VICIOUS RUMORS Bassist DAVE STARR on 30 Years of ‘Digital Dictator’, New Videos, and Stories About CARL ALBERT [w/ Audio]

- Jun 04, 2018 at 01:00PM
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Original Vicious Rumors bassist Dave Starr celebrates the 30 year anniversary of the band’s legendary 1988 album Digital Dictator with a new Facebook group. Dave is moderating this Facebook page, and weighs in on comments and questions from fans directly. This Facebook page features pictures and stories from the classic Digital Dictator era. Dave Starr has also finally unleashed the never-before-seen band videos he had filmed back in the day! These videos have sat in boxes collecting dust for over 30 years and Dave has just started transferring them to digital format this year. He has hours and hours of live shows; backstage footage; studio footage, and more. The first 4 video segments are up now for all VR fans to see for the first time ever, with lots more videos to come!

Carl Albert, Geoff Thorpe, Mark McGee, Dave Starr and Larry Howe; Digital Dictator (the first album with this lineup) was recorded the summer of 1987 and released on Shrapnel Records in April of 1988. The record became an instant classic worldwide and the band played tour dates in the USA, Mexico, Canada and Europe. Digital Dictator is still in print and selling strong 30 years after its release, remaining to this day the fan-favourite Vicious Rumors album.

Dave Starr took MANY minutes out of his time a few weeks back to talk with PureGrainAudio about Vicious Rumors and Digital Dictator. The audio stream accompanying this interview contains more content than is transcribed here, most of it towards the end of the file talking about the merits of Science Fiction movies.


Can you can you tell me a little bit about the Facebook group that you’ve just started up to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Digital Dictator?
Dave Starr: Basically the gist of the whole thing was I’ve been sitting on a goldmine of old videos that I filmed, or I’ve had a friend do. I’d got a camcorder (a VHS camcorder) in either ‘86 or ‘87, and I started getting a lot of stuff from the band filmed. Live shows, rehearsal studio, recording studio, all hanging out doing all of this crazy stuff and I never really did anything with it. And the stuff has just been collecting and sitting in boxes for 30 years, and I thought “well, thirty years is a pretty good time for a commemorative for an album.” Especially an album that a lot of people like.

So, I thought what better way to celebrate it and to finally start digging through these boxes of videos that I have got. So, that was the whole kind of thing - to link the two together and to share with the fans all of these old videos that I had. I’m finally in the process of transferring stuff to DVD. I’ve got four videos up there right now (on YouTube). Two live tracks one of me in the studio actually recording bass tracks for Digital Dictator and me and Geoff hanging out talking to the producer Steve Fontano. So, that one’s actually 31 years old because we recorded that album in the Summer of ‘87.

Jason Becker and Marty Friedman walk up in that clip. So, just all this old stuff that just has been sitting around. I just figured this would be a good excuse - the 30 year anniversary would be good. Because for years I would tell people about it. And they would ask “Dave, what’s up with this video stuff that you’ve got? When are you going to get to it?” “I’m too busy. I’ll get through it when I can. I’m too busy, I’m too busy.” So, this was kind of the incentive for me to say “You know what? I’m going to do it. It’s the 30 year anniversary. Let’s see what we got here in these old these boxes.”

So people who always ask those questions have probably never transferred anything from VHS to digital. It’s not like the click of a button. You’ve got to do some work on those files, and there’s some prep. You have to go to an outside supplier to get it done.
Starr: I’ve got a dubbing deck that my wife bought me for Christmas two years ago for this express purpose. But I just never did anything with it. I’ve finally opened this thing up and got started. I did need some outside help. I went to a video production facility here in the Houston area who cleaned some of the stuff up a little bit and added the titles and stuff like that which I just didn’t have the video editing software to do. But yeah, it was a little intimidating when I first did it.

When I first was transferring this thing, and it is a little bit intimidating once you finally decide to do it. I’m not really the best when it comes to high-tech stuff. It was a little complicated, but I was able to to get it get it going. (laughs) Just getting over that hurdle, you know? Getting the machine out and plugging it in and then reading the owners manual and trying to figure out how everything works. Once you’ve done it then that’s the way it usually is; you say “well, you know that wasn’t really that difficult.” But I was just so hyped - I psyched myself out a bit “Oh I’m never going to figure this out,” you know?

Vicious Rumors “The Crest” Live at the On Broadway S.F. California 1988.


How far down the rabbit hole do you want to go with this footage? It sounds like you've got a fair bit of it. Is this something you want to do past this year?
Starr: I don’t know. I think the stuff I’ve got is primarily ‘86 to ‘90 right now just concentrating on the Digital Dictator stuff for obvious reasons. A lot of people are asking if I’m going to do something with Geoff Thorpe on this. “Are we going to put out a DVD?” and it’s just so much of a headache dealing with him that I can’t put out something legally on my own because I don’t own the rights to the name. The videos are all mine. So, that’s why I’m just posting the stuff on YouTube and giving it away for free as free promotional stuff.

So unless something drastic changes between Geoff and I, I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing and I’ll probably just leave it. I probably have (I really don’t know) forty hours maybe of video footage of this old stuff. I’ll just give it away for free. I don’t have a problem with that. Maybe... you know, somebody asked me last week and I said maybe a song a week. It just depends on how busy I am. I’ve got a lot of things going on. Once I started this I do need to stay with it because I’ve promised people that I would.

And one of the most important people is Carl Albert’s son Kevin. You know, the singer who passed away 23 years ago. His son is very excited about seeing these things because he didn’t really know his dad super well and he has kind of gotten to know his dad through a lot of conversations with the former band members and through photos. And I’ve been telling him for years “Kevin, I’ve got all of these old videos.” So he’s checking the stuff now. People are having a kick out of it. It’s fun!

Are you enjoy interacting with some of the fans on that page because you’re in there and you’re answering questions like right on the Facebook page.
Starr: Yeah, yeah. It’s pretty cool. You know, I’ve got another VR Facebook page because not only did I take my camcorder everywhere, I took my 35-millimeter camera too. So, I’ve got an archive of probably somewhere between 1000 and 1500 photographs, so I’ve got another VR Facebook page of just over a thousand photos. So, I started that one probably five or six years ago. So, yeah I’m always talking to VR fans, you know, I mean in a lot of ways I’ve moved on so I got Wildestarr. We just did our third album. But VR I was in the band for, I don’t know, 11 or 12 years. So, you know, that’s a big part of my life and career. And people still love those old albums, and I’m proud of them so I’m certainly not going to be neglecting it or pretending it never happened.


It’s a bit awkward when you’ve got, you know, an ex-band member who doesn’t even really want to have words with you. So organizing all that stuff is a bit of a logistic, I understand.
Starr: Yeah, I mean the situation is what it is. I don’t have any communication with any of those guys, and there’s very good reason for it. I’ll just leave it at that. But you know, Geoff knows my number if he ever wants to call me and have a civilized conversation. But I’m too old to deal with any crap at this stage my life.

Is there one thing you can put your finger on that just caused everything to blow up? Was around his operation and he couldn’t perform for a year? I never really figured out what happened there.
Starr: Well, it’s been almost 25 years since I left the band initially the first time. I mean I came back for the Warball in 2006. But I mean the first go around with the original lineup, yeah, I left. The story is: Yeah, Geoff had carpal tunnel syndrome. Both of his wrists froze up, and he was out of commission for... I don’t even remember. ‘92... maybe early ‘93, he was out of commission for about six to eight months.

It’s painful. It’s a painful procedure to go through.
Starr: Yeah. And I put together several benefits for him to help raise money for the insurance or for the surgeries because he didn’t have any money and didn’t have any insurance and it was a pretty rough time. We didn’t know what the future of the band was going to be. And it ended up I raised thousands of dollars for the guy. I mean he was my best friend. He was the best man at my wedding. We were really close. At least, I thought so for many many years.

And we did the final U.S. tour of summer of ‘93. I came back and my wife was going through a real substance abuse issue. And it really devastated me. And it was basically dragging me down with her with her substance abuse issues and I had a long talk with the guys in the band and because they knew I was going through a lot of turmoil at home and they all just said “hey, you know, do what you’ve got to do. We’re here for you. We’re going to help take care of you we’re going to help get you through this. We’re, you know we’re all brothers.” Yada yada yada.

You know, and then two weeks later Geoff fired me from the band. And I have no idea why. And 25 years later I have no idea why. You know, he’s never really talked to me about it. It’s weird because when the shoe was on the other foot, when Geoff was going through all this hell, I never thought of doing anything other than being there for him as a brother and helping him out. And that’s what I did when I raised the money for the surgeries for him. And I didn’t even think about it... I wasn’t doing it for any other reason other than, you know, love and friendship. But then, when the shoe is on the other foot and I’m going through hell I guess I just wasn’t worth it.

The only silver lining in that was Mark later on told me that the whole thing was a mistake and he wishes that it never took place and he apologized to me and he’s actually got that text in the VR section of his Website. Sometimes, I’m kind of suspect whether he did that just to make himself feel better, but even if he did (you know if he’s just saying that just to make himself sleep better at night) at least he’s saying it in public. That’s in the VR section of his Website he says in hindsight we should have helped Dave out. Or stuck together. So that was nice for Mark to say.

Geoff will never say anything like that because Geoff never admits that he does anything wrong That’s basically the long and short of it. I have no idea why they fired me. That’s it. You know it, just sucked. It was a really difficult thing for me to go through because going through all that crap with my marriage with my wife and then my best friends bailed out on me, but you know what life throws you curves and you’ve just got to power through it. It did take me a while to get back on my feet but, you know, I got through it and came out stronger on the other end.

Can you tell me what your earliest memory of Vicious Rumors is? Early days of even forming the name and jamming together? You know, an ideal of what you wanted to be when you were really young?
Starr: Before Geoff and I hooked up, I joined the band in November of 1984 and really the band at that point was just Geoff and Gary didn’t have a drummer and they didn’t have a bass player. They had a drummer that was kind of just jamming with him until they found a regular guy who we ended up getting in Larry months later. But yeah, I mean, when I first met Geoff I think it was around 1982 playing at the old Waldorf in San Francisco. That was the original lineup of Vicious Rumors that he had - like the original beforehand.

Everybody calls me, Mark, Geoff, Larry, and Carl to the original lineup, but there was actually several different pre-original lineups or whatever you want to call it before the five of us became what became known as the main line up or whatever. So he was playing in this kind of earlier version of VR, and I was playing in Laaz Rockit at the time, and I met him at this club in San Francisco called the Waldorf. They were playing one night, and I just remember seeing them - Geoff came out on stage... this is how I first met Geoff...

He gets carried out on stage in a coffin by these guys who looked like Druids. It was bizarre. And then the coffin gets tilted up in front of the drum riser, and then the coffin opens up, and there is dry ice everywhere, and smoke and flashing lights and Geoff walked out of the coffin, and they go into the first song. So that’s how I first met Geoff. “Woah, this is crazy! This is this frickin’ bad, man!” I flagged him down after the show and introduced myself. So, that’s how we met.


That’s awesome! Can you talk a little bit about how you originally had a hand in getting Carl and Mark into the line-up?
Starr: Yeah, well we go back a bit. Backtrack a little bit to the Soldiers of the Night album. Soldiers of the Night came out in late ‘85 early ‘86. Vinnie Moore had quit before the album was even out and out of the picture. So we had a temporary guitar player named Terry Montana. He wasn’t working out. Gary (St. Pierre) had a lot of issues. I don’t really want a bag on the guy. I like Gary and I heard the guy’s got his life turned around and I know what it’s like to have issues because I’ve been clean and sober for almost 13 years.

But Gary wasn’t showing up for band practice and when he was showing up he wasn’t really there if you know what I mean. And I told Geoff, I said “What are we going to do? What are we going to do? We got this situation where it’s just, it’s basically me and you and Larry. We’ve got a guitar player who’s not working out the singer who’s not here. We’ve got to do something about this.” And Geoff kept wanting to try to work things out with Gary and you know he said “look this is just going to be a disaster. If we lose... We’ve already lost Vinnie and everybody knows that. But if we go into a second album not only losing Vinnie, but losing our lead singer, its just going to make us look like... you know, it’s not going to be good.”

And I said, “well you want to go and do another record with Gary? He’s just not functioning.” So I told Geoff, I said “look, I’m going to look around. I’ve got some people that I got a line on and I basically just went out on my own.” Mark McGee who’s an old friend of mine... we both lived in the same town and he played in some really good hard bands. He played a really good band called Overdrive and they were a bunch of 16-17 year old high school kids and I used to go see him with the club and they would just kick ass man. They were really really good. And so I knew Mark. Geoff went to vacation in Hawaii one long week and I told him I said you know I’m going to get together with Mark.

He didn’t know him but he knew who Mark was. Mark and I and another guy Scott McKenzie on drums got together and wrote a song together which ended up being the music for Digital Dictator. Geoff and Carl ended up writing the lyrics later. But while Geoff was out of town. I got together with Mark we came up with this killer tune. And I called Geoff and I said "man, I think I found our guitar player. We just wrote this new song together. He's really jacked about wanting to audition for the band." It's kind of a little known fact that he actually joined the band while Gary was still in the band. So that was kind of an uneasy alliance because Mark was really not too crazy about Gary and I told him I thought Gary was on his way out so just hang tight - I got this other guy I'm checking out. So while all this other stuff was going on I had a couple of people tell me about Carl and I didn't know Carl at all. He was singing in a band called Villain at the time and a couple of people said oh you got to check this guy out man. He's insane, he's like Dio the next generation. So I went to this little shitty club in San Francisco called the Mabuhay Gardens and saw Villain play and as soon as he opened his mouth and started singing I just said "that's it man - that's our guy." I was blown away. He was just so awesome. The band was good too. I'm not knocking the band but it was a good band with an amazing singer so I wanted to chat. I flagged him down after he got off stage and I think he thought I was like a weirdo stalker. He didn't really know me and he didn't really want anything to do with me. And so it was a little bit uncomfortable and I just said "look I play with Vicious Rumors. We're looking for a new singer. I love your amazing singer talent and I'd really like to work with you." And he was just blowing me off. You know "I'd really like to work with you." and he was just blowing me off, you know? Saying "I'm really happy with Villain right now. Our new album is coming out and it's going great." I said "Look here's my number. Take my number and so we can stay in contact." I called him about a week later and he said he still wasn't really that interested and I told him I said "Look. let me send you a promo package. So I sent the Soldiers of the Night album and a bunch of press clippings. Of course this is pre-Internet you know some cutting stuff out of stuff that had been scanned on a copy machine and putting it into a UPS box and mailing it to him. I said I'm just going to send you all this ammunition and you sift through it. Tell me what you think. He's going "oh yeah I'll check it out. I'm not really making any promises." All I wanted him to do was listen to it. Fast forward about ten days - two weeks later I get a phone call at the VR studio in California and he goes "Yeah. I'm looking for Dave." He goes "hey this is Carl Albert." Oh hey Carl, Yeah. What did you think of the stuff?" And he says "I want to join the band." And that's how the whole thing goes. He said "I don't even want to audition... I want to join." So he came down around August. And of course like I said, Mark had already been in the band for a week or two weeks and so when Carl came down and I think that was around September of '86. Maybe October. So that's how it all happened. And I have to say I'm really proud of not sitting around and just being complacent. But I just told Geoff "Look man, I don't want to argue about this but something going something's got to happen here.'


It’s dodgy going into an album cycle with somebody that can’t even make some of their practices. You’ve got to look at that straight up.
Starr: Yeah. I mean I see where Geoff was coming from, you know, saying it’s going to be a disaster if we have an album out where we replace the singer and the guitar player. Yeah, I understand that. But you do you want to go to his second album with a guy who’s barely functional, and then the album is going to turn out like shit. So, what’s the point? And in hindsight, obviously, it proved me right. I was right because we got Carl and Mark into the band. I ended up basically creating that lineup that stayed together for, I don’t know how long.

Larry and I were together for a little over... Larry, Jeff and I from the Soldiers album we were together for I think about nine to nine and a half years. With Carl and Mark, we were together for seven and a half to eight years. It ended up that we put out all those great albums. So, obviously, I made the right call. I did what had to be done, and the rest is history. Geoff never gives me credit for that. He doesn’t have any of that on the website. Like Geoff is responsible for everything. But that’s OK. I know the truth. So does Mark and so does Carl.

You are mentioned as little as possible anywhere online. It’s kind of funny.
Starr: Oh yeah. Geoff hates me. And he doesn’t want to give me credit for anything. But, you know, if Geoff doesn’t even know the history of his own band then that just makes Geoff like a boob, not me.

It is actually kind of comical to read and go “gee there’s something missing here. Like, there’s a component of this that isn’t there (on his VR site) and it’s kind of obvious when you’re trying to, you know, brush up and get interview questions together.
Starr: Hah. The weird weird thing is... I mean Geoff is so blatantly obvious that he doesn’t like me or he hates me or whatever. And he goes out of his way to show it on the VR Website and all the media stuff. Whereas I’m saying I don’t have a relationship with Geoff, but when I put together projects like the Digital Dictator thing I’ve got a gallery for Geoff. I’ve got a gallery for Carl and Mark and Larry.

Guys who I don’t even speak to anymore. But hey, I’m not going to misrepresent what happened. Geoff wants to misrepresent it because he’s got issues with me that he can’t deal with. So, he just basically tries to whitewash me out of the band and that doesn’t make me look bad. Everybody I’ve talked to has said: “man, what the hell is wrong with Geoff?” I don’t know man. You’ve got to talk to him.

So, how did you guys find a way to record again on Warball?
Starr: Well, we didn’t speak for a long, long time. He was actually trying to get me back into the band and going back to 2001.

Vicious Rumors LIVE at Shooters West Santa Rosa, Ca. 2-27-88.


Wow. It’s like a bad marriage.
Starr: Yeah. He wanted me to do this European tour and rejoin the band in 2001 doing this tour with Savatage. And I had just gotten married. The timing was really really bad. And he basically called me up and he said I need an answer in the next two hours. And I said "Geoff, man, I got married last week I just moved into a new home. The timing is not real good on this." So I think he realizes that he was putting out all these subpar albums and with Carl and Mark gone and Mark was totally gone into a different orbit playing this pop music then he realized that the greatness of the band was in its past. And so he wanted me back in the band. I guess that's maybe that's Geoff's way of saying 'I'm sorry' because he never said he was sorry to me. But I guess in Geoff's world if he says I want to play with you again then that's as good as an apology as you are ever going to get. And Mark was supposed to come too. I was a little leery about it. And Larry had quit the band. So Larry wasn't even in the band anymore so Larry and I got together with Jeff and we played for the first time in like eight years. No no. It was '93 that I left. I think Larry quit the band in '98. So yeah we got together around 2005 I guess. So yes, starting in 2001 Geoff was trying to get me back into the band every year till I finally said yes. And the reason why I said yes is because Mark and I talked about it and Mark was going to come back. So it was going to be the return of me Mark and Larry hooking up with Geoff again for the Warball CD. And the four of us actually got together and played for the first time in 12 years. And, you know, it was cool but Carl wasn't there. So it was kind of a drag. And then at the last minute Mark said you know what I don't want to do this. That pissed me off because Mark and I had talked about it and the only way I was going to do it was if Mark was going to do it. And then Mark pulls the rug out from underneath me and decided he didn't want to do it at the last minute. But I had already sunk in so much preproduction work on the album. I thought you know I'll stick it out and see what happens. And we got Brad Gillis to fill in on guitar and James Rivera on vocals. But, the whole thing... I just kind of soured on it. I just really wasn't thrilled with the way things were going. You know, Mark wasn't there and Carl was gone and there's nothing against Brad or James Rivera. Brad I've known for like 35 years. He's a great guy and great guitar player. Didn't really know James at all. But yeah as soon as that record was done I basically told Geoff I was leaving. I wanted to get back to work on Wildestarr and I just wasn't really happy with the way things were going with that album Warball. The whole situation just rubbed me the wrong way. In the studio there was too much drugs and alcohol and I've been clean and sober then for about six months. Geoff promised me things were going to be straight in the studio and it wasn't. One day I just said "what the hell am I doing here? I don't need this crap, you know? I was here when the band was in its original form. This is a shell of its former self. I'm not happy. I'm already writing tunes with my wife. I want to get on with my life. This isn't serving me any purpose... so I just bailed out." It's the only album I've done in my career that I actually regret.

Wow, that’s crazy.
Starr: Yeah.


Do you have a favorite Carl memory that you might share something about his candor or his personality that you feel captures his essence.
Starr: Well he was for those who didn’t know him or never met him. He was a very very funny guy. He was humorous. He was Jim Carrey before there was Jim Carrey. He was kind of a human cartoon and just always laughing and smiling. One of the funniest things that comes to mind where this goes back to my video footage on that last tour, and I’ve yet to find this footage yet, but I hope to find it. The last U.S. tour in 1993 we were somewhere down in Florida and this hurricane hit and it was just horrible.

Carl and I were filming each other screwing around in the hotel room and running around the rain outside. We’ve got the video camera going and this bolt of lightning. I mean it literally sounds and feels like it hit about ten feet away. You could see me and Carl just running around screaming like little girls terrified off our asses. God, I hope I find that video footage. It is really really funny. And he was just a lot of fun to be around. One of the fascinating things was he was actually (but it was unusual for singers) he was actually better lives than he was on the records.

And he was great on the records. But he could actually match all those notes and surpass his studio performance when we played live. I’ve got some live tapes and live videos where it’s just unbelievable what he could do. He was just unstoppable. He was one of those guys who really didn’t take very good care of himself. Didn’t warm up vocally. Never took vocal lessons. He’d just get up and throw on his clothes and start singing, and he just found a way to do it. And it was just amazing.

Dave Starr Recording VR DIGITAL DICTATOR Bass Tracks 1987.


How did you wind up with Gore Verbinski as a director on your major label debut. That was interesting. I never knew that that was a thing.
Starr: Gore Verbinski was a struggling filmmaker back then who worked for Julian Temple in a company that Julian Temple had called Nitrate Films. And Nitrate Films, as I recall, was cranking out rock videos. I guess Nitrate Films and/or Julien Temple had a deal with Atlantic Records, and they were doing a lot a lot of stuff for Atlantic. And so that’s how Gore Verbinski ended up working with us. He did the “Don’t Wait For Me” video and the “Children” video.

Yeah, a lot of people don’t know that, and it’s kind of neat to tell people now that Academy Award-winning director Gore Verbinski did the first did the only two VR MTV videos back before he became you know a major force in Hollywood. But yeah, it’s pretty cool. I haven’t talked to him since the “Children” video. He’s obviously gone into the stratosphere since then. But I’ve watched his movies and read interviews with him and stuff. I remember him as being a nice guy. Fun guy to be around. He wasn’t really stressful on the film set. Good to work with. Seemed easy going - a nice guy.

You are you're somebody who's constantly writing music. Can you tell me what you're working on now. Where you're at with possibly more WildeStarr material? Or do you have something else that you are working on?
Starr: Well we've pretty much wrapped up all the promo for Beyond The Rain which came out in December. And I've been writing. I write all the time. I'm constantly writing. I write every night. I sit on the couch down in the living room and I play guitar every night watching watching movies. So I'm always working on ideas. So we're writing material for what's either going to be the fourth WildeStarr album or we've been thinking about doing a side project which will go unnamed because I don't want to let the name go because it's really cool and I don't have it trademarked yet. We're thinking about doing just as a little something to do - something a little different... maybe one song with an international cast of musicians and high profile people. I've already talked to a couple of them who are interested in doing it with us and it would basically be just a one-off internet single. Kind of like an all-star lineup thing just to do something different. I mean I've done three albums with WildeStarr now. I write all the music and I play all the guitars and bass on the albums. I don't know how I got through it. It's a lot of work for one guy to do - the job of three people. And I told London I said you know what if we just do this (for those who don't know London is my wife the singer of WildeStarr). I said "London, maybe we should just take a break from WildeStarr for a couple of months and we can just write a song we can get some other people to record with us so you know I'll just play guitar (I'm not going to do two guitar tracks and bass). I'll play guitar, we'll get another guitar player, we'll get a bass player and a drummer. You sing and we'll call it, you know, blankety blank or whatever. And hey, if it goes nowhere... no big deal. If it takes off and a lot of people get interested. You know we can take it and explore it further on down the road. Or we can just get back and do another WildeStarr album. So plenty of material in the pipe. Lots of stuff going on.

We have a lot of things going on - where we started investing. I guess you can call it diversified? (laughs) We started investing in real estate last year and we just bought our third investment property. So we are we're dealing with that new house right now - doing a little bit of work on it. I've got my company Starr Guitar Systems which I started 2 1/2 years ago which is a company that I own that builds up upgraded control systems for electric guitar and bass. And we run all these businesses from our house. So it's pretty cool. Lots going on. It's an exciting time to be alive. I literally don't have enough hours in the day to get everything done that I need to. And that's a good thing, man. It's good to stay busy especially when you're clean and sober. You know the old "idle hands are the devil's playground" thing? It's like that. Yeah. When you're clean and sober it's really important to stay busy. So I'm always working on stuff and keeping my head screwed on straight.


What’s the the last good Sci-fi movie that you watched. I know you're a fan.
Starr: The last good Sci-fi movie? You know the thing is that there are so many mediocre and bad ones. I really wasn't that crazy about any of the big blockbusters. You know the latest Alien I thought was so-so. It was better than the one before it. But that's not saying much. The last great Sci-fi movie... jeez. You know, I sometimes just pop into my archives. I'll pull out the old stuff. You know, like Alien. Aliens. Yeah. You know, I'm getting stumped right now. We've got these things called Firesticks. You know those are?

Yeah, we've got those up here.
Starr: And so my wife orders these things. So we've got all these channels on Netflix and Amazon Prime. I'm going to the Sci-fi and Horror categories, and I'm flipping through all these movies, and there's a hundred movies, and they all look like shit. So what I've been doing since we got the Firestick is I have been going back and watching all the original Twilight Zone episodes which I really really loved. I just finished watching those. Those are really fun. And also I watched from the beginning all the episodes of American Horror Story which are really like a lot. I'm a big fan of Jessica Lange.

Dave Starr and Geoff Thorpe with VR Digital Dictator producer Steve Fontano.


Yeah yeah she’s the constant in that series right? I think she’s in every season with that. Because it’s always a different story. But I think she’s sort of in each one.
Starr: Yeah, she left the show I guess a year or two ago. I think they put out another year without her but now. Yes. She’s amazing. She’s such a great actress, and the role she plays in the show are so cool and she’s so beautiful. She’s 70 but God, she still looks amazing.

Did you get to watch Blade Runner 2049?
Starr: You know what. It’s been on my list. I haven’t seen it yet. That’s one I’ve got to get because the original Blade Runner is probably easily top three of my (not just Sci-Fi/Horror movies) but top three movies of all time. Alien. Blade Runner. Boy, I'd have to think. I look at a list of what I could put down as the number three. But yeah I've got to see it. I read mixed reviews about it, but I don't always put much stock in that because a lot of movies I like got bad reviews. So sometimes things move people one way and other people in the other.

I almost liked it more than the original. And that’s... I’m a huge Blade Runner fan. It blew me away.
Starr: Ridley Scott is just such an amazing director. That was just one of those movies where every single thing was just perfect and still stands the test of time 30-35 years later. And the soundtrack, the cinematography, the acting. I still get chills that scene with Rutger Hauer up on the roof with the dove. It’s just amazing!
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