Hanoi Rocks in Helsinki - Photo Feature

Reynolds and Michael Monroe

In 2003 skateboarding was a little different than it is right now. Budgets were flowing and if you could create a trip and somehow convince someone that it would go in a magazine and get press for your brand, you could get money for a trip. So somehow we found out that Hanoi Rocks was going to play in Helsinki, Finland, where they're from, as part of the Helsinki Pro Skate contest, or whatever the contest was called... so a crew of skaters and folks who love the band got together and took a trip to Helsinki to check out the whole deal. We met up with the distributor and took a trip to Estonia as well, I'll have to dig up some of those photos and add them when I can. I think Ali Boulala won the contest, too, which was totally hot in itself.

The guys in Hanoi Rocks are into skateboarding, and they were planning on doing some Hanoi Rocks skateboards (just like everyone else) and somehow it was arranged to get Andrew Reynolds and Spanky together with Michael Monroe, singer of the band. It was cool, Michael knew who Andrew was, too, and new enough about skateboarding to not make the whole thing too uncomfortable. It was mostly a dork session, but it was cool to talk to the dude and hang out. I think Andrew felt a little self-conscious being the center of attention just for liking the band, but as usual he handled it with total class and it never showed.

Hanoi Rocks
Michael Monroe
Hanoi Rocks
Hanoi Rocks
Hanoi Rocks
Hanoi Rocks
Hanoi Rocks
Hanoi Rocks
Andy McCoy of Hanoi Rocks
Andrew Reynolds and Michael Monroe

That night the show was pretty epic, complete with costume changes, guitar changes, and stage changes, and tons of lights that made photography easy. They played for a while and played mostly old hits, but added a few new ones to keep from being that band that only plays old hits from the glory days, but can't keep current. It's sort of ironic, then, that in 2008 the band is deciding to call it quits. They're wrapping it up with some shows in Japan, where, naturally, they are huge, and then some last shows in Helsinki. Click the link below for more details and if you're into good rock'n'roll, check out their greatest hits package that's coming out, or I'm sure you can get it on iTunes or something.

Enjoy the pictures.