I created this website to celebrate Razzle's life, not dwell on his death, but that event had lasting repercussions for all of his friends, family and fans so here is how it all came to end.
On Saturday 8th December 1984 Sam Yaffa, Andy McCoy and Razzle rocked up to a party at the beach-front home of Motley Crue singer Vince Neil. Hanoi and the Crue had befriended each other when the Crue were in the UK for the Donington festival and, as Hanoi were enjoying time off in LA while Michael Monroe recovered from an ankle injury sustained at a recent show, the two groups naturally hooked up. Although only early in the evening the booze had apparently started to run low and so at around 6pm Vince and Razzle, who had both been drinking, set out in Vince's shiny new red 1972 Ford Pantera and headed for the liquor store.
On the return journey the inebriated Neil, speeding, went through a puddle and lost control of the powerful car, going into a slide across the lanes, the passenger door impacting on the front end of another vehicle. Witnesses claimed they saw Vince standing by the car, foaming beer bottle in hand, claiming "everything's okay" but things were far from okay. Tommy Lee (Motley Crue's drummer) has spoken about hearing the crash and rushing outside to see what had happened. He saw Vince sitting on the curb and Razzle's sneaker lying forlornly in the middle of the street. The 2 occupants of the other car were seriously injured but Razzle took the worst of it. He was taken to South Bay ER with CPR in progress but was pronounced DOA at 19:12, which would have been 9th December GMT as his headstone reads. Vince was arrested under suspicion of Driving Under Influence and vehicular manslaughter and taken to hospital to have minor injuries treated, he was later charged and released on $2500 bail. Eventually, in July 1985, Vince was sentenced to 30 days in jail (which was commuted to 20 days, during which time he washed cars in a minimum security facility) and was fined $2.6 million in compensation fees. Apparently the Judge stated that in order for the amount to be paid Vince had to continue as a musician. For all his subsequent claims that the accident cost him a dear and close friend, some feel Vince's true 'closeness' to Razzle can be summed up by the comment in first editions of Motley Crue's The Dirt book, where he describes how much he misses Razzle's Finnish accent!
Meanwhile, in mid-December, Razzle's body was flown back to the Isle of Wight, where the funeral service was held on a fine, sunny day in a packed church and he was later cremated, wearing his favourite white suit. His ashes were laid to rest under a small memorial stone in the churchyard at the Holy Trinity Church, Binstead.
Giving statements for the press, a spokesman for the band said "Razzle was having a great time. All he'd ever wanted was to go to LA. He thought it was the best place in the world. He got there, and he was enjoying himself up till the last second." In the January 1985 edition of UK music paper Sounds Razzle was voted #5 in the Drummers category, one place above his beloved Rat Scabies. That was an honourable footnote to a tragically unfulfilled potential but Razzle died as he lived, with his mind on a party and his next beer. The impact of this tragedy on so many lives is too deep to do justice to but, if fate had to take Razzle prematurely, he at least went out on a high.
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