Cevin Soling remembers Kevin DuBrow

Cevin Soling had Kevin Dubrow on the mellow cover of "Metal Health," which was played on WXRK, here in New York City in 1998.

"When Eric Clapton remade the song 'Layla' as an lazy accoustic ballad, I was quite horrified.  It sounded like a desperate way to cash in on an old classic and even without taking that into account, it was a terrible recording.  I thought it would be fun to parody Clapton by doing an accoustic cover of Metal Health.  The thought of producing a mellow head-banging anthem seemed similarly ludicrous.  As I got into working on the song with Bill Brandau, we really got into it.  We added strings and choir and exotic gongs until the song became epic.  I initially had several vocal ideas - apathetic slacker or Melissa Manchester kind of sounds.  I tried both, but the song wanted something more. 

The idea to contact Kevin Dubrow was made by my girlfriend at the time, Viveca Berger.  Bill and I tracked down Kevin in Las Vegas where he told me that he and Quiet Riot has just reunited after having been asked to play at a party held by Marilyn Manson who is a fan of theirs.  Apparently things worked out well and they were going back into the studio and they planned to do a new version of Metal Health.  I told him I wanted to send it to him regardless and he gave me his address and I fed-exed it to him.  The following day, he called me back all excited and told me he LOVED the new version and that it was such a completely different direction than what he was doing that his remake wouldn't be an issue and he pleaded with me to let him sing on it.

About a week later, I flew to Vegas.  He picked me up at my hotel and I was struck with how tall he was.  He also told me how he had a reputation for being obnoxious and difficult to work with, but that he had changed.  I had no knowledge of his past since I wasn't much of a Quiet Riot fan, but I found him to be very personal and easy to be around and he had an aura that demanded respect.  In the studio, he was a total pro and was willing to do as many takes as I wanted.  His voice was truly amazing.  I had no idea about the breadth of his vocal skills until seeing him there and the engineer in the studio was also impressed and amazed.  After we selected the best takes, he left so that I could work with the engineer.  I can't remember how I got back to the hotel.

The song got picked up by a number of major stations when it was released, but somehow was neglected by VH-1 when they did their crappy little Behind the Music story on Quiet Riot.  Kevin was happy with how the song came out, but I didn't manage to keep up with him too much after that."