Born Gerard John Best, May 8th. Hailing from Flushing Meadows, Queens, New York. Second child in the family which includes 2 brothers and 2 sisters.

Growing up, I lived in 7 states in 18 years, giving me a lot of influences along the way that have been invaluable in my career.My older brother Tom, exposed me to a wide range of music, from Alice to Zappa. He is the sole person responsible for me learning how to play music and I will never be able to thank him enough.

Showing me a few chords on the guitar (This was in order to jam, seeing he could already play drums and guitar) I struggled with it until one day I found the Bass (which had larger strings and only 4 of them as well). I think Playboy mag also said that Bass players get all the women which appealed to me as a pre-pubescent teenager (being a new kid in so many schools, this gave me hope as later I would find out how hard it was to leave good friends behind and always have to make new friends). And then there was Cal Jam.

The first real band (outside of recruiting the local talent that me & my brother would get to jam with us in each city)was in 9th grade.The band was called Zeus, hailing from Wayne, Pennsylvania( a suburb of Philadelphia). Included in this band was Peter Preston, Scott Lhota, Chuck Van Trieste, Ed Klingenberg, Charlie Mundth and my brother.

Doing the occasional 5th period jam, local dances and many Keggers, we played what is known today as Classic rock, including covers from Aerosmith to Zepp to Bad Co and Cream. (I'm still in touch with a few of these guys and see them from time to time when I’m on the road back east).

After that band, I joined a band called Fragile. This band did the Jersey shore circuit and the singer would eventually end up singing in Crue.Still in high school, I met Doug Aldrich, and he & my brother and I, would jam in our basement playing Rush and Pat Travers covers. A little later, Doug moved to Los Angeles in his VW Scirroco with little more than his Goldtop and a few clothes in order to pursue his career.Impressive. As fate would have it, I would hook up with him in L.A. a little later on. This was 1980.

My father was transferred to L.A. and I was still playing covers with Fragile. I graduated high school,and my folks encouraged me to come out to California where they thought the music scene was alot larger than Philly at the time.I came out and hooked up with DA and he showed me the Sunset Strip,which was in full throttle nightly at that time. I joined another cover band,named T-zer until I could get into an original band.We played in Thousand Oaks and Ventura and this band included Tommy Orlando and Ron Allen.

After that, We formed an original band called Mansfield including Pete Preston, Doug & my brother. Playing all the Hollywood clubs, we amassed a small following and started to headline our own shows.After doing this for awhile,we got a manager, Mel Dakroob (who started a label named Nemer records, after he split from RSO records).

Mansfield would be the 1st signing to his new label,and he arranged for us to go and cut a 12” single at Westlake Recorders.Two songs, "Overdrive"/w "Gonna Rock You" were recorded in the summer of 1983 with Ron Capone engineering (He had recorded Otis Reddings "Sitting on the Dock of the Bay"). This was my first record and my tail was wagging. Unfortunately,nothing ever happened with this band (other then me trying to sell this record illegally out of the Music Plus in Thousand Oaks where I was working at the time).

Around this time, DA started getting calls from various L.A. bands and one of those acts, later named Lion, had caught his interest.Kal Swan and Mark Edwards later joined forces with us and we started playing the L.A. scene once again. This time around we got noticed and after just a few gigs, we signed a deal with Ben & Tony Scotti aka "Scotti Bros. Records", which was distributed by CBS Records.

Initially, there was a great buzz around town about our band, soon Japan took an interest and welcomed us greatly. This would be my start with a great relationship with the people of Japan. The year was 1986.We managed to put out an EP entitled "Powerlove".This proceeded our debut LP, "Dangerous Attraction", recorded at the offices of Scotti Bros, from 6 pm to 6am and engineered by Bill Freesh.

The record was not properly promoted, and despite having a Top 20 MTV video for "Powerlove" at the time, our days with the Scotti Bros. became numbered. During those 2 years, we toured and were able to have our music placed in several films including "Friday the 13th", "The Wrath", and the popular kids animated film, "The Transformers".

"Trouble in Angel City" was our 2nd record which the title proved to be a preminition after all was said & done.This record came out on Grand Slamm records and after this record, Mark Edwards had been seriously injured in a motorcycle accident and could not continue to play drums.

We did a few benefit shows here and in Japan for our fallen mate. I remember Ronnie James Dio coughing up $1000 bucks for his medical expenses at the Country Club gig-I'll never forget that. Despite a new 3-track demo with well written songs currently being shopped by Steifel-Phillips, a great band was over. 1989.

After seeing what was out there for other gigs, I hooked up with guitarist Gary Hoey, Joel Ellis and Frankie Banali. This band was later known as "Heavy Bones", engineered by Phil Kaffel and signed to Warner Bros. I fell out with those guys and never recorded with them. I thought this project could have been great.

Next thing in my life at that time was running into Mike Tramp, who was looking to form something new. I got on with him and along with Oliver Steffensen, Johnny Haro and Kenny Korade, Freak of Nature was formed, turning out 3 LP's, a few EP's, 3 Video's and a Box Set.

"Freak of Nature", our debut, was recorded at the Record Plant in Sausalito during the winter of 1992 by Phil Kaffel. Dennis Chick replaced Oliver at this point. We spent all of 1993 on the road playing any and every place that would have us and built up quite a following.Great open-air festivals in Europe during the summer. Next year, we started on the 2nd record, "Gathering of Freaks". Again, this was recorded by PK at Rumbo recorders in the valley and is owned by the Captain & Tenille. KK had left the band after this record and it never seemed quite the same after that. After more extensive touring and Marcus Nand aboard, the band called it quits. Another great band was over. "Outcasts", became the swan song for FON.

At this time, I got a call to check out Ronnie James Dio, as he needed a bass player. I went down and auditioned and Ronnie had remembered me from support dates with FON during a cold German tour earlier in 1993.I ended up doing pre- production for the "Angry Machines”demos recorded at Cornerstone with Tracy G and Vinnie Appice. I also did a short tour in South America with him. It seemed like I was in his band for 2 minutes but actually it had been 9 months.

After that, I got a call from Tramp asking me to play on his solo record, which was recorded at Granny's, in Reno. Teaming up with KK, I recruited my cousin, Dorian Crozier to play drums on this record which later became known as "Capricorn". I think this record grooves and was a bit underrated when it came out.

During the making of that record, KK approached me about playing in a new band together. Zero-G was formed and we tried to get this band going several times and although some great drummers sat in (Robert Jolly, Johnny Haro & Chris Frazier), the project was never fully realized.

We ended up doing acoustic gigs with each other around town. There is great material from this project as well as a full-length cd and a couple of bootlegs I recorded during those live shows.

Tramp called me up and asked if I was available to do a 2001 summer tour for his second solo cd. Again, I got together with KK and a great drummer named Troy Patrick Farrell and we played a lot of dates. There is alot of history recorded from that tour as well as video.

During that tour, I got a call from a friend, Chris Whitemyer, telling me that he needed a good bass player quick to fill in for someone (although he couldn’t tell me who it was). I went down to Leeds rehearsal and it turned out to be Courtney Love (who was going solo) and Patty Schemel. I was told by her manager at the time that nothing was permanent and I assumed it would be just for a few weeks. After gigging,writing and rehearsing, "America's Sweetheart" emerged taking 2 years to make.

Along the way, I got to work with some great people including Linda Perry, Chris, Louise Post, Jaime Candiloro & Samantha Maloney. Courtney is a true talent but I think she is completely misunderstood. She always took care of me and I am very grateful to her for that.

I think "America's Sweetheart " will fair well, once people get a chance to listen to it. There is some great material on this disc and I got a lot of co-writing credit on it.

Currently, I am playing with a few friends of mine in a heavy blues cover band called "Dr. Fine". David Tedds fronting, Dave "Chooch" Chuchian on skins, and Jay Dean on guitar. I will put up dates as soon as I get them.

I am also working with KK on an EP he will be putting out under the name "The Surge". Jaime Candiloro is mixing and these are some fine tracks written again by KK. Sonically, it's sounding great.

- Jerry Best 2004


New interview

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