Michael Monroe reminisces about Jerusalem Slim: “It ended up costing $700,000 that record, which is a piece of shit”

Author Samuel Järvinen - 2.6.2022

Michael Monroe of Hanoi Rocks fame was briefly part of the supergroup Jerusalem Slim with fellow musician Sami Yaffa and Billy Idol guitarist Steve Stevens. The project released only one album in 1992 before disbanding.

Monroe recalls the Jerusalem Slim album in a recent interview with Mitch Lafon.

“I wanted [E Street Band guitarist] Little Steven to produce it, and that would have been good. But then, the record company didn’t allow that. I was like, ‘What? You don’t want to do Little Steven to produce it, what I’m going to do now? He’s the guy I wanted to work with.’ Steve Stevens didn’t support me either on that and then they went for this German heavy metal producer, Michael Wagner, who was the flavor of the month, at the time, because he’d done the Ozzy Osbourne album [1991’s ‘No More tears’].”

“He was the worst possible person to produce. I mean, I’m sure he’s a good producer, but he was the wrong combination, him and Steve Stevens together. It turned into heavy metal histrionics, guitar solos, and it just took a turn for the worse. It wasn’t my record anymore. It wasn’t rock and roll anymore. It became this heavy metal noodling, million notes per second. Steven even started playing a completely different style that he knew I didn’t like.”

“It was supposed to be a couple of weeks of guitars – ended up being three months of guitar hell. And I was freaking out, trying to stop the project, ‘This is not going to happen. It’s a record that everybody hates, and it’s not my record anymore. It was my deal with Polygram Records.’ […] That was the worst time in my life. I couldn’t get anyone to help me to stop the record, and they just continued. I mean, the days were like, say, Steve would play a solo, and Wagner was just like, ‘Yeah, man, let’s do the solo,’ and I said, ‘No matter how great the solo is, it doesn’t save the song if the song doesn’t have it. It ended up costing $700,000 that record, which is a piece of shit.”