Where Are They Now Files: Chris Holmes

Posted on September 14, 2010

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Many people remember Chris Holmes as the drunk guy in the swimming pool in the documentary film titled Decline of the Western Civilization, Part II: The Metal Years. Others simply know him as the former guitarist of WASP. There’s a good deal more you should know about Chris, as he is a staple in what blanketed the Sunset Strip Rock Scene in the 80’s.

When the 1970’s were coming to a close, the Sunset Strip rock scene in Hollywood California was ramping up for the heyday in was to become. (Boy, I miss those days).  Artists from outside the Hollywood fringe, as it wasn’t the hot rock spot yet, were out in force. Hailing from Pasadena were artists like Van Halen, whom we know from their obvious contribution to rock and roll, and some you have never heard of like Buster Savage, LAX and Slave. Those last three have a great importance to the rock climate.

Pasadena is about on hour away from Sunset Boulevard, but none less it’s very important. This particular place is where Chris Holmes comes in to the picture. From that little old town of Pasadena, Chris Holmes would meet Steven Duren (Blackie Lawless) and become a member of the band Sister. The first known rock act out of Hollywood to adopt the pentagram, the guys would form a bond with guitarist Randy Piper that continues to surface to this day. While things never stay the same, line-up changes and disgruntled rock stars would fall about the scene with different acts, but by 1983, Holmes would find himself in WASP with Lawless, Piper and drummer Tony Richards.

Chris’ reign of dominance in WASP would conquer the world; tour after tour until MTV considered him dropped off the map when in 1990, after the Headless Children Tour, Holmes called it quits with WASP. So where is he now?

The fact is – he never dropped off the map. Immediately after his departure from WASP, Chris assembled the band Psycho Squad. Short lived, but poignant, he released a 4 song EP to commemorate the union of the four artists in the band and the frustration of people who didn’t meet his expectations or work ethic led Chris to take a vacation from metal stardom for a little while. He also married and divorced Lita Ford.

1996 rolled around and Chris was ready to rock. Rejoining WASP for five successful years, he again departed to take part in LA Guns in 2002 and bought a place in Ohio to record with his old guitar-mate Randy Piper in a project called Animal. Reminiscent of what they are best known for,  the duo kicked out a strong album for the metal scene with great reviews! This still doesn’t end the mans career. He rocks on.

In 2003, as a founding member of the rock scene we all celebrate – Chris joined the Big Ball All Stars and also helped to create the living remembrance of his dear friend Randy Rhoads in the Peter Margolis film about the young guitar legend.

In 2009 he played across the scene again with a revamped Psycho Squad to a great response and recorded with a number of artists throughout Los Angeles, keeping his head low and his guitar high. In 2009 he made his debut on vocals recording “They All Lie And Cheat” with Philthy Animal.

Also, a key distinction that marks Chris’ style and appearance is his Red Ibanez Destroyer guitar – which he still owns. Photographed for posterity over and over by legendary photographer Neil Zlowzower, Chris has lent it to use by Eddie Van Halen for the Women and Children First” album and to this day it is still a prized possession.

So where is Chris now? Obviously, to what seems like public dismay – he isn’t drunk in a gutter. He’s a pro dude! He’s recording and touring with Secret Society and you can see the legendary guitars he’s toured with at his Myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/chris_meanman_holmes

The Mean Man Still ROCKS! And now … you know where he is!

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