Explanation of what this is

There are hundred's of waiters that call themselves actor's. That guy making your soy frappucino is a musician. You know that because he tell's you almost daily. So from this day forward I will call myself a writer. I may make money on the television and radio but I am choosing to call myself a writer.
From what I can tell in order to call myself a "writer" I need to do one thing.......write

Ive been blessed to have so many jobs from MTV's Headbangers Ball , WCW Wrestling,NASCAR TV & Radio host, Creator of some of the most succesful nightclubs in L.A mainly the CATHOUSE,3 years on Loveline,Talk Radio Host, reality shows from Daisy of Love, Charm School and the Rock of Love Reunions. Ive seen some of my friends become the biggest rock stars in the world. I have interviewed 1000's of the most unique people from sports and entertainment. Ya the boasting is making me sick too.
Ive also lost everything, filed for bankruptcy and had to get a job as a car salesman just to keep the lights on. That is what I do and what I have done but that is not who I am.

One more thing. Kid's or very sensitive folk should not read my blog's just in case I say something a tad risque.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Why I'm messed up and a watered down CATHOUSE History lesson

I know I am very lucky to be where I am. I have a great house,family ,cars and motorcycles and what most people don't realize most of my income comes from my work in NASCAR. That's a whole other story. When you work in the carnivorous world of entertainment your biggest fear is not being relevant.
Add the fact that  actors and musicians are the most insecure people on the planet. Somehow we have found a way to be insecure and conceited at the same time. Don't ask me why but that's just the way it goes.

     We are all terrified of becoming a "Where are they now". We don't want to live in the past even if the past is really fuckin cool. I realize that even though the show ended in 1995 to many I will always be "The guy from Headbangers Ball" I used to hate the fact that no matter what career I ventured into I was still that guy from Headbangers. These days I wear it like a badge of honor. I am lucky that I have been able to move forward in my career rather than hang on like a relic, having nothing else but my past "Hey do you know who I used to be".

    I had told the story so many times I thought everyone knew it but what I failed to accept was how many years,no decades have gone by. I received several posts on twitter asking if the Cathouse was still open.

  The answer is no and for those of you that do not know what the Cathouse is here is a very watered down story. One day I will tell the whole story or at least what I can remember. Yes I am pasting this from the www.cathousehollywood.com website so even this was written 7 years ago

It was 1986, 4 years before I hosted Headbangers Ball on MTV or began to work on the radio. With no money I persuaded a bar to let me turn it into a dance club that would only play rock n roll. I wanted a place my friends could hang out at and hey if my roomate Taime and I could meet a few new girls that would be ok. Yeah lame but Im honest. The club said yes and the Cathouse was born.
The Cathouse was opened in 1986 in Hollywood I threw some vintage burlesque videos on the wall and asked Taime Downe (from Faster Pussycat) if he could help get the word out. I found Joseph Brooks of Vinyl Fetish fame and he became the DJ with his blend of 80's rock 70's glam and punk a mood was set. The club at that time was held at an old Disco on La Cienega. The club was a wreck. It was a risk just walking up the stairs but once up the stairs you found yourself in a Shangra la's of Decadence. The original idea was to just have a DJ.
The GRAND OPENING........sucked. However Lita Ford puked in the bathroom!
I kept it going to crowds of about 70-80. Every Tuesday night the crowds got a little bigger. Among that small crowd was Guns n Roses, Aerosmith, Motley Crue, Ted Nugent and more. So a bunch of girls heard that the bands were hanging out at the Cathouse so the woman began to show up actually outnumbering men. When that got around more bands started showing up....then some friends asked if they could play at the club for their EP record release party... I said yes. That band was called Guns n Roses. Then Taimes band Faster Pussycat wanted to play that night and so did LA GUNS and Jetboy! My first live performance at the Cathouse and those 4 bands played. Taime started focusing on his band and all I had was the Cathouse. With its reputation more and more bands wanted to play this so called rock dance.  It was getting out of hand. The Cathouse became the cool place to go. Axl would mention the club in interviews. Faster Pussycat recorded a song called Cathouse. Then media picked up on our little club  LA TIMES did a cover story called GUNS N ROSES and the CATHOUSE SCENE , Would you believe even NEWSWEEK wrote about the club. Many of the local bands were now selling millions of records but kept on playing at the Cathouse. Soon other bands asked to play here. Alice in Chains, Stone Temple Pilots, Motorhead, Megadeth, Alice Cooper, Danzig, Pearl Jam, Black Crowes, Junkyard, Primus, LA Guns, White Zombie, ICE T, Suicidal Tendencies, Pantera the list goes on and on.
For some reason we always had more women than men at the club. Believe it or not fashion magazines saw the women in their decadent attire and thought we were starting a worldwide trend. The Cathouse was featured in Women's Wear Daily and California Apparel News.
When the movie the "Decline of Western Civilization 2 - the Metal Years" wanted to capture the rock scene they did a whole segment on the Cathouse. BAM. More media attention. We also had a rule of not letting anyone take pictures in the club. That way everyone could feel at ease and not worry about it in the paper the next day. Does anyone remember the night Axl chased David Bowie down the street? How about Malcolm Forbes showing up on a Harley or Christina Applegate working coatcheck or Slash falling down the stairs taking a fake tree with him while he was wearing a Cathouse security shirt or how about Depeche Mode going to the Cathouse when the instore they had planned turned into a riot. They knew nobody would bug them at the Cathouse.
Needless to say the CATHOUSE truly became a part of rock history. The funny thing is the bands that played at the Cathouse are only a small part of what made Riki Rachtman's World Famous Cathouse...World Famous


  1. Coming from an outsider's point of view,you have to remember that these are your memories of that "relic" time.For us fans,you brought us heavy metal and it's best and worst,and for the lot of us,we were the quintessential impressionable teens,and we lived in a decade where the art of music and video really exploded.For us,you gave us memories of hanging out on nights you were on with HeadBanger's Ball and partying,all the music pumped up loud and we were living our own la vida loca.You became an icon for just being there as a face to give us our teen memories.There's no amount of thanks anyone could give you,Ok,so what if Adam," I look like a tranny"(sorry,I was never a big fan of him) was the first host,you made the whole experience real for us fans.I'm glad you own up to this and not run from it,who you are now,is not the same guy from then,but the good part is,we've never forgotten you,and happy to know you landed on your feet better than those who unfortunately have not.

  2. I was in LA for work in October 2007. I went to Kat Von D's place - High Voltage to get a tattoo. While we were there people mentioned that Guns n Roses old manager, Vicky Hamilton had been by. Suddenly her and Kat came in together, briefly. After they left, two of the tatto artists started talking about "old strip". One guy was talking about your club and the Rainbow. They were almost teary, wishing for the the "good ole days". I didn't graduate high school til 1988 but I used to read about Cathouse and Rainbow in the rock nags and wished I lived out there.

    Great blog, Riki.

  3. I remember when it got out that you'd be hosting Headbangers Ball. It was news in Metal Edge magazine. After so many years of seeing your famous shirts on Taime and everyone else...it was nice to know that someone that was "in the scene" was going to be hosting.

    Adam Curry was simply incapable of evolving with metal...he was fluff. You came with an edge that was desperately needed. Your famous sign off "keep one fist in the gutter and one foot in the gold" was epic. I still say that to a select few and they know exactly what it's about.

    The stories from the Cathouse should definitely be told from your perspective. Faster Pussycat sang about it...half a dozen rockstar biographies have come out and shared a few stories but I think the true tale can only be told by you.

    Looking forward to it.

  4. I miss my metal days...staying up watching "Headbangers Ball"...I am also thankful for the clubs that we went to in SF to watch these metal shows..."The Stone" , "The Cow Palace", "The Warfield Theatre", and many more...I think The Stone shut down in the 90's one of my favorite venues...love the Warfield...