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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.

Registering is free and easy.


2018.10.29 - Appetite For Distortion - Interview with Howard Teman

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2018.10.29 - Appetite For Distortion - Interview with Howard Teman Empty 2018.10.29 - Appetite For Distortion - Interview with Howard Teman

Post by Blackstar Sat Jan 27, 2024 1:02 am

Appeared on "Used to Love Her," helped arrange "So Fine" with Duff McKagan, filled in for Steven Adler at the Whiskey '88, the "Cool Hand Luke" clips on "Civil War" were recorded off his YOU know Howard Teman?

Transcript of selected parts:


Howard Teman: That's how I kind of got to know those guys, we all did, is because we would bring the entire Rainbow home, the Rainbow Bar and Grill home, because we were in that big mansion and we would have jams there in the middle of the night, you know, because they could go to all night because there was no neighbors. And for some reason the Laurel Canyon is not in L.A. County so L.A. cops couldn't come there, they'd have to bring the sheriff. So we could just make as much noise as we want. And that's why, you know, any given Friday night there'd be half of, you know, Guns N' Roses all be there, Faster Pussycat would all be there, you know. All the bands that were, you know, all the upcoming bands, all the members were there. So we got to know them, that was like a cool party central place. And then my two brothers and I became the background players in the Lame Flames, which was Duff's wife, was one of the Lame Flames, Mandy. And I guess it was also the Cathouse, you just got to know everybody. It was the time when on Tuesday nights everybody in rock and roll went to the Cathouse and then Wednesday night everybody went to English Acid[?] and it was the same people in different clubs and you got to know everybody. Everybody knew everybody. Like, every band, the band mates became very... it was a very incestuous thing, I mean, you could be in this band with these people and then in another band with other people and then everybody would be playing with each other. But Guns N' Roses was in the mix. And I think it was just from jamming with them and all, and Duff asked me to... I guess when Steve broke his hand in Chicago they asked me to sit in with them for a show at the Whisky, which I did. I'm not sure really what the chronological order to all these things are, but that show is really cool. I got the whole thing on video, you could check it out, you can look it up on Youtube. Guns N' Roses at the Whisky a Go-Go. I think it was '87.

Brando: Yeah, we actually have Axl introducing you right now if you have 50 seconds.

Axl from the Whisky on January 10, 1988: [?] drummer, Howard, I found out he was playing this afternoon.

Brando: So you found out you were playing that afternoon?

HT: Well, even scarier than that is we were... Actually, Duff came up and we went over like four songs and what he didn't tell me is when we got there that the first song, I Used To Love Her But I Had To Kill Her was a song I never even heard before because the album wasn't even out yet. It was before Use Your Illusion, or before Lies, and so they were teaching me backstage. And we ended up doing like 10 songs or something like that and half of them I didn't even know, let alone I've never even heard. But that was a lot of fun, that was a great, great, fun night.

Brando: Because you said it was fun so did you go into it like kind of, "I don't know these songs," or like, "You know what, I'll figure it out, I don't care, I'm with my friends"?

HT: Yeah, you know I had the roadie from hell, Damon, sitting behind me and also Del James was sitting on the other side of me who knew the songs and they were cueing me, If you see the video you can see them going, "Okay, stop here!" "Go!" that kind of stuff, that was really funny. They were conducting me and telling me, like sometimes I'm pounding really, you know, my dynamics were like I was really enjoying it and they're like, "Oooh, settle down! This is the slow part," or, "This is a mellow part."

But yeah, then Duff asked me to come in and help him write the song... not write it, just help him put together the, you know, the pre-recording for, what's the song? So Fine on Use Your Illusion II. And I went down the studio with him and I played drums while he, you, know he played all the other instruments, guitar and bass and guitar, I did the guitar solo. We did the pre-production, we did So Fine before it was put together, before the band even heard it. And I played piano and drums on it. And then they asked me to come down to the studio and I went down the studio and the whole band was there and they had just gotten back from their hiatus. And that was the hiatus where they hadn't even seen each other for like two or three months. That's the one where Axl got in a fight in Paris and all that stuff. So I walk in and they're all telling stories about what they've been doing for the last three months and everything, and everybody's laughing. Then they played the song and Axl said,  you know, "Great work on that, Howard. When we do the album I want you to play piano on it." I said, "Fuck yeah!" So then Steve gets kicked out of the band and so they go... you know, it takes a whole year to get a new drummer and start recording again and out of the blue I get this call and it's Axl, "Are you ready to do your part?" That's why you got to give it to Axl. Axl is... you could say this about him, or that about him, or he's bipolar, he's an asshole - he's a man of his word, he's got integrity and he, you know, he called me before Duff called me to say, "Are you ready to do your parts? We're ready for you." That was a year later. Yeah, it's really cool.

Brando: Wow. When they were looking for a drummer, though, that's awesome that you were obviously you were able to do the part on So Fine, but did it ever cross your mind, "Maybe I can audition to replace Steven?", did that ever cross your mind?

HT: No, I never even thought of that. No, of course.


HT: "You want to be you want to be put in the biggest band in the world?" You know, they had everybody... You know, at that same time when Steve, when I played that one show at the Whisky, they played a show, like three shows at the Perkins Palace, what's his name? Cinderella guy? Fred Coury.

Brando: Right, from Cinderella.

HT: What's that?

Brando: From Cinderella.

HT: Yeah, he played and he's an amazing drummer. They had every drummer in the world available to play that, wanted that gig, they're not going to get an unknown and pretty crazed out drunken drug addict at that time, you know. They could get anybody they want and they got the drummer from The Cult, you know. If it ever passed through their mind I'm sure it was like a second and then they moved on to the next, the next spot.

Brando: Fair enough. And especially, I guess, if they kicked him out for drug-related reasons and if you had a problem back then, you know, why deal with it? But again-

HT: It wasn't a problem, I was a professional, I was good at it. I've been told that by many people. I was just really in partying and having fun but yes.

Raz Cue: And then one day you realize that sleep and food were your friends.


HT: I have a lot of videos that I haven't shown anybody, they're on Hi8. I used to get hired by Riki Rachman and, you know, Janice[?], to come down and videotape their thing. Sometimes they'd say, because I was one of the first guy, I had a business called Musician's Video Contact Service which was like music contact service but we added the video things. Video camcorders had just come out and I bought myself a Sony and I would walk around the Rainbow and people would say, "Are you from MTV?" I mean, that's how young the field was. And so they would pay me to come down and like shoot. I got like Cathouse Anniversary 1, Cathouse Anniversary 2. They're not the best tapes in the world but the funny thing is they promised to pay me 50 bucks and they gave me the money but they never even called meto say, "Can we watch the tape?"


Brando: What about your work on Lies? Because we went ahead to Use Your Illusion but Lies obviously happened beforehand. What did you do?

HT: Oh yeah, that was fun. We were all partying and they were like, "Come on down!" and just went down to the studio and everybody, did all this percussion stuff. Actually here's an unknown thing, in the beginning of I Used To Love Her But I Had To Kill Her you hear Axl say something and you hear in the background, [imitating the sound], that's me.

Brando: Shut up!

HT: That is me, I swear.

RC: I always thought that was Duff, man.

HT: No, no, that was me.

Brando: I thought maybe that was Axl or so, I did never even put two and two together,  like, "Who did that sound?" All these years, it's you Howard. Oh, I love it.

HT: Here's another crazy one like that. Do you know the beginning of... I don't know the saying, "Well, it looks here like we got a failure to communicate."

Brando: Yeah, yeah, from Cool Hand Luke. Yeah, Civil War and Cool hand Luke.

HT: Yeah, so I was sitting in my little apartment, the one you were talking about on Orange above... behind the Chinese Theatre, and I get a call and it's Axl. And Axl goes, "Hey Howard, you got a VCR?" and I said, "Sure," it was, "Bring it down to Rumble Studios," no, no, this is at the Record Plant, and, "Can you bring it down?" "Fuck yeah." So I brought down my $200 Foster VCR that i bought on Hollywood Boulevard and they plugged it all in and they put in Cool Hand Luke and recorded that off of my little VCR. How's that for a little stupid useless trivia?


HT: The one thing i totally remember about that day is that, you know, besides hearing that song, you know, I heard it the day that it was being recorded, and, you know, with the big studio speakers and it just sounds bigger, everyone's like, "Wow! This is a fucking badass song!" But the thing that impressed me more than that is they said, "Are you guys hungry?" and I said, "Yeah." Axl got on the phone and the biggest tray of sushi I ever saw in my life came, with everything on it, and i'm going, "God, these guys are huge rockstars." I couldn't believe it. I know it sounds stupid but it was like, "Wow!" It was probably like $300 worth of sushi and at that time... I mean, it sounds, "Why is that even a story?" -

Brando: No, it sounds good.

HT: But back then I was like, "Wow, these guys have really made it!" It's so funny. That's what I remember in my head.

RC: I remember, you know, the thing when I realized like how huge they were is like when I just actually ran into Izzy on the street and we were a couple blocks from the Troubadour. It had to be like after the Appetite tour, everything was over. And so we pick up Izzy, we go to the Troubadour, and he's like, "Let's get some drinks," I'm like, "Okay," and then I'm like figuring that Izzy's gonna go buy drinks and he calls Eddie over, like the owner of the Troubadour, and said, "Hey Eddie, how about some drinks," it's like, "Oh, no problem, no problem, Izzy," it's like, "What do you guys want?" and it's like, "Man that guy, he's a businessman, at Troubadour you don't get free drinks," you know, and all of a sudden it's like this guy's, "How many people want free drinks?" It's like, "Man, this guy wants Izzy in his bar bad, he's gonna buy drinks for like..."


HT: There's one thing missing from this whole conversation that I've just realized.

Brando: What's that?

HT: The big, you know, person in this story was West Arkeen.

RC: Yeah, here we go, yeah.

HT: West was a lot of the catalyst too, like West joined Sam And The Apes for a little bit. He was the guitar player in there for like a couple months and he was like a big catalyst of, you know, why we're all hanging out with Guns N' Roses, too, because we you know he's like the fourth T-man kind of like [?], you know, besides Sam, man, so he'd be the fifth, but Jewish, crazy, drunken rocker dude, you know, crazy man. He fit right in and we grabbed him right away and, you know, a lot of parties that way. He was up at the mansion all the time, partying.


HT: Steve comes in all the time. He actually uses the tailor next door to me, I turned him on to it and so he's always getting his clothes, so I see him the most out of everybody, and he's an old friend, you know, he's a buddy, he's a mensch. He comes in and hugs everybody and kisses everybody and he's always the first one to take pictures with people. He's a a special person, and I don't mean that in a like Raz' special.

RC: It's hard not to like Steven, isn't it?

HT: Duff is cool, Duff brought his daughter in and she got her first tattoo at 18. So that's where it's gone now. I've never tattooed Duff but he came on my grand opening party which was a surprise to me, I didn't expect it. And he's a great guy. And those are the only two I really see. I haven't seen Slash in years. And Axl I haven't seen... one day I was at a place called... What the hell was it called? It was next door to the Whisky, what was that called? That little club? Phantom? Phantom? The drummer guy used to from the Straight Cats owned... The Kit Kat Club! The Kat Club! And i was sitting there outside and it must have been like a Tuesday night or something like that and this guy comes up to me and he's got all these braids in his hair and everything and I'm talking to him and then I realized, "Hey, is this Axl?" and he was like, "Yeah, Howard." I didn't even recognize him when I was talking to him for like a minute, because he had just braided out all his hair, unrecognizable. So that was the last time I saw him and that must have been... oh my god, that's probably 10 years ago, you know. 


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2018.10.29 - Appetite For Distortion - Interview with Howard Teman Empty Re: 2018.10.29 - Appetite For Distortion - Interview with Howard Teman

Post by Soulmonster Mon Apr 01, 2024 6:57 pm

Finished with this.
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