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27 June 2010

filmmaker Errol Morris writes about anosognosia / how to be invisible to security cameras / I Dismember Mama / We're stupid, but we're not that stupid

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The New York Times
Opinionator / on-line blog
Sunday 20 June 2010

The Anosognosic’s Dilemma:

.......Something’s Wrong
.......but You’ll Never Know
.......What It Is 

(Part 1 of 5 parts)
by Errol Morris

Existence is elsewhere.

— André Breton, “The Surrealist Manifesto”

1. The Juice

David Dunning, a Cornell professor of social psychology, was perusing the 1996 World Almanac.  In a section called Offbeat News Stories he found a tantalizingly brief account of a series of bank robberies committed in Pittsburgh the previous year.  From there, it was an easy matter to track the case to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, specifically to an article by Michael A. Fuoco:

~ ~ ~

    At 5 feet 6 inches and about 270 pounds, bank robbery suspect McArthur Wheeler isn’t the type of person who fades into the woodwork.

 So it was no surprise that he was recognized by informants, who tipped detectives to his whereabouts after his picture was telecast Wednesday night during the Pittsburgh Crime Stoppers Inc. segment of the 11 o’clock news.

    At 12:10 a.m. yesterday, less than an hour after the broadcast, he was arrested at 202 S. Fairmont St., Lincoln-Lemington.  Wheeler, 45, of Versailles Street, McKeesport, was wanted in [connection with] bank robberies on Jan. 6 at the Fidelity Savings Bank in Brighton Heights and at the Mellon Bank in Swissvale. In both robberies, police said, Wheeler was accompanied by Clifton Earl Johnson, 43, who was arrested Jan. 12.[1]

~ ~ ~

Wheeler had walked into two Pittsburgh banks and attempted to rob them in broad daylight.  What made the case peculiar is that he made no visible attempt at disguise.  The surveillance tapes were key to his arrest.  There he is with a gun, standing in front of a teller demanding money.  Yet, when arrested, Wheeler was completely disbelieving.  “But I wore the juice,” he said.

  Apparently, he was under the deeply misguided impression that rubbing one’s face with lemon juice rendered it invisible to video cameras.

In a follow-up article, Fuoco spoke to several Pittsburgh police detectives who had been involved in Wheeler’s arrest.  Commander Ronald Freeman assured Fuoco that Wheeler had not gone into “this thing” blindly but had performed a variety of tests prior to the robbery.  Sergeant Wally Long provided additional details — “although Wheeler reported the lemon juice was burning his face and his eyes, and he was having trouble (seeing) and had to squint, he had tested the theory, and it seemed to work.”   

He had snapped a Polaroid picture of himself and wasn’t anywhere to be found in the image.  It was like a version of Where’s Waldo with no Waldo.  Long tried to come up with an explanation of why there was no image on the Polaroid.  He came up with three possibilities:

(a) the film was bad;

(b) Wheeler hadn’t adjusted the camera correctly; or

(c) Wheeler had pointed the camera away from his face at the critical moment when he snapped the photo.[2]

As Dunning read through the article, a thought washed over him, an epiphany.  If Wheeler was too stupid to be a bank robber, perhaps he was also too stupid to know that he was too stupid to be a bank robber — that is, his stupidity protected him from an awareness of his own stupidity.

Dunning wondered whether it was possible to measure one’s self-assessed level of competence against something a little more objective — say, actual competence.  Within weeks, he and his graduate student, Justin Kruger, had organized a program of research.  Their paper, “Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties of Recognizing One’s Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-assessments,” was published in 1999.[3]

Dunning and Kruger argued in their paper, “When people are incompetent in the strategies they adopt to achieve success and satisfaction, they suffer a dual burden: Not only do they reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices, but their incompetence robs them of the ability to realize it.  Instead, like Mr. Wheeler, they are left with the erroneous impression they are doing just fine.”

It became known as the Dunning-Kruger Effect — our incompetence masks our ability to recognize our incompetence.  But just how prevalent is this effect? In search of more details, I called David Dunning at his offices at Cornell:

  Well, my specialty is decision-making.  How well do people make the decisions they have to make in life?  And I became very interested in judgments about the self, simply because, well, people tend to say things, whether it be in everyday life or in the lab, that just couldn’t possibly be true.  And I became fascinated with that.  Not just that people said these positive things about themselves, but they really, really believed them.  Which led to my observation: if you’re incompetent, you can’t know you’re incompetent.


DAVID DUNNING:  If you knew it, you’d say, “Wait a minute.  The decision I just made does not make much sense.  I had better go and get some independent advice.”   But when you’re incompetent, the skills you need to produce a right answer are exactly the skills you need to recognize what a right answer is.  In logical reasoning, in parenting, in management, problem solving, the skills you use to produce the right answer are exactly the same skills you use to evaluate the answer.  And so we went on to see if this could possibly be true in many other areas.  And to our astonishment, it was very, very true.

ERROL MORRIS: Many other areas?

DAVID DUNNING: If you look at our 1999 article, we measured skills where we had the right answers.  Grammar, logic.  And our test-subjects were all college students doing college student-type things.  Presumably, they also should know whether or not they’re getting the right answers.  And yet, we had these students who were doing badly in grammar, who didn’t know they were doing badly in grammar.  We believed that they should know they were doing badly, and when they didn’t, that really surprised us.

The students that were unaware they were doing badly — in what sense?  Were they truly oblivious? Were they self-deceived?  Were they in denial?  How would you describe it?

DAVID DUNNING:  There have been many psychological studies that tell us what we see and what we hear is shaped by our preferences, our wishes, our fears, our desires and so forth.  We literally see the world the way we want to see it.  But the Dunning-Kruger effect suggests that there is a problem beyond that.  Even if you are just the most honest, impartial person that you could be, you would still have a problem — namely, when your knowledge or expertise is imperfect, you really don’t know it.  Left to your own devices, you just don’t know it.   We’re not very good at knowing what we don’t know.

ERROL MORRIS:  Knowing what you don’t know?  Is this supposedly the hallmark of an intelligent person?

DAVID DUNNING:  That’s absolutely right.  It’s knowing that there are things you don’t know that you don’t know. [4] Donald Rumsfeld gave this speech about “unknown unknowns.”  It goes something like this:

“There are things we know we know about terrorism.  There are things we know we don’t know.  And there are things that are unknown unknowns.  We don’t know that we don’t know.”  He got a lot of grief for that.  And I thought, “That’s the smartest and most modest thing I’ve heard in a year.”

Rumsfeld’s famous “unknown unknowns” quote occurred in a Q&A session at the end of a NATO press conference.[5] A reporter asked him, “Regarding terrorism and weapons of mass destruction, you said something to the effect that the real situation is worse than the facts show …”  Rumsfeld replied, “Sure.  All of us in this business read intelligence information.  And we read it daily and we think about it, and it becomes in our minds essentially what exists.  And that’s wrong.  It is not what exists.”  

But what is Rumsfeld saying here?  That he can be wrong?  That “intelligence information” is not complete?  That it has to be viewed critically?  Who would argue?

Rumsfeld’s “known unknowns” and “unknown unknowns” seem even less auspicious.  Of course, there are known unknowns.  I don’t know the melting point of beryllium.

[see beryllium atom image at top]

And I know that I don’t know it.  There are a zillion things I don’t know. And I know that I don’t know them. But what about the unknown unknowns? Are they like a scotoma, a blind spot in our field of vision that we are unaware of?  I kept wondering if Rumsfeld’s real problem was with the unknown unknowns; or was it instead some variant of self-deception, thinking that you know something that you don’t know.  A problem of hubris, not epistemology. [6]

And yet there was something in Rumsfeld’s unknown unknowns that had captured Dunning’s imagination. I wanted to know more, and so I e-mailed him: why are you so obsessed with Rumsfeld’s “unknown unknowns?”  Here is his answer:

    The notion of unknown unknowns really does resonate with me, and perhaps the idea would resonate with other people if they knew that it originally came from the world of design and engineering rather than Rumsfeld.

    If I were given carte blanche to write about any topic I could, it would be about how much our ignorance, in general, shapes our lives in ways we do not know about. Put simply, people tend to do what they know and fail to do that which they have no conception of. In that way, ignorance profoundly channels the course we take in life. And unknown unknowns constitute a grand swath of everybody’s field of ignorance.

    To me, unknown unknowns enter at two different levels. The first is at the level of risk and problem.  Many tasks in life contain uncertainties that are known — so-called “known unknowns.”  These are potential problems for any venture, but they at least are problems that people can be vigilant about, prepare for, take insurance on, and often head off at the pass.  Unknown unknown risks, on the other hand, are problems that people do not know they are vulnerable to.

    Unknown unknowns also exist at the level of solutions. People often come up with answers to problems that are o.k., but are not the best solutions.  The reason they don’t come up with those solutions is that they are simply not aware of them. Stefan Fatsis, in his book “Word Freak,” talks about this when comparing everyday Scrabble players to professional ones.  As he says: “In a way, the living-room player is lucky ... He has no idea how miserably he fails with almost every turn, how many possible words or optimal plays slip by unnoticed.  The idea of Scrabble greatness doesn’t exist for him.” (p. 128)

    Unknown unknown solutions haunt the mediocre without their knowledge. The average detective does not realize the clues he or she neglects. The mediocre doctor is not aware of the diagnostic possibilities or treatments never considered. The run-of-the-mill lawyer fails to recognize the winning legal argument that is out there. People fail to reach their potential as professionals, lovers, parents and people simply because they are not aware of the possible. 

This is one of the reasons I often urge my student advisees to find out who the smart professors are, and to get themselves in front of those professors so they can see what smart looks like.

    So, yes, the idea resonates. I would write more, and there’s probably a lot more to write about, but I haven’t a clue what that all is.

I can readily admit that the “everyday Scrabble player” has no idea how incompetent he is, but I don’t think that Scrabble provides an example of the unknown unknowns.  An unknown unknown is not something like the word “ctenoid,” a difficult word by most accounts, or any other obscure, difficult word.[7] [8] Surely, the everyday Scrabble player knows that there are words he doesn’t know. Rumsfeld could have known about the gaps in his intelligence information. How are his unknown unknowns different from plain-old-vanilla unknowns? The fact that we don’t know something, or don’t bother to ask questions in an attempt to understand things better, does that constitute anything more than laziness on our part? A symptom of an underlying complacency rather than a confrontation with an unfathomable mystery?

I found myself still puzzled by the unknown unknowns.  Finally, I came up with an explanation.  Using the expressions “known unknowns” and “unknown unknowns” is just a fancy — even pretentious — way of talking about questions and answers.  A “known unknown” is a known question with an unknown answer.  I can ask the question: what is the melting point of beryllium?  I may not know the answer, but I can look it up. 

I can do some research.  It may even be a question which no one knows the answer to.  With an “unknown unknown,” I don’t even know what questions to ask, let alone how to answer those questions.

But there is the deeper question.  And I believe that Dunning and Kruger’s work speaks to this. Is an “unknown unknown” beyond anything I can imagine? Or am I confusing the “unknown unknowns” with the “unknowable unknowns?” Are we constituted in such a way that there are things we cannot know? Perhaps because we cannot even frame the questions we need to ask?

DAVID DUNNING:  People will often make the case, “We can’t be that stupid, or we would have been evolutionarily wiped out as a species a long time ago.”  I don’t agree. I find myself saying, “Well, no.  Gee, all you need to do is be far enough along to be able to get three square meals or to solve the calorie problem long enough so that you can reproduce. And then, that’s it. You don’t need a lot of smarts.  You don’t have to do tensor calculus. You don’t have to do quantum physics to be able to survive to the point where you can reproduce.” 

One could argue that evolution suggests we’re not idiots, but I would say, “Well, no. Evolution just makes sure we’re not blithering idiots. But, we could be idiots in a lot of different ways and still make it through the day.”

ERROL MORRIS:  Years ago, I made a short film (“I Dismember Mama”) about cryonics, the freezing of people for future resuscitation. [9]


ERROL MORRIS:  And I have an interview with the president of the Alcor Life Extension Foundation, a cryonics organization, on the 6 o’clock news in Riverside, California. One of the executives of the company had frozen his mother’s head for future resuscitation. (It’s called a “neuro,” as opposed to a “full-body” freezing.) The prosecutor claimed that they may not have waited for her to die. In answer to a reporter’s question, the president of the Alcor Life Extension Foundation said, “You know, we’re not stupid ...” And then corrected himself almost immediately, “We’re not that stupid that we would do something like that.”

DAVID DUNNING:  That’s pretty good.

ERROL MORRIS: “Yes.  We’re stupid, but we’re not that stupid.”

DAVID DUNNING: And in some sense we apply that to the human race. There’s some comfort in that. We may be stupid, but we’re not that stupid.

ERROL MORRIS: Something I have wondered about: Is there a socio-biological account of what forces in evolution selected for stupidity and why?

DAVID DUNNING: Well, there’s no way we could be evolutionarily prepared for doing physics and doing our taxes at the end of the year. These are rather new in our evolutionary history. But solving social problems, getting along with other people, is something intrinsic to our survival as a species. You’d think we would know where our inabilities lie. But if we believe our data, we’re not necessarily very good at knowing what we’re lousy at with other people.

ERROL MORRIS: Yes. Maybe it’s an effective strategy for dealing with life. Not dealing with it.

David Dunning, in his book “Self-Insight,” calls the Dunning-Kruger Effect “the anosognosia of everyday life.”[10] When I first heard the word “anosognosia,” I had to look it up.  Here’s one definition:

Anosognosia is a condition in which a person who suffers from a disability seems unaware of or denies the existence of his or her disability. [11]

Dunning‘s juxtaposition of anosognosia with everyday life is a surprising and suggestive turn of phrase.  After all, anosognosia comes originally from the world of neurology and is the name of a specific neurological disorder.

DAVID DUNNING: An anosognosic patient who is paralyzed simply does not know that he is paralyzed. If you put a pencil in front of them and ask them to pick up the pencil in front of their left hand they won’t do it.  And you ask them why, and they’ll say, “Well, I’m tired,” or “I don’t need a pencil.” They literally aren’t alerted to their own paralysis.  There is some monitoring system on the right side of the brain that has been damaged, as well as the damage that’s related to the paralysis on the left side. There is also something similar called “hemispatial neglect.”  It has to do with a kind of brain damage where people literally cannot see or they can’t pay attention to one side of their environment.  If they’re men, they literally only shave one half of their face.  And they’re not aware about the other half.  If you put food in front of them, they’ll eat half of what’s on the plate and then complain that there’s too little food.  You could think of the Dunning-Kruger Effect as a psychological version of this physiological problem. If you have, for lack of a better term, damage to your expertise or imperfection in your knowledge or skill, you’re left literally not knowing that you have that damage.  It was an analogy for us.[12]

This brings us in this next section to Joseph Babinski (1857-1932), the neurologist who gave anosognosia its name.

(This is the first of a five-part series.)


1. Michael A. Fuoco, “Arrest in Bank Robbery, Suspect’s Picture Spurs Tips,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 21, 1995.

2. Michael A. Fuoco, “Trial and Error: They had Larceny in their Hearts, but little in their Heads,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, March 21, 1996.  The article also includes several other impossibly stupid crimes, e.g., the criminal-to-be who filled out an employment application at a fast-food restaurant providing his correct name, address and social security number.  A couple of minutes later he
decided to rob the place.

3. Justin Kruger and David Dunning, “Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties of Recognizing One’s Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-assessments,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1999, vol. 77, no. 6, pp. 1121-1134.

4. David Dunning may be channeling Socrates. “The only true wisdom is to know that you know nothing.”  That’s too bad; Socrates gives me a headache.

5. NATO HQ, Brussels, Press Conference by U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, June 6, 2002. The exact quote:

“There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things we now know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns.  These are the things we do not know we don’t know.”

6. O.K.  I looked it up on Wikipedia.  The melting point of beryllium, the fourth element, is 1278 °C.

7. “Ctenoid” comes from one of my favorite books, “Jarrold’s Dictionary of Difficult Words.”  I challenged a member of the Mega [Mensa?] Society [a society whose members have ultra-high I.Q.s], who claimed he could spell anything, to spell “ctenoid.”  He failed.  It’s that silent “c” that gets them every time.  “Ctenoid” means “having an edge with projections like the teeth of a comb.”  It could refer to rooster combs or the scales of certain fish.

8. For the inner logoleptic in all of us, allow me to recommend the Web site:

One of the site’s recommended words is “epicaricacy.”  I read somewhere that the German word “schadenfreude” has no equivalent in English.  I am now greatly relieved.

9. Errol Morris, “First Person: I Dismember Mama.”

10. Dunning, David, “Self-Insight: Roadblocks and Detours on the Path to Knowing Thyself (Essays in Social Psychology),” Psychology Press: 2005, p. 14-15.


12. A purist would no doubt complain that anosognosia has been taken out of context, that it has been removed from the world of neurology and placed in an inappropriate and anachronistic social science setting.  But something does remain in translation, the idea of an invisible deficit, the infirmity that cannot be known nor perceived.  I can even imagine a cognitive and psychological version of anosodiaphoria.  The idea of an infirmity that people neglect, that they do not pay any attention to.

- 30 -

Copyright © 2010 The New York Times Company

26 June 2010

ARABSAT 5A communications satellite launches from French Guiana btw 21.41 & 22.52 UTC / watch launch video on Web / ARABSAT satellite system

Click image 2x for largest.

Arabsat 5A & COMS

Liftoff is set for Saturday, June 26, 2010
....................... Kourou, French Guiana

In the two synchronized sequences performed during the launch countdown on Thursday, June 24, an atypical pressure value was observed in the pressurization system of Ariane 5’s cryogenic main stage.

After precise analysis of this phenomenon, and complementary checks were carried out, Arianespace has decided to resume final countdown operations for Flight 195 with the Arabsat-5A and COMS satellite payloads.

Liftoff of the Ariane 5 launcher is now set for the night of Saturday, June 26, as early as possible in the following launch window:

* From 18:41 to 19:52

..local time in Kourou, French Guiana

* From 17:41 to 18:52 in Washington, D.C.

* From 21:41 to 22:52 UTC.

* From 23:41 to 00:52 Paris, on June 26/27.

* From 00:41 to 01:52 Riyadh, on June 27.

* From 06:41 to 07:52 Seoul, on June 27.

Live webcasting start 20 minutes before lift-off.

Video WebCasting will be available in FlashMedia and WindowsMedia formats.


[Dubai World Trade Centre Logo]

H.H. Sheikh Hasher 

Bin Maktoum Al Maktoum 
And Satellite MENA

Middle East’s Premier Exhibition for Digital Media, Broadcasting and Satellite Industries Welcomes more than 700 Companies from over 50 Countries


PRLog (Press Release) – Mar 02, 2010 –
H.H. Sheikh Hasher bin Maktoum Al Maktoum, director general, Dubai Department of Information opened the 16th edition of CABSAT MENA and the 2nd Satellite MENA exhibitions at Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre (DICEC) this morning, launching three days of power-packed business development and knowledge exchange.

With between 60 and 70 percent of homes throughout the Middle East having access to multi-channel TV, according to research by BuddeComm, and the satellite capacity leasing market growing at an annual rate of more than four percent, both shows encapsulate a growth market, especially in the Middle East and North Africa regions.

More than 700 companies from across over 50 countries, including 11 national pavilions, will be showcasing the latest products in the broadcasting, digital media and satellite market as they look to capitalise on this potential.

“We are delighted that H.H. Sheikh Hasher bin Maktoum Al Maktoum has offered his support to CABSAT MENA and Satellite MENA,” said Helal Saeed Almarri, CEO, Dubai World Trade Centre. “There is a great deal of international focus on the Middle East broadcasting, digital media and satellite industries as the region is one of the most buoyant in the world. We welcome a vast array of companies from all over to Dubai to create new business opportunities and explore new avenues of growth.”

Leading companies including Al Mazroui, AMT, Avid, Blusens, EuroStar, Fujinon, Harris, Hewlett Packard, Hitachi, Horizon Satellite Services, Thomsun, MediaCast, Nilesat, Noorsat, Satcom Global, Sony, Venutech, VSAT, Wasp 3D and Yamaha will all be showcasing the latest technological advances and generating new business.

Many companies will also be launching new products and technology to the market, including Al Yahsat, Arabsat, Televes Middle East and The Vitec Group.

Visitors to this year’s CABSAT MENA and Satellite MENA exhibitions will also be able to create their own personalised broadcasts from the show floor. The new ‘Creative Media Zone’ at this year’s event is an exciting interactive feature where content recorded during the show will be edited, formatted and broadcast on-site.

Running alongside CABSAT MENA and Satellite MENA are the CABSAT MENA 2010 Broadcasting Conference and the GVF MENASAT Summit 2010, providing invaluable knowledge exchange and networking opportunities. The Broadcasting Conference Keynote address will be by Jamal Al Sharif, Executive Director, Dubai Studio City, while the GVF MEANSAT Summit 2010 keynote will be presented by Jawad Abbassi, Founder & General Manager, Arab Advisors Group on regional market growth.

Another attractive feature at this year’s event is the brand new Creative Media Zone; an area equipped with roaming cameras, audio and video equipment for trade visitors to create on-site content including interviews, short movies and broadcast live from the show floor.

CABSAT MENA and Satellite MENA 2010, will run until 4 March 2010 at Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre. The exhibitions are strictly for trade and business professional only. Visitors under the age of 18 will not be permitted entry.

For more information, please visit or

# # #

Dubai World Trade Centre offers more than 31 years’ experience of delivering world-class events in the Middle East, providing local, regional and international exhibitors with unmatched expertise and in-depth market knowledge.

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24 June 2010

Wedding! (the Nachbarschaft in Berlin) / Much less crappy V.4 / Postalo Vleeptron: Civil Courage / Zivilcourage

Click image, very likely it gets bigger.
Postalo Vleeptron: Civil Courage / Zivilcourage
Somebody's little kid made some Refrigerator Art for me, and I e-mailed his folks some of my Refrigerator Art in return. (They say the kid likes it.) Anyway, it returned my attention on this stamp, which is about 3 or 4 years old, and I found myself putting a lot of time and energy on it to make it Less Crappy. (You may have noticed: I'm NOT a Visual Artist, and even my Drafting and Collage Filching Skills are very questionable.)
My pal Uwe from the Wedding neighborhood of Berlin put a call out for a gallery exhibit -- to celebrate the delicate web of Community, in which everyone in the neighborhood plays a role.
I've spent a little time in Wedding on two visits. This is how I see Wedding. The Main Drag is Mullerstrasse -- a century or more ago, a Street of Windmills. (They're gone.)
Wikipedia says Wedding has long been nicknamed "Red Wedding" -- a historically notorious neighborhood of political Lefties. I felt right at home. Also cheap rents, so lots of artists, lots of Asian (I think mainly Turkish) immigrants, so lots of wonderful cheap food (including Uwe's former remarkable Kantine in the basement of City Hall). Swell beer! A very exciting place, it had the feel of Baghdad from The Arabian Nights. Lots to gawk at.
This is Wedding as re-created from a child's Toy Chest; this is Toy Wedding, reflecting the child's daily experiences in Real Wedding.
Uwe's wife is a policewoman, but I couldn't find any action figure German policewomen, so Uwe found one and sent it to me. The closest I'd been able to filch were the wooden Danish cops.
I didn't see any horses in Wedding, but the child had a wooden horse in the Toy Chest.
It is, indeed, a stamp; the perforations are Alphabet Blocks.
The deutsches translation is a controversial saloon brawl between what I was trying to say in English, and how Agence-Vleeptron Presse's Mensch-on-the-Ground in Helvetia thought it's supposed to be in deutsches. But it's not a Translator Robot Job.
UWE -- are you there? How are you? What's up? How's Susanne? How's Wedding?

12 June 2010

HANOI ROCKS PIZZAQ!!! / why did mom and dad name the baby Nasty Suicide?

Click image for larger.

1st Day Issue: Postalo Vleeptron
Hanoi Rocks commemorative

Okay, I hadn't heard much news lately about My Musical Hero Andy McCoy, one of the last survivors of Hanoi Rocks, so I had an Internet Relay Chat Relapse to find out.

To put it mildly, Andy McCoy was not the name he was born with.

Also I don't think Nasty Suicide's parents baptized him that way.

These guys rocked Finland! And shocked Finland!

Then they escaped and brought their Music to the Whole Wide World!

Okay 1 Large Pizza with ... Vodka and Heroin!

Fill in Every Square in the Hanoi Rocks info chart -- correctly!

I will award the Pizza & vodka at the Finnish.

~ ~ ~

* Now talking in #finland
* Topic is 'Welcome to #finland, the Finnish/English chat channel'
* Set by Tamsku on Sat May 29 08:20:27
{Droog4} hello hello who is awake?
{Droog4} come on it's 9:15 pm there, you are all sleeping?
{meksie_} no and yes
{Droog4} oh yeah there was one more time zone, it's really 10:15 there
{Droog4} i remember
{Droog4} hi meksie
{Droog4} meksie may i ask u a question please?
{Droog4} don't make me beg
meksie_ is * The King
meksie_ on #europe #finland
meksie_ using * The Undernet Underworld
meksie_ End of /WHOIS list.
{Droog4} well i will ask this question to anyone:
{Droog4} how is Andy McCoy these days?
* Droog4 is a Big Fan of Andy McCoy & Hanoi Rocks
{Droog4} my wife just came home and is giving me commands, but please answer
{meksie_} i dunno whats up with Andy.. i think he's doing some art these days:) showing his works in art galleries :)
{meksie_} and Michael Monroe is busy with his band :)
* Ruottist (
 Quit (Ping timeout)
{labelmeinsan} Droog4 and you allow your wife to give you commands? poor you...
{labelmeinsan} anyways its your business
* meks_ie ( has joined #finland
* meksie_ ( Quit (Ping timeout)
* meks_ie ( Quit (Quit)
* meksie_ ( has joined #finland
{Droog4} lebelmeinsan in my country, for the husband, marriage = slavery
{Droog4} what means labelmeinsan in Suomi?
{labelmeinsan} its label me insane in english :P
{Droog4} meksie!!! you're back!!! Thanks for the Andy McCoy and Michael Monroe stuff!
{labelmeinsan} but not enough space for the whole nick
{Droog4} doh i thought it was suomi word
{labelmeinsan} nah
{Droog4} i know 2 suomi words: taxi and okay
{labelmeinsan} i know some more but still learning
{Droog4} the rest was all deafness and blindness
{labelmeinsan} im not originally from here but i live here with my finnish bf
{meksie_} i saw Hanoi Rocks live.. some months before they called it a  a day.. was pretty cool show :)
{Droog4} meksie yes i imagine very few people ever asked for their ticket money back after a HR show
{Droog4} you have really Seen Something
{Droog4} i saw Janis Joplin & Big Brother & the Holding Company at a roller rink arena one time, that was mind-rearranging
{meksie_} I almost went to see Kiss last nite.. but.. the tickets were like 70 euros.. figured.. okay, maybe i'll go watch friends band instead on Saturday for 7 euros at a club:P and drink beer for 63 euros :P
{meksie_} ooh
{Droog4} labenmeinsan u in Helsinki or the university town?
{meksie_} Janis Joplin :)
{labelmeinsan} im in äänekoski, about 300 km north from helsinki
{Droog4} okay i find that on map
{labelmeinsan} im not a student yet but going to apply
{Droog4} excuse, new Slavery command, brb
{labelmeinsan} in jyväskylä coz its closer and i dont want to be far away from my man :)
{Droog4} oh waitasec, university city is ......... Turko???
{Droog4} this will be a Memory Miracle if i'm close
{Droog4} but i will find jyvaskyla on the map
{Droog4} labelmeinsan did u like Suomi right away?
{Droog4} for 70 euros i expect cheerleaders in my hot tub
{meksie_} hehe
{meksie_} Kiss get that i guess :P hot chicks in hot tub :P
{meksie_} after all Gene Simmons sez.. he's slept with over 4.000 women :P
{Droog4} oh yes KISS gets that, it is in the appearance contract
{Droog4} and Gene has 100% Perfect Record -- all women only?
{meksie_} heheh
{Droog4} what a guy
{Droog4} love the shoes
{meksie_} thehe.. yueah. maybe thats the trick.. :P wear platforms and get the chicks :P
{Droog4} oh i know the guy who designs the Wild Exploding Flashing Lights and light show crap for KISS
{meksie_} cool :)
{Droog4} hey while i got you on the line ... how is Lordi doing?
{meksie_} Kiss [greater than] Lordi.. i actually dont like Lordi that much :P but i suppose they are doing okay, not as nearly as popular as Kiss though :)
{Droog4} i don't know much about eurovision, but Lordi were the first winners in 30 years not to sing about Love
{Droog4} they sang instead about beheading their enemies
{Droog4} that was a different approach to winning eurovision
{meksie_} heheh
{meksie_} yeah :) we obviously needed some gimmick to win in  eurovision.. we've been taking part for ages, and always been in the bottom of the charts
{meksie_} finnish music culture sometimes really stinks.. i tell ya
{Droog4} i don't think Nasty Suicide was exactly eurovision material
{meksie_} brights lights like Hanoi Rocks and some good stuff sometimes comesup :)
{meksie_} hehe
{Droog4} i got HR stuff over college/uni FM radio in USA, i really did think they were amazing
{meksie_} which part of US are u from?
{Droog4} go to Boston, hire a car, drive west 3 hours ... tiny tiny dot on map Chesterfield Massachusetts
{meksie_} cool :)
{meksie_} Boston i can locate that at least
{meksie_} and can hardly pronounce massachusetts :P
{Droog4} my wife just dragged me here, we burn logs for warmth, owls and coyotes try to eat our cats
{meksie_} ooh.. close to nature :)
{Droog4} not close
{Droog4} intimate
{Droog4} sometimes without my consent
{meksie_} okay
{Droog4} i am a City Boy all my life
{Droog4} something goes wrong, you pick up telephone, 2 hours later it works again
{meksie_} i'd love to see NYC and LA :) hehe.. yeah, i've fallen for the image.. but i wanna see those cities :)
{Droog4} this is crazy and dangerous (but beautiful) out here
{meksie_} yeah, services close by
{Droog4} IF you end up in Boston ... it is a surprisingly progressive hot jumpin city for music
{Droog4} your ears will not starve
{meksie_} Boston.. any big bands from there? is Boston (the band) from Boston? :)
{meksie_} Aerosmith?
{meksie_} hmm.. or wait.. hmm.. im thinking im thinking
{Droog4} oh krist you are talking about Hair Bands, this is not my academic specialty at all
{meksie_} heheh
{Droog4} and i hung in New York City, i don't know Boston all that well
{meksie_} so u don't classify Hanoi Rocks as one :P
{meksie_} okay :)
{meksie_} New York has an amazing music scene i bet :) had in the past, still has :)
{Droog4} Hanoi Rocks? a Hair Band? Certainly not, they were a Big Noise in birth of World Punk movement
{meksie_} okokok :)
{Droog4} hmmmmm well pathetically the Old Man does not get down to NYC as often as i used to
{meksie_} i'd love to see the place
{Droog4} so what clubs are making what noise i do not know
{meksie_} visit some clubs, see some sights, see the life there
{meksie_} okay
{Droog4} but i am sure they will have a week o musical fun for you
{meksie_} i'd love some smokey jazz clubs too :)
{meksie_} in a city so BIG.. there's something for everybody :)
{Droog4} u know what is a hard loud rockin music town? Reykjavik! they also consume large volumes of alcohol with their club scene
{meksie_} iceland.. now thats a surprise :)
{meksie_} thought they only have Bjork :P
{Droog4} no no no no they are firmly Beyond Bjork
* Droog4 knows Bjork's Last Name!
{meksie_} some 'dottir i suppose? :P
{Droog4} you suppose right
{meksie_} aren't them all icelandic girls 'dottirs :P
{Droog4} Gudmunds dottir
{Droog4} yes i don't know why Norsk and Svensk stopped the -dottir thing
{Droog4} and Dansk
{meksie_} yeah, that was interesting.. too bad. Iceland still seems to hold on to the traditions
{meksie_} but there are still 'sons around there.. :) Pamela Andersson  (btw, she has finnish roots too.. :P)
{Droog4} what else can they do? they are on a cold wet rock in north atlantic, unless Big Volcano goes off, they have no contact with Scan or rest of world
{meksie_} heheh
{Droog4} oh here is the inside scoop on iceland volcano:
{Droog4} deep underground it is connected to BIGGER NASTIER volcano called Katla
{Droog4} expect Big Noise from Katla any week now
{Droog4} make first one seem like kiddie firecracker
{meksie_} they just 'dust the skies' here :)
{Droog4} the ash cloud missed Finland?
* Disconnected
* Attempting to rejoin channel #finland
* Rejoined channel #finland
{Droog4} sorry, disconnected
{Droog4} the ash cloud missed Finland?
{meksie_} wb Droog.. btw, did ya know Dave Mustaine calls Megadeth fans Droogies :) is that from like.. Clockwork orange? or something
{meksie_} no, we go the ash clouds too.. but didn't bother me.. coz i wasn't flying anywhere :)
{Droog4} meksie yes my nick is what the teenage psycho ultraviolent Brit boys call each other in Clockwork Orange, droog = friend in  Slavic/Russian
{meksie_} okay
{meksie_} you gots slavic/russian roots maybe?
* Droog4 kicks Senior Citizen brutally in alley to amuse meksie
{Droog4} no i just love the book and the movie
{Droog4} i have weird tastes, maybe i got dropped on my head as a baby
{meksie_} okay :)
{meksie_} heheh
{Droog4} meksie where r u?
{Droog4} i don't need the flat number
{Droog4} are u in helsinki?
{meksie_} 30 kms south of Tampere :) or about 140 km's north of Helsinki :)
{Droog4} ah okay
{Droog4} i took the Floating Shopping Mall & Restaurant Galleria from Stokholm to Helsinki
{meksie_} Tampere is the big city im near at.. and often there :) or well.. big city in terms of nordic countries.. about 250.000
{meksie_} hahahah
{meksie_} thats classic stuff :)
{meksie_} Finns love them cruises :P getting drink.. with tax free booze.. and :) just cruising :P
{Droog4} it was strange, but very comfortable and tasty
{Droog4} most big passenger ferries are Hard Drinking Zoness
{Droog4} ferry from mainland Canada to Newfoundland wow those Newfies drank
{meksie_} heheh
{meksie_} i wwonder why is it.. hehe.. but its fun:P
{Droog4} meksie u ever take ferry to Tallin?
{Droog4} there is nothign else to do for 12 or 20 hours, but the Bar is Open
{Droog4} brb or bbiaf, i don't know yet
{Droog4} don't get married
{meksie_} yes, i'v ebeen to Tallinn sometimes :P
{Droog4} did i say that{?
{meksie_} heheh
{meksie_} u did, u did
{Droog4} no it is computer error
* finnpeikko ( Quit (Quit)
{meksie_} heheh.. lets blame it on that :)
{Droog4} okay i found Tampere
{Droog4} nice haircut
{Droog4} how is Tallin now? A long time ago it was ... uhhh ... a bit rough
{Droog4} is it all Boutique and Disney now?
{meksie_} it was nice.. visited the old city.. and had good laughs reading their language signs and store names.. :) estonian language is kinda like finnish but not really.. and some words there have e different meanings :)
{meksie_} but ppl were nice to us :) brotherly/sisterly nice:P
{Droog4} yeah both lingos are Finno Ugrik
{Droog4} (which is all Greek to me)
{meksie_} yes.. Finno-Ugric ) true, true
{meksie_} heheh
{Droog4} most beautiful architecture in Helsinki was Railroad Station
{Droog4} took my breath away
{Droog4} Saarinen, the dad
{meksie_} yes, Saarinen.. oh.. but Saarinen also has done something in USA :)
{meksie_} St. Loius :) arch :)
{Droog4} oh Saarinen the Younger is Huge Big Architecture Noise in North America
{Droog4} changed lots of landscapes
{Droog4} i grew up near Dulles International Airport (near Washington DC)
{Droog4} look for images of the Main Terminal
{Droog4} just a magical gorgeous building
{meksie_} im quite surprised you know Saarinen :P:P
{meksie_} hehe.. whoah :) even :)
{Droog4} i go into beautiful buildings, i ride up and down in the elevators, i ask around, i read the wiki
{Droog4} but i loved that railroad station so much i asked and they  told me it was Daddy Saarinen
{meksie_} cool :)
{meksie_} not a whole lot of finns famous in America, but i guess Saarinen.. made his mark :)
{Droog4} i was sort of in Helsinki by accident, but i had so much fun i would like to come back
{Droog4} Jorma (please spell correctly for me), Grateful Dead guitarist
{Droog4} oh no i mean Jefferson Airplane
{Droog4} danger danger will robinson, central memory is failing
{Droog4} you know who most famous Finnish-American of all was?
{Droog4} parents from Finland, had farm in Minnesota
{meksie_} lemme think
{Droog4} Gus Hall = head of USA Communist Party for maybe 40 years
{meksie_} hheheheh
{meksie_} oh yeah :)
{Droog4} sometimes he ran for President from prison
{meksie_} did u know.. that plenty of communists from USA and Canada (Finnish descendents) went to Soviet Union.. Soviet Karelia.. and they ended up being slaughtered in Stalins purges
{meksie_} i did read that finns.. somehow.. were big in American communism.. like Gus Hall :)
{Droog4} i know Finland and USSR were not Group Hug neighbors
{Droog4} big war in 1930s
{Droog4} Finland won, kicked Soviets outt
{Droog4} (that didn't usually happen with Soviet Army)
{Droog4} can i whore my blog here?
{Droog4} well i will whore my blog and if bot kicks me out, i need to say goodbye anyway
{meksie_} well.. only country country who fought Soviet Union twice during WW2.. and was unoccupied.. but.. of course lost big territory.. my grandparents from my fathers side had to flee from that area.. but suppose.. if that had not happened i would not exists.. and my folks would've not met :P
{meksie_} checking checking
{Droog4} i know a really cool thing about FI ... during WW2, only 2 euro allies of Germany, the Jewish population got BIGGER: Finland and Albania
{meksie_} finnish jews fought in Finnish army.. pretty interesting thing that too
{meksie_} you know a lot about things :))
{meksie_} art.. architecture.. history :)
{Droog4} yeah i have done some reading ... very interesting unexpected surprise stuff
{Droog4} after the Floating Shopping Mall docked, i paid attention and asked lots of questions
* seagull ( Quit (*.net *.split)
* X sets mode: +l 11
* Droog4 was newspaper journalist
{Droog4} i get paid to ask nosey dumb questions
{meksie_} wow :)
{meksie_} cool :)
{Droog4} and your boss fires you if he comes in and you are NOT reading the newspaper
{meksie_} heheh
{meksie_} i bet being a journalist is interesting profession
{Droog4} well uhhh okay i always had a Serious Boredom Problem
{Droog4} i would scream and get sick if life was boring and same every day
{Droog4} i found cure when i got job with newspaper when i was 18
{meksie_} excellent :)
{Droog4} never boring
{Droog4} something explodes, i go
{meksie_} sounds like u made good decisions there.. never boring sounds so good to me
{Droog4} once i chased an escaped bear in the woods all night
{Droog4} the next night i went to dentist convention
{Droog4} i had so much fun on the first job, i could not believe They were paying Me
{meksie_} hehehhe
{Droog4} okay leave graffiti on my blog
{Droog4} very nice chatting with you
{Droog4} i gtg
{meksie_} was nice chatting with u too :)
{meksie_} thanks for stopping by :)
{Droog4} thank you for all the info about My Heroes
{Droog4} we don't get lots of HR news here in western massachusetts usa
{meksie_} Greetings from the
{meksie_} right-not-rainy north to Western Massachusetts USA :P
{meksie_} not-{now
{meksie_} typo :)
{Droog4} i think it is raining just a little
{Droog4} but this week we have had TORNADO WARNINGS
{Droog4} but no tornados
{meksie_} up there too?
{Droog4} we're all doomed
{Droog4} volcanos erupting
{meksie_} btw, i love storms :P but.. i don't wish them to hurt ppl :P
{Droog4} tornadoes where there were never tornadoes
{Droog4} cats living with dogs
{Droog4} i love erupting volcanos actually
{Droog4} i am a Volcano Tourist
{meksie_} hehe.. dont go too near though ;)
{Droog4} and the nicest ones don't kill very many people
{meksie_} i'd be more scared of a volcano than tornado :P
{Droog4} usually the Police make sure i don't get too close
{Droog4} volcano, tornado pretty equal into how it can fu** up 100s of people real quick without warning
{Droog4} earthquake also tied
{Droog4} tsunami, hurricane ... i got whomped in face by hurricane once
{Droog4} that was Highly Interesting
{meksie_} yes :/ earthquakes are scary stuff too
{meksie_} i mean hey.. 1905 or was it 1905.. big San Francisco quake.. basically destroyed the whole city.. fires.. and everything broke out
{Droog4} they say cats, dogs, cows, sheep, chickens know when earthquake is coming hours early
{Droog4} read about Caribbean island of Martinique, i think in year 1905 or near then
{Droog4} i will not spoil the plot for you
{meksie_} oh
{Droog4} c u!
* Disconnected

~ ~ ~

Hanoi Rocks

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Hanoi Rocks

The classic Hanoi Rocks line-up from 1984. From left to right: Razzle, Nasty Suicide, Michael Monroe, Andy McCoy and Sami Yaffa.
Background information
Origin Helsinki, Finland
Genres Glam punk, hard rock, glam rock, glam metal[1][2]
Years active 1979–1985
Labels Johanna Kustannus, Lick Records, Nippon Phonogram, CBS, Major Leiden Productions, Liquor and Poker Music, Backstage Alliance
Associated acts Briard
Pelle Miljoona Oy
The Suicide Twins
Jerusalem Slim
Demolition 23.
New York Dolls
Website Official website
Michael Monroe
Andy McCoy
Conny Bloom
Andy "A.C." Christell
George Atlagic
Former members
Nasty Suicide
Stefan Piesnack
Nedo Soininen
Peki Sirola
Tumppi Varonen
Sami Yaffa
Gyp Casino
Razzle (deceased)
Terry Chimes
René Berg (deceased)
Timo Kaltio
Timpa Laine
Costello Hautamäki
Stevie Klasson
Hanoi Rocks was a Finnish rock band formed in 1979, whose most successful period came in the early 1980s. The band broke up in 1985 after the death of their drummer, Nicholas "Razzle" Dingley. Original members vocalist Michael Monroe and guitarist Andy McCoy came back together in 2001 and were active with the new line-up of Hanoi Rocks until 2009.
In the 80s Hanoi Rocks was the most successful Finnish band internationally and are still popular in the United States, Japan, and England. They were also one of the first rock bands to tour in Asia, and were the first western rock band to play in Delhi. According to Finnish radio and TV personality Jone Nikula (who was also Hanoi Rocks' tour manager in the 2000s), Hanoi Rocks' albums have sold around 780.000–1.000.000 copies around the world, but mostly in Scandinavia and Japan. They are more known for their energetic live performances than for album sales though.
The band have been cited as pioneers of hair metal.[3]



[edit] History

[edit] Formation and early days (1979-1980)

Hanoi Rocks was formed in Helsinki in 1979 by Michael Monroe (Matti Fagerholm) and his friend, guitarist Andy McCoy (Antti Hulkko). Although McCoy was the other forming-member, he didn't join the band right-away, because, at the time, he was the guitarist for the Finnish punk band Pelle Miljoona Oy. McCoy let Monroe form the band without him, but they agreed that McCoy would join later.
The original line-up of Hanoi Rocks consisted of Michael Monroe on vocals, former Pelle Miljoona Oy guitarist Stefan Piesnack, Monroe's old friend guitarist Nasty Suicide, bassist Nedo Soininen and drummer Peki Sirola. By 1980, Sirola was replaced by drummer Tumppi Varonen.
The band toured Finnish clubs, playing McCoy and Monroe's own songs and covers like Cheap Trick's "He's a Whore", The Police's "Born in the 50's" and MC5's "Looking at You". At one of the band's first shows was Seppo Vesterinen, who had brought big name artists like Iggy Pop and Frank Zappa to Finland. Vesterinen soon became the band's manager after talking with McCoy and Monroe. In late 1980 Andy McCoy left Pelle Miljoona Oy to join Hanoi Rocks, and was later joined by another former Pelle Miljoona Oy member, bassist Sam Yaffa. McCoy replaced Stefan Piesnack who had been arrested for drugs, and Yaffa replaced Nedo. By then, Tummpi Varonen had left the band, and when the band relocated to Stockholm, they hired an old friend of Monroe and McCoy's, drummer Gyp Casino.

[edit] Stockholm, early recordings and London (1980–1981)

When the band moved to Stockholm, they lived mostly in the streets, begging for money, except Andy McCoy, who was living with his wealthy girlfriend. In November 1980, the band struck a deal with Johanna Kustannus and released their debut-single, "I Want You / Kill City Kills". "I Want You" was a new version by Andy McCoy of the Swedish song "Jag Vill Ha Dig" (means exactly "I want You" in Swedish, McCoy only translated the song into English and claimed it as his own). "Kill City Kills" was one of McCoy's oldest songs, which he had written when he was hanging around at a Finnish block called Kill City. Even though Gyp Casino was the band's drummer, he didn't play on the single, on the count that he was recording with another band in Stockholm.
In December 1980, the band played a show in Virrat, a small town in Finland. This show started a long 102-day tour in January 1981, which is apparently still the longest rock-tour in Finnish history. The tour developed the band's energetic and wild playing style, which people weren't too fond of at the time, but later the band has been praised for their playing style.
In February 1981, the band released their second single "Tragedy / Café Avenue", which McCoy had written when he was 15–16 years old. In that same month the band released their debut album, titled Bangkok Shocks, Saigon Shakes, Hanoi Rocks, which was produced by Michael Monroe and Andy McCoy, who were known as "The Muddy Twins". The album was well-received, and climbed to number five on the Finnish album-charts.
In September 1981, the band moved to London, England, but before that, they continued touring in Finland and in Sweden. In London they started the recording process for their second album. On November 21, 1981, the band performed at the legendary Marquee Club in London. In late November they returned to Finland and released the single "Desperados / Devil Woman". In December they released another single, titled "Dead By X-Mas / Nothing New".

[edit] Oriental Beat and Razzle joins (1982)

In January 1982, Hanoi Rocks made their first music videos at the Lepakko (a place for independent youth culture) for the songs "Tragedy", "Oriental Beat" and "Motorvatin'". In that same month the band released their second album Oriental Beat. The album was mostly well received by critics and magazines, including Sounds and Kerrang!, whose Dave Dickson since covered Hanoi Rocks' career in the 80's extensively. The band spent the spring of 1982 touring in Sweden, and also had their first Japanese breakthrough with "Tragedy". In May the single "Love's An Injection / Taxi Driver" was released. In June 1982, the band permanently moved to London, but they still weren't very wealthy, and the dark side of the rock'n'roll lifestyle were hurting the band. Nasty Suicide's wild lifestyle was getting out of hand and was affecting his playing. At the same time Michael Monroe met a Hanoi Rocks-fan called Razzle at a Johnny Thunders show. Later Razzle found out that Monroe was the singer for Hanoi Rocks, and after seeing some shows, Razzle showed-up backstage and told them that he wanted to be their drummer. McCoy and Monroe soon fired Gyp Casino, whose drug use had gotten out of control, and he was also getting very depressed and suicidal. Razzle was hired as the new drummer.
In August 1982, Hanoi Rocks released their third studio album, Self Destruction Blues in London. Even though Razzle was featured on the album's cover he didn't actually play on the album, because the album featured old singles like "Love's An Injection". The album was released in October in Finland, with "Love's An Injection" spending a week at number one on the Finnish singles-charts. The band also struck a deal with the Japanese record-company Nippon Phonogram.
The band has later said that without Razzle they probably would have broken-up, but when Razzle joined he revitalized the band.

[edit] Tour in Asia, Back to Mystery City and the deal with CBS (1983)

The year 1983 was a good year for Hanoi Rocks: They had broken through in England, mostly due to their second manager Richard Bishop, their popularity in Japan was increasing, and they were close to a breakthrough in the US.
By January 1983 the band was back on the road and were touring outside of England, Finland and Sweden, including Asia. The Asian-tour was largely covered by British magazines, and the band also got on the cover of Sounds. The tour started in Bombay, where the band actually started a riot. The tour continued in Hong Kong and then in Japan. In Japan the band was very popular, with fans breaking into hotels too see the members of the band. The ticket prices for the show were as high as for stadium fillers. There were even phone-booths in Tokyo that would play Hanoi Rocks-songs. The tour continued from Tokyo to Vietnam.
In April the band returned to London for the recording of their fourth album, and on the first week of April, the band went to Israel, where they weren't very well received. Monroe couldn't even leave the hotel because of his somewhat odd looks: Local people thought he was an improperly-dressed woman and would gather around him and even spit on him. Also, Nasty Suicide broke his ankle, and overall people didn't like the band's loud playing style. In late spring Hanoi Rocks toured in London and Norway, and released a single before the new album, titled "Malibu Beach / Rebel On The Run". The band's fourth album, Back to Mystery City, was soon released an it reached number 87 on British album-charts. In England the albums and singles were released on the band's managers', Seppo Vesterinen and Richard Bishop's record label, Lick Records, and in Finland on Johanna Kustannus. After the albums release, Hanoi Rocks toured in England and in Finland until June 1983, when the band made a deal with CBS for 150 000 £.

[edit] Bob Ezrin and All Those Wasted Years (1983–1984)

In August 1983, Hanoi Rocks released the 7" single "Until I Get You / Tragedy", an the 12" Maxi-Single "Until I Get You / Tragedy / Oriental Beat". On August 13, Lick Records released Hanoi Rocks' first three albums in Britain for the first time. The next day, the band played a show at the Ruisrock festival in Turku, Finland. Before the show, Michael Monroe was interviewed for the Finnish television station YLE, where he stated that McCoy and Suicide's alcohol use had gotten out of hand. He also stated that he didn't drink or use drugs. In October 1983, legendary producer Bob Ezrin flew from the US to see Hanoi Rocks live in London and in December he was confirmed as the producer for Hanoi Rocks' next album.
In September the preparations for Hanoi Rocks fifth album started. Songs that the band were working on included "Two Steps From The Move", "Never Get Enough" (an early version of "Million Miles Away"), "I Can't Get It", "Bad Love" and "Teenage Revolution". The working title for the next record was Silver Missiles and Nightingales, which was slated for February 16, 1984 release.
In November, Hanoi Rocks played their two famous shows at The Marquee Club, the later of which was recorded as the bands first live album and video, titled All Those Wasted Years.

[edit] Two Steps from the Move (1984)

Bob Ezrin has stated that he and the band "had a great time making the record", and that the band's "energy was relentless."
In late January 1984, Bob Ezrin and Andy McCoy flew to Toronto to work on new songs. The rest of Hanoi Rocks flew to Toronto a few days later for the albums preproduction. While in Toronto, the band rehearsed a lot and worked on the songs. There was a tight schedule, so many of the sessions were grueling. Ezrin also got Ian Hunter of Mott the Hoople to help write some of the new songs. The actual recording-sessions started on February 20th, 1984 at Record Plant in New York, where the drums, bass and some of the guitars were recorded. The band flew back to Toronto to record the vocals and the rest of the guitars. Bob Ezrin also helped on a lot of the recording, including Razzle's drumming and Monroe's vocals. Ian Hunter had brought Jack Bruce (formerly of Cream), who had also brought Pete Brown, to the recording-sessions. Pete Brown wrote a lot of lyrics, but the only one the band used was "Smoked a lot of sky, drank a lot of rain" which is featured in "Million Miles Away".
By the end of April the new album was almost ready for release, but Ezrin and the label thought that the album was missing a hit, so they chose the band to cover the Creedence Clearwater Revival song "Up Around The Bend", which was already a favorite of Michael Monroe and Nasty Suicide.
In May 1984 Hanoi Rocks went on tour in Bombay and in Japan. In Japan, the Hanoi Rocks -hysteria had gone through the roof, with concert halls being sold-out and loyal fans following the band everywhere the whole tour. Even in Finland people were baffled by the Hanoi-hysteria in Japan.
The Japanese tour was followed by a tour across England and Scotland. British magazines were raving about the band, and were sure that the next record would be their breakthrough. In June the single "Up Around The Bend / Until I Get You" was released, but it also appeared as an double-single and as an EP. A music video for "Up Around The Bend" was also shot, at a hotel in England. At the time it was the most expensive music video for any Finnish band, and wasn't too cheap internationally either. After its release the single climbed to number 61 on British single charts and got radio-airplay in America too.
After touring in July in England, Hanoi Rocks' new album finally came out, now titled Two Steps From The Move, which was changed from Silver Missiles and Nightingales at the last minute. In September the single "Underwater World / Shakes" was released. On October 8, Two Steps From The Move was released in England, and right away the band went on a successful tour with Johnny Thunders.
In November the single "Don't You Ever Leave Me / Oil And Gasoline" was released, by which time the new album had sold 200 000 copies; most of which were sold in America (60 000), Britain (50 000) and Finland (20 000). In the US the album sold 44 000 copies in its first two weeks. After a Swedish tour, the band headed out for their breakthrough US tour. The band toured the west coast until Michael Monroe fractured his ankle on November 29, which resulted in some of the tour dates being cancelled. On December 2 the band were celebrating Razzle's birthday, and were headed towards Los Angeles, which Razzle was looking very much forward to. The Los Angeles shows were all sold-out in less than half-an-hour, and the audience included future Guns N' Roses -members Duff McKagan and Slash.[4] The breakthrough on the west coast seemed sure.

[edit] Razzle's death, Rock & Roll Divorce and break-up (1984–1985)

December 27, 1984 issue of Kerrang!, featuring an obituary for Razzle, written by Dave Dickson.
On December 8, Hanoi Rocks band members (except Michael Monroe, who was recuperating from his fractured ankle) were partying with their friends Mötley Crüe, at lead singer Vince Neil's house. The party stopped when everybody noticed that they were out of beer. Vince Neil and Razzle, who were both drunk, drove to a nearby liquor store with Neil's new sports car. After buying more beer, the two headed back to Neil's, but on the way Neil crashed into another car. Razzle was rushed to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead at the time of 7:12 pm. Razzle had died instantly in the collision with the other car.
Andy McCoy and Mötley Crüe's drummer Tommy Lee went looking for Neil and Razzle. They drove by the crash site and saw Neil being handcuffed and being put into a police car. They were informed that Razzle had been taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. McCoy informed the band's manager Seppo Vesterinen, who then told the rest of the band.
The death of Razzle had a big impact on the band. The rest of the tour dates were cancelled, and the band retreated back to London. The only shows not cancelled were the Helsinki Kulttuuritalo (Finnish for The House of Culture) show and the Europe A-Go-Go show, which was televised all over Europe, with around 200 million viewers watching. Both shows became memorials to Razzle, with "Million Miles Away" being dedicated to Razzle. Former Clash -drummer Terry Chimes played the drums.
In 1985, after the shows, Sam Yaffa left the group due to personal differences with Andy McCoy. McCoy was ready to continue with the band, but Monroe and Nasty Suicide weren't so sure. Yaffa was replaced by bassist René Berg, who didn't get along with many of the members (especially Nasty Suicide). Terry Chimes was chosen as the new drummer. With the new members the magic wasn't there and Monroe was actually going to quit. The record label talked Monroe into doing a short tour in Poland, where "Don't You Ever Leave Me" was going up the charts. Monroe agreed on the condition that no live record would be released, but a half-official live album was released. Entitled Rock & Roll Divorce, the album was panned by the managers, band members and critics. René Berg was very arrogant, often stating that Hanoi Rocks was "his band", which led to him being fired, and he was shortly replaced by bassist Timo Kaltio. This line-up never performed live, and on June 17, 1985 Monroe officially left Hanoi Rocks. This signaled the end of the band. At the same time, "Don't You Ever Leave Me" rose to number 6 on the Polish singles charts and Hanoi Rocks' popularity continued to the 1990s even though the band broke up.

[edit] Rebirth and new success (2001–2007)

In February 2001, Michael Monroe and Andy McCoy performed together for the first time since 1985. They performed three Hanoi Rocks songs: "Malibu Beach Nightmare", "Tragedy" and "Up Around the Bend" in Turku, Finland. After that show, McCoy and Monroe toured again together in the summer of 2001, under the moniker "Hanoi Revisited".
The classic Hanoi Rocks line-up of the 2000s.
After the short tour, Monroe and McCoy started talking about if they should consider reforming Hanoi Rocks. Monroe was hesitant at first but eventually agreed to reform the band. This would be (as the two put it), a "rebirth", not a reformation of Hanoi Rocks, mainly because none of the other former members weren't able to join. Razzle was dead, Nasty Suicide had taken a complete overhaul and become a pharmacist, Sam Yaffa was living in New York and was playing as the bassist for the New York Dolls and Gyp Casino wasn't active in the band-circles anymore. "The Muddy Twins" chose Kari "Lacu" Lahtinen from Monroe's solo band to play the drums, Timpa Laine (who had also been in Monroe's solo band) to play the bass, and to play the rhythm guitar they chose Costello Hautamäki from the Finnish rock band Popeda.
The new Hanoi Rocks toured, the fans' reactions were mostly enthusiastic, and the rebirth of Hanoi Rocks also sparked news around the world. On the writing side, McCoy and Monroe made a deal that they would be equal writers on songs, and not just McCoy. By 2002, the two had written enough songs for an album, and Hanoi Rocks' comeback-album Twelve Shots on the Rocks was released. The most popular songs were "In My Darkest Moment", "Obscured", "People Like Me" and "A Day Late, A Dollar Short". Music videos of the latter two were also made. Even though the album was a hit in Finland and Japan, Monroe and McCoy were not present when the album was mixed, and when they heard the finished product they were not too happy. The album was remixed in 2003 and it also featured two new songs, "Moonlite Dance" and "Bad News". Monroe and McCoy were much more happy with this version.
Most of 2003 and 2004 consisted of touring, but guitarist Costello had to leave Hanoi to work with his other band Popeda. Costello was shortly replaced by guitarist Stevie Klasson, whose only recording with Hanoi Rocks was the "Keep Our Fire Burning" single. Klasson was fired from Hanoi Rocks in the fall of 2004 for not getting along with other members. Bassist Timpa also left Hanoi because of family issues.
In 2004 the band (now consisting of Monroe, McCoy and Lacu) headed to the studio to record the album Another Hostile Takeover. With no bassist and no guitarist, Monroe had to play some of the bass and guitar parts, but in early 2005 the band was able to find a new guitarist, Conny Bloom. Bloom had played with Gyp Casino and the Electric Boys and fit well to Hanoi Rocks. He suggested that bassist Andy "A.C." Christell, who had also played with the Electric Boys, should join the band. Hanoi Rocks finally found a bassist again.
The reaction to Another Hostile Takeover was mixed. Critics liked the albums diversity and braveness to try new things, but some of the old fans and hard rock fans thought that the album was weird and that Hanoi Rocks had changed too much since the 80s. The band's line-up, which now consisted of Monroe, McCoy, Conny Bloom, Andy Christell and Lacu, was the classic Hanoi line-up of the 2000s.
The years 2005 and 2006 the band spent touring in Europe and Asia, and the tours created a new generation of Hanoi Rocks fans.
In 2007 Hanoi started working on their third album of the new millennium, Street Poetry. On Street Poetry the band worked on some of the unfinished songs from the 80s, like "Teenage Revolution", which was first thought of in the Two Steps from the Move sessions in 1984. This album also marked the first time that other band members besides Monroe and McCoy got to write songs. Street Poetry was released on September 5, 2007 and a music video was shot for the first single, "Fashion".

[edit] The final break-up (2008–2009)

On January 25th, 2008 Lacu suddenly announced that he would be leaving Hanoi Rocks to join Popeda. On March 20th, the band started their first acoustic tour, during which time the band's drum technician played drums. On May 25th, it was announced that the band's new drummer would be Swedish drummer George Atlagic. Monroe and McCoy hadn't written a song together since 2007, things with the band were getting stale and the two were distancing themselves from each other. Eventually Monroe and McCoy released a statement that they had taken the band as far as they could and that the band would break up.
In late 2008 an autobiography titled "All Those Wasted Years" was released. It mainly covered Hanoi Rocks' career in the 80s and included rare photos of the band and its members and new interviews with Monroe, McCoy, Nasty Suicide, Gyp Casino, Seppo Vesterinen, Richard Bishop and countless others.
Hanoi Rocks announced thath they would play 8 farewell shows in 6 days at the Tavastia Club, in Helsinki. All the shows were sold-out, and the band's original guitarist Nasty Suicide appeared as a special guest on 3 of the last gigs, and Lacu also appeared at the final show.
The last show was released as a DVD in late 2009, titled Buried Alive.

[edit] Legacy

Although Hanoi Rocks never achieved huge commercial success, they have a very big cult following and they have received critical acclaim for their musical style and energetic live performances. On January 5, 1985, Hanoi Rocks was featured in almost every category in a poll cast by Sounds, including Best Album (5th), Best Band (2nd) and Best Live Act (3rd).
Hanoi Rocks' influence can be seen in various bands, including Guns N' Roses, and their glam look has been used by many bands, including Poison, L.A. Guns and Ratt. Other bands like Manic Street Preachers and the Foo Fighters have admitted being Hanoi Rocks-fans.[5] Alice in Chains also often played Hanoi Rocks' "Taxi Driver" live in their early days.[6] Other Finnish rock groups that were influenced by Hanoi Rocks include The 69 Eyes (with whom McCoy has also worked with) and Negative. In Finland Hanoi Rocks is known as the Finnish rock band who, at their time, had come closest to real international fame, only much later giving way to such groups as HIM, Nightwish, Stratovarius, and Children of Bodom.
Hanoi Rocks also brought the glam rock look of the 70s back into style. In 2003, when Nasty Suicide was asked about the bands look, he said that he and Michael Monroe decided to keep the punk leather jackets but bring a kind of "transvestite-vibe to it".
American TV Channel VH1 named the top "hair bands" of all time, and Hanoi Rocks was at number 40. When Sam Yaffa was asked about it, he replied: "We were a hat band, not a hair band!". [7]
Andy McCoy has said that the Guns N' Roses song "Paradise City" is a compilation of a few riffs of Hanoi Rocks. He said the chorus is the same as the riff in "Lost in the City", just slowed down. Nasty Suicide can also be seen in the music video for "Paradise City".
The Guns N' Roses song "Right Next Door to Hell" was co-written by former Hanoi Rocks bassist Timo Kaltio.
Hanoi Rocks is mentioned by Bret Michaels in the song "Human Zoo" from his album A Letter from Death Row, which is also the soundtrack to the film of the same name.[8]

[edit] Band members

Final line-up

Former members

[edit] Timeline

[edit] Discography

[edit] Videography

[edit] Notes

[edit] References

  • Christe, Ian (2003). Sound of the Beast: The Complete Headbanging History of Heavy Metal. HarperCollins. ISBN 0380811278
  • Macdonald, Bruno; Harrington, Jim. Dimery, Robert. ed. 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. Quintet Publishing Limited. ISBN 0-7893-1371-5. 

[edit] External links

This page was last modified on 12 June 2010 at 20:15.