Part 302: Blackie Lawless

STILL NOT BLACK ENOUGH_0004

RECORD STORE TALES Part 302:  Blackie Lawless

W.A.S.P. singer, founder and leader Blackie Lawless is known among fandom for his raging douchebaggery.  Witness a recent event in Russia, where Blackie ignored the one and only fan at the train station asking for his autograph.  Everybody should understand a human being’s need for privacy when they live in the limelight, but asking for an autograph at a train station is hardly imposing, especially when they’re the only fan in the place.

Blackie don’t sign nothin’!

Even back in the Record Store days, I was hearing stories about Blackie being an asshole to fans.  Witness the evidence below, an interaction I had with a customer in the late 1990’s:

Customer:  Hey, do you have any W.A.S.P. albums?

Me:  We might…are you looking for a specific one?

Customer:  No.  Just one that has a picture of the singer.  Blackie’s his name right?

Me:  Yup, Blackie Lawless.

Customer:  Here’s the thing.  I just want to see what he looks like.  I was in Toronto a couple months ago, and I swear I saw this guy.  I asked him, “Hey, are you in a rock band called W.A.S.P.?”  The guy said no, but I was sure it was him.  I said, “Come on, you’re him.  You look exactly like him.”  He had the long black hair, and he was really tall, man.

Me:  Well, Blackie’s definitely known for his hair and his height.  Sounds like him.  Hey, I have a CD called Headless Children here and there’s a picture inside.  Let’s take a look.

So we grabbed the W.A.S.P. CD and opened up the booklet.

Customer:  That’s him!  That’s the fucking guy!  I knew he was lying to me!  What an asshole.

Me: Yeah, he’s known for being one of those too!

58 comments

  1. Man, that sort of thing sucks. How hard is it to say “hey thanks for caring” and writing your damned name on their bus ticket or LP or whatever? It takes ten seconds, tops. What a douche.

    And then you get a guy like Henry Rollins (ROLLINS!!) who will stand around after a show and talk and do pictures and sign things until there’s no one left to talk to (if his travel schedule permits). Rollins is the MAN, man. ROLLINS!! Take some note, Mr. Lawless. There’s a little thing called class you should learn about.

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    1. ROLLINS!

      That’s the way to be. You owe you livelihood to every single person who ever bought a CD or a ticket. And a bad reputation (like Blackie’s) can follow you around. Can be very hard to shake.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Here’s another ne: My Nana met Cab Calloway way back in the day (1940s, maybe?) and wanted his autograph, but she didn’t have a thing for him to sign. So he ripped the side off of his cigarette package and signed that for her.

    See? It’s not so hard.

    I think I still have that autograph kicking around here, somewhere. I know she gave it to me…

    Liked by 1 person

        1. True, but then they have the dinosaur’s bones, marrow, whatever else. This is just a piece of cardboard he handled for maybe 20 seconds all that time ago. I think maybe you watch too much CSI? :)

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    1. That may be, I don’t know. I think we Canadians are probably known as some of the more friendly :) Rush aside who are notorious about their privacy (and that’s cool).

      It was Neil Peart who wrote in the song “Limelight”:
      “I can’t pretend a stranger is a long-awaited friend.”

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  3. Since Headless Children, Blackie’s had his head so far up his own poop shoot, I’m surprised he managed to walk that much in the video.

    There’s no reason for not taking the time to sign a bit of paper and say “thanks for the support”. Especially when you’re the frontman of a band that certainly needs to retain what fans they have left.

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    1. Agreed John. Headless was the last time I really cared too. I’ve heard the new Wasp album (Golgotha I think?) is awesome. But should I buy it? Why should I reward Blackie, no matter how good the album is?

      I keep buying Helix albums regardless of quality partly for nostalgia and partly because those guys always go ABOVE and beyond the call of duty with the fans. Brian Vollmer hand delivered copies of his autobiography to some lucky fans who ordered it.

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      1. I’ve got a special place in my heart for Crimson Idol as that was the first WASP album I “waited” for. Still Not Black Enough is a decent album and KFD was an interesting experiment. But after that? Meh. I’ll check out the new album on Spotify/online but it’d have to be pretty bloody special to make me part with some cash for it.

        That’s awesome about Vollmer. What a dude. Similar reason why I will always have time for Lars Ulrich – his way with fans. There’s a longer story attached to that ‘why’. But that’s for another time (and a dedicated blog post!).

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        1. Personally speaking I thought Crimson Idol was a little bloated and a bit too sound-alike. However it’s ambitious and has some great songs, absolutely. Chainsaw Charlie, Hold on to My Heart, the Idol, those are great songs!

          The last WASP I bought was Neon God (I and II) and I never listen to them. Not in many years.

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        2. Agreed with the ‘bloated’ comment. But…. yet…. I still love it LOL! It’s bloated, overblown, takes itself WAAAAY too seriously and could do with less repetition. But I loves it.

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        3. I have no problem with that. It’s also ambitious, riff-laden and catchy. Plus Frankie Banali on drums — an underrated drummer regardless of my beefs with the current Quiet Riot. And Bob Kulick on guitar!

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        4. Yup, I think people also deliberately ignore the bigger issue with that whole period of time too.

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        5. Absolutely they do. As a record store guy at the time, I had no problem with what Lars was doing. Fact is, I was there for the entire tidal shift in music consumption.

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        6. Yup – Lars always said it was never about money, it was about control. But…… there was (and is) an attitude of “money for nothing and your chicks for free”.

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      2. I’d say the last killer album was Still Not Black Enough, but his two latest albums, Dominator and Babylon are both damn great. Is Golgotha out yet?

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  4. Haha! His rep precedes him. I mean, check out the Zoolander face on that pic of him you posted…
    Not everyone has heard of “Blackie Lawless”. I mean, I didn’t know his name or anything, but…Oh wait, what? Front man of WASP? Oh yeah, I’ve heard he is an asshole…

    So, yeah, pull your head outta your tuckus and sign a g-d autograph, “Blackie”. You’re 15 minutes were up a long time ago.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think in this day and age, very few people have heard of Blackie Lawless. Very few could name 3 songs without Wikipedia, or tell you how they go.

      You wanna alienate the few who buy your shit? Go ahead Blackie. Nobody cares.

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      1. Thanks Mike, only one per fan.

        Seriously though, I could understand Michael Jordan not doing it because he was fed up with giving little kids autographs and seeing them eBayed for a fortune afterwards – but Blackie Lawless?!! Be grateful, dude!

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  5. Tall my ass. Translated to English is….He ain’t tall and he looks like my ass. I would have signed my name to a piece of paper and offered it to him as being his only fan.

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  6. Guy looks like Elvis now….what a joke ……too bad I still have good memories of the first couple of WASP records…….

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  7. It’s true, he avoids people, even his most loyal fans. I went to a WASP/Motorhead show in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania at a small club called the Metropol. After the show, about 20 to 30 fans waited out back by the tour buses for an autograph. I had the entire WASP and Motorhead vinyl collections in my hand. The guys from Motorhead came out and signed all of my albums, with the exception of Lemmy, he was too busy getting laid from what I was told, I can almost except that excuse! The guys from WASP came out and signed all of my albums and I got a picture with Chris Holmes. Blackie did not come out and the excuse I got was that he has has been doing this for a long time? I assume they meant touring and recording. Anyway, I said yeah because of people like us holding up My WASP collection. I didn’t get a response, But the look on their faces were priceless.

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    1. Blackie has been doing it for a long time? Sounds like he’s been doing it for too long. Maybe it’s time for Blackie to get a new job, like the rest of the world does when we’ve been at our jobs for too long.

      That’s cool that Chris Holmes took a picture.

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  8. What the f**k’s the matter with that guy? I mean, he is almost 60 years old and he must have realised by now that WASP were never and will never be a huge band. I don’t even think they have a gold record in any damn country. Who do he think he is? He should take care of the few fans he have left.
    I had the pleasure of hanging abit with his guitarist Doug Blair and he was such a sweet guy, really nice and polite and it makes you wonder how a guy like that can stand being in the same band as a waste of bum-wipe like Blackie Clueless.

    About douches, I just listened through the latest Quiet Riot album. Here’s to dragging your already wounded name through mud, Banali.

    Like

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