Razzle, real name Nicholas Dingley, was just a 22-year-old British young man when he got to play in the ranks of the much-admired Finnish band Hanoi Rocks.
Ari Väntänen's new book Razzle - The Story of the Hanoi Rocks legend (Like 2020) delves into the life filled with Razzle's rock dreams, which ended only at the age of 24 in a fatal crash in the car of Mötley Crüe's cam character.
Razzle only had time to play for less than two years at Hanoi Rocks before his death.
Those times, however, were the fulfillment of dreams for the gently described Razzle.
In 1982, Hanoi Rocks also played a lot in Finland.
According to the newsletter, for Razzle, who grew up on the Isle of Wight in Britain, the whole of Finland was a mystery - he didn't even know where the country was located.
- I had never been outside England before I left with the band.
It was really weird.
I didn't know where Finland was even before I traveled there, Razzle admitted in an interview with OK magazine in November 1982, according to the newsletter.
The photo was taken on Razzle's last birthday on December 2, 1984 in Chicago.
He then turned 24. Image: Sean Manton Collection.
The first band photos with Razzle were taken in Esplanadi Park in Helsinki, near the Svenska Teatern.
The first Finnish gig was played in Nivala, Northern Ostrobothnia.
The book tells us that on the way there, Razzle sat on a tour bus and looked at the scenery from the window without believing his eyes.
- Forest… forest… forest… lake!
Forest… forest… forest… lake!
Razzle wondered according to the book.
- Razzle had a great mood at the gig.
He had a girl in both armpits and he said that Timo, I love this country, the band’s rouder Timo Kaltio recalls in the book.
Finland was a cultural shock to Razzle.
In England, you could go to the bar for a drink before the gig, but in 1982 you were not allowed to do so in Finland.
- There was only coffee and pork monks.
"Couldn't I just have a drink here?"
Razzle asked the staff.
“Et.,” Kaltio laughs in the book.
Hanoi Rocks in his first group photo in Finland on September 4, 1982. From left to right Mike Monroe, Nasty Suicide, Sam Yaffa, Razzle and Andy McCoy.Photo: Hans Paul
The band members also could not help but preach at the expense of the British rocker.
In the book, Hanoi Rocks singer Michael Monroe reveals that they taught Razzle to order beer in Finnish in a very special style.
- It wanted to know how to order Bisse in Finnish, and we were taught to say “smell the fuck” or something similar.
Then Razzle wondered why everyone was rude to him when he tried to order a drink, Monroe laughs in the book.
One of the most legendary moments took place on the Saarijärvi stage.
The band’s bassist Sam Yaffa recalls in the book that to get to the gig venue you had to drive a couple of hours through the forests filled with lakes, turn onto the forest road towards a huge sand dune that was about 200 meters wide and 30 meters deep.
The bus drove down to the hill and up from the other side.
- Razzle looked at that landscape from the bus window and asked in confusion that what exactly is this, Yaffa reveals in the book.
Hanoi Rocks performing in Finland in 1982. Photo: Markku Bärman
The venue had previously been a barn.
Now at one end was a bar, and at the other a stage.
- We got off the bus in front of it, took Bisset and waited for the crew to put the stuff up.
I sat with Razzle on the porch, and it asked Yaffa, where do people really come from here?
I had already played there a couple of times and pointed my finger at the forest.
Razzle looked at me and said you can’t be serious.
They come from there, ”Yaffa recalls telling the confused Razzle.
After the soundcheck, the band sat in the same place again, at about eight in the evening.
The audience began to flow towards the venue.
That’s when Razzle faced an amazing vision.
- Soon a hundred people approached us like in a Peckinpah movie.
Razzle looked at them with a beer in his hand, said he was going on the bus and left.
It was really amusing, Yaffa says in the book.
- Suddenly boys and girls with Michael Monroe hairstyles and Nasty Suicide wefts appeared in the forest, and they were all in terrible roar.
It was completely new to Razzle, Michael Monroe says.
Hanoi Rocks got excited about fan letters in 1983. Pictured from left to right are Michael Mike Monroe, Nasty Suicide, Razzle, Andy McCoy and Sam Yaffa. Photo: Erkki Raskinen
Razzle only had good memories of the cold North, even though he did not know anything about Finland in advance.
- I had some idea about Finnish dance stages, because I had read about them in English magazines in connection with Hanoi stuff.
But still, those more logged in the mountain cup had to be seen for themselves to believe them to be true.
There was nothing to laugh about.
But the reception from the audience was really excellent.
The outfit was also hugely young, Razzle admitted to Favorite in 1982.
The memories were good despite the fact that in the 80's the long-smelling, dark and jagged Razzle aroused many reactions in Finns.
For once, he even ran away strangely behaved Finns.
- Razzle told a story that had happened on his first trip to Finland.
She had gone herself for a walk in decent glamor, and some people had been angry at her appearance and left behind, literally chasing Razzle!
It had reportedly been scary, Razz had run for his life.
I don’t know the exact venue, but it sounded like just that scene in the Frankenstein monster movie with angry villagers with torches, musician Ray Zell says in the book.
For Razzle, the trip to Finland was a memorable experience. Photo: Juha Kärkkäinen
Hanoi Rocks had a huge fan base in Finland.
A gift from a fan even left Razzle as a permanent travel companion.
- At our first Finnish gig, I got a little teddy bear from a girl with a pink bow around her neck.
It’s been touring the world with me, it’s a teddy bear, Razzle told OK in 1983.
In a favorite interview, Razzle mentioned that Finns are a great nation, but the climate is cold.
Razzle himself dreamed of change under the warm sun of Los Angeles.
- Of the peoples of Europe, Finns are mainly British in nature.
But we are not a Finnish but an international band.
I enjoy Helsinki, it's nice and nice there.
Finland is a damn cold place, Razzle described in Favorite in 1982.