London’s Nadir D’Priest – The full in bloom Legacy Interview
London / D’Priest Vocalist
The full in bloom Legacy Interview – PART I
(Originally conducted in 2006)
full in bloom: What’s new, what have you been up to lately and what’s in the future?
Nadir D’Priest: Well at this time I am looking for a label and or distributor so I can release my second LONDON album, Don’t Cry Wolf. This album never did have the right push or the right label behind it, so I hope that I can have it re-mastered, new art etc. and finally give it what it deserves.
full in bloom: You played in a band called Vertigo in the early eighties. Who were some of the influences for that band?
Nadir: WOW! Thats wa’aaay back, man. Vertigo had some very talented players and I think Brian Ikari was one of the fastest guitarist at the time, I am talking FAST. That’s when it was cool to be really fucking fast. I am telling you this little guy could shred. Dean Avram was a clone of Van Halen’s bassist Michael Anthony’s playing and look wise. Drummers, we had many so this group was the beginning of my musical career. Influences, I think Led Zeppelin, Van Halen, Judas Priest among many many others.
full in bloom: Did you ever release anything with Vertigo?
Nadir: No, we never did. We cut some demos, but never an official release at all.
full in bloom: Any fond memories come to mind when thinking about your days in Vertigo?
Nadir: Oh Yeah! At that time, I was very young and we had an array of chicks at our shows. BIG following, what can I say, they couldn’t help themselves. My outfits, make-up, voice and nasty attitude were very appealing to the females and some males..Yuck!. We used to throw partyies at the Holiday Inn back when it was cool to stay there. We use get the Walter Lantz (Woody Woodpecker Creator) suite, you know, and JUST! PARTY HARD. Good Times.
full in bloom: What year did you join London? Describe the process of how you ended up being the singer.
Nadir: I believe it was end of 1984? Not sure, but I think that’s right. The process got started when Jack Russell (Great White) talked to my bass player Dean Avram from Veritgo and told him to get me into Vertigo but soon after that, Lizzie Grey approached me and I ended up leaving Vertigo to join LONDON. It was so fast that my image went to a completely different level of appearance and lifestyle. I became bigger than life at a young age. It was very cool looking back now.
full in bloom: Any memories stand out from the Non-Stop Rock recording sessions?
Nadir: This was the beginning for me since we were about to have our first born album. Myself, Brian West, Bobby Marks (KEEL) and Lizzie Grey were feeling real good about the recording and designing of the cover and all that fun stuff. No money really. I think Mr. Varney gave us a whopping $8,000.00 to get it all done but it was accomplished. Mission Complete. Those where the days, us against the world.
full in bloom: Several big-time players were in London – at one time or another – including Nikki Sixx, Blackie Lawless, Izzy Stradlin, Slash and Fred Coury. Who were some of the other musicians you worked with that went on to become very successful?
Nadir: This question has been following me forever, since we all know who was more successful, right!. I think that the people that I got to work with, (which the list goes on and on) they where all great to work with and I tell you why. That period was very special, players where hungry and not yet poisoned by the success. The innocence was the beauty of it all. It was incredible for me, cause we all wanted the same thing which is the DEAL the BIG DEAL and everything that came with it. We were growing and making history together.
full in bloom: What are your three most fond memories from your days in London.
Nadir: 1. Non Stop Rock
2. Dont Cry Wolf
3. making our first music video which was titled, “Radio Stars”
I can go on forever, we did so much.
full in bloom: Are there any memories that stand out from those Don’t Cry Wolf recording sessions.
Nadir: Yeah! Working with Kim Fowley (The Runaways) was one. I had the best time working with him, he was a very special character, a very talented dude. Unfortunately, I saw him at the Cleopatra records box set Cd party a month or so ago and he did not stop to say hi!. I guess that some things never change. Don’t Cry Wolf was engineered by Gene Meros who also worked as an assistant engineer for Van Halen’s Fair Warning album. He gave us the best BIG ROCK sound, a real gentleman. We also had some real crazy outfits done by some girl who was also working with Alice Cooper, so you can imagine what that was like – money was no object. The album cover was done at my good friend’s studio Althea Flynt and Larry Flynt (Hustler Magazine) who basically hooked us up with the photographer. I can’t remember his name but he usually shot Amber Lynn, among thousands of porno stars and skits. We brought in Siberian wolves, not stuffed, but real actors. It was quite a scene.
full in bloom: Describe a typical London show. Was the place always packed? What were a few of your most memorable shows and why?
Nadir: Man, it was packed, not only by girls, but by other musicians who would just stand there and stare at you – it was funny. Memorable shows were the ones that we would do without full stage set up and one especially with Stryper. We were playing at the Troubadour, LONDON was headlining, we used to have a drum riser about 7 feet high and they wanted us to take it down so they could set up their drums, so, we refused, we had a major blowout with them, basically our bodyguards were ready. Fun shit. The other was with Poison in San Diego at the Adams Avenue Theatre, same thing, the drum riser, but this time they tried to get their own bouncers to kick my ass and this black dude tried to put handcuffs on me. That’s when the promoter, our manager, pulled out a 9mm and the shit hit the fan, again, fun shit. This kind of dirt got around all over the place, so we basically did not take shit from anyone.
full in bloom: Who were some of the bands you played shows with that went on to become stars?
Nadir: Warrant, XYZ, Alcatrazz, Great White, Poison, Stryper, Guns N’ Roses, there are more but I can’t remember right now, sorry.
full in bloom: Did you tour with London? If so, where did you tour? Ever go overseas?
Nadir: Yes! New Orleans we played on a river for the mayor and three thousand of his friends. This after our drummer, Dane Rage, left us in New Mexico. We had to head back to Phoenix to audition a guy for a period of two hours to learn the entire set. Then we broke down outside New Orleans, did the show, got laid, and went on to finish the rest of the tour. We never made it overseas, but we did sell lots of records there.
full in bloom: Former London bandmate Lizzie Grey had co-writing credits on Public Enemy #1, which was featured on Motley Crue’s debut album, Too Fast for Love. Has he ever received any payments for his contribution? If so, do you remember a typical payment?
Nadir: Yes he did and probably does, and NO, I don’t know the $$ part of the question.
full in bloom: Tell us about the first time you ever saw or met Nikki Sixx. What did you think of him at that time?
Nadir: First time I met him was at his house in the Hills and what I thought of him was that he was very cool to me and had great dope. Stayed up all night looking at his rifles and guns, basically talking and gacking.
full in bloom: When you were a club act with London, were you able to survive on record sales and gigs alone, or did you have another job?
Nadir: Good question, NO, WHAT JOB!?! We lived off our fame believe it or not. I look back and still don’t know how we did it but we did have lots of investors and people who loved the band. Never got a royalty check. The gigs paid for the party materials, clothes and stage props, etc. We loved to put on a great visual show and sound great.
full in bloom: Describe a typical DAY-IN-THE-LIFE of Nadir D’priest back in the London daze (’85 to ’88). From the time you woke up, to the time you fell asleep.
Nadir: I never did know were I was going to sleep. I knew I would sleep with a girl somewhere in Hollywood, but I did not have a clue. I would stay up all night drinking and doing blow, listening to music, talking to people, then I would end up with one or two, sometimes three girls having a bit of outrageous sexual fantasies, girl with girl and girls with me. Morning comes, I am still in bed with these girls, more dope and more drinks, toys etc. Go til 4 pm, sleep til 10 pm and start all over again. Wow, I am still alive, it’s incredible.
full in bloom: How many copies of Don’t Cry Wolf and Non-Stop Rock were sold?
Nadir: I would like to know myself. We never got any accounting from Mike Varney at Shrapnel. Don’t Cry Wolf not much, no distribution.
full in bloom: Were you paid for your appearance in the Decline of Western Civilization PART II? Did your life change any after that movie came out?
Nadir: Yes we did get paid. I think about $2,000.00 for the whole thing. It changed a lot. Everyone wanted to talk to us, we were rock stars, man (laughs). I think it put us on the map for the rest of our lives and beyond; we are here for a loooooong time.
full in bloom: I read somewhere that some of the bands were angry with you after that movie. Who was upset with you?
Nadir: I know that many of the smaller bands did not want LONDON on the movie, but the director, Penelope Spheeris, did cause of our antics and bad rap among other local bands. The ones that did not like us never did have the balls to confront me about it and still don’t,. Fuck them, they know who they are.
full in bloom: What’s going on with Don’t Cry Wolf never being released on cd? I once saw a bootleg copy of it sell for over a hundred dollars on Ebay. Why has it never been released?
Nadir: Well, that album was never licensed to the right company, so it never did get the chance to be exposed correctly. I am the owner of it, so if anyone is interested, they can contact me. I would like it to be a CD/DVD deal, not just the music.
full in bloom: What about Non-Stop Rock? It was in print and has now disappeared? How long was it in print and why isn’t it any longer?
Nadir: Again, Shrapnel has the masters and is hanging on to it, but if this continues, than I would either buy the masters or get my attorney to handle it. I recently spoke to Varney and it sounded like he may be into it. But to be honest with you, I think Varney regrets his involvement with LONDON. Why would you hang on to the music and not release it. Noise Records has done the same for D’Priest Why isn’t the record available, beats me. They basically are not interested in re-releasing, but it won’t end there, I guarantee you this.
full in bloom: Why did London never sign with a major label during 1985 to 1988? Were there any close calls?
Nadir: Plenty of offers, but they never signed us. You got to remember, LONDON, prior to me being the singer, did not have any music published as far as vinyl or tapes, never. When I joined things started to happen immediately. I don’t want to mention labels, because they never did anything for us or me so I won’t promote them at all, they don’t need it. LONDON had the curse almost like being blackballed from the industry, but people still wanted to know all our moves. No one could erase us from the map, nobody! And they never will.
full in bloom: Later, London signed with a major label, but soon changed the name of the band to D’priest. By that point, what had happened to Lizzie? Why was he not a part of that band?
Nadir: I still don’t know what happened with Lizzie, but he went on to do his deal, so I congratulate him for that. The change to D’Priest was done because of the long history of LONDON and names and bullshit that came with all these rock star musicians. So the president of Noise in NY, Bruce Kirkland, suggested the change. We did it and it worked.
full in bloom: Who were some of the bands that you toured with while you were in D’Priest.
Nadir: We played with so many, but mostly we would be on the road on our own and hook up with nationals via the agency, Mark Hyman in Tune Management at the time.
full in bloom: Any memories stand out from the Playa Del Rock recording sessions.
Nadir: Oh yeah, we had the pleasure of working with one of the most amazing producers, Richie Podolor and his partner Bill Cooper. This man had 52 platinum albums, Black Oak Arkansas, Heart, Three Dog Night, Steppenwolf, Alcatrazz – the list is scary. We also had the opportunity to work with Elton Johns keyboardist Guy Babylon who played on most of the album and also Three Dog Night original Hammond player and keyboard master, Jimmy Greenspoon. What can I say, man, this kind of talent from the best era, the ’60s to the ’70s is hard to come by. I will probably never have the chance to do it again with the old school players. I was blessed.
full in bloom: In the ’90s, you were instrumental in putting a CD-ROM together for the Rolling Stones. What tour was it for and how did it come about?
Nadir: The Rolling Stones VooDoo Lounge CD-ROM was the most amazing task I have ever encountered in my life. I had been hired by a company called Second Vision New Media from NY which was owned by Bruce Kirkland, who was president of Noise records 1989. Later years he became vice president of Capitol Records USA and introduced me to some people who where looking to work on the Stones CD-ROM. Things happened so fast that I became project director for the CD-ROM working for the Stones exclusively not for Virgin but the band. So you can imagine the scene, the biggest and most baddest band in the world, I was doing things that most people dream of, the royalty of Rock n Roll. Amazing time.
full in bloom: Later, you went solo under the name Antonio Nadir. What kind of music were you playing?
Nadir: This was my solo attempt to Rock en Espanol. I had the pleasure of working alongside with Matt Sorum (the Cult, Velvet Revolver, Guns, N’ Roses) who played on 99% of the album and co-produced it with me. This album was a real challenge for me going to my roots, we had a lot of fun doing it and playing in Mexico City. If you guys get a chance, listen to Antonio Nadir the album is titled “Tatuaje” (tattoo in English) and check it out, it has interactive media, same as the Stones, with full-length videos and lots of 3D graphics. It was ahead of its time for Latin America.
full in bloom: You seem to be quite popular in Mexico. What was the largest crowd you played to in Mexico?
Nadir: Depends. I signed autographs for 5 hours straight at a place called El Chopo. It’s like an ’80s flea market, nothing in the world like it, still going on. Thousands of thousands.
full in bloom: You were interviewed for Behind the Music with Guns N’ Roses. I have not seen it yet, so I don’t know if your parts were included, but what were your experiences with Axl Rose? Any good stories and did they include your parts?
Nadir: They did not include my parts and maybe one day you can ask Axl himself, tired of the same question everywhere I go.
full in bloom: Nadir D’Priest is transported back in time, to the year 1984. Is there anything you would do differently?
Nadir: Yes and no. I should of fucked this one girl and I do regret it since she loved to eat pussy all the time, missed out. No, because those are the cards that I was dealt so you cant go back and change anything. I had a great time. Life is too short; look ahead and look at the future. Move on.
-The Fast 5-
full in bloom: What is your most disgusting habit?
Nadir: Pick my nose
full in bloom: What is the most feminine thing you do?
Nadir: Lipstick, of course.
full in bloom: If there is a God, what is the first question you would ask God when you arrive?
Nadir: Where did my money go?
full in bloom: Greatest rock band of all time?
Nadir: The Rolling Stones
full in bloom: What were you doing 40 minutes before you sat down to do this interview?
Nadir: Working on a music video for a rap artist.