Monday, May 29, 2006
Sebastian Bach, Superstar
He's a force of nature. I found that out when Bas appeared on the cover of the July '93 High Times. He first visited the office with his bong collection (including a gas mask), attempting to impress us. We assigned Brigette West to inteview him and Michael Benabib to do the photo shoot. It took two shoots to get it right. Here are a few of Bas' interview gems:
• "There would still be pot plants whether we were here or not. It really doesn't seem right that there are laws saying you can't smoke it. It's like paying to go to the beach - who owns the beach?"
• "I wouldn't tell someone to smoke pot or not to - I'm just telling you how I live."
• "When I smoke pot, I kiss my wife, have some pasta, watch Batman, read the new High Times and go to bed. I don't go out an kick people in the head and all this bullshit that alcohol makes you do... I drink a little, but i don't need alcohol."
• "The biggest enemy of rock & roll is pretentiousness."
To promote the July '93 issue, Bas agreed to do a benefit concert for NORML. He created a supergroup for the show called the Rock Budz, consisting of Bas, Skid Row guitarist Dave "Snake" Sabo, Pantera's Dimebag Darrell and Rex Brown, and drummer Bam Bam. They headlined a bill with Bad Brains and Animal Bag at New York's Limelight (now Avalon). The show made $10,000 for NORML.
That summer, Bas invited me to visit him in New Jersey. He picked me up at the train station in a Porsche, and drove superfast to his house. His wife Maria - who's extremely attractive - and their first child Paris were there. (They since had a second son, London.) We didn't do anything wild or crazy - just played frisbee in the backyard, traded bongs hits, ate dinner, watched TV. I even stayed over. The next day we went to the Ben & Jerry's Festival in Central Park, where Canadian music legend Ronnie Hawkins was performing. I hung out with Bas and Maria all day. Of course, we had the best access. I met Hawkins and his daughter Leah, who sang in his group, as well as the Band's Rick Danko.
Bas and I went to Canada together the following spring. He was born and raised in Toronto, so this was a homecoming for him. We were there to participate in a panel at the Canadian Music Week convention. What I remember most about the panel was people exorting us to smoke a joint, which we did, and then the panel was suddenly aborted. We partied around town, but nothing spectacular happened. It was just fun. It's always fun to be around Bas.
I haven't seen Bas in years, except on VH1 and now on Superstar, which I highly recommend. Episode 2 airs tonight, May 30, at 12 am.