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Music / Skid Row

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They call us problem child, we spend our lives on trial, we walk an endless mile, we are the youth gone wild!
We stand and we won't fall, we're one and one for all, the writing's on the wall, we are the youth gone wild!
"Youth Gone Wild"

Skid Row is an American Heavy Metal band formed in 1987. Because of their image, they're often associated with glam rock, but eventually were seen in a more traditional sense of Hair Metal. First formed in New Jersey, the band got introduced to a producer by their friend Jon Bon Jovi and were an instant success. The band's first album went platinum five times, and as of the end of 1996 the band has sold 20 million albums worldwide.

The rise of grunge in 1991 and the departure of original lead singer Sebastian Bach in 1996 contributed to a decline in the band's fortunes. While they still recorded and toured with other singers (Johnny Solinger from 1999-2015, Tony Harnell of TNT in 2015, and ZP Theart of Dragonforce), they had a much lower profile than their heyday in the late 80s and early 90s. It remains to be seen if they can revive their fortunes with their current vocalist, Erik Grönwall, formerly of H.E.A.T.

Their most popular songs, "18 and Life", "I Remember You" and "Youth Gone Wild", come from their first album. Their second album, Slave To The Grind, was considerably heavier and less mainstream than their first album, with several songs that could even be considered Thrash Metal.

Members (Classic members in bold, current members in italic):

  • Erik Grönwall - lead vocals (2022-present)
  • Scotti Hill - lead and rhythm guitar, backing vocals (1987-present)
  • Dave "The Snake" Sabo - lead, rhythm and acoustic guitar, backing vocals (1986-present)
  • Rachel Bolan - bass guitar, acoustic guitar, backing and occasional lead vocals (1986-present)
  • Rob Hammersmith - drums, backing vocals (2010-present)

Former members:

  • Matt Fallon - lead vocals (1986-1987)
  • Jim Yuhas - rhythm guitar (1986-1987)
  • John Ratkowski Jr. - drums (1986-1987)
  • Sebastian Bach - lead vocals (1987-1996)
  • Rob Affuso - drums (1987-1996)
  • Johnny Solinger - lead vocals (1999-2015; died 2021)
  • Charlie Mills - drums (1999-2000)
  • Phil Varone - drums (2000-2004)
  • Timothy DiDuro - drums (2004)
  • Dave Gara - drums, backing vocals (2004-2010)
  • Tony Harnell - lead vocals (2015)
  • ZP Theart - lead vocals (2015-2022)


  • Skid Row - 1989
  • Slave To The Grind - 1991
  • B-Side Ourselves - 1992 (EP)
  • Subhuman Race - 1995
  • Thickskin - 2003
  • Revolutions per Minute - 2006
  • United World Rebellion: Chapter One - 2013 (EP)
  • Rise of the Damnation Army: United World Rebellion: Chapter Two - 2014 (EP)
  • The Gang's All Here - 2022

Tropes related to the band:

  • Album Title Drop: For their album title and their band name, in "Youth Gone Wild" from Skid Row:
    I said, "Hey man, there's something you oughta know
    I tell ya, Park Avenue leads to
    SKID ROW!"
  • The Band Minus the Face: Sebastian Bach was fired from the band in 1996 and was replaced by relatively unknown Texan Johnny Solinger (who himself left the band in 2015). To this day, many Skid Row fans are hoping that Sebastian Bach will someday reunite with Skid Row, and Bach himself has said that he would not be opposed to rejoining the band; however, Erik Grönwall (ex-H.E.A.T) was confirmed as their new official singer in March 2022, and the other members have adamantly refused to even consider the possibility of reuniting with Bach.
  • Based on a True Story: "18 and Life" was based on a story guitarist Dave "Snake" Sabo read about an 18 year old boy who accidently shot his friend.
  • Big Guy, Little Guy: Bach with basically everyone. He is 6' 3" and towered over the other members.
  • Buxom Beauty Standard: The song "Big Guns." In fact, when asked about the song's meaning during an interview, Sebastian Bach simply stated "Well, you know, we like big tits."
  • Child Popstar: Sebastian Bach recalls his first experience singing on stage at the age of twelve was with a band of older students at his school who had overheard him singing along to the first Police album. He later joked that he, "Must have looked like Justin Bieber."
  • Cover Album: B-Side Ourselves EP, which contains covers of The Ramones, KISS, Judas Priest, Rush and Jimi Hendrix.
  • Darker and Edgier: Slave to the Grind, though they were this to the rest of the glam scene to begin with.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: The whole band back in the day, but special attention has to be given to Sebastian Bach. A common joke is that Bach made a prettier girl than most actual women.
  • Drugs Are Bad: Sebastian Bach has said that "Wasted Time" was written about former Guns N' Roses drummer Steven Adler's heroin addiction.
  • Even the Guys Want Him:
    • A segment on Metal Head Magazine #2 has drummer Rob Affuso and Sebastian Bach’s girlfriend at the time, Maria Aquinar, looking at photos of Bach in a magazine. When Maria remarks on Bach’s attractiveness, Affuso responds with “He’s alright. I’d do him!”
    • A number of the comments on Skid Row videos are of guys saying while they are not gay, they find the young Sebastian Bach very attractive and prettier than most women.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Bassist Rachel Bolan, born James Richard Southworth.
  • Genre Shift: The band's self-titled debut album was Hair Metal (although it was heavier and more aggressive-sounding than most other hair metal at the time). With their second album, Slave to the Grind, the band dropped the hair metal in favor of Judas Priest style heavy metal as well as some Thrash Metal tracks that sounded similar to Megadeth.
  • Girls with Guns: "Beggar's Day" (Slave to the Grind)
  • Greaser Delinquents: "18 and Life" has main character Ricky with his friend wearing greaser jackets, then Ricky murders his friend.
  • If I Can't Have You…: One of two possible interpretations of the lyrics “They say you left town with another man/Now I’m off to Mississippi with a gun in my hand” from “Shut Up Baby, I Love You”.
  • Lead Bassist: Rachel Bolan is the band's bassist and primary songwriter.
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy: Sebastian Bach, one of the biggest examples of this in his younger days, as evidenced by all the comments made on Skid Row's videos. (See Dude Looks Like a Lady and Even the Guys Want Him above).
  • Mr. Fanservice: The whole group though special mention to Bach and Bolan.
  • Murder Ballad: "18 and Life", which is about a man drunkenly shooting and killing an innocent bystander and facing the consequences.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: The other possible interpretation of the lyrics from “Shut Up Baby, I Love You” (see If I Can’t Have You… above).
  • Power Ballad: "18 and Life," "I Remember You," "In a Darkened Room," and "Wasted Time."
  • Precision F-Strike: "Get the Fuck Out" from Slave to the Grind. When they performed it for Wembley Stadium in 1991, it allegedly got them banned from performing at the venue again.
  • Pun: Their 1992 compilation B-Side Ourselves.
  • Purple Prose: "In a Darkened Room" has much more formal lyrics than the average. And Sebastian Bach sounds pretty hammy in his delivery, too.
    Can I face the day
    When I'm tortured in my trust
    And watch it crystallize
    While my salvation, it crumbles to dust?
    Why can't I steer the ship before it hits the storm?
    I've fallen to the sea, but still I swim for shore
  • Ripped from the Headlines: "18 and Life" was written when guitarist Dave Sabo read a newspaper article about the event.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Famous!: How Bolan describes Bach’s attitude once the band reached fame:
    “By that point the stupid shit he was doing was almost becoming sociopathic. He seemed to feel that he was above all rules and regulations.”
  • Self-Titled Album
  • Start My Own: Sebastian Bach.
  • Step Up to the Microphone: On their 1992 B-sides album, B-Side Ourselves, Rachel Bolan sang lead on their cover of "Psycho Therapy" by The Ramones. He has since sung lead once on the post-Sebastian album Revolutions per Minute.
  • Succubi and Incubi: The final track from their debut album, "Midnight/Tornado" is sung from the perspective of an Incubus, describing how the character feeds on women's lust and is only able to come out at night.
  • Title Track: Slave to the Grind, Subhuman Race, and The Gang's All Here each have one of these.
  • Vocal Tag Team: While the band itself doesn’t fall under this, their song “Another Dick In The System” from Revolutions Per Minute does, having the lead singer at the time, Johnny Solinger, and Bolan trading sections of the verses and duetting on the chorus.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene Bach And Bolan got lots in their prime days. Rob And Scotti had shirtless scenes from time to time.
  • Who's Your Daddy?: From “White Trash”, off of Revolutions Per Minute: “My sister, she’s got three babies/But she don’t remember who their daddy is”.