Footage has emerged of a pre-fame Sebastian Bach covering Led Zeppelin's Rock And Roll at a wedding in New Jersey in 1987.
The video was shot at the wedding of renowned rock photographer Mark Weiss, who released the footage to Rolling Stone this week in preparation for Welcome to My Exhibition, a virtual pay-per-view event to raise money for New Jersey’s Monmouth Museum, where Weiss has been exhibiting his work.
The story goes something like this: Weiss had photographed Bach's then-current band Madam X, and – enamoured by the young singer's star appeal – invited him to perform at his wedding reception.
Bach agreed, and ended up onstage performing the Zeppelin classic with Zakk Wylde – who'd just joined Ozzy Osbourne's band – plus Madam X bassist Chris "Godzilla" Doliber, photographer Dave "Face" Feld, and Weiss himself. In the audience were Stevie Van Zandt, Quiet Riot’s Kevin DuBrow, and Jon Bon Jovi and family.
Weiss discovered the video while working on his most recent book, The Decade That Rocked, as well as footage of DuBrow joining the action to perform Quiet Riot's Metal Health.
The evening has its place in rock'n'roll history for another reason: impressed by his performance, John Francis Bongiovi, Sr. suggested Bach contacted a guitarist he knew, Dave "The Snake" Sabo, with a view to forming a band.
"I sent them a tape and a picture, and they flew me down there to Newark not long after that, and we started the band," says Bach. "People say, ‘Oh, Skid Row is an overnight success.’ And I always have to tell them, ‘It took at least two weeks.'”
The relationship soured when Skid Row toured with Bon Jovi in 1989. In his autobiography, 18 and Life on Skid Row, Bach claimed that the headliners took issue with him swearing onstage, and things went from bad to worse after he described the Bon Jovi frontman as "Bon Blow-me" from the stage at Kentucky’s Rupp Arena.
“We saw about 60 people coming toward us," says Bach. "Leading the pack was Jon Bon Jovi himself. Flanking him was his dad and his brother Tony. Behind them was the full Bon Jovi road crew.”
According to Bach, Bon Jovi said to him, “I heard what you said on my stage, motherfucker,” and then threw a punch, which Bach ducked. Bach was then marched by the road crew into his dressing room and held against a concrete wall, as Bon Jovi Senior pointed in his face.
Bach writes: “He said, ‘I’ll fucking kill you,’ or something like that.”
Though the pair traded insults via the press through the years, Bach says he eventually ran into Bon Jovi at a London hotel bar with Axl Rose in 2006 and they hugged like old friends. "Jon took a chance on me and our band," he says. "I will always be indebted to him for that."