originally asked upcoming grunge band Nirvana to open for them but they declined, saying that Skid Row was “too homophobic” (relating to the Sebastian Bach bottle incident). Ironically Nirvana’s original band name was also Skid Row.

Before a third album could be recorded, Skid Row took an extended hiatus in 1993, following the Slave to the Grind tour and the release of the EP, B-Side Ourselves, in September 1992.

For some time, Skid Row parted ways with Wagener, possibly due to their music taking a different direction for the follow-up to Slave to the Grind. In 1994, the band returned to the studio with Bob Rock (of Metallica, Mötley Crüe and The Offspringfame), to record their third studio album. Subhuman Race, released in March 1995, charted in the top 40. Although it did not achieve the success of Skid Row and Slave to the Grind, it generated a few hits and received positive reviews. At that point however, their videos were rarely played on MTV, partly because of the rise in popularity of grunge and subsequent decline of many heavy metal styles and 1980s hard rock. Skid Row would open for Van Halen on the North American leg of the tour.

Eventually, Sebastian Bach was fired by the band in late 1996. Skid Row re-formed in 1999 with new lead vocalist Johnny Solinger, formerly of Solinger. After re-forming, they opened forKISS on their farewell tour, and have also played with other 1980s metal bands such as Poison. In 2002 they were part of theRock Never Stops Tour.

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Skid Row released their fourth full-length studio album, Thickskin, in 2003, which was their first album to feature Solinger and their first studio album in 8 years.

The fifth Skid Row 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 for Skid Row.

Asked in September 2009 about the next Skid Row album, guitarist Scotti Hill replied, “we haven’t sat down and recorded anything yet, but we have sat down and worked out some ideas and just played them on a handheld recorder. Everybody’s writing and we’re getting into that mind set. Once the wheels get in motion we’ll all probably fly out to Atlanta spend a week or two up there come home, go back up there do it again, we’re all living in different cities, which can make it difficult at times.”

In February 2013, Skid Row announced that they had signed with Megaforce Records. An EP of new material, entitled United World Rebellion: Chapter One, was released on April 16, with several other EPs set to follow within the following 12 to 18 months. In early February 2014, the band returned to the studio to begin work on another album.

In August 2014, Skid Row released the second chapter of the United World Rebellion trilogy called “Rise of the Damnation Army – United World Rebellion-Chapter Two” to stellar reviews. The band debuted the single, “We Are The Damned” from UWR 2 in Poland when they headlined the largest show of their career at the Polish Woodstock. Attendance was over 500,000.

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– Skid Row [1989]
– Slave To The Grind [1991]
– B-Side Ourselves [1992] EP
– Subhuman Race [1995]
– Thickskin [2003]
– Revolutions Per Minute [2006]
– United World Rebellion: Chapter One [2013]
– Rise Of The Damnation-United World Rebellion: Chapter Two [2014]

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