Radio Daze : 4 – Child’s Play

Child’s Play was a minor success out of where I grew up: the Greater Washington DC area. Hailing from Baltimore, they were signed to major label Chrysalis and released “Rat Race” in 1989, which is a pretty good collection of songs from “good old boys playin’ good old rock and roll”. It was nothing particularly special for the time, but it’s solid stuff. I still enjoy the album.

When I was Metal Dude at WXJM, Child’s Play was doing a local area tour. Someone in Harrisonburg had converted an old building/hotel into a rock-and-roll bar. I interviewed and saw Wrathchild America there when they did a 4-date acoustic tour (as those were the rage) to promote the “3-D” album. Saw a few other bands, including Child’s Play.

I got to sit down with Nikki Kay, John Allen, and Idzi (Brian Jack was nowhere to be found). Excellent dudes, especially John – I recall him as very considerate, humble, good dude. Honestly, I wasn’t familiar with the band much prior to this night, but I became a big fan. John played drums and sang. When introducing the song “Pay Your Dues”, John was dedicating it and called me out as a part of it – I felt special. 🙂  It was a cool moment, these rock stars calling ME out. Excellent set – high energy, kick-ass rock and roll.

I recall their manager bitching to me about various things.

He was bitching about the record company. He and the band wanted to release “My Bottle” as a single, but the record company refused and he was pissed about it. He was like “they release all these George Thorogood songs about booze, why not this?”.  Well… I can understand why. Listen to the lyrics dude! The song’s story is from the perspective of a shitty power alcoholic! “It’s my bottle, it’s my whiskey, and if I want I’ll drink it all. Ain’t nobody, gonna tell me, that I can’t drink no more!” I will agree, the song hooks like a motherfucker – it’s a bitchin’ song as far as songs go. But the story the song is telling is… not a healthy one. I don’t blame the record company for refusing, and I even knew that back then.

He was also bitching to me about Brian Jack, the singer, who of course was high on LSD – Lead Singer Disease. I really didn’t understand what he was muttering to me about, but it was evident that Brian’s behavior was chronic and problematic. I didn’t pry because it was kinda an uncomfortable moment for young naive me. Still tho… it was what it was, just surprising the manager would reveal such a thing to a rando stranger.

I was striving to be in the music biz, so that’s the biz and I might as well get used to it. LOL. It was all good in the end.

I got to take pictures. I got an autographed poster. It was a great time. I was and always will be fan. 

John, Idzi, me, Brian (behind), Nikki, sometime in the early 1990s.
John and I bonding over our name.

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