Three RATTs and a lawsuit: The Night Flight vault revisits happier times

By on October 27, 2015

April 1985: Long before bruised egos and decades of internal conflict conspired to create not one, not two, but three versions of RATT, lead singer Stephen Pearcy and rhythm guitarist Robbin Crosby dropped by Night Flight’s cramped New York studios to tape an interview for the popular weekly, half-hour segment “Hit Parader’s Heavy Metal Heroes.”

The 28-minute taping showcases the band, post Out Of The Cellar and pre-Invasion Of Your Privacy, which would be released a few months later in June.

At this point in time, RATT were firing on all cylinders and second only to Mötley Crüe, in popularity among their peers. Their management wisely decided to license the band’s 1983 independently produced, self-titled EP, to (RATT’s record label) Atlantic Records to fill in some time between releases. The rear cover was updated with a current photo of the band and somewhat surprisingly, a music video was produced for “You Think You’re Tough.”

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During the Night Flight interview, Pearcy reveled that the live footage was filmed on New Year’s Eve 1984 at Long Beach Arena. Ozzy Osbourne, Mötley Crüe members Tommy Lee and Nikki Sixx, Ozzy guitarist (and former RATT member) Jake E. Lee, along with various Scorpions members and drummer Carmine Appice all appear in the well-edited clip.

Speaking of Mötley and Ozzy, this Night Flight interview contains a previously unknown nugget for their die-hard fans. Apparently, RATT were added to the March 18, 1984 Salt Lake City stop of the now legendary Bark At The Moon/Shout At The Devil tour, specifically to tape their appearance on the long-forgotten syndicated TV show, “Rock Palace.”

Following the makeshift performance, four-fifths of the band flew back to Los Angeles, while Robbin was kidnapped by Mötley Crüe and traveled on their bus for a few days.

It’s now well known that both Crosby and his roommate, Mötley bassist Nikki Sixx were in the throes of heroin addition and one can’t help but wonder if the delivery of drugs was the main conduit behind this decision.

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Sadly, the previously mentioned “Rock Palace” broadcast — along with this Night Flight interview — make up the extent of RATT’s North American, non-MTV TV appearances throughout the original tenure of the band. It’s quite likely, RATT would have sustained their Crüe-like popularity, had they made more of an attempt to do more promotion and grant extensive media access.

Case-in-point, an unreleased pro-shot video from an August 1985 RATT concert still sits in the archives and would easily generate a large amount of interest among the fan base, should it ever be released commercially.

Stephen Pearcy released his autobiography in 2013, titled Sex, Drugs, Ratt & Roll: My Life in Rock. He left RATT that same year, just shortly after the return of long-time bassist Juan Croucier, and is currently touring solo as “The Voice of RATT.”

Robbin Crosby left RATT in 1991 and by 1994 he was diagnosed as being HIV-positive. He died on June 6, 2002, at the age of 42 from HIV-related complications and a heroin overdose.

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About Curt Gooch

Curt Gooch has coauthored three books, the latest of which has been optioned for a feature film titled Spinning Gold. Additionally, He works in the clip licensing industry where his knowledge of rare rock and roll footage has rescued over 500 hours of never-before-seen vintage pop culture elements. Curt has appeared on camera on VH1 as well as licensed footage to over 100 different shows/networks.