Riki Rachtman Spun Tales Of the Sunset Strip In Sellersville

by Alex Lloyd Gross

Dec 12, 2022

Riki Rachtman had the best job ever. He was the host of Headbangers Ball on MTV in the late 1980’s through 1990’s.  His responsibilities includes interviewing rock bands and traveling to exotic places to report on bands overseas trips.  He did it well. In spite of that, he still would be told by some people how much he sucked. How they could do it better. Truth be told,  Rachtman was Headbangers Ball and he was on top of his game. He also owned a rock club that was visited by strippers and rockers back in the day.  Last night, Rachtman paid a visit to Sellersville to tell some stories from that time period.

The show was  attended by about 100 people that came out on a crappy night. They wanted to hear backstage stories and they got what they paid for.  He was a DJ in a dance club before MTV and Rachtman was playing dance music.  Still, he liked hard rock. “I’m in the DJ booth and I am told that Heather Locklear and Tommy Lee are in the club. Lee played drums in a new  band (back then), called Motley Crue.  I had my  rock records and then he showed how he interspersed bits of Crue music into the dance song. That impressed Lee so much that he hired Rachtman to DJ his wedding. Rachtman then said the brought three friends as assistants, hired a limo and went to the event.

Then there was the time inside his club called the Cathouse that David Bowie was drunk. Hey was obnoxious and he tried to hit on Axl Rose’ girlfriend, which caused Rose to chase Bowie down Sunset Boulevard shouting threats at him. Rose then went back to the club and played a blistering set.


Rachtman was the first to be open about his drug use and how he has been sober for decades. He was also open about the tact that he had no formal training to do his hosting job. Axl Rose made some calls and got him an audition.

That was just a small sampling of the tales that Rachman either saw or was a  part of. All of it was true and uncensored. His show was about two hours but could have gone longer. There was a brief intermission and there was no opening act.  He said that he is having a blast, intends on writing a book and then possibly go back out on tour again.


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