Rachel Bolan

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Rachel Bolan
Bolan at Wacken Open Air in 2014
Bolan at Wacken Open Air in 2014
Background information
Birth nameJames Richard Southworth
Born (1964-02-09) February 9, 1964 (age 60)
Point Pleasant, New Jersey, U.S.
GenresHard rock, heavy metal
  • Musician
  • songwriter
  • producer
Years active1981–present
Member of

Rachel Bolan[1] (born February 9, 1964),[2] born James Richard Southworth, is an American musician, best known as the bassist and main songwriter of the metal band Skid Row.


Bolan was born in 1964 to Aida and Hubert Southworth.[3] He grew up in Toms River, New Jersey. The youngest of four children, Bolan is half Portuguese.[4][2] When he was in junior high school he began considering a career in music after drummer Damian Cordisco asked him to play bass in his band. Bolan's first gig was in 1978 at Manasquan High School. Bolan credits Cordisco with opening his ears to music he had not heard, by artists such as Ramones, AC/DC, Joe Jackson, Sex Pistols, the Cars and Elvis Costello.[5] Bolan graduated from Toms River High School East in 1982.[6][7]

His stage name 'Rachel' is a hybrid of his brother's name, Richard, and his grandfather's name, Manuel.[8] 'Bolan' is a tribute to one of his childhood idols, T. Rex frontman Marc Bolan.[9] In 1990, Bolan legally changed his name to Rachel Bolan Southworth.[3]

After high school, Bolan joined with Scotti Hill and other musicians to form a band named Godsend. In 1986, guitarist Dave "The Snake" Sabo was forming the band Darkness, and he brought Hill and Bolan into the band. They changed the band name to Skid Row in late 1986.[10]

Bolan has appeared as a vocalist on two of Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley's solo albums and back-up vocals on Mötley Crüe's Dr. Feelgood album. He has produced numerous bands including Rockets to Ruin, the Luchagors in 2007 with former wrestler Amy "Lita" Dumas and Atlantic Records stoner metal band Godspeed. He formed the band Prunella Scales [es] with Solace guitarist Tommy Southard and L. Wood.[citation needed] Prunella Scales released "Dressing Up the Idiot [es]" on Mutiny Records in 1997.[citation needed] Jack Roberts (guitar) and Ray Kubian (drums), both from the New Jersey-based band Mars Needs Women, joined Prunella Scales for touring. He played the bass guitar for Stone Sour on the band's records House of Gold & Bones - Part 1 and House of Gold & Bones – Part 2 as a replacement for the departed bassist Shawn Economaki. He can also be seen playing bass in TRUSTcompany music video for the single "Heart in My Hands".

Bolan has another side project called the Quazimotors. He did this project with Skid Row drummer Rob Affuso, Jonathan Callicutt and Evil Jim Wright (guitarist for Spectremen, BigFoot, Road Hawgs).

Personal life[edit]

Bolan married longtime girlfriend Donna "Roxxi" Feldman on June 10, 1994, but later divorced.[11] He has no children.[12]

He drives racecars in his free time. He competes in high performance go-karts, Legends Cars, Thunder Roadster, and Pro-Challenge series cars.[13]


  1. ^ Darryl Smyers (May 23, 2014). "Rachel Bolan of Skid Row Talks EPs, Having a Girl's Name and Refusing to Bury the Hatchet with Sebastian Bach".
  2. ^ a b Skid Row Bassist Rachel Bolan Live 2020!. ADIKA LIVE!. July 13, 2020. Archived from the original on September 13, 2020. Retrieved February 18, 2022 – via YouTube.
  3. ^ a b "Skid Row guitarist wants a name change". Asbury Park Press. May 26, 1990. p. 35.
  4. ^ Lebofilms (October 29, 2017). Rachel Bolan Skid Row Spooky Empire 2017 Interview (Video). Orlando, Florida: Lebofilms.
  5. ^ "Shoreworld: Damian A. Cordisco – 1963 – 2013 | the Aquarian". December 8, 2023.
  6. ^ "Graduates of Toms River East remember athlete". Asbury Park Press. June 18, 1982. p. 7.
  7. ^ Voger, Mark. "Greetings From Sayreville And Toms River", Asbury Park Press, November 1, 2002. Accessed June 8, 2021, via Newspapers.com. "Meanwhile, down the road a piece, Bolan graduated class of '82 from Toms River High School East. 'Barely,' he notes. 'I was never big on school."
  8. ^ GigSnapper (October 17, 2014). Rachel Bolan Skid Row Interview (Video). Bristol Bierkeller, Bristol, United Kingdom: GigSnapper.
  9. ^ "METALLIAN - Skid Row".
  10. ^ Makin, Bob. "Skid Row guitarist Dave 'Snake' Sabo returns home to Sayreville to rock Starland Ballroom", Courier News, November 3, 2017. Accessed November 22, 2017. "After over 3 decades of making music together, Skid Row’s 3 original members — guitarists Dave 'Snake' Sabo and Scotti Hill and bassist Rachel Bolan — never take their success for granted, Sayreville-raised Sabo said.... But when that opportunity went to Richie Sambora, the childhood friends from Robin Place and Robin Hood Drive in Sayreville became management mates at McGhee Entertainment soon after Sabo formed Skid Row with Toms River-raised Bolan in 1986."
  11. ^ My Heritage (USA) Inc. "Biographical Summaries of Notable People". Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  12. ^ GigSnapper (October 17, 2014). Rachel Bolan Skid Row Interview (Video). Bristol Bierkeller, Bristol, United Kingdom: GigSnapper.
  13. ^ Kevin Eck (February 22, 2007). "Q&A with Amy Dumas". Archived from the original on April 3, 2007. Retrieved May 28, 2007.

External links[edit]