reb's history and frequently asked questions reb's history and frequently asked questions

general questions
When is your birthday and what is your star sign?

August 31st, 1963 - Virgo.

Where are you from?

Oakmont, PA, USA.

Do you have a family? Who are they?

My wife, Debbie, and two daughters, Julie and Kelly.

When did you start drinking Coors Light?

I remember when I was fourteen; my Dad picked me up at the skateboard park in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and I was so hot and thirsty! He had a six pack of Miller Lite cold in the back seat and said "Rebbie - (Dad always called me Rebbie) - Rebbie, you look so f***in hot and thirsty, why don't you have a nice cold beer?" Now, at fourteen I was thinking more along the lines of a cherry slush, but he opened the beer and stuck it in my hand. I was thirsty, and that beer tasted so good, that I've drunk twelve a day for the rest of my life!

Where do you get your stage clothes?

Made to order rock clothes are REALLY expensive, which is why I wore the same vest for two years in Dokken! However, I do have a few new vests now. Terry King or Ray Brown in LA did my clothes in Winger. They are very well known and easy to find in LA. I had way more money then. Shirts were $200 and pants were $500. That was in 1990! I love to wear bell-bottoms and they are impossible to find for guys in America, so Don always used to do a bell-bottom run for the band when we were in Japan.

What is the best thing and the worst thing about being a musician?

The best thing is not having to wake up, go to bed, answer to anyone, or sit in traffic. Also, being able to express yourself in a way that few people can - the healing benefits of that are a gift from God.

When was the website messageboard created?

February 17th, 2000.

What are some of your favorite films?

Predator, Star Trek II - The Wrath of Kahn, Aliens.

During the course of your music career, at what point did you think to yourself "Wow! I've made it"?

For the most part... never. I remember the first time on the radio, first time in a magazine, etc, but I was never really like "Wow, I'm a big star now, very successful, don't have to worry about money and everyone knows who I am". Winger signed a STUPID contract with our producer that gave him everything and us nothing. Winger never had a top twenty single (although I thought it was cool that we had top 40 hits with rock songs and not ballads). Winger was always an opening act, except for a few months of small theatres on the Winger/Extreme/Tangier tour. My point is that you make goals and as soon as you reach them you make higher ones. We always felt like we could have gone further so nobody spent much time celebrating. The biggest success was at the beginning and it was the longest six months of my life waiting for that thing to go gold. At the time, I was thinking, "Fantastic! On to the next hurdle". Of course, now I sometimes get pleasure looking at the platinum albums and thinking fondly of that very exciting time in my life.

What is your favorite sandwich to make?

I make a mean steak and cheese. When I worked at a sandwich shop, my rare roast beef on a toasted onion torpedo roll with lemon pepper mayonnaise and melted cheddar was my specialty!

What's your favorite song from 'Pull'?

'Spell' is my favorite. I don't know - 'In for the Kill' is pretty damn cool. 'Incognito' was such a hit - it's hard for me to pick one off that record.

When was Winger's first performance? How was it?

In 1988, when Winger opened up for the Scorpions at the Met Center in Minnesota. It was Winger's first performance and it was a disaster. I not only broke a string, but my amp blew up. I played the whole show through a practice amp the size of a toaster. The Scorpions thought we were terrible and almost booted us off the tour. Thank God they gave us a chance to get better. We did - fast!

If you were stranded on a deserted island and could only choose five CD's to listen to, what would they be?

King Crimson - "Discipline"
Aerosmith - "Rocks"
Jean Luc Ponty - "Cosmic Messenger"
Montrose - "Montrose"
Kings X - "Gretchen goes to Nebraska"

What are some tips on joining a good band?

Faith. You must have faith in what you can achieve. Focus. Know your weaknesses (one of mine is spelling!) and strengths. Surround yourself with people that are as good or better than you, especially concerning your weaknesses. Create a team that is undeniable. Songs are all anybody cares about. The most important thing needed to make it is songs. If you are the only songwriter you will make and be in charge of all the money. Don't be greedy. The final product is better and easier when you write with other people who know what they're doing. I'm just making my point how important the songs are. More musicians suck than are good. Musicians that suck generally think they are good and vice versa. Search for people who seem to have a natural gift, rather than people with a degree in music. If a band has never made it out of your town then you need to go to New York or LA. Be prepared to starve for a couple months, then have money, starve for a couple of months, etc.

What was it like touring with Poison and Cinderella on the 'Power to the People' Tour?

Don got in a jet ski accident and tore ligaments so he sat with a crutch on stage. One day, he was high on painkillers during the show and hit Jeff in the eye while attempting to twirl his mike stand. Jeff passed out for a few seconds on the floor of the stage in front of me. I thought he was just really getting into it on the ground. Attendance was good on the tour - up there with the most successful of the summer tours. I don't like playing in the daylight cause there are no lights and the people get flipped out when they know you can see them. Every time I made eye contact with someone they turned their head. We seemed to win them over with "In my Dreams" though. I wished we could have done more jammy songs like "Kiss of Death" and "Too High to Fly", but when you only have 45 minutes you have to play the most familiar tunes. There was a lot of laughs with Wild Mick and the wonderful Cinderella boys. Mick drank a bottle of Jim Beam and I had about ten beers every night. We'd sing songs, gamble and have great parties on the bus. I was happy to be out there working, but after a while it can get old. You realize what's important in life - family. And then I just longed to have my own band and be doing my own music.

What music do you listen to?

Well, this may not be understood by some of you, but the answer is... song ideas. I don't listen to music anymore. I haven't for years. If I start listening to an album, all my writing starts to sound like that artist. My head is like a hungry tape recorder and I feed it with verses, choruses, solo sections, pre-choruses, outro's and intro's. Music that I wrote on piano or guitar. I read all the stuff that you guys listen to and most of it was all the stuff I used to listen to. I love King's X and old Aerosmith. Hell, I should just roll over to the studio side (4 feet away) and crank "Rocks" from front to back right now! Believe it or not, I would feel guilty, like I should be using that time to write. I know what you're gonna say - "Maybe you would be inspired!" I'm almost afraid to listen because it's so good that it makes me feel inferior!

Where can I find your first instructional video "Cutting Loose"? eBay or Yahoo auctions, Warner Bros. Home Video - call 1-800-327-7643 and ask for the service department and they will send it to you.

What's Vice Versa?

Vice Versa was the first band I was in with Kip and he wrote all the songs. The stuff was very keyboardy and drum machiney.

What's your biggest pet peeve?

I hate when people expect me to remember them. However, I love when people introduce themselves and remind me of the time we met. Nothing pisses me off more than somebody saying, "You mean you don't remember me?" I may say, "Yes, sort of", and then they say, "What's my name?" I don't remember anything except music, money and sex. I generally don't like it when someone asks me for six backstage passes either!

How important is management, before and after you sign to a label?

You NEED management, but stay away from a personal manager. By that I mean some guy who manages a few local guys. I had a personal manager who I signed with because he knew a lot of people in the business and he didn't do anything for me. I had to pay him $10,000 to get out of the stupid contract so I could sign with Atlantic. I have heard many such stories. Aim High! Get a management company that handles bands you have heard of. Lawyers don't like doing management stuff and will charge you out the wazoo.

If you think you can get a deal without a management company, then hold off. Although, it sure does help when your demo is submitted by a reputable management company. Getting on the best bills is great, but it would be nice to have a product to promote. Is it all worth giving up 20 percent? It's just a matter of weighing the pros and cons.