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APPETITE FOR DISCUSSION
Welcome to Appetite for Discussion -- a Guns N' Roses fan forum!

Please feel free to look around the forum as a guest, I hope you will find something of interest. If you want to join the discussions or contribute in other ways then you need to become a member. We especially welcome anyone who wants to share documents for our archive or would be interested in translating or transcribing articles and interviews.

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2015.05.22 - The Music Universe - Guns N' Roses Movie In The Works With Howie Hubberman And James Franco

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2015.05.22 - The Music Universe - Guns N' Roses Movie In The Works With Howie Hubberman And James Franco Empty 2015.05.22 - The Music Universe - Guns N' Roses Movie In The Works With Howie Hubberman And James Franco

Post by Blackstar Sat Dec 31, 2022 1:43 am

Guns N Roses movie in the works with Howie Hubberman and James Franco

Howie Hubberman, who financed Guns N’ Roses in their early days, has confirmed that he is working on a film about the band with actor James Franco and Reckless Road: Guns N’ Roses and the Making of Appetite for Destruction author Marc Canter.

“To get the publishing for the songs for this movie is not easy, but we’re doing it,” Hubberman tells Metal Sludge. “There are a lot of books about Guns N’ Roses out there, but Marc Canter’s book, Reckless Road, is the best one, because he was there with the band from 1984 to 1988, and the whole band loved him. So we optioned the book, and it’s in pre-production with James Franco.”

In the 2008 book, Canter recounts the formative years of one of the greatest rock bands of all time.

”When Guns N’ Roses formed, Marc became like the sixth guy in the band,” original GNR bassist Duff McKagan states of Canter. “He was always around and had unlimited access to the band, especially in the early days. He believed in us from the beginning and had a much broader view of what the band was about than we had from the early stages. He documented the whole thing, tirelessly.”

Hubberman says he knows that many movie ideas in Hollywood don’t make it all the way, but states that this project is certainly happening.

“James Franco said he is doing it, and he has never said he was going to do a movie that he didn’t eventually do,” he assures. “Anything James Franco says he is going to do, he is going to do. He’s an absolute genius, a key player in Hollywood. He is already an A-lister, and this movie is going to make him even more of an A-lister.”

Hubberman and Canter have begun writing the screenplay in Hollywood. No further details have been revealed at this time.

In the ’80s, Hubberman owned one of Hollywood’s biggest music equipment stores, Guitars R Us, and also managed Poison during the glam band’s original rise to stardom. He helped get Poison a recording contract with Capitol Records and Guns N’ Roses with Geffen before moving on to other projects including working with Tuff and the Zeros.

https://web.archive.org/web/20150529110720/https://themusicuniverse.com/guns-n-roses-movie-in-the-works-with-howie-hubberman-and-james-franco/
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2015.05.22 - The Music Universe - Guns N' Roses Movie In The Works With Howie Hubberman And James Franco Empty Re: 2015.05.22 - The Music Universe - Guns N' Roses Movie In The Works With Howie Hubberman And James Franco

Post by Blackstar Sat Dec 31, 2022 1:54 am

The interview with Howie Huberman on Metal Metal Sludge, May 21, 2015 (contains more quotes about GN'R):
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Metal Sludge Exclusive with Ex Poison manager Howie Hubberman; ‘I took Poison to the very top’

By Gerry Gittelson
Metal Sludge Editor at Large


LOS ANGELES — In our everlasting journey to relive the past, Metal Sludge has tracked down legendary rock impressario Howie Hubberman, who managed Poison during the glam band’s original rise to stardom, in addition to Hubberman financing Guns N’ Roses and helping other start-up projects including Tuff (it’s true!) and the Zeros.

Like original girlfriends who sponsor their mates to become doctors or lawyers before eventually being cast aside, Hubberman wasn’t there at the end when Poison and Guns N’ Roses both ended up selling millions of records and touring arenas and stadiums worldwide.

In those days, Hubberman owned Guitars R Us, one of Hollywood’s biggest music-equipment stores, so the native New Yorker always had a successful business to fall back on. Plus, he can forever revel in one particular major acheivement — having toured with Poison for eight months back in the day without ever contracting a sex disease nor getting arrested.

And though the bands Hubberman helped launch did not remain loyal, the ever-generous Hubberman has not changed a bit. He still helps where he can, and his latest project is helping to spearhead the production of an upcoming film project about Guns N’ Roses.


METAL SLUDGE: So you were there for early rise of Poison. Tell me about it.

HOWIE HUBBERMAN: I first met Poison when they were on the rise, and I took them to the very top. Vicky Hamilton was actually the first one who was managing Poison, and she didn’t want to work with them anymore. She kept them alive and happy and playing the Troubadour, and she had borrowed $4,000 from someone back East who wanted to get paid back, plus she said the band wouldn’t listen to her and that she had other stuff in mind that she wanted to do. So she said I could have Poison if I paid her $4,000 in cash, that I could come on board and that Poison would sign a management contract with me because that’s what they wanted to do.

At this point, they were living on Washington Boulevard in East Hollywood at a warehouse, eating spaghetti with ketchup, a very low-budget operation when I got involved.

Interesting.

HUBBERMAN: I was a concert promoter, and we had done a couple of shows with Poison that brought some pretty good money, and at the time I also had Guitars R Us going. I talked to the band to see if they would actually listen to me, and they seemed pretty receptive to what I was saying. They kind of needed a manager/financier all in one, and I kind of fit both molds, but they were also a very hard-working band.

They sure were. I remember they used to do 30,000 flyers for every show.

HUBBERMAN: More than that. C.C. Deville’s mom owned a print shop on Santa Monica Boulevard, so we got a special deal.

Ah ha. The hidden secret behind Poison’s success.

HUBBERMAN: What also happened was, I rented them a house on Cahuenga Boulevard for everyone in the band and their crew too, who also stayed there. Every morning, as early as 4 or 5 in the morning, the guys would get up and tear down all the Colby posters on Highland, you know, the big cardboard posters of the bands that used to be stapled to the electrical poles?

Yeah, I loved those posters.

HUBBERMAN: Well, this company, Colby, they had a deal with the city to put up and tear down those posters, but we went one step beyond and took ’em all down and put up our own posters, so we eventually just made a deal with them to hang our own posters.

When I first got with Poison, they were almost selling out the Troubadour, one of the few legit acts that could really sell tickets because all the girls loved Poison, and all the guys wanted to be where the girls were, so they were doing really well. Then one day, the band fell short of selling out the Troubadour, and Bret Michaels was depressed. He was saying, “It’s over,” but I thought I would bring ’em to the next level as a headliner at the Country Club, which was like a 900-seat venue, and they eventually started selling it out there. We did like 12 Poison shows, and they all sold out.

I remember those times. People used to stand on their chairs, and I had never seen anything like that in a club.

HUBBERMAN: Yeah, Tom Walley from Capitol Records came one night and couldn’t get in. The band was already with Enigma, a small label, and Tom had made no arrangements and couldn’t even find a scalper ticket. He was like, “Hey, I want to sign Poison.”

Yeah, this was before cell phones.

HUBBERMAN: Originally, the deal was for $15,000 on Enigma, and that was the deal that Vicky Hamilton had made. They were going to be the first Enigma band to be distributed by Capitol, but the $15,000 was total for the whole budget and all the touring with Ric Browde producing. I went in and asked for more money. I said I would match their money if they put some more in, but they refused, so I put my own money in and bought lots of ads in BAM magazine and Music Connection and just made sure they had good equipment, so I got Jackson and Charvel guitars involved and BC Rich.

Were you an expert on guitars, or did you just sell ’em?

HUBBERMAN: No, my forte was vintage guitars, going back like 60 years.

Well, what did you think of C.C. Deville as a guitar player?

HUBBERMAN: I thought he was underrated. He’s actually good, and he’s a very talented showman.

Did you enjoy being around the guys, their personalities?

HUBBERMAN: Well, I wasn’t a drinker, and I never did drugs in my life, but hanging out with them was good for me. I enjoyed being around every one of them. Rikki and Bret, their personalities were very similar. Bobby Dall, he was a little more rough around the edges. He grew up poor but was actually kind of the driving force behind the band, getting them up in the morning and that kind of thing. He was pretty much the band leader, but in interviews it was Bret and Rikki. As for anything weird that went on behind my back when we went on tour, I don’t know. We started with a motor home, then a regular tour bus, and I wound up buying Poison’s original tour bus.

Why did you eventually leave? What happened?

HUBBERMAN: With Capitol, the first record started picking up, and we were approaching gold, but I was having problems with my marriage, and I had a young son. My two main projects were Poison and financing Guns N’ Roses up until and after they got signed, too, but my wife wanted me to quit.

She didn’t like you coming home after midnight?

HUBBERMAN: She didn’t like me going on tour for three months on the road. She said she was going to leave and take my son, so I promised to quit, but she ended up leaving anyway, and that’s all I want to say about that. She made me an ultimatum to save the marriage, but she had every intention of leaving anyway, but like I said, I don’t want to discuss anything more about that.

So Guns N’ Roses, you had the hookup with lawyer Peter Paterno, right? He got points on “Appetite For Destruction,” did you know that?

HUBBERMAN: No, he didn’t get points, he was the lawyer.

No, no. Vicky Hamilton was very clear about this, that he got points and also kind of stole the band away from her.

HUBBERMAN: I don’t think so, but maybe there was some weird kind of split because you’re right, he did get something after I had brought him in. As far as stealing the band away, Vicky did everything for that band from putting a roof over their head to finding funding to signing a rental lease for them to making sure they got equipment, whether it was from me or someone else. She broke down every door for that band, and Guns N’ Roses speaks very little about that, but she’s got this new book coming, “Appetite For Disfunction,” and she speaks the truth about it. She’s a very real person. She doesn’t embellish or lie.

When Guns N’ Roses signed with Geffen, how close were you to the band?

HUBBERMAN: I was close with Slash and Izzy and Duff, not so much with Axl. But I told ’em all that they had an open-door policy at Guitars R Us for whatever they needed, whether that be a guitar or a hamburger.

The band ended up making millions of dollars.

HUBBERMAN: Yeah, I know. They made a lot of money. That was the album of the year.

Vicky was cut out, but she did get a job at Geffen.

HUBBERMAN: She worked out a deal with A & R guy Tom Zutaut, but Vicky was never allowed the freedom she should have had. She should have gotten a lot more out of the deal.

That’s because she sued the band for $25,000 because she said she owed you money.

HUBBERMAN: More than that, $35,000 she sued for, which she won, but the band never really honored her to this day because she did all the work. She was the reason Guns N’ Roses was Guns N’ Roses. If she wasn’t involved with the machine, there would have been no deal becauase this band, we’re not exactly talking about five sober individuals, plus they had huge egos.

Alan Nevin eventually came in as the manager, and he did a great job.

HUBBERMAN: Yeah, he was an amazing manager who did an amazing job.

What about Debra Rosner, Poison’s original publicist? She was amazing but also kind of got left behind, if I remember, one of those figures like Vicky Hamilton.

HUBBERMAN: When Debra Rosner left, they give her no kudos. The band thought that they would use the big publicists from Capitol, so it was time to move on, they thought. She was a key player who got no credit at all. She got the band all this publicity, and I paid her as best I could. She actually owed some money to her father, and I was the one who paid the father back, a couple of thousand dollars.

Did she have a romance with anyone in the band?

HUBBERMAN: I don’t know. I’m not at liberty to say.

So basically, you played a key role with two of the biggest bands ever but not for the whole ride. Do you have regrets?

HUBBERMAN: Looking back, I really enjoyed it, but I probably could have held onto Poison for another album or two, but I did get paid in full.

So you say you went on the road with Poison for three months.

HUBBERMAN: Eight months, actually.

OK, eight months. Do you have a really decadent story or two you can tell us, something no one knows about?

HUBBERMAN: Well, it’s kind of public knowledge, but there was one night in Arizona where there was a big brawl between Poison and the crew versus all the staff and the bouncers. Robbie Crane, who was basically Bobby Dall’s roadie back then and was all of maybe 17 years old at the time, beat up this huge bouncer who ended up a bloody mess, lying in a bathtub that i guess the club used for beers backstage. We used to call Robbie “Huggy Bear,” and we didn’t think he was a fighter or that tough until that night, but he did a major job.

How did it all start?


HUBBERMAN: It started when Bret Michaels had to pee during the show, so to keep the continuity going, he ran off to the side of the stage instead of going to a restroom, and he pulled it out and pissed into a cup. The club didn’t like this, and they made a big deal out of it, and it was a near-riot. They called the cops and wanted to keep our backline equipment for damages, but all the owners of the club were high on coke and drunk, and when the cops came and saw how fucked up the staff were, they looked at Robbie and all these skinny guys wearing makeup, then they looked at the bouncers who were all like 6-foot-5, and they’re like, “Who beat up who? Are you kidding?” They let us go, and we headed off to the next gig in Texas.

OK, cut to today. You’re working with Marc Canter on a Guns N’ Roses movie?

HUBBERMAN: To get the publishing for the songs for this movie is not easy, but we’re doing it. There are a lot of books about Guns N’ Roses out there, but Marc Canter’s book, “Reckless Road,” is the best one, because he was there with the band from 1984 to 1988, and the whole band loved him. So we optioned the book, and it’s in pre-production with James Franco.

Dude, I’ve heard so many stories of plans to make movies that never happen.

HUBBERMAN: I know, but let’s put it this way: James Franco said he is doing it, and he has never said he was going to do a movie that he didn’t eventually do. Anything James Franco says he is going to do, he is going to do. He’s an absolute genius, a key player in Hollywood. He is already an A-lister, and this movie is going to make him even more of an A-lister.

By the way, I remember you promoted some shows at the old FM Station club with the late Jani Lane from Warrant called “Policeman’s Ball,” but you guys ended up getting in a feud, remember?

HUBBERMAN: We’ve had many disputes, me and Jani. We were 50-50 partners, and I did all the work, and Jani played there twice but started coming in and causing problems because of alcohol and getting into fights in a drunken stupor. We had profited a total of $6,000, and he decided he was owed $3,000, and I said that was fine, but he had to give me my guitars back, because with Warrant I had loaned him two guitars worth more than $3,000 actually, one that was worth $3,000 by itself, and he didn’t want to do it.

Did you tell him this up front when you had first made the deal to be partners? If not, you can certainly see his side of things.

HUBBERMAN: I did mention it that the first $6,000 goes to me, and he had said it was all cool. Basically, I gave him the guitars to make the first album, and I had been asking for two years to get ’em back.

Had you given other bands guitars and never asked for them back?

HUBBERMAN: No, I don’t give away guitars. If he would have handed me back just one of them, I would have given him his money, but he never got a dime.

Was he mad?

HHUBBERMAN: He was, but then one day we buried the hatchet, and sure enough, a couple of years later he was saying I owed him money still. I told him I thought we had worked it out.

It’s sort of sad. I liked him.

HUBBERMAN: Jani wasn’t a bad guy, a nice guy when he was sober, but with Warrant he became different. He actually died pretty broke, even though he had his publishing.

What came next?

HUBBERMAN: Later I worked with Jim Gillette with Nitro. I did that for a couple of years, then I did an album with Lita Ford that never got released.

What do you think of Lita Ford, by the way?

HUBBERMAN: I’d rather not say because I was partners with Jim, who was her husband. They had a nasty split, and she was not legally allowed to see her two kids. I will say this: It was hard to get along with her. If she made a mistake, she was always apologetic, but the fact is, she did it too many times.

You mean she’s kind of a fuck-up?

HUBBERMAN: Not just a fuck-up. You know, she co-wrote that song with Ozzy “Close My Eyes Forever,” and then she sold off the publishing, and that was a big mistake.

Looking back now, especially your times with Poison, how much fun did you have?

HUBBERMAN: I had a lot of fun. I used to go out with C.C., and we’d both drink, but I never had a problem.

Did you feel bad for C.C. when he got into drugs?

HUBBERMAN: I’m the one who drove him to AA meetings in Beverly Hills. He’s been clean and sober for ten years now. I didn’t see him doing coke. He would be too embarassed to do that around me. I didn’t go for drugs.

By the way, how did you get your start in the business in the first place?

HUBBERMAN: Back when I was a teen in New York, I would promote concerts. I remember I promoted a show in Rochester when I was like 19 with all local acts. The tickets were $8, and by the end of the night, I ended up walking out of there with $15,000 in my pocket. I had actually started by opening a vintage guitar shop in New York. That’s how I met Cheap Trick. Rick Nielsen would always buy vintage guitars from me. I must have sold him 40 guitars through the years. I also managed Tom Peterson, the bassist for Cheap Trick.

Were you a self-made millionaire?

HUBBERMAN: No, no. I wouldn’t say that. But the most money I ever made was when I was paid off from Poison at the end.

How much did you get?

HUBBERMAN: It doesn’t really matter, but let’s put it this way: It was enough to buy a bunch of tour busses and to help some other bands like Tuff and the Zeros, plus put some money in the kitty for other projects.

https://web.archive.org/web/20150905162020/http://metalsludge.tv/metal-sludge-exclusive-with-ex-poison-manager-howie-hubberman-i-took-poison-to-the-very-top/
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