Molly Hatchet's Nightmare Descent Into Booze, Sex, Drugs 'Not All That Nightmarish,' Guitarist Admits

In This Section

Vol 35 Issue 42

'Very Special' Constitutional Amendment To Take On Alcoholism

WASHINGTON, DC—At 8 p.m. EST next Monday, C-SPAN will air "an important episode no family will want to miss," in which Congress is expected to pass a "very special" constitutional amendment dealing with the touchy issue of alcoholism. The amendment—inspired by the true story of a promising young hockey player whose dreams of a pro career died when his weekend partying spun out of control—will show the shattering effect alcohol has on drinkers and their loved ones, and will end with a toll-free number where victims can get help. "We're used to having a lot of fun with our amendments," said House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL). "But once in a while, an issue touches us so deeply, we decide to draft an amendment with a message." If passed, the amendment will be available on video in time for the holiday season.

Neglect Of Wife, Children Results In Promotion

NEWARK, NJ—Six years of familial neglect netted longtime Prudential Insurance employee Walt Arness a major promotion to national vice-president of accounting Monday. "Well done, Walt," Prudential CEO Art Ryan said. "For six years, while other employees were busy getting out of work early to see their kids' soccer games and spending Saturdays with their wives, you were tirelessly dedicating yourself to this company. And for that, you will be handsomely rewarded." As part of his new job, Arness will spend 25 weeks a year on the road, supervising accounting operations in Prudential offices across the U.S.

King Ralph Fails To Become Hip Retro Reference

NEW YORK—According to trendwatchers and pop-culture analysts, the 1991 John Goodman comedy King Ralph has failed to emerge as a humorous retro reference. "Despite the lameness and strong kitsch potential of this film, King Ralph is not being sarcastically referenced by wisecracking 18- to 29-year-olds," said Zeitgeist magazine editor Adam D'Amico. "No one is saying things like, 'That guy who owns Sony must be richer than King Ralph,' or, 'Did you hear about Zach's new job? He totally got himself King Ralphed."

Orrin Hatch Mistakenly Left Dangling In Bondage-Fetish Dungeon

WASHINGTON, DC–U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) declined to answer reporters' questions Monday after a congressional aide discovered him naked and dangling from a ceiling-mounted leather restraining harness in a D.C.-area bondage-fetish dungeon. "Sen. Hatch didn't show up for work, so I went looking for him at an address I saw written down on a scrap of paper on his desk," Hatch aide Alex Gordon said. "Through a massive oak door, I could hear a desperate voice pleading for a 'Mistress Domina' to come back and release him. When I opened the door, I saw the senator, looking exhausted and wearing only a dog collar and nipple clamps." Hatch was brought to Bethesda Naval Hospital, where he was treated for dehydration and third-degree wax burns to his scrotal sac.

Child Unimpressed With Aurora Borealis After Whole Day Of Tekken 3

INTERNATIONAL FALLS, MN—A wide-eyed gaze of childlike wonderment over the incomprehensible majesty of creation was not elicited Monday, when 7-year-old Kenny Meier, son of local high-school science teacher Stan Meier, was unmoved by the Aurora Borealis after spending an estimated 12 hours playing Tekken 3.

Banning ATM Fees

On Nov. 2, voters in San Francisco and Santa Monica approved ordinances banning banks from charging ATM fees to non-customers. In response, several banks in the cities blocked non-customers from using their cash machines. What do you think?
End Of Section
  • More News
TV Listings
Just Like Everything Else!: Fox 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. ABC Pete's wife is still on him about building that darn shed, these kids are going to be the death of Sheila and Dave, and the hot next-door neighbor is up in EVERYBODY'S business! Sunday nights on ABC couldn't be any more familiar!

Special Coverage

Family

Report: Dad Wants To Show You Where Fuse Box Is

YOUR LOCATION—Noting that it’s important to be prepared in case of emergencies but it’s also a good thing to know in general, your dad announced today that he wants to show you where the fuse box is.

Energy

Molly Hatchet's Nightmare Descent Into Booze, Sex, Drugs 'Not All That Nightmarish,' Guitarist Admits

JACKSONVILLE, FL—The nation's celebrity-biography industry is reeling following Monday's admission by former Molly Hatchet rhythm guitarist Billy Joe Reeves that the rock band's so-called "nightmare descent into booze, sex and drugs" at the height of its late-'70s popularity was "actually not all that nightmarish at all."

A photo from a 1997 Molly Hatchet concert, long after the band's not-so-nightmarish descent.

"In the summer of 1979, Molly Hatchet was on top of the world. We'd just completed a sold-out tour opening for the likes of Bob Seger and Cheap Trick, and our sophomore effort, Flirtin' With Disaster, was a hit with audiences and critics alike," Reeves told Peter Briley, host of the daytime cable-access talk show Jacksonville Community Voices. "Almost overnight, we were big stars, and things started getting out of control: drugs, alcohol and constant anonymous sex with teenage groupies."

When asked if the experience had been a living hell, a nightmare descent into booze, sex and drugs that almost cost him his life, Reeves stunned Briley with his answer.

"I really wouldn't call it 'nightmarish,' per se, no," Reeves said. "In fact, it was really fucking great. Lord almighty."

Reeves' admission has set off shockwaves within music-bio circles, sharply defying many long-held assumptions about the high price of fame.

"This revelation has stirred up no end of controversy in virtually every corner of the country's $4.2 billion pseudodocumentary industry," said VH1 Behind The Music producer Doug Farelli. "If what this man is saying is true, the very foundation of everything we have come to believe about the celebrity rise-fall-redemption arc may be suspect."

Said E! True Hollywood Story producer Ellen Donovan: "One has to ask: If the excesses of fame are not, in fact, the living hell we have come to believe they are, what else is untrue? What about the heartwarming happy ending, when, after losing all their money, they go clean, settle down and start over again with a better life? Are we to believe that's all just some terrible lie, too?"

During his headline-grabbing interview with Briley, Reeves insisted that sudden fame and fortune did not result in deep inner turmoil and suffering on the part of Molly Hatchet's members, slowly tearing them apart until the band collapsed under the weight of its members' tortured self-destruction. Rather, Reeves said, the struggle, heartache and pain didn't kick in until well after the band had peaked.

"To be honest, if anything, it was the nightmare descent into a lack of booze, sex and drugs that really hurt," said Reeves, who has worked at his brother-in-law's bait shop since leaving Molly Hatchet in 1986. "The excesses of fame were just fine, thank you very much. It was the non-excesses of non-fame that were the hard part."

Jimmy Gaines, a back-up percussionist with Lynyrd Skynyrd from 1977 to 1981, agreed.

"The booze, the sex, the drugs... Those are three great things, and I miss them all terribly," Gaines told MTV News' Kurt Loder during a special investigative report on the controversy Tuesday. "As a matter of fact, I'm looking forward to starting up a second, brand-new nightmare descent into all that stuff just as soon as I can manage it."

Despite the stir his remarks have created, Reeves is not backing down.

"Come on, I'd be high as a kite, a joint in one hand and a fifth of Jack Daniels in the other, and all I had to do was play the first four bars of 'Whiskey Man' and the panties would start dropping," said Reeves, eyeing with wistful longing the Frank Frazetta painting of a battle-axe-wielding barbarian on the cover of 1980's Beatin' The Odds. "And you're asking if it filled me with a gnawing emptiness and despair I couldn't escape? Hell, no. Those days with Danny Joe, Duane, Bruce, Dave and Banner were pretty much the best thing that ever happened to this here good ol' boy, and that's a fact."

Next Story

Onion Video

Watch More