About The Book

Tales from the Stage will take you on a vivid journey through the hard rock/heavy metal movement, with 15 of the best tour guides in the business. They helped develop it, they thrived in it, and somehow survived it. These are their stories.  Read more.

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Chris Holmes

5 Wicked Guitar Duos, No Longer.

May 25, 2013 – There is no denying that the role of the dual guitar attack within the classic metal genre is legendary. Below are 5 classic guitar duos that we will probably never get to experience again. Also included is a best guess as to the chances of the duo ever teaming up for an encore performance. They are listed in no particular order.

degarmoChris DeGarmo/Michael Wilton-Queensryche:  QR’s rise to the top was a slow, but methodical one during the 80s. It’s safe to say that all of the bands classic, (and best selling) albums featured the guitar duo of DeGarmo and Wilton. The details remain sketchy as to why DeGarmo parted ways with the band in 1997, with rumors circulating that the guitarist could no longer work with vocalist Geoff Tate. Several replacements worked with the original version of the band in the years following DeGarmo’s departure, but the dynamic of DeGarmo/Wilton has never been replicated. DeGarmo has all but removed himself from the music business, now making a living as a private/commercial pilot. The chances of ever seeing Degarmo/Wilton sharing the stage again?  10%.


demartiniWarren DeMartini/Robbin Crosby – Ratt  Rarely do you find two lead guitarists in a band that have such unique styles. Warren was known for his blistering fast, mind blowing guitar leads whereas Robbin played his solos with more feeling, but were considerably slower. Years of substance abuse sidelined Robbin in the early 90s, forcing him out of Ratt. The chemistry that DeMartini/Crosby brought to the table was never matched by Robbin’s replacements in Ratt. Crosby contracted the HIV virus in 1994, and eventually passed away in 2002 from HIV related complications and a heroin overdose. Obviously, the tragic and untimely death of Robbin forces us to  pay respect to Ratt’s original guitar duo by listening to their early classic releases. It’s a shame that we’ll never get to experience their magic again.


hagar2Eddie Van Halen/Sammy Hagar – Van Halen:  Although Sammy was primarily known for his vocals throughout his stint with Van Halen, during the bands live performances Sammy would tear it up nightly with Eddie. Often overlooked while in Van Halen, Sammy’s guitar playing has always been top notch, and for years he and Eddie would guitar duel on stage. My personal favorites were when Eddie and Sammy would cover Sammy tunes. One Way to Rock covered by Van Halen is a classic! Given their current relationship (or lack thereof), the chances of these two rock gods bouncing guitar licks off one another again? 1%.

hetfieldJames Hetfield/Dave Mustaine – Metallica:  It’s unfortunate that so little of this era of Metallica is properly documented or archived, but the James and Dave combo is legendary. Even before the explosion of classic metal on the Sunset Strip occurred, these two were turning heads. As legend has it, Mustaine’s drinking became intolerable, and eventually got him removed from the band. Although Metallica became successful and rose to the top with Kirk Hammett playing lead guitar, the raw power of Hetfield/Mustaine was never captured by the band again. James and Dave have since made up, and are cordial to one another, but with their financial success and current band situations, a future reunion of the two sharing the stage in Metallica is unlikely. A 15% chance at best.

lawlessChris Holmes/Blackie Lawless – WASP:  As I write this blog, I am listening to the first WASP album. These guys provided some of the best classic metal for years – until Chris and Blackie had their falling out. Lawless was never really known for his guitar playing, but he and Holmes had an unmistakeable chemistry in good times. Now that the two no longer talk, and take jabs at one another in interviews, moving mountains would be easier than getting these two in the same room, yet alone on same stage. I hope that I’m wrong on this one, as I love these guys, but I’m being optimistic saying that there is a 3% chance that they will team up again.

One thing is for sure: no two people will agree with a topic this subjective, but as always, I appreciate your feedback. There are tons of honorable mentions I could have listed, but I’m sticking with these five for the time being. Happy Memorial Day!

Trip to West Hollywood

7/14/2012–Sometimes with the conveniences associated with technology, it’s easy to not make an effort to have face to face meetings with your business partners. This applies to banking, hospitality, and most industries including the music industry. 

A few weeks ago I learned that Malice was going to be playing The Whisky. Given my fondness for the band, and West Hollywood in general, I started planning my trek to Southern California. At first I was thinking some R&R for a couple days would be most welcome, but I couldn’t justify that with a newly released book out, and many of the books participants living in the general area. We did get a chance to visit the beach, and even lounge at the hotel pool for a few hours, but the majority of the trip we were running around town. The results of the trip are as follows;

Visits to Book Soup on Sunset, and Amoeba Records on Sunset proved beneficial in that both stores now carry Tales from the Stage. We will be donating several books to our non profit partner, Ride For Dime, and I am hoping to have them autographed by as many participants as possible. They will be used as silent auction items. Based on that goal, I stopped by Tracii Guns’s house in the Hollywood Hills early in the afternoon. He was recording his “League of Gentlemen” CD. He is such a nice guy, and it was good to see him.  We then ran over to Studio City where Betsy Bitch stopped by the local Starbucks to sign the books. It was good to meet her, she was as sweet as ever, and has a great sense of humor to boot. Bruce Kulick then showed up and was kind enough to bring me a copy of BK3, his latest solo CD. It was especially a treat that Bruce sat with us for an hour just talking shop outside of the Starbucks. Another incredibly cool guy. Later that night we had dinner with Chris Holmes and his girlfriend, Sarah at The Rainbow. I have said it many times, Chris looks the part of a rocker, and can be physically imposing, but a gentle giant for sure. We laughed more than we conversed. The following day we hooked up with Jay Reynolds right before Malice did their sound check at The Whisky. Later that night night we watched the band rip the place apart.

It was awesome to see and/or meet everyone above this past week. A lot was accomplished, and our relationships strengthened with all parties, much more so than visiting by phone or email. There is no substitute for the face to face meeting, and I am glad that we were able to hang out this week in person with our partners and new friends.