The streets of the Isle of Wight were trampled in the golden 70s by a British youth named Nicholas Dingley.
Later, the long-haired rocker became known as Razzle, and he rose to world fame as the drummer of the Finnish band Hanoi Rocks.
Ari Väntänen's new book The Story of the Legend of Razzle - Hanoi Rocks (Like 2020) delves into Razzle's journey from Isle of Wight to Los Angeles and his rock-filled life, which ended only at the age of 24 in a fatal crash in Mötley Crüe's cam.
The British young man, who played drums on patrol at a young age, made his way to Hanoi Rocks to the point that Razzle admired the band and worked hard to get to its ranks.
We lived in the early 80's, when the Swedish drummer Gyp Casino played in the band.
The band had already gained such a foothold in the music world that they were facing a tour of the British.
There, according to the book, Razzle first saw the band in West Hampstead at the Moonlight Club in 1981, and was immediately sold.
The new book written by Ari Väntänen describes how Razzle became a world-renowned drummer. Photo: Handout
In the book, Väntönen describes that by 1982, everyone in Hanoi Rocks and those close to them knew that if the band wanted to continue, things had to change.
Soon, rumors of the band’s cracking lines also reached the 22-year-old enthusiastic and kind-hearted Razzle.
- He said he heard a rumor that Hanoi was considering changing the drummer.
Razzle never mentioned what he had heard of, but that’s why he wanted to offer to Gyp’s place, a friend of Razzle says in the book.
When the roads of Hanoi Rocks singer Michael Monroe and Razzle first met, Razzle decided to take the opportunity and introduce himself.
- I had been trying to put together such a band for years.
I had seen pictures of Hanoi in English newspapers and it looked like a band I could join.
At the gig, the matter immediately became clear.
I met Mike in Marque at a Thunders gig, and then I went to their hotel to meet Andy and Mike and got along really well with them, Razzle said in an 1982 interview, according to the book.
This is what Hanoi Rocks looked like before Razzle: pictured from left to right are Nasty Suicide, Gyp Casino, Mike Monroe, Sam Yaffa and Andy McCoy.
Michael Monroe, for his part, recalls in the book that their encounter was quite foggy.
- The night I met Razzle for the first time, I was in a rare bad condition.
I had vomited probably sixteen times because one of the guys from Putney had given me something that got me sore, Monroe recalls in the book.
- You have a great band.
I've been looking for just such for three years.
The band is really good, but the drummer is wrong, and you have to take mut as a drummer!
Monroe says Razzle glowed at him.
According to Hanoi Rocks bassist Sam Yaffa, interviewed for the book, drummer Gyp Casino at the time was not excited about “living in flea hotels without money and hot water and being in the moonlight 24/7”.
Razzle thought it was just perfect again - and on top of all that, he was persistent.
Razzle had gotten his hands on the band's phone numbers, and called them non-stop.
- We haven't looked for a new drummer yet, but that guy, Razzle, was really stubborn, Yaffa recalls.
Hanoi Rocks gig in 1982.Picture: Dick Lindberg
- Razzle got a phone number in Hanoi and tormented them even when the band was not yet sure how to work with Gyp.
Nasty (the band's guitarist at the time), who was Gyp's guy, once grabbed the handset and told Razzle to fuck.
Nasty must have thought my cheeky engelsman was trying to force his friends out of the band.
At that point, Razzle thought he was mocking his chances, but he kept training until he knew the songs, a friend of Razzle recalls.
Soon Razzle was rewarded with a call he had been waiting for.
Monroe and McCoy decided to give Razzle a chance, and the trio met at the Julius Ceasar Hotel in London, where the band lived.
The thing went well, and everything went best.
Playing drums naturalized from Razzle even in a tight spot.
The photo was taken on Razzle's last birthday on December 2, 1984 in Chicago.
He then turned 24. Image: Sean Manton Collection.
Of course, Monroe and McCoy wanted to see how Razzle made the call.
For a test call to the Townhouse Studios, Razzle arrived with heavily makeup, black red on his lips and platform boots on his feet.
The playing didn’t quite go as desired, as Razzle, who played in raucous punk bands, might have had more enthusiasm than skill at that point.
To his surprise, others, for example, did not erect a hi-hat at all because he “didn’t really like it”.
- This time Tragedy sounded awful.
I wonder if you can creator… nice dude and look good, but not very advanced drumming.
Then the pub opposite the studio became a rescue: people who brought cloud and cider.
- We drank and burned and played again, and it worked better.
We played even more, and it started to sound really good already.
We realized we just have to work out.
It wasn’t that Razzle was such a bad drummer that it wasn’t worth it to us.
It had played in bands before, but The Dark, for example, was quite nonsense.
Hanoi was different from Razzle’s previous bands, Andy’s songs are highly matched, Sam Yaffa explains in the book.
Michael Monroe and Sam Yaffa share their memories of Razzle in Ari Väntänen's new book. Photo: Pasi Kostiainen
The work started to be patted, and Razzle was getting a place in the band of his dreams.
Gyp Casino left, and Razzle immediately jumped in his place.
- I'm not a good drummer, but the guys gave me a chancel.
And I learned all the time, according to the book, Razzle said happily in an 1983 interview with OK magazine.
According to the newsletter, Razzle wanted more than anything else to support himself with music.
That’s where Hanoi Rocks gave great lunches.
- I had really good luck.
When I joined the band, it had already done the groundwork and was just about to take off.
I knew as soon as I saw Hanoi that it had my band in it.
I was sure Hanoi Rocks had been born at just the right time, Razzle said.
Razzle’s joining the Hanoi Rocks did the band just fine.
Razzle pictured right. Image: Simon Fowler
It was soon clear that the band’s lines had re-formed.
The proud, all-loving Razzle was a welcome breeze to the band’s chemistry.
- Razzle moved to Hanoi, turned the whole thing around.
It’s important what kind of people there are in the band and how they feel about life and playing.
Razzle was a genuinely kind-hearted and lovely guy who made everyone around him happy.
It was very rare for Razzle to be angry about anything over five minutes, Sam Yaffa praises in the book.
According to Razzle’s former bandmate Ed Carnihan, one notable thing set Razzle apart from other line rockers who had big dreams but may not have the will to beat themselves through.
- Most musicians dream of success at least at some point, but Razzle had a plan in addition to the dream.
He had enough faith and drive to push his way through the crowd to the front line, Carnihan says in the book.
Eventually, Razzle managed to play in the band of his dreams in just under two years, as he died in a tragic crash at Redondo Beach in Los Angeles at just 24 years old.