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Roller Coasters and Resurrections of PHIL VARONE

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BY EDDIE RIVKIN

There is a saying among religious people:  “God will not put more on your plate than you can handle,” or something like that.  I am not a religious person, nor am I sure if Phil Varone is.  What I do know is, if that saying is true, God gave Phil Varone one of the biggest plates ever in mankind.  From the height of rock ‘n’ roll stardom with bands like Saigon Kick and Skid Row to literally being on skid row in the throes of cocaine and sex addition and $1.57 in the bank, Phil Varone has survived more twists and turns in life than any man deserves, and finally seems to be coming out on top.  I sat down with Phil at this year’s AVN convention at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino where we discussed everything – including rock ‘n’ roll, celebrity sex tapes, sex addiction, and the best and worst lays of his life.  Enjoy the roller coaster ride!

ER:  We are at the porn convention, so let’s get right to it – who are the 3 hottest chicks in porn?

PV:  Allie Haze, Melissa Jacobs and Brittany Andrews.

ER:  You’re a Howard Stern fan, let’s play “F, Marry, Kill”.  Fuck one, marry one, kill one… Go!

PV:  I would probably marry Allie Haze.  I’d hate to kill either of the other two!  I just ran into Melissa and she looks so damn hot, I am going to have to fuck her tomorrow, so I guess I am going to have to kill Brittany, but I want to fuck her before I kill her!

ER:  You released a celebrity sex tape last year through Vivid, what’s that all about?

PV:  It’s called Phil Varone’s Secret Sex Stash and it’s basically my personal movies.  The original concept was to get a bunch of tour footage, which I have, but without getting releases we couldn’t put it out.  So I went to my stash of girls I regularly have sex with and a few of them wanted to try it, and I even got a couple from Facebook!  These chicks were like, “Hey, I saw you in Playgirl, and I really want to get with you in a movie.”  So we put together all these scenes, and when the movie was released, we started getting even more e-mails and we decided since the first one was nominated for an AVN award, that we are going to do part two.

ER:  Is part two going to be all groupies, porn chicks, just random hookups?

PV:  It’s all random groupie chicks, but no real porn chicks.  Some of the girls might have done a scene or something, but no one you would call a Porn Star!  One chick in particular… I think I created a monster.  She did her first scene with me, now she is out of control doing scenes.

ER:  Do you get a piece of her income now that you made her, like in vampire movies?

PV:  No piece of the action, but I do get to fuck her pretty much whenever I want to.  So that’s pretty much the plan:  I want to do part 2 on tour, when I am out promoting my toy line.  We are going to do a bunch of in-store promotions and then later at night go to rock clubs and pick up girls and shoot a bunch of scenes on the tour bus.

ER:  So this is kinda going to be like the old Bus Stop Tales porn, a bunch of regular girls down to do their first scene with you?

PV:  Yes, that’s pretty much it.  Most of the girls we meet on the road are into it.  I am just gonna ask them flat out:  “You want to fuck and be in the movie?”  And funny enough, we are kind of routing the national tour around girls who have already said yes.  I am constantly getting e-mails from girls who want to get in the business, know I am with Vivid, and want to be with Vivid, so it works out really well.

ER:  So between the Secret Stash and the Swingers Series you are shooting, this has pretty much become your own cottage industry?  All porn all the time?

PV:  Pretty much, I really love the business.  I am only a year into it, but I have to say, a few things really surprise me.  First, how great the business really is.  Now granted, I am with the greatest company in the world – Vivid, and Steven Hirsch (Owner / President) is an amazing businessman.  When we sit down to talk, it’s all about long-term plans, how we make money together, for him and for me.  There is no gimmicky bullshit.  They allow me to come to them with ideas, and if it makes business sense to Steven, we do it, simple as that.  I am really really grateful to Steven and everybody at Vivid for how professional they are and how well they treat me.  Second, most of the Vivid girls I have met are fantastic business people.  Whether it’s the signings, the movies, the contract deals… these girls are sharp.  I heard about the days of all the super-hot super-drugged-out porn stars, but personally, I haven’t seen it.  These girls have their husbands and boyfriends helping them with their careers and they are just total pros.

ER:  Do you look at Steven as a mentor you wish you had during your days in rock ‘n’ roll, or as a business advisor, friend, manager?

PV:  From day one, sitting down with Steven, I have learned so much about business.  Yes, it is the “adult” business, but no matter how you slice it, it’s business.  We’re selling a product just like when you are selling music.  The difference is that because it is my own production company, I handle everything.  Unlike in the music business, where you have managers and labels ripping you off, and band egos and all that other bullshit, I am pretty much my own boss, even though I work for Vivid.

ER:  The reason I am asking about managers and mentors is because I read your blog about “74 days with Bill Aucoin” (legendary manager of KISS).  He left us way too soon.  What did Bill give you in the very short time you knew him, which seems to have propelled you out of a very dark place (which we will talk about in a bit) to where you are now?

PV:  The thing Bill gave me the most was confidence and a new perspective, and to look at what I am capable of – especially when it comes to my comedy show called “The Sex Stand Up Rock & Roll Comedy Show”.  I have a great friend in New York, named Barbara, who made the original introduction.  When Bill read up on me, and listened to a couple of radio interviews, he really thought I had something special.  He loved the comedy angle, and the product angle, and everything I was trying to do with the show.  Then he compared what I was doing with how things were with the very early days of KISS.  Outside of phone conversations, I only met Bill for about an hour and we went over everything.  He came up with the idea for the tour, the product line, how big it could be, basically everything I wanted to do.  Then he told me that I had to do it bigger and better than everybody else.  It’s all about selling your product.  Bill gave me the confidence to believe I could really do this.  Sadly, a week after we met, he went into the hospital and we lost him.

ER:  Best and worst celebrity lay?

PV:  I dated a supermodel named Kylie Bax.  She was absolutely gorgeous, on the cover of Vogue like 80 times, and I dated her for a good while.  Man, we had a lot of fun.  She had a dog named Fendi, and we were here in Vegas on tour with Poison.  She met us in L.A. and rode on the bus with us and when we got to the hotel, we just went at it.  And Fendi is scratching away at the door – wouldn’t fuckin’ quit scratching – and finally figured out how to get in.  At the time, Kylie was the hottest chick on the planet, and in order to get her off, I mean really get her to orgasm hard, she liked it in the ass.  So I’m like, “I can oblige that.”  So we’re going at it hot and heavy and Fendi jumps up on the bed and starts humping my forearm while I am balls deep in Kylie.  So I’m like, “FUCK IT,” and just let the dog go until we finished.  Now I don’t know what category that falls into, threesome, bestiality, whatever…  all I know is, I wasn’t stopping for shit, no matter what! 

ER:  The worst?

PV:  I love her to death, Mary Carey.  She wanted to get together, so I went over to her house and we were going for it and she was just way too porn star for me.  All she wanted to do was cum.  Once she came, she was like, “Okay, I came, we’re done.  You gotta hurry up and finish.”  I was just getting into it and I could barely even finish, because I was under all this pressure.  And she was literally like, “You gotta finish.”  I was literally getting dressed with a boner still in a condom shoving it in my pants and she kicked me out of the house.  I absolutely love her to death, but that was a really weird experience.

ER:  Best and worst groupie story?

PV:  Best was for sure a mother/daughter in Detroit.  It was so good, I wrote about it in my book.  Short version:  I was flying from Florida to Vegas for Thanksgiving.  I was meeting my girlfriend here;  we were having Thanksgiving at Vince Neil’s house.  So I am sitting in Florida waiting for my flight and a really great looking older woman (I would say mid-50’s) approached me.  She sits next to me and she was DRUNK!  She starts telling me about her weekend where her and two other friends would come down to South Florida and just fuck a bunch of young guys while their husbands stay at home.  So I am like, ‘Who am I to judge?’  So we take off and she starts with, “I see by all your tattoos you must be a musician.  My daughter would LOVE you;  she is really into rock and roll.”  So I tell her we’re on tour and going to play Detroit, so maybe she could bring her daughter, and I would give them tickets to the show.  The flight goes on, she gets even more drunk and starts asking me how big my dick is.  I tell her I don’t talk about it and she says it must be really big, because most guys want to talk about their dicks.  She keeps rambling about her daughter and asks me if I am in the Mile High Club, and do I want to go in the bathroom and bang.  Now, we’re in First Class with 8 seats and EVERYBODY can hear her.  It was so embarrassing, I can’t even tell you.  Thankfully, the flight lands, we exchange numbers and I tell her to call me when we are in Detroit, and I will put her on the guest list.  Twenty minutes later my phone rings and it’s HER, telling me her daughter is here picking her up.  “I told her I met you.  She said she knows you.”  I said, ‘She knows the band?’  “No, my daughter said you fucked her 10 years ago.”  I was like, ‘I fucked your daughter 10 years ago?’  She said, “Yes, when you were in Saigon Kick.”  So how ironic is it that I had already had sex with the daughter?  Fast forward to the show in Detroit:  the mom and daughter come backstage, they leave the father out front, and mom says, “Listen, we want to blindfold you, and we are gonna both blow you, and we want you to tell us which one is better.”  Of course, for the goodness of mankind, I do it.  Mom wins, HANDS DOWN!  Now I gotta find a place to bang these two, because we were out in the parking lot.  So I go to Vince Neil’s dressing room and ask him if I can borrow his bathroom.  We start going at again, Mom on the toilet blowing me, me eating the daughter out, the works, when I realize I don’t have any condoms.  I can’t bang them, so I just figure I’ll let them finish me off, when the Mom slides underneath and starts eating the daughter’s pussy.  I’m like, ‘That’s it.  I’ve seen enough.’

ER:  Check, please!

PV:  I am thinking I can’t even tell this story;  no one is going to believe me!  We get out of the bathroom, I’m traumatized.  I get on the tour bus and I am telling the story, and the guys are like, “FUCK YOU.  You’re full of shit.”  So while I am telling the story the phone rings again and it’s them.  I put it on speaker and they thank me for bringing them closer, that they were going through some tough times and being with me really helped!

ER:  So you are a humanitarian!

PV:  Yes, I helped a family get closer!  I am giving back to society, and the band believes me!  

ER:  So is that the best and the worst? 

PV:  Maybe, I can’t really think of a worst.  I have an oddest.

ER:  Oddest will do.

PV:  I think we were at Sturgis, playing at the Full Throttle Saloon and this girl picks me up.  We go back to my room and while I’m fuckin’ her she starts telling me shit like:  “I bet you think you are Tommy Lee.  I watch you play and you are like a Tommy Lee Bitch.  You try to look like him, and act like him, and you are nowhere near as good as Tommy Lee.”  I ask her if she realizes she is fucking me right now?  She keeps going, calling me an asshole and a poser – shit like that.  So in the middle of fucking, I pick her up and throw her into the hallway, nude.  I grabbed her bag and threw it as far down the hallway as I could.  The tour manager opens his door, sees what I am doing, and just shakes his head and closes the door.

ER:  Who is on Phil Varone’s “To Do List”?

PV:  Heather Graham, I have it bad for her, man.  Julianne Moore, I have a fetish for red hair and freckles.

ER:  Lindsay Lohan?  She’s probably a really dirty fuck.

PV:  Hell yes, Lindsay Lohan, I would love to fuck her!  But Heather Graham is my bucket list.

ER:  Lindsay, if you are reading this, contact me and I will get you Phil’s number!  So you did last season on Sex Rehab with Dr. Drew.  Any great stories that ended up on the cutting room floor?

PV:  There really wasn’t much.  I kept my mouth shut.  I didn’t say a word, tried to lay low and to not to look like an idiot.

ER:  How was Californication with David Duchovny?

PV:  I gotta say, it was probably the coolest thing I have ever done!  I originally auditioned for the pilot and didn’t make it.  They called me back a year later and told me they had a part for me as a hungover rock star.  I didn’t need to go to method acting for that one!  So I went down, did the scene with Duchovny, and it was the coolest thing.

ER:  You have a big Facebook following and your Twitter is growing fast, any hookups via social media?

PV:  We met two or three that we ended up shooting for the video.  We are swingers, so we get a lot of messages on our swinger sites.  I mean, if I got a message and the chick was totally legit, I would definitely be down to meet with her, but really, not too many.

ER:  You did a movie called Waking Up Dead, chronicling your life on the road as a rock ‘n’ roll drummer and drug addict.  It was almost a tutorial for parents on what NOT to let their kids get into.  What was it really like for you during those 4 years?

PV:  When we were kids, it was SEX DRUGS and ROCK ‘N’ ROLL.  That’s what sold it.  Mötley Crüe is what got me into it.  Yes, sure we all wanted to be the rock stars and get all the chicks and get away with whatever we wanted.  However, there is another side.  Brett Michaels told me he didn’t know who he was anymore.  Was I this thing I created and played on stage every night, or was I this guy at home with a family?  You kind of live two lives:  my rock star guy, I named Hans, and then I was Phil.  I had a really hard time figuring out who Phil was until I finally quit the music business and got away from all the mayhem.  Finally I was able to adjust back to the guy I was when I started to play the drums, a young kid with a dream of being a drummer – not this crazy rock star drug addict nut-job that I turned into because I got my dream and I wanted to live it as hard as I could.  Luckily, I survived. 

ER:  So you got the dream, but you also got all the demons.  You were addicted to coke, you bottomed out, you busted out financially, and I remember seeing a picture of you with a bank statement with $1.57 on it…

PV:  That’s reality for a lot of us.  People think everybody is rich in the music business, but the reality is that only a very small percentage of people in the business are making all the money.  Even the biggest bands are broke.  The label gives you millions of dollars, but it’s an advance.  You have to pay for all the videos, the recording, the promotions, the everything.  Until you get out on the road and do some merchandising and some numbers, you never can really make any money.  The only way you can make money on the record deal is if you sell millions and millions of units consistently.  Saigon Kick sold millions of units, had gold records, and we still owe $900,000 or $1,000,000 to Atlantic

ER:  Are the Hip Hop guys doing it right?  The guys like Jay Z and Eminem, who own their own labels and brands?

PV:  Absolutely!  They are the REAL rock stars right now, and what’s great about them is they are great businessmen.  They own everything, no middlemen, and unlike bands and traditional record companies, they have total control over their product.  They are business first.  We were rock stars.  Rock bands would never do anything like a clothing line or an energy drink.  All we wanted to do was play music, do drugs, and get laid.  I really admire how successful some of those guys are.  

ER:  What is on Phil Varone’s iPod?

PV:  Believe it or not, only old stuff:  everything from Led Zeppelin to Chicago, ELO to Elton John.  I just like songs, great songs.  That’s the stuff I listen to.

ER:  You have been pretty much out of the music business since 2004.  Do you miss it, have an itch to get back in a band and go back on the road?

PV:  Sure, if I get a call to go back and do a few gigs here and there with some of the bands I played with, that might be fun.  But as far as getting a band together and trying to do it again, absolutely not!  I don’t want to be in a band with four other assholes anymore.  Because any way you slice it, you’re gonna hate the guys in the band, you’re going to have to deal with their attitudes and their bullshit.  I like the fact that I am running the show now, because since I started running the show I have done well for myself.  I’ve done a lot better than being in bands. 

ER:  So nothing to do with addiction, fear of relapsing, anything like that?  The fire is out?

PV:  No, I will say I do miss playing live, and I would play live if something came along that was FUN.  I would NEVER start a band again, start writing, recording, doing all the shit it takes to get started.

ER:  Who is the best musician you ever played with?

PV:  There have been a lot of really good musicians I got to play with.  One that stands out is when we toured with Cheap Trick and I got to jam with Rick Nielsen – that was really cool.

ER:  Road stories?

PV:  We had some fun stories when I was playing in Vince Neil’s solo band.  One night we were playing “Girls Girls Girls”, and all of a sudden I didn’t hear Vince anymore.  We’re playing and everybody is looking around wondering, “Where’s Vince?”  Then the tour manager, Jack Carson, tapped me while I was playing and told me to cut the show.  I asked, ‘Where’s Vince?’ and he said, “Oh, he’s on the bus, he didn’t want to sing anymore.”  I think he eventually came back out and we did a couple of songs, but that was hysterical.  But that’s why I love Vince.  Another time was when we were out on the Poison tour (with Skid Row) and Vince’s solo band was with us.  Poison had this strict rule that you couldn’t have any girls that Poison passed, (put a backstage pass on/marked their territory).  These girls – they were off limits.  So I guess my friend Alan who was playing bass for us broke the rule and banged one of the girls.  Well he got taken into a room with Rikki Rockett and Big John and they confronted him about the girls.  Now, it was the last day of the tour, and Vince Neil found out about it.  (Now this is vintage Mötley Crüe, and why I love Vince.)  Brett Michaels was signing autographs on his bus, sitting on the steps, and there was a huge line.  Vince barged right through the line, grabbed Brett by the neck and started choking him!  Brett was like:  “Vince, we can talk about this!”  Vince was like:  “FUCK YOU!  Don’t you ever take one of my fuckin’ guys that’s my band.  Big John came over and Vince punched him, then he punched Bobby Dall, and basically tried to beat up Poison by himself.  I was thinking this was the coolest thing ever!  It was unbelievable, but that’s Vince Neil.  And that’s what I love about him so much, he lives it, and what you see is what you get. 

ER:  Who haven’t you played with that you would like to?

PV:  Wow, there are so many.  Paul McCartney, for sure.  I auditioned for Ted Nugent – that was really great.  Too many to name.

ER:  Let’s get back to talking about your Comedy Show.  What makes it different and unique? 

PV:  My show is different because it marries different genres of entertainment:  music, comedy, and a little bit of sex.  What I found out when I started doing comedy is that it is very routine:  host/feature/headliner/goodnight – and it’s very boring to me.  So I thought, and I am a huge fan of the old variety shows, ‘Why not make it current and do a new version one-stop shop for entertainment?’  If you like rock stars, we got rock stars.  If you like adult stars, we got adult stars.  We have “A” list comics;  we put everything together and it worked!  In between acts we would give away gift bags with adult toys, we had audience participation, AND we have the hottest all-girl band in the world, JUST THE TIP, as the house band.  These are three smoking-hot chicks that shred, and I jump on the drums.  We started doing the show at midnights at The Improv, not knowing what we were doing.  Three years later, packing the place at 8pm, they moved the show to 10pm and packed every single night, but midnights were the best.  Dave Atell did the show and said it was the best crowd in L.A., hands down. 

ER:  Who are your favorite comedians?

PV:  Of all time?  Richard Pryor, Redd Foxx, Lenny Bruce… Carlin was the most brilliant writer.  More recently my friends are:  Chris D’Elia, Owen Benjamin, and Craig Gass.  There are so many great comics that the people haven’t really heard of yet that are about to break big.  I like edgier comics, so guys like Nick DiPaolo, all the New York guys. 

ER:  Where is Phil Varone going to be 5 years from today?

PV:  I honestly don’t plan that far, I make it a rule not to.  I am a Universe guy – if something is meant to happen, it will happen.  What happens, I don’t know, and I really don’t want to know.  I know about my right now.  Other than that, I don’t care.  I don’t schedule, and I don’t want to be disappointed.  I find that if you look forward to ifs and maybes, you get disappointed. 

ER:  Let me ask it this way.  You took a really bad beat in the music business;  it almost killed you a couple of times.  It busted you financially, and now you are in a place where your life has focus and structure and you still have the ability to have a great unique life.   But you have to have some goals?  Do you think the Universe owes you something?

PV:  No, I don’t think the Universe owes me anything.  I fucked up lots of times.  I am a karma guy and believe I am paying my debt back to the Universe.  The Universe has been very good to me lately.  It comes down to what you put out.  I do a lot in my private life to help others, do a lot of volunteering and charity work because I feel I need to give back.  Let’s be honest, I fucked A LOT in my life, and you have got to be accountable for what you do in your life.  I am not apologizing for what I did.  I am just giving back because I know what I did.  I can’t take it back, but I can pay it forward.  In 5 years, what I would like, is my production company to be successful.  I’d like to have a nice house to come home to and say, “WOW, I am living a good life!,” to be able to pay some bills, and spend time with my kids.  That’s all I want to do, live a good life, do what’s right, the best I can.  I am still gonna fuck up;  we are only human.  I want to the best I can with what I have learned.  That would be it for me.

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