Acclaimed Finnish glam/hard rockers HANOI ROCKS will release a new edition of their autobiography, “All Those Wasted Years”. This new version, which will be specially packed with two previously unreleased recordings on a seven-inch single, a newly penned note from singer Michael Monroe and an updated chapter, will be available through Cleopatra Records on Friday, September 29 at this location.
“All Those Wasted Years” chronicles HANOI ROCKS from birth to their early demise, following the untimely death of drummer Nicholas “Razzle” Dingley, to their triumphant resurrection — as told by the band members themselves. The new edition has been translated into English and published in a gorgeous 348-page hardcover book featuring rare and never-seen-before photos.
Monroe, who turned 60 in June 2022, celebrated the milestone with a bang on September 23, 2022 at the Helsinki Ice Hall (Helsingin Jäähalli) in Finland. As the grand finale of the concert, the original lineup of HANOI ROCKS took the stage: Monroe, Andy McCoy, Sami Yaffa, Nasty Suicide and Gyp Casino. Prior to that night’s performance, the quintet, which started a historic chapter in the world’s music scene, was last seen on stage at Helsinki’s Tavastia on July 27, 1982.
Monroe discussed the HANOI ROCKS reunion during a September 2022 appearance on SiriusXM‘s “Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk”. Regarding how the gig came about, he said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “What happened was Sami Yaffa and Nasty Suicide were gonna be there anyway (for the DEMOLITION 23 reunion), since Sami is in my band playing the bass. I met with Gyp Casino, the original drummer from HANOI, in Stockholm last December when we were filming my documentary… (He is) a cool guy (and I have) nice memories (of playing with him). And I invited him over to do something (at the gig). And then Andy McCoy, he called me. He invited himself. He said, ‘I heard you’ve got this 60th-birthday celebration. If I have time from my world tour, I may have time to show up and maybe I’ll come and do ‘Tragedy’.’ (And I said) ‘Okay. Whatever. Fine.’ So then I started thinking about it. I said, ‘Wow. That would be actually cool. All the guys will be there, the original lineup. Why don’t we do a few HANOI songs in the end?’ And then we were gonna have it as a surprise, and everybody agreed. This was the only way and the only time to do it, for the right reasons. Then Sami Yaffa told me one night, ‘Are you sure you don’t wanna let people know ahead of time? Because if fans find out about this later on afterwards, they’re gonna be pissed off.’ So I said, ‘You’re right. We should let people know.’ The Ice Hall in Helsinki was already over half sold out, but then we had this press conference, and I had Gyp Casino come over too — all five of us — and it was fun. It was surreal to be with everybody right there — all five of us together — after 40 years. It was amazing. It felt really cool, actually. It was fun. And we announced that the end of the show will be the original lineup doing a set of HANOI songs. The next day, it was all sold out and everybody wants to be there.”
Monroe and McCoy founded HANOI ROCKS in the late 1970s and the band’s original lineup was established in 1980. HANOI ROCKS, the first Finnish rock band to make an international breakthrough, recorded their first three albums with the original lineup: “Bangkok Shocks, Saigon Shakes, Hanoi Rocks” (1981),“Oriental Beat” (1982) and “Self Destruction Blues” (1982). Casino was replaced in 1982 by Nicholas “Razzle” Dingley who became an integral member of HANOI ROCKS. Razzle died in a tragic accident in 1984. Unfortunately, this led to the band’s untimely demise in early 1985.
HANOI ROCKS did reform once before in 2002, albeit with only Monroe and McCoy from the band’s classic lineup, and released a comeback album, “Twelve Shots On The Rocks”. The reunion lasted until 2009.
In a 2019 interview with Duke TV, Monroe stated about the band’s “rebirth” two decades ago: “It was not planned. It just happened. I would never do a reunion to cash in on the reunion, so to speak, to cash in on the old name. It was interesting for me to see what we could accomplish with Andy because he had learned to respect my songwriting abilities, which he didn’t in the past. It was cool to see what we could do. We had some old Ideas, like from 1984, that we had left over, that I remembered, that we reworked and made into songs. Then it started slipping into the same old ‘you’d be nothing without me’ and all that shit. I was, like, ‘Are you sure you want to start this? Let’s do some farewell tours.’ I was ready to commit to that for the rest of my life if it had continued being fun, but it came to a point where it wasn’t fun anymore, so I called Andy and said, ‘Let’s put this thing to bed.'”
He continued: “After that, I haven’t seen him. We haven’t had much to do with him, unless it was business with HANOI or something that has to be taking care of, our name in the paper — fine; we’ll deal with that. Obviously, we’re not the best of friend-friends, not like with Sami. Sami, Nasty and me had this bond that was created in the first half of a year of HANOI ROCKS when we started living in the streets of Stockholm homeless. That made us had this street gang kind of vibe. Us against the world, looking out for each other.”
Photo credit: Ville Juurikkala (courtesy of Wilful Publicity)