It’s widely known that Skid Row purchased the rights to their name from British guitarist Gary Moore. As founding bassist Rachel Bolan just revealed, however, they initially considered going by something else entirely.
Bolan recently stopped by the In the Trenches with Ryan Roxie podcast, where Roxie asked him to clarify what the band called themselves upon forming in 1986. Bolan explained:
[We were] Darkness. . . . This is when I first met Snake [guitarist Dave Sabo], and he was like, “I got this idea.” It was from an Aerosmith song – I forget which one, particularly – and we’d never played a gig with it or anything. We were just using it as our name. Then, we were driving to rehearsal . . . and I go, “Are you feeling Darkness? Are you feeling that?” and he said, “Ah, I go back and forth, you know?” I go, “We should just throw something else out there,” and we came up with Skid Row on that car drive. We walked in [to rehearsal], and I said, “Yeah, we changed the name of the band.” I knew Snake, but I didn’t know the [other] guys in the band all that well. They were guys he was jamming with . . . and everyone was like, “What? Who the fuck is this guy?” It was pretty funny.
He added that while he and Sabo were driving to rehearsal, they passed “an accident that just got cleared, and literally there were skid marks all over the place, covering all four lanes.” So, Bolan suggested The Skids, to which Sabo replied: “That’s cool. I’m not sure about the ‘the,’ though.” Before long, Sabo suggested Skid Row, leading to both men being “quiet for about four miles” as they thought about it.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Roxie also asked about Bolan’s own stage name (he was born James Richard Southworth), to which Bolan responded that it was a “tribute” to T-Rex founder Marc Bolan (who died in September 1977). He continued:
His songwriting and just T-Rex as a whole had made such an impact on me. As far as Rachel goes, I just – I was trying to come up, you know, a kid with dreams. Like, “Ah, I want a stage name. I want a stage name.” I wasn’t sure about what I was gonna use as a last name, but I just started taking family names and combining them and seeing what would come up. I took my brother’s name, which was Richard, and my grandfather’s name, which was Manuel, and boom! I put them together. Being an Alice Cooper fan, I always thought it was cool for a guy to have a chick’s name. I’m like, “Yeah, you know what? Parents are gonna hate it. They’re absolutely gonna hate it. Awesome. What’s my last name gonna be?”
You can watch the full clip below.
Did you already know the stories behind these names? Let us know!
Also, be sure to check out Skid Row’s latest album, The Gang’s All Here, which released on Oct. 14 (via earMUSIC). After all, it’s their first new studio LP since 2006’s Revolutions per Minute, as well as their first with new singer Erik Grönwall.
Rachel Bolan Reveals the Original Name of Skid Row on In the Trenches with Ryan Roxie
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