Former W.A.S.P lead guitarist Chris Holmes claims his former band mate and friend Blackie Lawless made his time in the band suck, made other bandmembers look bad in pictures to make him look better, and most importantly – conned him out of royalties.
Holmes was a founding member and spent 12-years total with the band but he says he would never play with Lawless again and claims he’d rather be dead than make peace.
Holmes admitted he felt both he and the other members of W.A.S.P felt they deserved to be pictured on the record covers of albums they all worked on. He said: “Blackie wants to be Elvis Presley, he wants to be the only guy. Let’s put it this way, he has an ego. He does really shitty things to everybody in the band. The only reason why he kept me that long is to get more ticket sales. You wanna get some really shitty? The money you make off the records is called publishing, and he made me sign my contract in the way that this goes back into the band, so I never saw any of the publishing.
“I was young, and I said, ‘Is this the right thing for me to do?’ He said, ‘Yeah’, and he knew exactly where it was gonna go. That’s why I had really bad issues with the guy. Even today – I’d never play with the guy again, I’d rather be dead. He’s only out for himself, he’s not out for the whole band. If he was a nice guy, would he keep a few band members? He’s always changing band members. I hate signing those… Well, I wouldn’t say I hate signing those records, I played on them, I guess. So what I do is I sign them right on Blackie’s face.”
“Randy and I were talking last week. We recalled how we were told to go down and choose the pictures out of like 500 to put on the record, and why choose the pictures if they didn’t go on the record? Blackie turned around and changed them. Did I choose that picture to be on the record? No! It was all him. The worse we look, the better he looks. And that was the case with every album. That’s him on the cover, it’s not the band, and this sucks. I have to live with it, because it’s part of my past, and that’s OK. But why should Blackie call it WASP? It’s Blackie Lawless and nobody else.”
Holmes also has doubts about Lawless’ Christian beliefs, and claims he didn’t pay him which forced him to get a job when he wasn’t touring with the band and says he refused to allow him to accompany his wife to the American Music Awards.
He added: “I’ll tell you what kind of person he is – he’s full of shit! If being a Christian can make money, that’s what he’s doing. It’s all about making money and nothing else. When I got off the road, I had to work a job, because he wouldn’t give me any money, and I gotta pay the rent, right? He wouldn’t pay me, he wouldn’t pay the roadies, he wants all the money. That’s why I had to do construction, concrete stuff. They say, ‘Sell your soul, play rock’n’roll’, and that’s what I did.
“I never left, Blackie forced me out. He didn’t want me in the band anymore because I got more attention than he did, he always put me down. Remember when I married Lita Ford, the singer from Runaways, and he made sure I couldn’t go to the American Music Awards when she was nominated for ‘Vocals of the Year’. I hated him ever since that. And the last thing I ever said to him in the rehearsal room was, ‘Why the fuck would you do that to somebody?’ He got up and as he was walking out of the rehearsal room, he mumbled to me, ‘I was jealous’. That’s the reason why I hate him today. The next time he’s here again you ask him about that – why he didn’t let me go to the American Music Awards.”