Star-Bulletin Features

Friday, March 30, 2001


New, improved Ratt
in ‘vacation rock-out’
at Gussie’s

By John Berger

No warm-blooded animal is more tenacious and adaptable than the rat. Bobby Blotzer, a founding member of the band Ratt, sees the key to success as being able to follow the example of the band's four-legged mascot.

Ratt played Blaisdell Arena when they came through Honolulu in their glory days back in the '80s. The band never did much on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, but its first album for Atlantic Records, "Out of the Cellar," sold more than 3 million copies in 1984 and was on the pop album chart for more than a year. Three other Ratt albums sold more than a million copies each between 1985 and 1988.

Eventually came several years of separate projects, then reconciliation. Old-time Ratt loyalists rallied. The touring began. Ratt started recording again and returned to the pop charts with a self-titled album. And then, just four days before the band was supposed to hit the road again for a tour supporting a second single off the album, vocalist Stephen Pearcy quit the group.

"That shut us down for about seven months of 2000, but since then we've been out introducing the new lineup of the band, and it's been going fabulously. We just completed a 2 1/2-month tour, took a week off, and now we're coming to Hawaii," Blotzer said earlier this week.

Ratt opens a four-nighter at Gussie L'Amour's tomorrow.

"It's a vacation rock-out for us before we go to Europe with Alice Cooper in April. Gussie's is not like the normal places we play, but we had a great time last time we played there, and it's nice to just get over there and enjoy the island and rock out for everybody. We've played Blaisdell, but it's fun to be right up in (the audiences') face, and you sweat all over everyone, and it's kind of cool.

"In the spring and summer, we'll be out playing the outdoor package tours in front of anywhere from 5,000 to 15,000 people, so our schedule is kind of the best of both worlds."

Ratt fans know that Blotzer and guitarist Warren DeMartini are the originals and that bassist Robbie Crane has been with them since 1997. The new guys are guitarist John Corabi and vocalist Jizzy Pearl.

A trip to the Ratt Web site ( turns up a number of reviews by fans saying that Pearl, a veteran of Love/Hate, another vintage L.A.-based rock band, is a better singer and all-around nicer guy than Pearcy. Consider the source -- like, would Ratt really post a "Jizzy Sucks!" review on their site? -- but it still sounds promising. With Blotzer and DeMartini as the core, Ratt 2001 already has more credibility than a bunch of the "oldies acts" that have played Honolulu in recent years.

"The band has never sounded better. We sound closer to the record than we've ever sounded," is Blotzer's assessment.

Are we up for hearing "Lay It Down" and "Round and Round" and "Lovin' You's a Dirty Job" one more time? Absolutely!

In concert

Who: Ratt
Dates: 9 nightly tomorrow through through Tuesday
Place: Gussie L'Amour's, 3251 N. Nimitz Highway
Admission: $24 for Saturday ($20 pre-sale); $20 other nights. A $17 pre-sale pass is good for all April shows. Pre-sale passes available at Gussie's and Gold Zone Wahiawa. Free admission to anyone wearing a rat bone necklace. Minimum age: 21.
Call: 836-7883

Do It Electric
Click for online
calendars and events.

E-mail to Features Editor

Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]

© 2001 Honolulu Star-Bulletin