During a question-and-answer session aboard this year’s Monsters Of Rock cruise, the members of SKID ROW were asked when their 1990 “Oh Say Can You Scream” home video will finally be made available on DVD.
“Here’s the problem: we don’t own the rights to that,” guitarist Dave “Snake” Sabo responded (see video below). “It’s owned by the record company. They presented us with a deal a few years ago that was really awful. So we just said, ‘You know what? We’ll wait until we get the rights back and then we can do how we want to. Honestly. We want it out there, of course. We want people to be able to see it. But the problem is that they want to control it in their way. And it wasn’t good for us.”
Asked if they now own the rights to their first couple of albums, Sabo said: “Not yet. It’s 35 years until you have the opportunity to own the rights. So another four years.” Bassist Rachel Bolan added: “In another four years, it’s all ours. They put out the deluxe edition of our first record — digitally only, which kind of pissed off, ’cause we want it on vinyl, we want it on CD, we want it on everything. Holding that in your hand is way more important than just [streaming it]. But they put it out, which is cool, and we’re happy with that. But we’re gonna have all that stuff and we’re gonna be able to control everything at some point. And it will be ours.”
This past January, Rhino celebrated the 30th anniversary of SKID ROW‘s multi-platinum debut with a digital deluxe edition that included the original album remastered for the first time, expanded with the bonus track “Forever”. The deluxe edition also featured a previously unreleased live performance from 1989, marking the first ever release of a full live show from the band.
SKID ROW‘s 1989 self-titled effort featured the Top 10 hits “18 And Life” and “I Remember You” and was supported by a six-month tour with BON JOVI.
Last year, ex-SKID ROW singer Sebastian Bach said that he reached out to his former bandmates about doing something special for the album’s 30th anniversary. “I texted ’em, the whole band. I go, ‘Hey, guys, January of 2019 is the 30th anniversary of the ‘Skid Row’ record coming out. I think we should maybe put out a re-release with bonus material and ‘Oh Say Can You Scream’ Blu-ray and posters and passes’ — everything that RUSH puts out that I go buy and everything that every other band puts out… ALLMAN BROTHERS,” he told Detroit’s WRIF 101.1 FM radio station. “I collect this stuff. I go, ‘Let’s do a 30th-anniversary [re-release]. Hope you all are well. Look forward to hearing [from] you.’ And I sent that, and I got no response. I’m not making this up; I’m just telling you. Five guys! No, nothing. Okay. I guess that’s a dumb idea. It’s the 30th anniversary of the first album. The fans would probably dig a deluxe package. But stupid old me — what do I know? [Laughs]”
In a 2015 interview with Loudwire, Sebastian accused his former bandmates of not acknowledging SKID ROW‘s legacy. “It makes me heartbroken that the first SKID ROW album came out 25 years ago and there is not a 180-gram vinyl addition with a poster and a… It makes me nuts,” he said. “It makes me crazy, if you want to know the truth.
“I don’t even have to be in the same room with those guys to do that shit. Why don’t we embrace the legacy like every other band? All I mean by that is put out a DVD, put out a vinyl record, put out a box set.”
Bach added: “I would like to apologize to my fans and SKID ROW fans. I’m sorry that you can’t go enjoy what we made for you. It doesn’t exist. There’s not one DVD of our videos. You cannot go and buy a DVD of the ’18 And Life’ video — it doesn’t exist. Why? I mean, why?”
Bach fronted SKID ROW until 1996, when he was fired. Instead of throwing in the towel, the remaining members took a hiatus and went on to play briefly in a band called OZONE MONDAY.
In 1999, SKID ROW reformed and, after a bit of shuffling over the years, featured a lineup consisting of bassist Rachel Bolan, guitarists Sabo and Scotti Hill, alongside drummer Rob Hammersmith and singer Johnny Solinger.
SKID ROW fired Solinger over the phone in April 2015, a few hours before announcing ex-TNT vocalist Tony Harnell as his replacement. Eight months later, Harnell exited the band and was replaced by South African-born, British-based singer ZP Theart, who previously fronted DRAGONFORCE, TANK and I AM I.