Randy Piper

Randy Piper (born William Randall Piper on April 13, 1953 in San Antonio, Texas) is an American rock guitarist and songwriter, best known as the co-founder and original guitarist of the heavy metal band W.A.S.P.

Randy Piper
Piper performing with W.A.S.P. in the early 1980s
Piper performing with W.A.S.P. in the early 1980s
Background information
Birth nameWilliam Randall Piper
Born (1953-04-13) April 13, 1953 (age 67)
San Antonio, Texas, United States
GenresHeavy metal
Occupation(s)Guitarist, songwriter
InstrumentsGuitar, backing vocals
Years active1975–present
Associated actsSister, Circus Circus, WASP, Animal


Piper grew up listening to Elvis Presley records and watching every movie Presley was in. Inspired by his hero, Piper began playing acoustic guitar at age 10. While still in high school, Piper opened a record store in Long Beach, California, called "Wheatstone Bridge".[citation needed] In 1978, Piper opened a rehearsal and recording space called Magnum Opus Studios in Buena Park, California.[citation needed]

Circus Circus 1979–1980: Joey Palemo, Blackie Lawless, Jimmy Image, Randy Piper

In 1978, Piper met another local musician named Blackie Lawless at the Starwood in West Hollywood. The two became friends and began recording demos at Piper's Magnum Opus Studio. Joey Palemo (bass) and Jimi Image (drums) were added and the band Sister was formed. Lawless later changed the name of the band to Circus Circus, allegedly after attending several performances by Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.[citation needed]

Circus Circus evolved into W.A.S.P. by 1982. The band's live shows incorporated burning signs, mic stands made out of huge chains, and girls dancing in cages. One of the most infamous stage sets featured the illusion of live rats being fed directly into a meat grinder[citation needed], while the band tossed raw hamburger and chicken livers into the audience. Animal rights groups quickly took offense.

By the end of 1985, following the release of W.A.S.P.'s second album, Piper decided to leave the band. He later formed the band Animal.


with W.A.S.P.

with Randy Piper's Animal

  • 900 Lb. Steam (2002)
  • Violent New Breed (2006)
  • Virus (2008)

External linksEdit