About Rough Cutt
People think of '80s hair metal as having been shamelessly commercial, but that doesn't mean all hair metal bands sold lots of records. Rough Cutt, for instance, got neither an album nor single on the Billboard charts, even though the San Diego band sure seemed to have the right pedigree for the time. Having begun as a spinoff of the pre-Ratt outfit Mickey Ratt, they put out two albums on Warner Bros. right at the moment hair metal was starting to explode: a self-titled set in 1985, then Wants You! in 1986. Their debut had a song written by Ronnie James Dio and production from Judas Priest knob-twiddler Tom Allom; for the hookier follow-up, longtime Aerosmith/Cheap Trick hard rock sculptor Jack Douglas took the reins. But every time Rough Cutt looked like they might break through, somebody stole one of their musicians: keyboarder Claude Schnell to Dio, guitar guy Jack E. Lee to Ozzy Osbourne's band, singer Paul Shortino to Quiet Riot, eventually even guitarist Amir Derakh to alt-metal also-rans Orgy. Some bands just can't catch a break. Eventually, Shortino reformed the band, with one-time Aerosmith footnote Jimmy Crespo playing guitar.