"The last version of the Project was totally insane, and so was the year we spent together on the road doing the Project's MCA album [Once A Rocker Always A Rocker]. The new singer, Cowboy Mach Bell, was a rock 'n' roll guy who grew up in the next town over from me [Holliston, Mass] and had a group called Thundertrain. He loved to rave and be in a band, so he replaced Charlie Farren. We auditioned Danny Hargove and he replaced David Hull on bass. Joe Pet was the drummer. It was just for fun, a good-time band, no illusions about the group going straight to the top. They were young guys who didn't give a shit, like wild men, fuckin' pirates. Get in the van and go.
And I was free, single for the first time. I'd missed the whole "legendary" life of the rock star. We went out on the road and I went berserk for the first time in my life. Wine, women, and song. Exotic dancers. a Playboy Bunny. I'd never done this crazy stuff before. There was one Super Bowl Sunday in Cincinnati where we had the police at our hotel three times in one night. There was blood on the walls, which they didn't like. My road manager was rushed to the hospital. I had to talk to the cops and the hotel detectives and beg them not to throw us out in the cold. I learned that it's one thing when you get arrested in Boston and your lawyer can get you out in a couple of hours, but when you have to find a lawyer in another town, it's no fuckin' fun."
"I liked the record. It sounded unproduced and was basically live. "Four Guns West" was what that band was all about "Black Velvet Pants." "Bang A Gong" was the old T. Rex riff we used to warm up on. We played it at live shows and saw the kids really geting off on it. (They'd never heard of T. Rex.) "Woman In Chains" came from a band in Nashville. I thought it was cool to do a pro-woman song after all the heavy metal misogyny that was around. I never liked that stuff. We put a disclaimer on the back of the record. "There are no synthesizers on this album."
Halfway through the record, MCA tried to drop me. They had a new president [Irving Azoff] and he just didn't want to know. In the end, they figured it would be cheaper to finish the record--and bury it--than to buy out my contract. I didn't really give a shit. I just wanted another record so I could tour. Then it came out late that year and bombed, which set the next episode in motion."
"Summer of '83. I'm living with Glenda the hairdresser, which is why I look the way I do on the cover of Once A Rocker, the third and last Project album. I thought it turned out pretty well---the album, not the cover. When it came time to do a video, we chose "Black Velvet Pants" and auditioned some people to be in the thing. That's how I met Billie Montgomery."