Skid Row (American band)

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Skid Row
Skid Row.jpg
Skid Row (L-R: Rachel Bolan, Johnny Solinger, and Scotti Hill) Performing at the South Texas Rockfest in 2008.
Background information
Origin Toms River, New Jersey, United States
Years active 1986–present
Associated acts
Members Rachel Bolan
Dave "The Snake" Sabo
Scotti Hill
Rob Hammersmith
Past members Matt Fallon
Cody Howell
Steve Brotherton
Kurtis Jackson
John Ratkowski Jr.
Jim Yuhas (Yuhaz)
Charlie Mills
Rob Affuso
Sebastian Bach
Sean McCabe (Shawn Mars)
Johnny Solinger
Phil Varone
Timothy DiDuro
Dave Gara
Keri Kelli
Ryan Cook
Alex Grossi
Tony Harnell

Skid Row is an American heavy metal band, formed in 1986 in Toms River, New Jersey. They were very successful in the late 1980s and early 1990s, with their first two albums certified multi-platinum. During this period, the band consisted of Rachel Bolan (bass), Dave "The Snake" Sabo (guitar), Scotti Hill (guitar), Rob Affuso (drums), and Sebastian Bach (vocals). As of 2015, the band consists of Bolan, Sabo, Hill and Rob Hammersmith (drums). The band has sold 20 million albums worldwide.

To date, Skid Row has released five full-length albums, 3 EPs, a compilation album, and a live album. They became popular with their first two albums, Skid Row (1989) and Slave to the Grind (1991), the latter of which reached number one on the Billboard 200.[2] Their third album, Subhuman Race (1995), was also critically acclaimed. Skid Row's two albums with Johnny Solinger (who replaced Bach in 1999) as lead vocalist, Thickskin (2003) and Revolutions Per Minute (2006), garnered mixed to negative reception.

On April 6, 2015, Skid Row announced via their website that the band and vocalist Solinger have parted ways. The same day, Rachel Bolan and Dave "The Snake" Sabo took to the airwaves of Eddie Trunk Live (Trunk Nation) on Sirius/XM to announce that Tony Harnell, formerly of TNT, was their new vocalist. Eight months later, however, Harnell left the band.


Early years (1986–1988)

Skid Row was formed in Toms River, New Jersey, in early 1986 by bassist Rachel Bolan and guitarist Dave "The Snake" Sabo.[3] The pair added guitarist Scotti Hill, drummer Rob Affuso, and lead vocalist Sebastian Bach, who replaced original lead vocalist Matt Fallon, to the lineup after the band spotted Bach singing at rock photographer Mark Weiss's wedding at the age of 18,[4] and the members asked him to join in early 1987. The band began playing shows in clubs throughout the eastern United States.

Jon Bon Jovi had been put in a position to seek out new and upcoming talent. Jon Bon Jovi and Dave Sabo had been friends for a very long time. They agreed that if one of them made it in the music business, he would help the other out. Bon Jovi manager Doc McGhee sought out Skid Row, and signed them. They secured a record deal with Atlantic Records in 1988, and entered the studio with Michael Wagener (of Metallica, Ozzy Osbourne, White Lion and Extreme fame) to record their first album. The album was recorded in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin at Royal Recorders. Skid Row would later open for Bon Jovi, who were touring behind their New Jersey album.

Skid Row (1989–1990)

Skid Row, released in January 1989, was an instant success. The record went 5x platinum and produced the hit singles "18 and Life", "I Remember You" and "Youth Gone Wild".

As part of Bon Jovi's 1988–1989 Jersey Syndicate, Skid Row played their first ever UK gig as opening band at Bon Jovi's outdoor show at Milton Keynes Bowl on August 19, 1989 (which also included Vixen and Europe). The very next day, Skid Row played a hugely successful club show at London's Marquee Club in Charing Cross Road.

In what is referred to as "The Bottle Incident" by fans of the band, Bach was hit onstage with a bottle thrown from the crowd at a concert in Springfield, Massachusetts, where Skid Row was opening for Aerosmith on December 27, 1989. Bach threw the bottle back, hitting a girl (not the thrower), so he jumped on the crowd to beat the person who can be seen on a tour video released by Skid Row called Oh Say Can You Scream in 1990.

Shortly thereafter, at another show, Bach put on a T-shirt proclaiming the anti-gay slogan "AIDS Kills Fags Dead". The shirt was given to him by a fan (he would eventually express regret over the incident during an interview with Canada's Muchmusic, claiming that he didn't read the slogan before putting the shirt on). They also recorded a cover of the Sex Pistols "Holidays In The Sun" for the Make A Difference Foundation release "Stairway to Heaven/Highway to Hell".

Slave to the Grind (1991–1992)

Skid Row returned to the studio with Wagener in 1990, to record their second studio album. Slave to the Grind, released in June 1991, it debuted at Number 1 in the American charts. Slave to the Grind became a major success, with the album spanning the hits "Monkey Business" and "Wasted Time". Skid Row once again went out on a worldwide tour which lasted over a year, including a leg supporting Guns N' Roses in 1991 and an appearance at the Castle Donington festival in 1992. Slave to the Grind was a departure for the band; where Skid Row was an album that followed the typical 80's band formula, Slave to the Grind had a heavier sound, even verging on speed metal with the title track. Skid Row took out Pantera as an opening act on much of the tour supporting Slave to the Grind. Skid Row originally asked upcoming grunge band Nirvana to open for them but they declined, saying that Skid Row was "too homophobic" (relating to the Sebastian Bach T-shirt incident). Ironically Nirvana's original band name was also Skid Row.[5]

B-Side Ourselves, Subhuman Race and Split with Bach (1992–1998)

Before a third album could be recorded, Skid Row took an extended hiatus in 1993, following the Slave to the Grind tour and the release of the EP, B-Side Ourselves, in September 1992.

For some time, Skid Row parted ways with Wagener, possibly due to their music taking a different direction for the follow-up to Slave to the Grind. In 1994, the band returned to the studio with Bob Rock (of Metallica, Mötley Crüe and The Offspring fame), to record their third studio album. Subhuman Race, released in March 1995, charted in the top 40. Although it did not achieve the success of Skid Row and Slave to the Grind, it generated a few hits and received positive reviews. At that point however, their videos were rarely played on MTV, partly because of the rise in popularity of grunge and subsequent decline of many heavy metal styles and 1980s hard rock. Skid Row would open for Van Halen on the North American leg of the tour.

Eventually, Sebastian Bach was fired by the band in late 1996 after an argument with Rachel Bolan who turned down a show with KISS on their reunion tour when Sebastian Bach booked a show where Skid Row would have opened for KISS. Other band members told Bach that Skid Row was too big to be an opening act and that they were not going to do the show. Sebastian Bach then left a message on a bandmate's answering machine telling him that you are never too big to open for KISS. Bandmate Rachel Bolan also had a side project, a punk band Prunella Scales who were playing at the same time as the planned KISS show. The rift between Bach and the other band members subsequently led to him leaving Skid Row.[6][7] Four years later, Skid Row was one of the opening acts for the 2000 Kiss Farewell Tour.[8][9] In 1998 Skid Row released their first compilation album 40 Seasons: The Best of Skid Row.

The New Skid Row and Thickskin (1999–2005)

Skid Row re-formed in 1999 with new lead vocalist Johnny Solinger, formerly of Solinger. After re-forming, they opened for KISS on their farewell tour, and have also played with other 1980s metal bands such as Poison. In 2002 they were part of the Rock Never Stops Tour.

Skid Row released their fourth full-length studio album, Thickskin, in 2003, which was their first album to feature Solinger and their first studio album in 8 years.

Revolutions per Minute (2006–2012)

The fifth Skid Row album, Revolutions per Minute, was released on October 24, 2006, through SPV Records. Michael Wagener reunited with Skid Row and became their producer for this album.

In 2007, the band recorded "Jingle Bells" for a Monster Ballads Christmas album.

In early 2010 Rob Hammersmith became the new drummer for Skid Row.

Asked in September 2009 about the next Skid Row album, guitarist Scotti Hill replied, "we haven't sat down and recorded anything yet, but we have sat down and worked out some ideas and just played them on a handheld recorder. Everybody's writing and we're getting into that mind set. Once the wheels get in motion we'll all probably fly out to Atlanta spend a week or two up there come home, go back up there do it again, we're all living in different cities, which can make it difficult at times."[10][11]

United World Rebellion (2013–present)

In February 2013, Skid Row announced that they had signed with Megaforce Records, a new album of new material which will be released as three separate EP's is scheduled to begin. The first chapter entitled United World Rebellion: Chapter One, was released on April 16, with two more EPs set to follow within the following 12 to 18 months.[12] In early February 2014, the band returned to the studio to begin work on chapter two.

In August 2014, Skid Row released the second chapter of the United World Rebellion trilogy called "Rise of the Damnation Army - United World Rebellion: Chapter Two".

On April 6, 2015, Solinger was fired.[13] Later that day it was announced that Tony Harnell, formerly of the Norwegian melodic metal band TNT, will replace Solinger.[14] That same month the band released a newly re-recorded version of their classic 18 and Life as a free downloadable single.

On February 5, 2015, two months before Solinger's departure, Skid Row announced that they are writing the third chapter of the United World Rebellion series.[15][16]

On December 29, 2015, Harnell left the band due to health related issues.[17][18][19]

Band members

Current members

Former members
  • Matt Fallon – lead vocals (1986–1987)
  • Cody Howell – bass (1986)
  • Steve Brotherton – guitar (1986, 2005)
  • Kurtis Jackson – guitar (1986, 2005)
  • John Ratkowski Jr. – drums (1986–1987)
  • Jim Yuhas (Yuhaz) – guitar (1986–1987)
  • Charlie Mills – drums (1986–1987, 1999–2000)
  • Rob Affuso – drums (1987–1998, 2002)
  • Sebastian Bach – lead vocals (1987–1996)
  • Sean McCabe (Shawn Mars) – lead vocals (1997–1998)
  • Johnny Solinger – lead vocals (1999–2015)
  • Phil Varone – drums (1999–2004)
  • Timothy DiDuro – drums (2004)
  • Dave Gara – drums (2004–2010)
  • Tony Harnell – lead vocals (2015)


Studio albums

Extended plays

Awards and nominations

American Music Awards

Year Nominated work Award Result
1990 Skid Row Favorite Heavy Metal/Hard Rock New Artist Won
1990 Skid Row Favorite Heavy Metal/Hard Rock Album Nominated


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  4. Sebastian Bach profile,; accessed October 11, 2014.
  5. "Talk Jericho". External link in |website= (help); Missing or empty |url= (help); |access-date= requires |url= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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  13. "SKID ROW Fired JOHNNY SOLINGER A Few Hours Before Announcing TONY HARNELL As His Replacement". April 7, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "SKID ROW Recruits Former TNT Singer TONY HARNELL". April 6, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "The writing has begun for United World Rebellion - Chapter Three". February 5, 2015. Retrieved July 8, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. "SKID ROW, al lavoro sul terzo capitolo..." February 6, 2015. Retrieved July 8, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. "SKID ROW Splits With Singer TONY HARNELL". December 30, 2015. Retrieved December 30, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. "SKID ROW Vows To Continue Following TONY HARNELL's Departure; Shoots Down SEBASTIAN BACH Reunion Talk". December 30, 2015. Retrieved December 30, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links