Razzle, who had just turned 24, could not have been happier.
The drummer of Hanoi Rocks, real name Nicholas Dingley, was realizing his great dream: he traveled with a Finnish band on their first American tour.
Razzle didn’t know that tour would be interrupted in the scariest way possible.
Ari Väntänen's new book Razzle - The Story of the Hanoi Rocks legend (Like 2020) dives into the last moments of a British drummer who died too young in the city of his dreams, Los Angeles.
Lived in late 1984. The tour of Hanoi Rocks had begun on the East Coast, but the misfortune immediately stepped into the picture.
The band’s singer Michael Monroe broke his ankle at the gig.
He tried to perform with a broken leg, but it proved challenging.
The band had to cancel a few gigs.
- I didn't want to do any more gigs because the gang wouldn't have got their money's worth when I jumped in pain with one leg.
That is, Hanoi Rocks played the last gig of the round in Cleveland, which was also Razzle's last gig, Monroe says in Väntänen's book.
Razzle’s joining the Hanoi Rocks did the band just fine.
Razzle pictured right. Image: Simon Fowler
Following the cancellation of the gigs, the band decided to head to sunny Los Angeles to give interviews and celebrate.
Razzle was so excited he wouldn’t have been patient to stay in his fields.
Los Angeles was everything a British rocker who had grown up on windy Isle of Wight had ever dreamed of.
In the new book, the band's rouder Timo Kaltio says that he still remembers Razzle's fatal words, which he uttered when the plane landed in Los Angeles - just a day before the shocking accident.
- On a flight to Los Angeles, I sat next to Razzle and mixer Mick Staplehurst.
When the plane landed, Razzle said: "I've always wanted to be in LA.
After this day, it is exactly the same, even if I die, ”Kaltio recalls.
The band was supposed to meet the local rock size Mötley Crüe in the city of angels.
In the book, friend Harry “Happen’s” Harry Harrison says that the Razzle had already had time to glow the meeting in Chicago, where they had sat down in the evening to celebrate Razzle’s 24th birthday.
- Razzle talked a lot about Vince Neil and said countless times: “I can’t wait to see Vince.
That's the cool type.
As soon as I get to Los this week, I'll call you and send you a plane ticket.
The Sun has to come there to hang out with me and Vince, ”Harrison describes in the book.
Razzle dreamed of one day living in Los Angeles.
The city of angels eventually became the city where he lost his life. Photo: Juha Kärkkäinen
Michael Monroe last saw Razzle in the lobby of the Frank Plaza Hotel after they arrived in Los Angeles.
Razzle looked forward to meeting the next day with the boys of Mötley.
- Razzle couldn't wait for the next day.
We were in the hotel lobby when Razzle said he was going to sleep so he could dance the next day.
“Awesome to be in LA!
I wished Razzle a good night.
It was the last time I saw him, Monroe says in a novelty book.
The day dawned warm.
Kaltio, who worked as a roudar, recalls that he had heard of Razzle's last movements just a moment before Razzle had left to celebrate.
- I was in the same room with Mick Staplehurst and too tired to do anything.
When I finally went to the hotel lobby, everything was already gone.
I didn’t know where and couldn’t figure it out in any way, so I stayed at the hotel and took it easy.
It later emerged that Razzle had wanted to visit the Mötley Crüe.
The new book reveals that the long-haired Razzle loved speed, pranking and dangerous situations. Photo: Jimbo Gimson
Hanoi Rocks bassist Sam Yaffa says in the news book that Razzle asked him to go greet Mötley Crüe singer Vince Neil.
- Razzle said he was going to meet Vince and asked me to come along.
Vince came to pick us up in front of the hotel in a sports car with only two seats.
Vince said there is no room for three.
Yaffa is skinny, it can sit on my lap, ”Razzle said, and I sat.
We drove around Los Angeles that way and then went to Vince’s on Redondo Beach, Yaffa recalls in the book.
Vince Neil was 23 at the time, and Mötley Crüe lived his golden years of popularity.
Razzle and Yaffa spent the evening with Vince Neil on the balcony of his lavish home.
- Vince's pregnant wife put on a little food, and we drank a shot and burned a little grass on the balcony.
We talked to Razzle about the band and that maybe things weren’t very bad and that maybe we should persevere and see what happens with the record and otherwise.
We talked about how awesome the band we have and that we loved everyone in it, Yaffa says in the novelty book.
At some point, Yaffa remembers being extinguished.
Meanwhile, Razzle made the decisive decision to go with Vince Neil to buy more drinks.
The intoxicated duo jumped on the singer-star-looking Pantera model year 1972, and giggled laughing and chatting at Redondo Beach toward the store.
Vince Neil in 1984.Picture: GP / MPI / Capital pictures / MVPhotos
After a successful booze trip, Vince Neil turned the speeding back home.
According to the book, the rocker, who was driving in Bilehumu, accelerated his car to 104 kilometers per hour in the 40-kilometer restricted area.
One second changed everything: Vince Neil lost control of his Pantera with fatal consequences at 600 Esplanade, Redondo Beach.
According to the book, he drifted into the lane leading north, colliding with two vehicles.
The crash site smoked and looked shocking.
The night in Los Angeles echoed in silence at that moment.
The sounds of emergency vehicles soon approached, and the badly injured Razzle was transported to South Bay Hospital.
He died less than an hour after the accident.
He was pronounced dead at 19:12 local time.
Vince Neil, for his part, survived with fewer injuries.
He was arrested on suspicion of death and drunk driving.
At the time of the accident, according to the novelty book, his blood contained 1.7 per mille of alcohol, well above the permissible limit of 1.0 per mille.
Neil was soon released on bail of $ 2,500.
He was later transferred to prison for a month as a result of the incident.
Pictured are Razzle and his girlfriend Chris Bowen in August 1984.Picture: Thomas Ian Murdock
Hanoi Rocks was scheduled to perform at the Los Angeles Palace, which was sold out.
That gig never came.
Hanoi Rocks manager Seppo Vesterinen commented on the shocking accident in the Rolling Stones magazine.
- Razzle liked drinking and living a fast, dangerous life.
That's how he wanted to live.
He was a very traditional rock'n'roll person, the manager commented.
Neil later also dedicated the Mötley Crüen Theater of Pain album to the memory of Razzle.
The rest of the gigs on the Hanoi Rocks tour were canceled, and Razzle’s body was transported to his home region of Isle of Wight, England.
From there, the rock legend got its last resting place.