Testament's Chuck Billy on the Time He Performed a Scalping
You have some Native American heritage, and there's an incident referred to as "the scalping" involving Rick Ratto, the singer of the band Diamond, in the mid-'80s. What's this about?
[Laughs.] They were like the new hot band in the Bay Area. Danny Gill, this amazing guitar player [for Diamond], was actually one of Alex's instructors when he was younger. I think what kind of spurred it on was, Danny told me, "Rick Ratto keeps talking about how you should give up singing, and you're a terrible singer."...It was just filling my head with all the stuff he was saying.
Me and my buddy [Willy Lange, also of Diamond]...went out to Diamond's studio in Oakland. Willy opened the door, and I went there prepared with scissors and, I think, Nair, or something like that. [Rick] was on the phone with his girlfriend...and he had real long hair. It was kind of metal, but kind of a pretty-boy band. The last thing he wanted was his hair cut. So I just pulled his whole ponytail back and cut all his hair off and just held it, shaking it in his face, as he screamed bloody murder with his girlfriend on the phone. It was a bad situation. And I think I ended up dating his girlfriend right after that. So it was a pretty brutal scalping.
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