One motley crue

Dead Daisies super group pushes up in Dayton

By Mike Ritchie

Photo: (l-r) John Corabi, Brian Tichy, Doug Aldrich, Marco Mendoza, and David Lowy of Dead Daisies bud Aug. 22 photo courtesy of The Dead Daisies

 

The Dead Daisies began as a way to wave the free spirited, road tested, and true rock and roll flag of the ’70s from Sydney to L.A. Some may call them a super group. Vocalist John Corabi calls them “an old friend’s boys club” that started in 2012. Corabi joined in early 2015 after original vocalist Jon Stevens left. “I hooked up with them last year in January, went to Cuba, then did a record and it’s been a whirlwind ever since.”

The current lineup of David Lowy, Doug Aldrich (Whitesnake), Marco Mendoza (Thin Lizzy), Brian Tichy (Whitesnake) and Corabi (Motley Crue) could arguably be considered a who’s who of ’70s influenced rock, but Corabi says, “To me, we’re a bunch of good friends, writing, recording, and playing shows.” He brings his love of music from the mid-60s to 1980 along with vocal influences Robert Plant, Steven Tyler, and Paul McCartney to every show. Though short on history, they’ve toured the world both as The Dead Daises and in their former/current bands.

With their new record, Make Some Noise, now available, they’ve hit the road again supporting Kiss. Corabi says Gene and Paul have always treated them well. “I’ve known Gene Simmons since 1986,” Corabi says. “Our guitarist Doug Aldrich auditioned for Kiss in 1982 or ’83. I was in a band called Union with Bruce Kulick, and a side band with Eric Singer. So, there’s a lot of connections. When you do a record, your friends want to hear it, and you send it out, and start getting calls from Kiss, Aerosmith, and Whitesnake, saying ‘We’d love to have you out with us.’”

Corabi says for being legends, Kiss members are still down to earth. “Gene and Paul will stop in our dressing room every day and ask if everything’s cool,” he says. “As a singer, they gave me full reign of the entire stage, lights, the whole PA. So, they’re really supportive.”

They’ve had a varying number of musicians play the stage, creating a misconception of a revolving door. “As big as the world is, the musicians circle is quite small,” Corabi jokes. “To clear it up, our [founding] guitar player just wanted to put a great band together.” Other members all have separate projects. “I’m doing the Daisies, but I also have a solo career. There’s a core band. It depends on everyone’s schedules.” They have a list of musicians that can fill in for schedule conflicts or unforeseen issues.

And yes, there’s a story behind the name. “The [original] singer was having some health issues,” Corabi explains, “and his doctor told him, something to the extent of, you need to slow down a little bit or you’ll be pushing up the daises, a play on words.”

Corabi has kept busy between projects and tours, from his early days in The Scream to the phone call from Motley that changed his life. Whether fans consider it a badge of honor or a stigma, Corabi’s proud of all the music he made with the Crue and everything else he’s done. “It’s hilarious – that record is the shining jewel [for some]. For others, it’s just like a thumbtack stuck in your pants. I’m proud of that record. I had a great time. I have no ill will towards any of the guys. I’m doing fine, they’re doing fine, the world is good.”

Corabi recently recorded with Mick Mars on two tracks. The status and release of the material is unknown, but Corabi’s open to future collaboration. He recently did a live recording of the ’94 Motley Crue record in its entirety with his solo band for DVD/CD release in October (’94 Live One Night in Nashville) on Rat Pak Records.

The myth of bad blood between him and Vince Neil is bogus. “We just did a festival in Nashville a few weeks ago. Everybody was writing that me and Vince were gonna be in the same building,” he says. “We were laughing about it.” Corabi suggested a Motley idea. When they had the time, both solo bands should go out and tour, to see who’d show up. “We’re totally fine with each other.”

Corabi’s still happy to be recording and touring. “I’m very blessed to still be here,” he says. “People still wanna talk to me, and I’m talking to you from Dublin, Ireland, and we’re doing a show tomorrow. I’m still traveling the world, able to create and write, and people [are] going to the shows. Here I am 30 years later – life is good.”

He promises a straight-in-your face show.

“I’m really excited to come back to America in front of bigger crowds and play with Kiss,” he says. “Ohio’s been a great state for me, and I can’t wait to come back and see a bunch of friends I’ve had for years.”

The Dead Daisies open for Kiss on the Freedom to Rock tour, Monday Aug. 22 at the Nutter Center, 3640 Colonel Glenn Highway in Dayton. Show starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $39.50, $89.50 and $125.00. For more information, please visit thedeaddaisies.com.

 

Reach DCP freelance writer Mike Ritchie at MikeRitchie@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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Reach DCP freelance writer Mike Ritchie at MikeRitchie@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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