The Four Horsemen (band)

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The Four Horsemen
OriginHollywood, California
GenresHard rock, blues rock
Years active1989–1996
LabelsCaroline/ILL, Def American, Magnetic Air
Associated actsZodiac Mindwarp
The Cult
Little Caesar
Past membersHaggis
Frank C Starr
Dave Lizmi
Ben Pape
Ken "Dimwit" Montgomery
Ron Young
Pharaoh Barrett
Mike Lavoie
Chuck Biscuits
Randy Cooke
Mike Valentine
Tim Beattie

The Four Horsemen were an American hard rock band, who enjoyed a brief popularity in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Their style was blues-influenced hard rock, but their fame was both fleeting and marred by tragedy.


The Four Horsemen were formed in the late 1980s by the Welsh-born guitarist Stephen Harris (a.k.a. Kid Chaos a.k.a. "Haggis"), who had been a member of Zodiac Mindwarp and a touring bassist for The Cult.[1] Haggis formed the band in Hollywood, California, when he decided to leave The Cult, switching from bass to rhythm guitar.[2] He had previously worked with Rick Rubin, the producer of the Electric album for the Cult, who introduced Haggis to the vocalist Frank Starr.[2] Rubin also suggested the drummer Ken "Dimwit" Montgomery to Haggis. Dimwit was the brother of Charles Montgomery, aka Chuck Biscuits, then drummer with Danzig who were also working with Rubin.[3]

Their first release was a self-titled four track EP in 1989, which was influenced by the sound of AC/DC and early Status Quo.[2]

Their debut full-length album, Nobody Said it Was Easy, produced by Rubin, was released in 1991, following a two-year delay when Starr was arrested on drug charges and spent six months in jail.[4] The album generated the title track as a single, followed by the hit "Rockin' Is Ma' Business". However, Starr was arrested again and this time spent a year in jail on a drugs charge.[4] This, combined with poor album sales as the grunge scene started to take over from traditional rock, caused the record label to drop them in 1992.[5]

In 1994, the band, minus Haggis and Pape [4] who'd quit having had enough of Starr's behaviour,[2] reconciled their differences and started to put together a third release which was to become Gettin' Pretty Good... at Barely Gettin' By.[4] But the first of two tragedies struck on September 27, 1994, when their original drummer, Ken Montgomery, died of a drug overdose.[4] The band continued with production of the album, dedicating it to Montgomery and with Chuck Biscuits taking over on drums for the album's completion.[6]

Then in November 1995, while playing in the L.A. band Mad Reign, Starr was hit by a drunk driver, while driving Mad Reign's Rob Thrall's motorcycle down Sunset Strip. Starr suffered a severe head injury which left him in a coma.[5] Dave Lizmi carried on with the band as the sole remaining original member, releasing Gettin' Pretty Good... at Barely Gettin' By in 1996 on the Magnetic Air label, and embarking on a tour with vocalist Ron Young, formerly of Little Caesar, replacing Starr.[4] Though it was initially hoped that Starr would recover, he eventually died on June 18, 1999.[5] Following Starr's death, the band broke up.

In 2005, Haggis and Lizmi assembled as much archive footage of the band as they could gather, and released a two disc retrospective, Left for Dead.[2] Disc one was a DVD featuring all videos from the Nobody Said it Was Easy CD, plus rare interviews, live performances, and behind the scenes footage. Disc two was a live album.

The song, "Back In Business Again", from their Gettin' Pretty Good... at Barely Gettin' By album, was featured in the G.I. Joe: Retaliation soundtrack.[6][7]


Original members (1989):

  • Frank C. Starr (vocals) (Deceased)
  • Dave Lizmi (guitar)
  • Haggis (guitar)
  • Ben Pape (bass)
  • Ken "Dimwit" Montgomery (drums) (Deceased)

Other players:

  • Ron Young (vocals)
  • Tim Beattie (vocals)
  • Pharaoh Barrett (bass)
  • Chuck Biscuits (drums)
  • Randy Cooke (drums)
  • Mike Valentine (guitar)
  • Mike Lavoie (guitar)
  • Rick McGee (guitar)
  • Derek Young (bass)


Studio albums[edit]

  • Nobody Said it Was Easy (1991) – Def American
  • Gettin' Pretty Good... at Barely Gettin' By (1996) – Magnetic Air
  • Daylight Again (2009)

EP releases[edit]

  • The Four Horsemen (EP) (1989) – Caroline/Ill Labels
  • Welfare Boogie (EP) (2009) – Ill Labels - Remaster of the 1989 debut EP

Live album[edit]

  • Death Before Suckass: The Four Horsemen Live at Saratoga Winners (2012)

Compilation album[edit]

  • Left For Dead (CD+DVD Box set) (2005) – self-released


Year Song U.S. Mainstream Rock[8]
1991 "Nobody Said it Was Easy" 16
1991 "Rockin Is Ma Business" 38
1992 "Tired Wings" 27


  1. ^ "The Four Horsemen". Sleaze Roxx. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Stephen 'Haggis' Harris - The Four Horsemen - Interview Exclusive". Über Röck. 7 May 2010. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
  3. ^ "Killjoy Interviews Chuck Biscuits & Bad Otis Link". Misfits Central. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "The Real 100 Greatest Rock Albums of All Time, No. 10: The Four Horsemen- Nobody Said It Was Easy (Def American, 1991)". Sleazegrinder. Archived from the original on 5 January 2004.
  5. ^ a b c "» Died On This Date (June 18, 1999) Frank C. Starr / The Four Horsemen & SIN Lead Singer". The Music's Over. 18 June 2010. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
  6. ^ a b "Four Horsemen - Gettin' Pretty Good at Barely Gettin' By". AllMusic. Retrieved 30 September 2015.
  7. ^ "GI Joe; Retaliation Soundtrack". TV Movie Songs. Retrieved 30 September 2015.
  8. ^ Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Four Horsemen - Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2 August 2014.

External links[edit]