Enlarge "I said, 'Sebastian, you didn't write anything. If you don't write f*cking something, you don't get it.'"

Former Skid Row Manager Says Sebastian Bach Didn’t Understand How Publishing Royalties Work

  • Axl Rosenberg

We don’t necessarily expect our musicians to be business majors (Duff McKagan excluded), but you do sometimes hear stories of ignorance with regards to how the industry works that are just, like, baffling.

This is one of those times.

Doc McGhee — the legendary manager who has worked with bands like Kiss, Mötley Crüe, and Bon Jovi — recently gave an interview to Golden Robot Records in which he recalled having to explain to former Skid Row singer Sebastian Bach how publishing royalties work.

And no, this was not in 1989, after Skid Row released their debut album. This was in 2006, more than a decade after Baz was fired from the band.

Sounding very much like Tommy Tritone, McGhee recalls:

“When Sebastian Bach left Skid Row, and then later in life, I have to do a terrible fucking TV show called… I did it for MTV — for Rick Krim at MTV… VH1. And he said, ‘You have to do this thing called ‘SuperGroup’ for me. You put together the supergroup. We can’t tell you who’s gonna be in the band.’ I said, ‘Well, I’m not gonna do it, because I’m not gonna have fucking idiots, and then I’m gonna look like an idiot.’ [He said] ‘No, no. This is gonna be big. I’ll do anything for you.’ Blah blah blah blah blah. ‘Okay. Fine.’ I show up. [The band consisted of] Sebastian Bach, Ted Nugent, the kid from Biohazard [Evan Seinfeld], the bass player… and Jason Bonham. But I’m sitting there with Sebastian, and somebody says to me, ‘You know Sebastian is pissed off at you.’ And I go, ‘Okay. What could he be pissed off at me for? It’s been years since he’s been in Skid Row. What can he be pissed…?’ ‘Well, you took all his publishing away from him.’ So I said, ‘Really? Did I take his publishing away from him? How the fuck did I take his publishing?’ I said, ‘Let’s get Sebastian.’ So I get Sebastian. And I go, ‘So, Baz, I hear that you think that I took your publishing away from you.’ He said, ‘I didn’t get any publishing.’ I said, ‘Sebastian, you didn’t write anything. If you don’t write fucking something, you don’t get it.’ But he doesn’t get… So, it’s, like, okay, whatever.”

That Bach somehow didn’t understand this fairly basic element of the business is sad; McGhee’s assertion that Bach “didn’t write anything” is even sadder, given that Baz recently got into a fight with a fan on social media over the very topic of how much he did or did not write for Skid Row. I have to imagine smoke will shoot out of Baz’s ears after reading that quote.

Elsewhere in the same interview, McGhee claims that he was brutally honest with Skid Row about their career prospects after splitting with Bach:

“I don’t say to [Skid Row guitarist] Snake [Dave Sabo], who I love, and Scotti [Hill, guitarist] and Rachel [Bolan, bassist], who I really, really care about and [are] good people, I don’t say to them, ‘You know something? We’re gonna find a better lead singer and we’re gonna go on and fuck him.’ I go, ‘You’re fucked. Sorry. You guys can’t play with each other? You’re gonna be playing pay toilets again using your own change — even though artistically you’re gonna feel better about it. You’ve never been a bride; you’ve been a bridesmaid a bunch.’ But after ‘Slave to the Grind,’ they had a chance to get on the Pantera tour and the GN’R tour, they had a chance to make that step up, and they couldn’t do it. But am I gonna fucking throw the lead singer out? You have to be fucking retarded.”

McGhee’s use of the r-word aside, I really love this dude’s cold hearted old school sleazebag pragmatism. It reminds me of this, in the best possible way:

You can watch the interview with McGhee below.

Sebastian Bach is in the midst of a Slave to the Grind thirtieth anniversary tour on which he performs that album in its entirety. Here are the remaining dates:

Oct. 22 – Boston, MA – Big Night Live [tickets]
Oct. 23 – Philadelphia, PA – Theatre of Living Arts [tickets]
Oct. 25 – Virginia Beach, VA – Elevation 27 [tickets]
Oct. 26 – Greensburg, PA – Palace Theatre [tickets]
Oct. 29-Nov. 3 – Miami, FL – Kiss Kruise* [tickets]
Nov. 06 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL – Culture Room [tickets]
Nov. 07 – Orlando, FL – Hard Rock Live [tickets]
Nov. 09 – Atlanta, GA – Variety Playhouse [tickets]
Nov. 10 – Nashville, TN – Brooklyn Bowl [tickets]
Nov. 12 – Louisville, KY – Mercury Ballroom [tickets]
Nov. 13 – Cleveland, OH – MGM Northfield [tickets]
Nov. 14 – Cincinnati, OH – Bogarts [tickets]
Nov. 17 – Grand Rapids, MI – Intersection [tickets]
Nov. 18 – Ft. Wayne, IN – The Clyde [tickets]
Nov. 19 – Detroit, MI – Harpos [tickets]
Nov. 21 – Minneapolis, MN – Skyway Theatre [tickets]
Nov. 27 – Denver, CO – Gothic [tickets]
Nov. 29 – Billings, MT – Pub Station-Ballroom [tickets]
Nov. 30 – Great Falls, MT – The Newberry [tickets]
Dec. 02 – Suquamish, WA – Clearwater Casino [tickets]
Dec. 03 – Portland, OR – Aladdin [tickets]
Dec. 06 – San Francisco, CA – August Hall [tickets]
Dec. 11 – Blue Lake, CA – Blue Lake Casino [tickets]
Dec. 16 – Los Angeles, CA – Fonda [tickets]
Dec. 17 – San Diego, CA – House of Blues [tickets]


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