$250 Buys $350,000 Tour Bus

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Danny Stag of Kingdom Come confirmed the above transaction is true; I spoke with Danny Saturday afternoon via a prearranged interview. To be honest, originally I had an interview set up with legendary drummer James Kottak (Scorpions, Kingdom Come) but it had to be postponed… After I opened my mouth and posted it on my Facebook (JK interview confirmed), I got a message that Khalish Management is having a hard time getting a hold of James and would I “settle” for Danny or any other member of the band.

Danny Stag

Settle is not the appropriate word but I knew what Peter meant; I was a little dejected because I had researched James and found him quite interesting, but to be able to speak with the guitar sound behind Kingdom Come was a rush in itself, to say the least.

As many of you may know, Kingdom Come has been around since the ’80s and had two dynamite albums to start off their career that was the brainchild of former frontman Lenny Wolf. Albums, Kingdom Come and In Your Face sold millions of units worldwide and continue to sell to this day.

Danny tells me that after the band disbanded with original members in 1989 he went on to work on a few projects as well as produce and record guitar instructional videos.

Somehow we got onto the topic of Canada as I always try and do and Danny told me about a few Canadian connections. One of them is that Danny is half Canuck as his mother was born in Welland, Ontario and a second one is that Bob Rock (very famous record producer) is Canadian and produced Kingdom Comes’ debut album at the Little Mountain studios in Vancouver B.C.

I’d love to play Canada again, I love Canada,” says Danny.

I asked him what he was doing these days… like reading, and if so what he was currently reading; kind of the questions I always ask as to not ask the same standard ones. For this case, it would have been…” how does it feel to be compared to Zeppelin?” Well, I didn’t ask that one but we did touch a bit upon Greta Van Fleet lol.

Well anyway, Danny is not reading these days; he’s writing. He told me he is almost finished writing his autobiography about his life as a rock guitarist for over 35+ years. I asked Danny if he can give my readers a sneak peek of one of the little stories that will be revealed and without hesitation and with much laughter he offered up a doozy.

Danny told about not only another Canadian connection but the business savvy of a member of the groups’ inner circle that managed to buy a $350,000 tour bus for only $250.

This is how D.S. explained the transaction ; “ok,well the time we were coming back….speaking of Canada, we were coming back from I think it was Calgary and we were entering the states from Montana…and um….ah….some contraband was sniffed (laughter) by the dogs when our tour bus came through (laughter) and they seized our $350,000 tour bus. (laughter).They made us take all of our shit off …and Scorpions hadn’t come across yet…..we were on tour with Scorps and they hadn’t come across the border yet so ….and they had like for or five semi trucks with our staging and lights and all that crap….. and the band and their bus hadn’t come across the border yet and they (laughter) all got completely…. the big shakedown when they got there. We didn’t get our tour bus back in time to make it to the show as it was a show day I believe. I had to sleep in the sleeper compartment of one of the semis (laughter) to get to where we were going. It turned out that our tour bus driver had an uncle or his Dad or something that was the assistant District Attorney in Boston (Mass.) and he uh….I guess knew what to say and to whom to say it to, and we got our bus back for a $250 fine (laughter). That’ just one story” says Danny.

Fellow guitar players I didn’t forget to ask him about his guitar influences growing up.

Danny ” Hendrix, early Clapton with Cream, Jimmy Page in Led Zeppelin I and II were big eye openers, Johnny Winter and Keith Richards are all on that list as well“.

Regarding a personal life, Danny says he lives an austere lifestyle “like a monk” ; no wife, no kids, no house……I pretty much live in a recording studio”

Moving forward, Kingdom Come will be celebrating the 30th anniversary of their debut hit album of the same name. The band will be touring extensively in the New Year with an anticipated 50 – 70  shows and the details of the tour will be released very soon. Danny says the music industry pretty much takes a break at this time of year until after New Years, so expect it then.

The band will consist of 4/5’s of the original lineup. Danny Stag (guitar), Rick Steier (guitar), Johnnie B Frank (bass), James Kottak (drums), and Keith St. John (Montrose/Lynch Mob) will round out vocals in the absence of original singer Lenny Wolf who decided not to take part in the venture.

Speaking of James, Danny has nothing but great things to say about his friend and bandmate. I asked him what it was like working with J.K.

James is …uh, I consider myself unbelievably fortunate and blessed that James was the guy that came in that day and auditioned and got the gig. I think he is one of the best rock drummers that ever played …you know that comes from…..I’ve played with a lot of great drummers, like Jason Bonham, I played with Mitch Mitchell, I’ve jammed with Buddy Myles one time, I’ve played with Carmine and Vinnie Appice, and you know James is up there with any of them. There aren’t that many great drummers,….there are good ones and adequate ones and you can’t have a great band without a great drummer and we were lucky to have him. He helps to separate us from the pack you know. He is just fun, we hang out and laugh our asses off; we know what sets each other off…in a good way….he’s just a great guy” replied Danny.

Click below for a word from Danny.

**Next week I will bring you an interview with Roger Clyne of the Peacemakers (formerly The Refreshments). I have been a fan of Roger for years. He is the man behind The King of the Hill tv show intro song and he also is responsible for the song Banditos which sold millions on the bands’ album Fizzy Fuzzy, Big and Buzzy. The band has a cult following around the world but especially in the Arizona, Texas and New Mexico area where they tour extensively.**

Thanks for Reading Rock Talk,

Ernest Skinner

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Ernest Skinner
Ernest Skinner was born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie and attended Humber College after high school. He has a passion for other cultures and has travelled throughout Mexico and many South American countries. He has written many articles over the years that deal with events happening here in Sault Ste. Marie and around the globe. Ernest has interviewed many rock and roll musicians including, Garry Peterson (The Guess Who), David Ellefson (Megadeth), Sass Jordan, Lee Aaron, John Corabi (Motley Crue/Dead Daisies), Geoff Tate (Queensryche) Richie Faulkner (Judas Priest) etc. Reading about ancient civilizations, world politics, and mysteries of the unknown are also defining factors that are his general makeup. Outside of being serious, he has a bright sense of humour that was moulded from shows like Seinfeld & The Simpsons. Ernest is a SaultOnline.com freelance reporter/columnist.

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