WIKKID STARR

WIKKID STARR

WIKKID STARR was originally the creation of Toney Richards & Ashlyn Childs but due to unfortunate circumstances, (the sudden death of Bill Krodel and Childs leaving for personal reasons) the project was in jeopardy of never reaching completion. A determined Richards made sure that all of the hard work that was put into the project was salvaged.  “People need to hear this music- it ROCKS” was how an excited Richards described the material.

 On April of 2015, Richards hired public relations consultant- Lucas Gordon (an expert in the South American market) to help with a promotional blitz.

In the summer of 2015, Richards took the WIKKID STARR show on a promotional tour of South America traveling to three countries-Argentina, Uruguay & Brazil.

The “Collision Course” CD was released in Buenos Aires, Argentina on July 31, 2015- a whole six months before the American market and the rest of the world got to hear the debut release on January 29, 2016.

Richards decided to make WIKKID STARR his solo project and returned to Argentina to do three shows in Buenos Aires in May of 2016.

Maria Fernanda of Kashmir Press was responsible for putting together the Argentine version of WIKKID STARR which featured- Marcelo Viera on lead guitar, Riny Di on bass and Carr Jam on drums. It also featured special guests: Cristian Pueblas (lead guitarist for JAX) & Hernan Chaves (owner of  Chaves guitars). 

The highlight of the three date tour was performing together with fellow American Jeff Scott Soto at a sold out Roxy in Buenos Aires as part of their Glam Nation Party.

The successful campaign in Argentina opened up other opportunities throughout the South American market, which now includes: BrazilPeru and Chile. There is also interest from Europe, Canada and Australia. 

Stay tuned to see where the band will be performing next. Keep coming back and checking the website for updates but most importantly, now more than ever- NEVER STOP ROCKIN’…!!!!

Toney Richards

WIKKID STARR VOCALIST

Toney Richards has an impressive resume that started back in the late 80's. Originally from Miami, Florida but raised in Southern California, the eccentric lead vocalist is a veteran of the local music scene in Hollywood, which dates back to 1987. He remembers playing the local music scene and either gigging with or supporting bands like: TAZ, Hot Wheelz, Normandy, Warrant, The Glamour Punks, Big Bang Babies, Faster Pussycat, Orphan, LA Guns, Jailhouse, Asylum Suite, Cats & Dogs, Leatherwolf (from O.C.), Crayola Kids, Poison, KiK Tracee, etc. It was a great time to be a musician in regards to learning as much as you could about the business aspect of it, and dedicating yourself to improving your skills as a musician. Although it was a fun time, the excess and debauchery of how NOT to live your life, was an important lesson to learn because it was way too easy to get caught up in it all and lose sight of everything. 

"There was something to do 7 days a week and anyone who lived through it like I did, will probably never experience anything like that ever again", explains Richards. You had the No Bozo Jams on Monday Nights @ the Whisky, The Cathouse on Tuesday Nights, English Acid on Wednesday Nights, Bordello on Thursday Nights, The Strip on Friday & Saturday Nights (Gazzarri's, The Roxy, The Whisky) to support all of the local talent. There was also the Troubadour, F.M. Station in the Valley, the Coconut Teazser, Tatous in Beverly Hills, Hollywood Live and a whole bunch of underground clubs to perform in. The week ended on Sunday Nights with Exposuer 54 which was always a blast. The Rainbow & Cafe L.A. were the hot spots on the Strip where people would hang out to eat, drink and be merry..!!

 Los Angeles, Hollywood in particular, was the music capital of the Rock N' Roll world from the late 70's Punk Scene to the Hair Metal of the 80's and early 90's. Everyone from every place on the planet was coming here. In 1992, it all came to a halt when the overstauration of copy cat bands, along with a combination of other factors- shifted the music scene to Seattle and L.A. became a fading memory of what once had been one of the most powerful musical movements in the history of Rock N' Roll..!!  

"I'm one of the last few left of my generation, that still play 80's based Hard Rock, Hair Metal, Glam Rock- (attach whatever label you want) and lived through it. I am not trying to reinvent the wheel or deviate too much from what I'm all about. I just want to keep on playing the music that I love. I understand that I am not the flavor of the month or the new hip trend- it was never about that for me. I just want to continue to evolve as a musician and become the best I can. My goal is to be successful on a global scale and take my music around the world so that music lovers everywhere that appreciate this genre of music can hear and appreciate what I'm creating". 

Richards has collaborated with big name artists such as: Darren Householder (Love/Hate), Derek Frigo (Enuff Z' Nuff) RIP, Michael Wilton (Queensryche), Tony Franklin (Blue Murder, The Firm & Kenny Wayne Shepherd) & Robert Sweet (Stryper). 


His music has been played on numerous college radio stations in the U.S. and international internet stations around the globe. Bill Hartew, program director of the Local Licks Show on 95.5 KLOS in Los Angeles has played Richards music several times. Richards was nominated for Best Metal Band two years in a row by Rock City News Magazine in Hollywood, CA. (2000 & 2001). His D-ZIRE CD "The Awakening" was voted album of the year for 2003 by Metaleasteen E-zine. He was the featured artist on Mad Dog Radio (Hawaii) for January of 2003. His song "Amanda Mae" was featured on the Martini Shot Films promotional skydiving video Rantoul 2002'. Music for films, tv commercials and voice overs are currently in the works and is something that Richards has been interested in doing for quite sometime now.

Toney started his musical career with the band Torn Image in 1986 and made his Hollywood debut in 1987 with the band Firestarr. He played in several bands after Firestarr which included: Brigade, Pistol Whip, Slammer, Road Angel & D-ZIRE. He originally started the WIKKID STARR project in 2007 with Suicide Alley guitarist Ashlyn Childs but almost aborted the entire project. He reemerged with WIKKID STARR in 2015 and has officially made it his solo project. 

Richards is a versatile vocalist, lyricist and producer. He co/produced the D-ZIRE CD "The Awakening" in 2002 with Horacio Colmenares (New Eden) and co/produced the WIKKID STARR release "Collision Course" in 2016 with the late Bill Krodel (Don Dokken, Great White, Bullet Boys, Ratt, Gilby Clarke) & Ashlyn Childs

He prides himself on his high energy, in your face, stage antics (which are very unpredictable) and points out that he gives it everything he has when he does a live performance. "It's all about the fans"..!!  "If I'm not sweating by the end of the show, then I didn't give it everything I had. I  try to be as professional as possible with all music related matters. If I can inspire one person by touching their soul with a piece of my music, then I feel that I've done my job.  I try to make our shows and my individual performance- as entertaining as possible. I want it to be a memorable escape from the harsh realities of everyday life. We all need to escape every now and then to revive our spirits"....!!!

 Toney has opened up for numerous National Acts throughout his musical career- some of them include: Arcade, Rhino Bucket, LA Guns, Phil Lewis, Bang Tango, Faster Pussycat, Pretty Boy Floyd, Spiders & Snakes, Babylon AD, Warrant, Lizzy Borden, Gilby Clarke, Rik Emmett (Triumph), Saxon, 38 Special, Jeff Scott Soto, Y&T, Enuff Z' Nuff, Autograph, Great White, Bulllet Boys, Vixen, Vain, etc.

Some of his influences from a vocalist standpoint include: Robert Plant, Paul Stanley, Dave Meneketti, Lou Gram, Steve Perry, Ronnie James Dio, Bruce Dickinson, Joe Lynn Turner, Kelly Hanson, Ted Poley & Jack Russell.

He points out that his musical tastes nowadays are all over the place. He likes Goth, New Wave, Punk, Classical, Flamenco, Bluegrass, old Country, some experiemental New Age music and of course, all things ROCK....Hair Metal, Glam Rock, Heavy Metal, Thrash Metal, Progressive Metal, Classic Metal, etc. 

Bands that he likes or he has been influenced by include: The Beatles, The Stones, CCR, KISS, Alice Cooper, David Bowie, Y&T, The New York Dolls, Hanoi Rocks, Vain, Poison, Steevi James, Danger-Danger, ICON, Dio, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Van Halen, Metallica, Anthrax, KIX, Great White, Hurricane, Slayer, TNT, Scorpions, T-REX, Sweet, Kik Tracee, The Mission UK, Sisters of Mercy, Peter Murphy, Sex Pistols, The Ramones, Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, Hank Williams Jr., Cinderella, Savatage, Triumph, Journey, Queen, WASP, etc. 


As far as some of the newer artists out there today- Richards says, "I like Santa Cruz, Crash Diet, Bloody Heels, Confess, Crazy Lixx and NiteRain they are the next wave of 80's based Hair Metal bands that are keeping this genre of music alive and I fully support what they are doing. It would be cool if a good, reputable promoter could get WIKKID STARR and any of these bands on the same bill for some future gigs together. I think it would kick ass."

Richards plans on making WIKKID STARR an international success and is open to taking the band anywhere in the world to perform. The passion to perform in Europe in the near future is what is currently in the works. "If the deal is beneficial to everyone involved and the price is right- then there is no reason why we couldn't make things happen anywhere in the world- whether it's Tokoyo, London or Sydney." 

Stay tuned for more details and keep checking the website to see who will be in the new line-up (its constantly changing) and where the next gig will be- who knows, we may be coming to your city or town..!!

                       

Ashlyn Childs

 WIKKID STARR LEAD GUITARIST

Ashlyn Childs is originally from Texas and moved to California in the mid 80’s at the age of 16. He began his musical career with the band Betrayer. His first show was at the Waters Club in San Pedro, CA. Once Child's got a taste of the excitement under the stage lights-there was no looking back.  While other guitar players his age were in garage bands and learning covers, Ashlyn kept writing his own original songs and working on his craft. This quickly set him apart from the other guitar players. His passion for music was driven and influenced primarily by one band-MOTELY CRUE. His very first concert was MOTLEY CRUE on The Shout at The Devil Tour in 1983 which changed his life forever. Child's guitar influences are: Adrian Smith, Dave Murray, Vivian Campbell, Steve Clark and Phil Collen just to name a few. 

 Ashlyn was part of the Orange County music scene in Southern California in the mid to late 80’s and played in numerous bands playing different venues like: Jezebels, Goodies, Radio City and the Marquee. Ash began taking advantage of the overly publicized KNAC nights. Ashlyn took advantage of his opportunities and later played venues like the Celebrity Theatre, The Galaxy Theatre and the Orange Pavilion in San Bernardino. He has performed with many different bands but the most notable ones that garnered him some recognition were: TRIXX and GUNNSHY. Childs established a good relationship with a lot of different KNAC personalities such as:Tawn Mastery, Long Paul & Dangerous Darren. He has opened up for national acts like: Skid Row, LA GUNS, Bang Tango, VAIN, Stryper, Armored Saint, Leatherwolf & Asphalt Ballet. 

 When he made the move to Hollywood in the late 80s and ended up staying till the late 90’s. It was at this point that he realized that he was determined to make a name for himself. The music era at this time did not rely on social media sites like facebook or the now defunct myspace to promote shows. It was an era where calling people on the phone, advertising in local music magazines and flyering relentlessly were how you got people to go to your shows.  The Hollywood Music scene was massive cutthroat business where everyone was competing to sell you as the next big band to make it out of Los Angeles but the major requirement was that- you had to be good.

 Ash immersed himself in the Hollywood scene. In the late 80’s, recently signed acts like: LA GUNS, Faster Pussycat, Warrant, Bullet Boys, Shark Island, Tuff & Pretty Boy Floyd were the new hip bands in Hollywood. Ash continued to plug away in several different bands and played clubs like Gazzarri’s, the Roxy, the Country Club, Cathouse, Scream, Xposuer 54, Camp Hollywood, and Billboard Live but he never made the impact he had envisioned.

 In the mid- 90’s Hollywood went through a resurgence of 80’s Glam Rock. Ashlyn quickly adapted to the new scene and larger than life theatrical image. His first official introduction into the new wave of 90’s Glam Rock was GLAM POP PUNK band  Darling Dead. It gave Ash a new perspective on song writing with a new found love for POP PUNK overtones. This band quickly became known as “Hollywood’s Most Hated”.

The bands in this scene stuck together and supported each other as it was a very underground scene, which required bands to play shows together and share the target audience rather than compete for it to headline their own shows. Bands would take turns headlining and supporting. Glitter N Glam Fests with Spiders & Snakes, Dead Girl, D-Zire and others as well as Leather and Lace shows with Revlon Red- were all fun shows. Clubs like the Troubadour, Coconut Teaszer, Viper Room, Roxy, Whisky, FM Station, The Rock, etc. all had a resurgence with bands like Glamour Punks, Alleycat Scratch, Heartthrob Mob, Spiders & Snakes, Revlon Red, The Mistakes, The Zeros, Peppermint Creeps, Guttersluts, Rock Stars Kill, Willow Wisp, etc.

 This music scene became a powerful underground Glam Scene in Hollywood. It was an alternative to all the grunge, rap and the off the wall music that the 90’s was producing.

 The end of Darling Dead was an opportunity for Ash and drummer Kerri Kristen to recreate and improve on Darling Dead’s popularity. The addition of Las Vegas vocalist Singe Blakk transformed the band into: Darling Died Suicide. In 1996 while playing at the Foundations Forum at FM Station, Ash was approached by the owner of Delinquent Records. They had a strong interest in signing the band but the current lineup was limited musically and the songs lacked the substance needed.  Ash and Singe collaborated writing new material with a mix of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal. Recruiting other musicians like Mother Mercy drummer Sean Scott and Sick Kids with Attitude lead vocalist Mick, who was converted to bass player to help the new line-up with it's visual appeal & marketability. This was how SUICIDE ALLEY was officially formed.  Suicide Alley quickly became one of the more popular bands in Hollywood selling out shows and opening for national acts like LA GUNS & Pretty Boy Floyd.

 In 1997, after working tirelessly to write new material drummer Sean Scott who was originally in Mother Mercy chose to part ways. Bobby Monroe ex-drummer of fellow glam band the Guttersluts, was then recruited to complete the final Suicide Alley line-up.

 In early 1998  Suicide Alley was signed to Delinquent Records and released their debut CD  “13” in July. In July 1998, Suicide Alley sold out the World Famous Whisky A- Go-Go for their CD release party but could not sustain the momentum.

 In less than a year, the Hollywood music scene had begun to fade away. Members of Suicide Alley began bickering as to the musical direction of the band. These disagreements ultimately broke up the project.

9 years later in 2007, Ash was contacted by Hollywood vocalist Toney Richards (D-Zire, Slammer, Road Angel, Pistol Whip) about a project that he was working on. Richards  wanted to collaborate and produce a demo with Childs. Ashlyn agreed to working together and recorded all the guitars and bass while Richards wrote all of the lyrics, vocal melodies and created the sound effects. While recording these songs at Media Kitchen Studios with co/ producer, engineer  Bill Krodel RIP (Great White, Bullet Boys, Gilby Clarke, Don Dokken, etc.) both Ash and Toney  realized this was not just any project but something much bigger that they both felt would transcend the current music scene and bring back an 80’s style of hard rock that all rock fans would embrace. This was the birth of WIKKID STARR. However, the death of Bill Krodel was a major blow to the project Ash moved out of state to Nashville, TN for several years. It was at this point that Childs and Richards lost contact with each other.

Forward 10 years later, with the help of social media- Ashlyn Childs & Toney Richards finally got a chance to talk about the possibilities of what could have been. They even jammed a couple of times to see if the fire still burned but they both felt that time had changed their musical perspective and the direction that each one of them wanted to pursue. WIKKID STARR would have never materialized had it been for Ashlyn & Toney. This is why Ashlyn  will always be listed on this website as a member of WIKKID STARR. We will always honor his legacy and contribution to the band and wish him the best of luck.

Ashlyn has put Darling Dead back together with original drummer  Kerri Kristen. The December 29th show at the Whisky will have both Darling Dead & WIKKID STARR on the same bill opening up for Quiet Riot. Its good to see Ash back in the music scene with Darling Dead. We look forward to playing the show on the 12-29-18. 

Crash Cummings

WIKKID STARR GUITARIST

 

Crash Cummings is orginally from Northern Italy but has lived in Dublin, Ireland and London, England- where he was highly influenced by the British Rock Scene. Crash played in some cover bands while living in London which was the start of his musical career. Crash  is a young, hungry guitarist that is constantly looking to improve his skills. His move to Hollywood, California introduced him to the history of the Sunset Strip and the numerous bands that contributed to the success of the Hollywood Hair Metal explosion of the 80's and early 90's. He quickly submerged himself in the musical culture and played with several individuals at local jam sessions. Cummings would make frequent appearances at Skinny's in North Hollywood, which would attract local musicians like bassist Gail Sutton (Gail Force Studios) and guitarist  Kenny Freeman. Gail & Kenny were both being considered at one time for a Canadian tour with WIKKID STARR but things did not work out. 

Crash became the WIKKID STARR Lead Guitarist on February 1, 2018. In the 6  1/2 months that he has been in the band, Crash has already opened up for Enuff Z' Nuff, Faster Pussycat, Vixen, Bullet Boys and Pretty Boy Floyd twice. HE has improved his live performances and has learned how to be more effective at interacting with the audience. Crash continues to experiment with both his live and studio sound. His guitar of choice is a modified 80's Aria Pro. 

Cummings is contributing with some original songs for the upcoming WIKKID STARR CD entitled: SUDDEN IMPACT. He has good songwriting skills and the fans will get to hear it first hand when they listen to SUDDEN IMPACT. Crash  is also influenced by other styles of music besides Hair Metal & Hard Rock. Cummings likes punk, blues, some country, the Brian Setzer Orchestra and some blue grass. The future looks bright and the sky is the limit in regards to how far he can push himself to become the best musician he can be.

Richards & company  are hoping that Cummings blossoms into something special and becomes a consistent, creative, songwriter, entertainer and reliable band member? If Crash can bring out the passion and fire in his playing during his live performances in order to connect with the audience on a deep level, then he will be able to enjoy a successful musical career. Richards has faith that Cummings can be the guitar god  he believes he can be..!! Only time will tell.

Amelia Gioiello

WIKKID STARR BASSIST

 Amelia Gioiello is a California native that was born and raised in the Southern California coastal city of San Pedro. Gioiello developed an interest in playing the guitar at the age of fifteen and later expanded her interests to playing drums before finally settling in with the bass as her main focus.

She was recruited to play in the Los Angeles based punk band Female Chauvinist Pigs. Amelia kept a full-time schedule with the band for 10 years, playing locally as well as regionally throughout the United States. She also contributed to two full length albums. Amelia’s musical background includes a music degree from Southern California's Harbor College.

She is self-taught and has done some hands-on work in recording studios. Amelia has a good collection of live show credits with various bands- including grind core band Resistant Culture which garnered her some national touring experience. Gioiello also contributed to 2 album releases with crust band Bloody Phoenix. Amelia is the current bassist of Allison Chains an all-female Alice In Chains Tribute Band since 2011 and more recently Holy Dio, a Ronnie James Dio Tribute. Gioiello was also in Rock Steady, a Bad Company Tribute.

Gioiello is influenced by a wide range of musical styles from metal, classic punk, the technical and mental aspects of progressive rock, and the organic nature of classic rock, roots, and independent music.

 Holding down the low end is a natural fit for Amelia who is no stranger to drop tunings, hard driving riffs, and melodic sensibility. Solid as a rock her bass playing hits you in the face with no apology. Amelia credits her main musical influence as the actual instrument itself. Her love for the bass guitar ignites the passion and drive, to keep pushing forward to learn and be the best she can be at her craft.

Current instruments in her bass arsenal include, vintage Aria Pro II basses, Fender, Schecter Elite and Ibanez. Gioiello is now a permanent member of WIKKID STARR and is looking forward to embarking on the next phase of her musical career. She will contribute to the new material that is being written for the follow up album to Collision Course. Amelia will form a potent rhythm section along with drummer Joe Rokker

Joe Rokker

WIKKID STARR DRUMMER

Joe Rokker was born in the Boyle Heights area of East Los Angeles  and grew up there untill the age of 12, before moving to Palm Springs . His father  Joe Sr. was a major influence on his musical taste as a child. J.R. was exposed to different genres of music like Rockabilly and artists such as: Chuck Berry, Elvis & The Beatles, as well as all the oldies but goodies of the 50's era. He came to the realization that he wanted to be on stage when he heard KISS ALIVE in 1975.

 Joe likes to point out that he was born to be a drummer NOT  pushed into being one by any adult role model. He likes to pride himself on the fact that he is self taught and that his passion for playing drums and professionalism- are two of the most important qualities that he possesses as a musician. Joe is a solid, consistent drummer that will enhance the rhythm section of any project that he works on. He's a creative intelligent, percussionist that checks his ego at the door and avoids all drama. He is a welcome addition to the WIKKID STARR project. 

 Rokker's influences as far as drummers go are the following: Peter Criss, John Bonham, Alex Van Halen, Tommy Aldridge, Tommy Lee, Slim Jim Phantom, Randy Castillo (RIP) & Kari Kane (Pretty Boy Floyd). Rokker points out that he was involved in the 80's Hair Metal scene in the glory days of the Sunset Strip. He says that he could describe it with one word: "EPIC"..!!  "It was the best decade ever, " he goes on to say.

 As a drummer, Joe Rokker played in a variety of different bands with different musical styles that included; Rock, Punk & New Wave. He has played in several different bands and projects but some of the more recognizable ones were: Rude Embrace, 3D's, Rat Salad, 7Q, Stereo Chemistry, Capital Offenders and Los Hooligans. 

His musical influences cover the 50's, 60's, 70's & 80's and include the following artists: Bill Haley & the Comets, KISS, Led Zeppelin, The Bay City Rollers, Van Halen, AC/DC, Ozzy Osbourne, Motley Crue, The Stray Cats, The Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Ramones, Pretty Boy Floyd and all 70's & 80's Glam Punk. 

Rokker points out that he still dreams BIG and will continue pursuing his dream of performing in different venues that has envisioned himself playing. England is a priority and Castle Donnington, Wembley Stadium, Brixton Academy, The Marquee, Royal Albert Hall in London are the target venues. He also points out that touring the world is important to him and that South America, Canada, Japan, Europe and select cities in the U.S. are all on the map. 

Rokker points out that his immediate plans are to write new material with Toney Richards and take the WIKKID STARR project to another level by playing anywhere in the world that will monetarily compensate them accordingly. Rokker wants to be remembered as a good drummer, musician, songwriter, team player and fantastic person who dreamed BIG and made things happen. 

Joe Rokker is spokesperson for lupus. He was diagnosed with the condition in 1999. Joe has learned to live and control his condition through diet and medication. Lupus is a systemic autoimmune disease that occurs when your body's immune system attacks your own tissues and organs. Inflammation caused by lupus can affect many different body systems —including your joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart and lungs. Lupus can be difficult to diagnose because its signs and symptoms often mimic those of other ailments. No two cases of lupus are exactly alike. Signs and symptoms may come on suddenly or develop slowly, may be mild or severe, and may be temporary or permanent. Some people are born with a tendency toward developing lupus, which may be triggered by infections, certain drugs or even sunlight. While there's no cure for lupus, treatments can help control symptoms (source: mayo clinic.org) 

Rokker has been courageous in his fight with the disease and has been a huge inspiration for all of the individuals out there that have some form of lupus. If you would like to donate to the lupus fondation please do so by going to the Lupus Foundation of Americahttps://www.lupus.org/   Joe, Toney, Amelia & Crash appreciate your donation in an effort to try and find a cure for this mysterious disease. Thank You for your support.