Mike's Big Column

I don't quite remember when Tony's last show was. It was either at Speaks or Detroit. It was a pretty awkward night. Moto had to tape the cymbal stands down to the stage. He hit them so hard during the first song that they were falling over. No one knew how to act. We were told that the guy that had been coming down to the past couple of shows was taking over. He was Joey Brighton. When I first met him, he was a real nice guy. I was thinking, that he had some big shoes to fill and he didn't seem as tough as the rest of the band. Tough meaning that the band has been around. They had "road rage" in their hearts. I think that's what made them play harder. To satisfy every customer, to win over new ones and silence the "rock critic." Joey didn't have this quality. he was like the kid that went to his local high school and left home to go away to college. Bad Boy University.

The first sound check was pretty amazing. This is the first time T. S. had double bass to add to the mix. Well, Joey got up to check out his kit and we went "HOLY SHIT." This guy is unreal. Elmo dubbed him octofoot. It sounded like he had 4 sets of arms or 4 sets of feet.

Instead of doing a T.S. song they did "Armed and Ready" by the Michael Shenker group.

Moto's jaw dropped, Elmo had a smile on his a face like he just got some. Fatty, stone face and unemotional (as usual) said, "eh, he's O.K." So he was in the band, but not a band member yet. With T. S. you have to pay your dues. You just can't walk in on something they have been busting their asses for years. You have to prove your worth. Only time will tell.

The first couple of shows were a bit difficult. It seemed Joey was having trouble keeping the beat. Everyone thought it was just the whole getting used to everything routine. The fans new it was a little off and that bothered Jay Jay a whole lot. He wanted this thing fixed pronto. Mark would go over during songs and try to help him calm down and get back into the T. S. groove. Dee did his best with clapping the cadence and when he got it he would go back to the audience. But it was happening more often than it should have. By no means am I Joey bashing but this is what was happening. The front row chicks really liked Joey. He was a very nice person to all the fans and when he would get a compliment, you could tell he was blushing. I think he was taking all the fan stuff in and not taking his T. S. situation serious enough.

I really liked Joey and I didn't want to see him go but I knew if things didn't straighten out, he would be gone.

We were playing the famous Factory on Staten Island. My friend A.J. Pero was in town. He really liked Twisted Sister but he had his own thing going on. He was out in California with his band. He thought Joey was good but we both knew A. J. was better. I told him that I didn't think Joey was going to be around much longer but I didn't know for sure. He didn't think he was going to be in California much longer and, when he got back to LA he would have to make some tough decisions. I told him if and when he gets back to give me a ring so we could catch up. When looking back at that time, I realize that everything does happen for a reason. He just happened to pop in to say hello to me but the ground work was being laid down for future stardom.

T. S. was going to be playing the Palladium shortly, so they had extra rehearsals to get things right. Joey was complaining that he could not hear out of his monitor, that's why he was screwing up. I talked to Jay Jay about it but he said even if that was true, a professional could overcome that. He was right. Many times a members monitor would go on the blink and they stuck with it.

The Palladium was a beautiful place. You stand up on the stage when no one is in the house and you say, 'this place ain't so big.' When the audience arrives and the sound of people fill the air, it really gets big and the energy is like the air feels just before a lightning storm. After hanging out in the dressing room for a while, I went out behind the curtains with Jay to take a peek out in the audience. There was a big banner hanging from the balcony saying "where's Tony" that kinda put a damper on things. It bothered jay but he shook it off.

Show time! Show was going very well, but Joey started to loose it around the 4th song. I went behind the stacks to try to help Joey. I was joined by Joe Atlantis. Joe was counting off for him and I was doing the air cymbals and drums. It helped but not as much as we would have liked it.

Maybe a week or so later I think we were playing Rockaways, and Jay told me that Joey was going to be leaving. It was sad news because he was such a nice guy. It was a business decision. He said although he was a talented drummer, he wasn't right for the band and the fans pay and expect a Twisted Sister show. He felt he was letting down his people.

Jay Jay said that a friend of Mark's will be joining us soon. It was Richie Teeter, an ex Dictator.

See ya soon,

Part 1: Introductions
Part 2: Animal At Emit's
Part 3: Mike's Big Guitar Debut
Part 4: You're Yelling In My Ear...
Part 5: Security, Peacekeepers and Eddie Kramer
Part 6: Never Buy Lo Mein Fron A Bait Store
Part 7: Greetings from Asbury Park
Part 8: Ah! Hito! Hiata!! It is...Garbage-Ra!!
Part 10: Goodbye, Tony, Hello, Joey... Goodbye, Joey, Hello, Richie...
Part 11: The Gemini, Big Sal and Altini's Fan Club
Part 12: 'Where's My Corned Beef Sandwich??'