Our winning Ratt story this week comes from Leigh Hasan, who fondly recalls being 14 and a die-hard Ratt-N-Roller. The soon-to-be-recipient of a Ratt prize pack, Leigh, is still in the running to win Warren DeMartini's signature guitar, courtesy of Charvel! Want your chance to win too? Then tell us YOUR Ratt story RIGHT HERE just like Leigh!
As for the prize-grabbing tale, Leigh wrote in, "The year was 1986, Dancing Undercover had just been released.. I used to listen to that tape in my walkman every day on my way to school. Even now when I hear those songs I can visualize the churches and cottage-style houses I had to pass every morning in my sleepy little suburban town.
I had just started going out with an exotic looking large breasted young girl named Linda whom for almost a year beforehand I had been left with no other option but to dream about. Now that she was mine, I was planning a next level dream: I wanted desperately to get to third base with her with "Lookin for Love" playing in the background! I cant help but laugh now, but it was important then!
One night after one of our Dancing Undercover sessions, Linda mentioned to me that she heard Ratt was going to be interviewed on the radio, but she couldnt remember what station. That was all the motivation I needed to scour the newspapers and radio dial for days, in search of clues as to where our heroes would turn up.
My obsession was rewarded the following Monday when the local paper provided a blurb about a show I had never heard about called Rockline, where fans were provided the opportunity to interview the artists.
Monday came, and i started calling at 5 pm. It all seemed so logical to me: all I had to do was call nonstop from that point forward and I would eventually get an answer. The reason? the show only started at 11 pm!
At about 6:30 my patience was rewarded when someone (probably a techie who just arrived wondering who on earth would be calling so early) picked up the phone. He informed me that the show only began four hours later, to which I replied that I was well aware. He further informed me that there were so many people calling in that there was a good chance I would not get on.
That was fine with me. I set up camp on my bed for the next four and a half hours. My ghetto blaster (it was the eighties after all) at the ready with a recordable cassette set to record!
The show began: Bob Coburn, the host, seemed so friendly and knowledgeable about Ratt, and while the fact that Warren Demartini had opted not to take part had taken a bit of the wind out of my sails (he was my absolute idol, as my yearbook prototype profile proudly states for all to see) the chance to get to speak to Stephen and our fallen comerade Robbin was still enough to keep a young rocker's heart pumpin!
"Hello, Leigh?" someone asked.
"Uh..ya?" I responded, my mouth waking up from a 5 hour slumber.
"this is Bob from Rockline, you'll be our next caller."
That was it, it was happening. I hit record on the tape player and composed myself. Before you know it, I was nervously, and enthusiastically telling Ratt that they were "talking to their biggest male Ratt fan in the world!" (something I had always wanted to say to them but never thought I would.)
"Right on Leigh!" Robbin said.
"Are you Dancing Undercover partner?!" Stephen asked.
"Are you joking?! Of course man! I just bought your new album and it kicks, it rips man!" Hehe I wish I could have stated something a little more prophetic, but for the 14 year old me, no truer words could have been spoken.
We proceeded to have a conversation about Nikki Sixx from Motley Crue, which ultimately led up to my question: an honest curiosity of why Nikki and Robbin never formed a band together, seeing as how they were such good friends.
what followed was a pleasant conversation and musings about the beginnings of the LA Rock Rock scene, the Sunset Strip, and the days when all the bands who were destined to become famous used to prowl around Hollywood together. Stephen and Robbin even shared some stories about their days with Nikki as members of the Gladiators, their local drink and fight street gang!
Bob and the guys thanked me, and then the line disconnected. I remember it so well, my hands were shaking from the adrenaline dump! I went to listen to the playback, but before I could, the phone rang. My parents were going to kill me.
It was Linda, she had stayed up to listen to the whole thing and was so excited! I hung up the phone and it rang again. and after again. a bunch of my other friends had heard it and wanted to give me immediate verbal high fives. What a great reception.
And it was nothing compared to what I got at school then next day. So many people had heard it (its amazing how many people you touch by being on the radio) and those who hadnt heard it knew about it second hand. For the remainder of my high school years i was known as "the guy who talked to Ratt", a badge I wore with honor.
We had an amazing party at my friend's house the following weekend to celebrate it. So many people came, people who I knew and didnt know. There was an older rocker gang in our neighborhood, ones who everyone respected, they all came by to ask some questions and drop some good words, so amazing. They brought girls too, some who had heard it, it kind of felt like I won the lottery!
The party, truly was a great night. So much beer and positivity that the real reward came at the end of the evening--when the night was transformed from a party to a great party, to a 14 year old's dream party...the first time!
Linda and made an escape for a while at the end... I walked into that bathroom a boy, and came out a man! Yes indeed!
Now hows that for Ratt n Roll?!!"
Ratt's first album in 10 years, Infestation, is out on April 20th. Go RIGHT HERE to pre-order your copy, and go RIGHT HERE to hear the first two tracks from the upcoming stunner!