||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (July 2012)|
|Birth name||Steven Edward Duren|
September 4, 1956 |
Staten Island[not in citation given], New York, US
|Genres||Heavy metal, shock rock|
|Occupations||Musician, songwriter, actor|
|Associated acts||W.A.S.P., London, Circus Circus, Sister, New York Dolls|
|B. C. Rich Widow
B. C. Rich Warlock
Blackie Lawless (born Steven Edward Duren on September 4, 1956) is an American songwriter and musician. He is best known as the lead singer and rhythm guitarist (formerly bassist) for the heavy metal band W.A.S.P.
Early life 
Duren was raised in Staten Island, New York City, New York. He is rumored to have had a fundamentalist Christian upbringing. He has said that he was "very active" in church as a youth and was born again at age 11 but in his late teens strayed from the church and became interested in the occult.
He began his career in music playing with bands such as Black Rabbit and Orfax Rainbow. In 1975, after Johnny Thunders left glam rock band New York Dolls in the middle of a tour of Florida, the band started auditioning for guitarists. Lawless was hired but only stayed for the remainder of the tour.
After the tour, he went to California with bassist Arthur Kane and helped found Killer Kane. At that time, Lawless' stage name was "Naughty Blackie Nogood". About a year later Kane returned to New York but Lawless decided to stay in West Los Angeles. In 1976, he formed Sister, which also featured future W.A.S.P. guitarist Randy Piper. Lawless' stage antics at the time included lighting his boots on fire (a gimmick he later gave to Nikki Sixx) and eating live worms. Around 1978, a new lineup was assembled which included Sixx as bassist and Lizzie Grey on guitar. Later, Chris Holmes joined.
Lawless later formed a band called Circus Circus in 1979, with Piper again appearing in the lineup. In 1981, following Circus Circus' failure, Lawless joined Lizzie Grey and Nikki Sixx's band London, with whom he played a few gigs and recorded two songs as demos, though by this time Sixx had already departed to form Mötley Crüe. In 1982 Lawless switched to bass guitar and along with Randy Piper formed W.A.S.P. The lineup was soon completed with Chris Holmes on lead guitar and Tony Richards on drums.
W.A.S.P. has undergone numerous lineup changes since its inception, and Lawless is the only remaining original member and chief songwriter. Many of his songs tend to deal with religious or apocalyptic themes, due to his fundamentalist Christian upbringing.
- "Interview with Blackie Lawless of W.A.S.P.". House of Hair with Dee Snider. Houseofhaironline.com. 2010-04-13. Retrieved 2011-07-15.
- Jonze, Tim (April 15, 2009). "A handy guide to heavy metal". The Guardian (London). Retrieved April 26, 2010.
- Reesman, Bryan (21 September 2010). "Blackie Lawless Renounces His Past Sins". Attention Deficit Delirium. Retrieved 27 March 2013.
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Blackie Lawless|
- Official W.A.S.P. website
- Blackie Lawless interview at 2010 Sleaze Roxx
- Blackie Lawless at the Internet Movie Database
- Interview with Blackie Lawless: Helldorado at HardRadio.com
- History of W.A.S.P. & Sister according to Randy Piper at Full In Bloom Music