Do you remember the first show that you visited and the first show that you played?
I remember both. The first show I saw was Kiss in 1977 at the end of their “Destroyer” tour. It was absolutely mind-buggling! I actually saw that show with David Ellefson, and his mom grabbed us off! (everybody laughs) His mom took us to the show and she also saw Kiss! Pretty funny!
Wow! How young were you then? Seventeen?
No, I think we were younger than that, we were probably eleven or twelve.
Probably Dave’s mom just went with you to keep an eye on you. Or did she like the music?
I think so. It was funny, because I remember we were sitting there, and there were guys passing joints around, we could smell weed burning everywhere. We had no idea what it was. Some guys just turned around and offered us this thing bluntly in front of David’s mom, but we had no idea what it was! (everybody laughs) It was like an introduction to the whole music scene when we went to see Kiss. And the first show I ever played was at a really small party. That’s how everybody starts out, they play at a little party, mostly for friends and other kids. David and I had a band called Goz, and that’s just what we did.
How did you meet Dave Ellefson? What were your impressions of him at first sight? Did you become buddies right after you first met or it took some time?
I first met him in the hallway at school when we were both 10 years old. Somehow I knew that he liked Kiss, I can’t remember how exactly I knew that, maybe he had a Kiss logo drawn on a tabloid or something like that. Somehow I knew that he liked Kiss. In the hallway we were passing each other, and I went up to him and said, “Yeah, Kiss uses Pearl drums and Gibson guitars!” He looked at me and said, “Yeah! And Marshall amps!” (everybody laughs) And that day after school we started talking, and mostly we talked about Kiss and how cool we thought Kiss was. Little kids’ stuff, you know what I mean? We were fast friends from then on.
Tell us more about your meeting with Dave Mustaine. Is it true that it was you who knocked on Mustaine’s door on the day of the historic meeting between two Daves?
Yeah, that’s true! (laughs) That’s a much more interesting story! What happened to us is that we got to LA, and we didn’t know anybody. We actually moved out with two other friends of ours. About four or five days after we moved, the school year didn’t start yet, and we were hanging round our apartment, we didn’t really know where to go. We started to run out of cigarettes, we didn’t have any beer and we didn’t know anybody. We had sort of seen Dave, his reflection in the window, because the buildings were so close together that we could see the reflections of the windows of the apartments above us in our building in the windows of the building across from us. When David and I would practice, we could see Dave leaning out of his window, listening to us. So we knew that he knew that we were there. Finally when we ran out of beer and cigarettes, we said, “Oh, let’s go and talk to the dude upstairs, he looks like he’s cool, he’s got long hair, he’s obviously a metalhead…” So we went up and knocked on his door.