Skid Row (American band)

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Skid Row
Skid Row.jpg
Skid Row performing at the South Texas Rockfest in 2008. From left to right: Rachel Bolan, Johnny Solinger, and Scotti Hill
Background information
Origin Toms River, New Jersey, United States
Years active
  • 1986–present
Past members

Skid Row is an American heavy metal band, formed in 1986 in Toms River, New Jersey. Their current lineup comprises bassist Rachel Bolan, guitarists Dave Sabo and Scotti Hill, drummer Rob Hammersmith and vocalist ZP Theart. The group achieved commercial success in the late 1980s and early 1990s, with its first two albums Skid Row (1989) and Slave to the Grind (1991) certified multi-platinum, the latter of which reached number one on the Billboard 200. The band's third album Subhuman Race (1995) was also critically acclaimed, but failed to repeat the success of its predecessors. During this period, the band consisted of Bolan, Sabo, Hill, drummer Rob Affuso, and frontman Sebastian Bach. The band had sold 20 million albums worldwide by the end of 1996.

Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom. With roots in blues rock, psychedelic rock, and acid rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. The genre's lyrics and performance styles are sometimes associated with aggression and machismo.

Toms River, New Jersey Township in New Jersey

Toms River is a township in Ocean County, New Jersey, United States. Its mainland portion is also a census-designated place of the same name, which serves as the county seat of Ocean County. Formerly known as the Township of Dover, in 2006 voters approved a change of the official name to the Township of Toms River, adopting the name of the largest unincorporated community within the township. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township had a total population of 91,239, with the township ranking as the 8th-most-populous municipality in the state in 2010 and the second most-populous municipality in Ocean County. The 2010 population increased by 1,533 (+1.7%) from the 89,706 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 13,335 (+17.5%) from the 76,371 counted in the 1990 Census.

Rachel Bolan Musician, Song writer/Composer, Producer

Rachel Bolan, born James Richard Southworth, is the bass guitar player and main songwriter of the metal band Skid Row. His stage name 'Rachel' is a hybrid of his brother's name, Richard, and his grandfather's name, Manuel. 'Bolan' is a tribute to one of his childhood idols, T. Rex frontman, Marc Bolan. He is the youngest of four children.


After replacing Bach with Johnny Solinger and Affuso with Phil Varone in 1999, Skid Row released Thickskin (2003) and Revolutions per Minute (2006), both of which garnered mixed to negative reception. In April 2015, Skid Row announced that they had parted ways with Solinger, and replaced him with former TNT singer Tony Harnell. Eight months later, however, Harnell left the band. In January 2017, former DragonForce vocalist ZP Theart was named the official lead singer after spending a year as a touring member of the group. [1]

Johnny Solinger American singer-songwriter

John Preston Solinger is an American singer-songwriter best known for being the former lead vocalist of Skid Row from 1999 to 2015; at the time of his split, he was their longest serving vocalist, surpassing Sebastian Bach, who was in the band for nine years. During his time in the band, he performed on the albums Thickskin (2003) and Revolutions Per Minute (2006) along with Chapters 1 and 2 of the 3 part United World Rebellion EP series with Chapter 3 due to be completed with ZP Theart on vocals.

Phil Varone is an American drummer, music producer and songwriter. He is a founding and former member of the band Saigon Kick from 1988–1996 and from 2012–2015.

<i>Thickskin</i> 2003 studio album by Skid Row

Thickskin is the fourth studio album by American heavy metal band Skid Row, and first to feature Sebastian Bach replacement Johnny Solinger and only to feature drummer Phil Varone. The comeback album alienated most Skid Row fans due to the absence of Bach, with many of them believing a reunion without Bach was not really Skid Row. It charted at number 46 on the Top Independent albums chart.


Early years (1986–1988)

Skid Row was formed in 1986 in Toms River, New Jersey, by bassist Rachel Bolan and guitarist Dave Sabo. [2] The pair recruited guitarist Scotti Hill and drummer Rob Affuso through newspaper ads. [3] Lead vocalist Sebastian Bach replaced original singer Matt Fallon after the band spotted Bach singing at rock photographer Mark Weiss's wedding at the age of 18, and the members asked him to join in early 1987. The band began playing shows in clubs throughout the eastern United States.[ citation needed ]

Dave Sabo American musician

David Michael Sabo, nicknamed "The Snake", is an American guitarist who plays in the American metal band, Skid Row. He is co-guitarist with Scotti Hill.

Scotti Hill American musician

Scotti Hill, is one of the guitarists in the band Skid Row.

Rob Affuso is an American heavy metal drummer, best known as the drummer of the band Skid Row from 1987 to 1998.

Sabo and John Bongiovi were teenage friends and Sabo was briefly a member of Bon Jovi before being replaced by guitarist Richie Sambora. Sabo and Bongiovi agreed that if one of them made it in the music business, he would help the other out. Bon Jovi's manager Doc McGhee sought out Skid Row, and secured the band a record deal with Atlantic Records in 1988. [2] Skid Row recorded its debut at the Royal Recorders in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin with producer Michael Wagener. Before releasing the album, the management paid a reported $35,000 to guitarist Gary Moore for the rights to the name of his namesake band. [4]

Jon Bon Jovi American singer and musician

John Francis Bongiovi Jr., known professionally as Jon Bon Jovi, is an American singer-songwriter, record producer, philanthropist, and actor. Bon Jovi is best known as the founder and frontman of the Grammy Award-winning rock band Bon Jovi, which was formed in 1983.

Bon Jovi Rock band from the United States

Bon Jovi is an American rock band formed in 1983 in Sayreville, New Jersey. It consists of singer Jon Bon Jovi, keyboardist David Bryan, drummer Tico Torres, guitarist Phil X, and bassist Hugh McDonald. Previous bassist Alec John Such was dismissed in 1994, and longtime guitarist and co-songwriter Richie Sambora left in 2013.

{{Infobox person | name = Richie Sambora | image = RSO NAMM 2017 3.jpg | caption = Sambora performing at the Winter NAMM Show 2017 | birth_name = Richard Stephen Sambora | birth_date = July 11, 1959 | birth_place = Perth Amboy, New Jersey, U.S. | education = Woodbridge High School

Skid Row (1989–1990)

The band's debut album Skid Row , released in January 1989, was an instant success. The record went 5× platinum on the strength of the Top 10 singles "18 and Life" and "I Remember You". Skid Row supported the album by opening for Bon Jovi on their New Jersey tour. As part of the six-month tour, Skid Row played its first ever UK gig supporting Bon Jovi's outdoor show at Milton Keynes Bowl on August 19, 1989. The next day, Skid Row played a successful club show at London's Marquee Club in Charing Cross Road. [5] Skid Row also took part in the Moscow Music Peace Festival, which was set up to keep McGhee out of jail. McGhee was facing drug trafficking charges, and therefore set up an anti-drug/peace concert in Russia, featuring a few of the artists that he and his brother managed. [6]

<i>Skid Row</i> (Skid Row album) 1989 studio album by Skid Row

Skid Row is the debut studio album by American heavy metal band Skid Row, released on January 24, 1989 by Atlantic Records. After being noticed by manager Doc McGhee, Skid Row signed with Atlantic and began recording its debut. The album was recorded in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin with producer Michael Wagener, and received favorable reviews upon its release. The band promoted Skid Row mainly as an opening act on worldwide tours by Bon Jovi and Aerosmith in 1989–1990. The album peaked at number six on the Billboard 200 and was certified 5× platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in 1995 for shipping five million copies in the United States. It generated four singles: "Youth Gone Wild", "18 and Life", "I Remember You" and “Piece of Me”, all of which were accompanied by music videos and received heavy rotation on MTV. The album's commercial and critical success made Skid Row a regular feature in rock magazines and brought the group nationwide popularity.

18 and Life 1989 single by Skid Row

"18 and Life" is a song by American heavy metal band Skid Row. It was released in June 1989 as the second single from their self titled debut album. The song was to be the band's biggest hit, reaching No. 4 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and No. 11 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. It was named the 60th best hard rock song of all time by VH1. It was certified Gold on September 13, 1989, when it sold 500,000 copies. The song also charted at No. 12 on the UK Singles chart.

I Remember You (Skid Row song) 1989 single by Skid Row

"I Remember You" is a song by American heavy metal band Skid Row. It was released in November 1989 as the third single from their eponymous debut album. The power ballad was written by bandmates Rachel Bolan and Dave "the Snake" Sabo. It reached number six on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number twenty-three on the Mainstream Rock Tracks in early 1990. The song also charted at number two in New Zealand, number 12 in Ireland, number 14 in Canada, and number 36 on the UK Singles Chart.

Guitarists Scotti Hill and Dave "Snake" Sabo performing with the band in 1989. Dave "Snake" Sabo & Scotti Hill.jpg
Guitarists Scotti Hill and Dave "Snake" Sabo performing with the band in 1989.

Skid Row returned to the UK three months later, opening for Mötley Crüe on their European Dr. Feelgood tour in early November 1989 with White Lion. [7] That was followed by a UK headlining tour culminating in a show at London's Hammersmith Odeon, with Vain supporting. [8] Skid Row continued touring into 1990, including supporting Aerosmith on the North American leg of their Pump tour. [9]

Mötley Crüe American rock band

Mötley Crüe is an American rock band formed in Los Angeles, California, in 1981. The group was founded by bassist Nikki Sixx, drummer Tommy Lee, lead singer Vince Neil, and lead guitarist Mick Mars. Mötley Crüe has sold 100 million albums worldwide, making them one of the best-selling bands of all time. They have also achieved seven platinum or multi-platinum certifications, nine Top 10 albums on the Billboard 200 chart, twenty-two Top 40 mainstream rock hits, and six Top 20 pop singles. The band had experienced several short term lineup changes in the 1990s and 2000s that included vocalist John Corabi and drummers Randy Castillo and Samantha Maloney, both of whom filled in for Lee during his split from the band from 1999 to 2004.

<i>Dr. Feelgood</i> (album) 1989 studio album by Mötley Crüe

Dr. Feelgood is the fifth studio album by American heavy metal band Mötley Crüe, released on September 1, 1989. Dr. Feelgood topped the Billboard 200 chart, and was the first album Mötley Crüe recorded after their quest for sobriety and rehabilitation in 1989. In addition to being Mötley Crüe's best selling album, it is highly regarded by music critics and fans as the band's best studio album. This was also the band's last album to be recorded with lead singer Vince Neil until the 1997 album Generation Swine.

The Dr. Feelgood World Tour was a concert tour by the American glam metal band Mötley Crüe that ran from 1989 to 1990 to support the Dr. Feelgood album. Spanning North America, Europe, Australia, and Japan, the massive tour was highly successful for the band.

In what is referred to as "The Bottle Incident" by fans of the band, Bach was hit onstage with a bottle thrown from the crowd at a concert in Springfield, Massachusetts, where Skid Row was opening for Aerosmith on December 27, 1989. 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. [10]

Shortly thereafter, at another show, Bach put on a T-shirt proclaiming the anti-gay slogan "AIDS Kills Fags Dead". A poorly tasted spoof of the slogan for the bug spray, RAID KILLS BUGS DEAD™. The shirt was given to him by a fan, on MTV News Bach dismissed the controversy saying "I don't see what the big deal is really but I guess if someone wore a T-shirt saying "Cancer Kills Grandma's Dead" I'd probably be a little bit pissed too." [11] But, Bach eventually expressed regret over the incident, claiming that he did not read the slogan before putting the shirt on. Even though he wore it for a photo shoot in Metal Edge magazine. [12] The band also recorded a cover of the Sex Pistols' "Holidays in the Sun" for the Make A Difference Foundation release Stairway to Heaven/Highway to Hell . [13]

Slave to the Grind (1991–1992)

Skid Row returned to the studio with Wagener in 1990 to record its second studio album Slave to the Grind . The album was released in June 1991 and debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, reaching 2× platinum status without any radio hits. [2] 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 Monsters of Rock in Castle Donington in 1992. Slave to the Grind was a departure for the band; while Skid Row was an album that followed the typical 1980s 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. [14] 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 T-shirt incident. [15] Coincidentally, Nirvana's original band name was also Skid Row. [16]

Subhuman Race and split with Bach (1992–1998)

Sebastian Bach (right) was the lead singer for Skid Row from 1987 until 1996. Sebastian Bach & Rachel Bolan.jpg
Sebastian Bach (right) was the lead singer for Skid Row from 1987 until 1996.

After the Slave to the Grind promotional tour, an EP of covers B-Side Ourselves was released in September 1992. Before beginning work on their third album, Skid Row took an extended hiatus in 1993 on McGhee's recommendation to wait for the grunge movement to fade away. [17] Also during this period, Skid Row parted ways with Wagener, possibly due to the music taking a different direction for the follow-up to Slave to the Grind. In 1994, the band returned to the studio with producer Bob Rock to record its third album. Subhuman Race was released in March 1995, and charted in the top 40 on the American charts. Although it did not achieve the success of its predecessors, it received positive reviews and only one single, "Into Another", charted in the US. As of 2018, Skid Row rarely plays any songs from Subhuman Race live; most of them were last performed on the album's tour in 1995, while "Beat Yourself Blind" is the only song they have played live with its subsequent singers Johnny Solinger and ZP Theart. [18]

At that point, the band shifted to performing at smaller venues and its videos were rarely played on MTV, partly because of the rise in popularity of grunge and subsequent decline of many 1980s heavy metal styles. Skid Row was the opening act for Van Halen on the North American leg of their Balance tour. Eventually, Bach left the band in late 1996 after an argument with Bolan who turned down an opening slot on the Kiss reunion tour even though Bach already booked it. Other band members told Bach that Skid Row was too big for an opening act and that they were not going to do the show. Bach then left a message on a bandmate's answering machine telling them the band was never too big to open for Kiss. [19]

Bolan had a side project, a punk band Prunella Scales who was playing at the same time as the planned Kiss show. The rift between Bach and the other band members subsequently led to him leaving Skid Row. [20] [21] Four years later, Skid Row was one of the opening acts for the 2000 Kiss Farewell Tour. [22] In 1998 Skid Row released the compilation 40 Seasons: The Best of Skid Row without Bach's imput. [23] After Bach's departure, the remaining members continued as Ozone Monday with singer Shawn McCabe of Mars Needs Women. In 1998 and 1999, the group opened up for Kiss and Mötley Crüe under the new moniker. [24]

New lineup and Thickskin (1999–2005)

Johnny Solinger joined Skid Row in 1999 as the replacement of "classic" frontman Sebastian Bach, and stayed with the band until 2015. Johnny Solinger - Wacken Open Air 2014 02.jpg
Johnny Solinger joined Skid Row in 1999 as the replacement of "classic" frontman Sebastian Bach, and stayed with the band until 2015.

Skid Row re-formed in 1999 with new lead vocalist Johnny Solinger and drummer Phil Varone. After re-forming, the band opened for Kiss on its farewell tour, and also played with other 1980s metal bands such as Poison and Mötley Crüe's singer Vince Neil. [25] In 2002 they were part of the Rock Never Stops Tour. [26] Skid Row released its fourth full-length studio album Thickskin in the summer of 2003, which was the first album to feature Solinger and its first studio album in 8 years. [27] In 2004, Dave Gara was announced as the new drummer. [28]

Revolutions per Minute (2006–2012)

The fifth Skid Row album Revolutions per Minute was released in October 2006 by SPV Records. [29] Wagener reunited with Skid Row and became this album's producer. In 2007, the band recorded "Jingle Bells" for a Monster Ballads Christmas album. [30] In early 2010 Rob Hammersmith became the band's new drummer. [31]

Speaking in 2009 about the next Skid Row album, Hill said "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." [32] [33]

United World Rebellion trilogy (2013–present)

In February 2013 Skid Row signed with Megaforce Records, and stated the new material would be released as three separate EPs. The first chapter United World Rebellion: Chapter One , was released in April 2013, with two more EPs set to follow in the following 12 to 18 months. [34]

In February 2014, the band began working on the second EP. In August 2014, Skid Row released the second chapter of the trilogy titled Rise of the Damnation Army . In April 2015, Solinger was fired from the band. [35] Later that day it was announced that Tony Harnell, formerly of the Norwegian melodic metal band TNT, will replace Solinger. [36] That same month the band released a re-recorded version of its early single "18 and Life" as a free download. In February, two months before Solinger's departure, Skid Row announced they were writing the third chapter of the United World Rebellion series. [37]

Harnell left the band in December, [38] [39] and former DragonForce vocalist ZP Theart was filling in as the lead singer for concerts in 2016. [40] In January 2017, ZP Theart was named as an official member of the band. In March 2018, it was revealed the band's next release for the United World Rebellion trilogy would now be a full-length album and would be released sometime in 2019. [41]

In January 2019, a deluxe edition of Skid Row's self-titled debut album was released digitally, which included the original album remastered for the first time (with "Forever" added as the bonus track), as well as a recording of the band's April 28, 1989 performance at The Marquee in Westminster, California. [42] The band members have stated that they had no input into the reissue. [43] [44]

In the summer of 2019, former Skid Row singer Sebastian Bach announced plans to perform the band's self-titled debut album in its entirety on tour as a celebration of its 30th anniversary, and issued an open invitation for the band to play on stage with him for the first time since their split, hoping it would result in a proper Skid Row reunion with Bach. [45] [46] [47] Guitarist Dave "Snake" Sabo declined the offer, [48] while former drummer Rob Affuso subsequently confirmed that he would be joining Bach on stage during the tour. [49]

Band members

Current members


Awards and nominations

YearNominated workAwardResult
1990 Skid RowFavorite Heavy Metal/Hard Rock New ArtistWon
1990 Skid RowFavorite Heavy Metal/Hard Rock AlbumNominated

Related Research Articles

<i>Slave to the Grind</i> 1991 studio album by Skid Row

Slave to the Grind is the second studio album by American heavy metal band Skid Row, released on June 11, 1991 by Atlantic Records. The album displayed harsher sound than its predecessor and lyrics that avoided hard rock cliches. Slave to the Grind is the first heavy metal album to chart at number one on the Billboard 200 in the Nielsen SoundScan era, selling 134,000 copies in its opening week. The album was certified 2× platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in 1998 for shipping two million copies in the United States. It produced five singles: "Monkey Business", "Slave to the Grind", "Wasted Time", "In a Darkened Room" and "Quicksand Jesus", all of which did not receive significant airplay as the singles from the previous record. Skid Row promoted the album opening for Guns N' Roses in 1991 and as a headliner the following year.

<i>Subhuman Race</i> 1995 studio album by Skid Row

Subhuman Race is the third studio album by American heavy metal band Skid Row, released on March 28, 1995, by Atlantic Records. This is the last Skid Row album with singer Sebastian Bach and drummer Rob Affuso, and the last one to be released on Atlantic. It is regarded as the band's heaviest record, and despite receiving positive reviews, Subhuman Race was not as successful as the band's first two albums. Certain tracks from the album were remixed for the band's compilation 40 Seasons: The Best of Skid Row, given more tender, slightly cleaner mixes to fit better with the other tracks. To promote Subhuman Race, Skid Row supported Van Halen in North America on their Balance tour.

<i>40 Seasons: The Best of Skid Row</i> 1998 greatest hits album by Skid Row

40 Seasons: The Best of Skid Row is a compilation album released by Skid Row in 1998, which includes the chart topping singles: "18 and Life", "I Remember You" and "Youth Gone Wild".

<i>B-Side Ourselves</i> 1992 EP by Skid Row

B-Side Ourselves is a studio EP by American heavy metal band Skid Row. It consists of cover versions of songs originally recorded by artists who influenced Skid Row. As the title suggests, most of the tracks had previously featured as B-sides on the band's various singles — "Psycho Therapy" and "Delivering the Goods" appeared on the 1992 re-release of "Youth Gone Wild", "C'mon and Love Me" appeared on both "Slave to the Grind" and "In a Darkened Room", while "What You're Doing" appeared on "Wasted Time"; only the final track, a cover of "Little Wing", was previously unreleased. The EP charted at number 58 on the Billboard 200.

<i>Subhuman Beings on Tour</i> 1995 EP live by Skid Row

Subhuman Beings on Tour!! is a live EP from New Jersey heavy metal band Skid Row. The EP was released in Japan in 1995 and consists of live performances from the Subhuman Race tour in support of their most recent album Subhuman Race. All but two of the tracks had previously been released as B-sides on the various versions of the "Breakin' Down" single. The live performance of "Beat Yourself Blind" would go on to appear again on the compilation album 40 Seasons: The Best of Skid Row.

Wasted Time (Skid Row song) 1991 single by Skid Row

"Wasted Time" is a song by Skid Row. It was their third single released from their second album, Slave to the Grind. The song was released in 1991 and written by bandmates Sebastian Bach, Rachel Bolan and Dave "the Snake" Sabo. It was also the band's last real hit on the U.S. charts and also features a music video. Lead singer Sebastian Bach said the song was written about Steven Adler, the original drummer of hard rock band Guns N' Roses.

Monkey Business (Skid Row song) song by Skid Row

"Monkey Business" is a song by Skid Row that was released in May 1991 as the lead single from their second album, Slave to the Grind and marked their change from hard-hitting glam metal to overall heavy metal. It was written by bandmates Rachel Bolan and Dave "the Snake" Sabo. The song was the biggest hit on Slave to the Grind and although the song didn't make the top 40 it reached number 13 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks and still gets heavy airplay on rock radio stations. The video got heavy rotation on MTV and catapulted the album to double-platinum status.

<i>Revolutions per Minute</i> (Skid Row album) 2006 studio album by Skid Row

Revolutions per Minute is the fifth studio album by American heavy metal band Skid Row, released on October 24, 2006. It is the band's only release with drummer Dave Gara.

In a Darkened Room 1991 single by Skid Row

"In a Darkened Room" is a song by Skid Row. It was a single from their second album, Slave to the Grind. The song was released in 1991 and written by bandmates Sebastian Bach, Rachel Bolan and Dave "the Snake" Sabo. The song only charted in Switzerland at number 27

Slave to the Grind (song) 1991 single by Skid Row

"Slave to the Grind" is a song by Skid Row. It was the second single and the title track from their second album, Slave to the Grind. The song was released in 1991 and written by bandmates Sebastian Bach, Rachel Bolan and Dave "The Snake" Sabo. It reached #43 on the UK Singles Chart. The video also got heavy rotation on MTV but was not as successful as previous singles and did not chart in the US.

The discography of Skid Row, an American-based heavy metal band, consists of 5 studio albums, 3 EPs, and 1 compilation album

<i>United World Rebellion</i> 2013 EP / EPs by Skid Row

United World Rebellion is a trilogy of 2 extended plays and 1 upcoming studio album from the American heavy metal band Skid Row. The first and second chapters were released on April 16, 2013 and August 5, 2014 by Megaforce Records and were Skid Row's final recordings with singer Johnny Solinger. The final chapter to complete the trilogy was scheduled for 2015 but pushed back to 2016 due to Solinger's departure and pushed back again due to Tony Harnell's sudden departure. The third instalment now scheduled for 2019 will feature new lead singer ZP Theart.


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