Quiet Riot, Skid Row rock on stage in Yongsan Garrison in May2005
Kevin Dubrow (vocal), guitarist Alex Grossi and bass player Chuck Wright
Screaming guitars and pounding drums rocked the Main Post Club parking lot here Friday night during a free concert by hard-rock legends Quiet Riot and Skid Row — one of six stops on the bands’ tour of U.S. military bases in South Korea.
About 500 fans, young and old, packed the lot for the gig.
“Some of you will remember this,” Quiet Riot lead vocalist Kevin Dubrow told the crowd, “but some of you are just too young.”
Before the show, Dubrow, of Los Angeles, relaxed backstage decked out in skintight jeans, a flowing scarf and a head of bushy hair.
This was Quiet Riot’s third visit to South Korea, Dubrow said, and a good warm-up for an upcoming U.S. tour.
The frontman said his band came to show support for the troops, many of whom enjoy hard rock.
“It’s like throwing meat to starving animals,” he said of the response from military fans.
Dubrow said he respects the soldiers and doesn’t think he could do their job.
“I am a chicken from way back and also I am undisciplined,” he said.
Quiet Riot’s bass player, Chuck Wright, said he once thought of joining the military.
“I was raised by a single mother and she sent me to military school to give me male role models,” he said.
After nine years at military school, Wright planned to join the Air Force and fly jets, he said, but changed his mind after discovering a passion for music.
The music industry is extremely competitive and it would be difficult to maintain a military career while trying to make it as a rock star, he added.
“You have to be so dedicated. It is like being in the trenches when you are trying to make it,” Wright said. “It would be too hard to do that and be a soldier at the same time.”
The members of Skid Row said they also are supportive of the troops.
Skid Row bass player Rachel Bolan, of Atlanta, said the band jumped at the chance to come to South Korea and would play for servicemembers in Iraq or Afghanistan if given the chance.
“We never played on a military base before we came here. It was cool last night (at a Camp Walker concert). There were soldiers rocking out in their uniforms,” he said.
Bolan said his father served in the U.S. military in Germany during World War II and earned a Purple Heart.
“It is really cool to get up close to the troops and explain how proud we are of them. We are having a better time than the people coming to see us,” he said.
Skid Row singer Johnny Solinger, 39, of Austin, Texas, who joined the band in 1999, also has a connection to the military. His grandfather served in Europe during World War II.
It was good to see some hard-rock bands playing for the troops in South Korea, Solinger said.
“The USO (United Service Organizations) gets a lot of country and rap stars, but I don’t think they get a lot of rock, especially hard rock,” he said.