PUNK GLOBE:I can't believe it has been 25 years since Reality Check TV's first show aired. What a milestone! Tell us about your first show.
Ace Annese:Actually, prior to Danny and me joining, RCTV aired for about a year and a half with another co-host, whose handle was "Moca D. Lite" (actual name Michael, don't know his last name)Michael L. They mostly did a more stream-of-consciousness kind of show, trolling around local parties and so on. Funny thing is, according to Hugh, the Creator and Exec Producer of the show, he originally wanted it to be an alternative news program. That, apparently, went by the wayside, and it evolved into the madness which now airs weekly on SF Cable Channel 29 Saturday nights at 10: 30pm....
D-D-D-Danny:His name was Michael Lites!
Ace Annese:How I got involved was I was out at the old Paradise Lounge here in SF (now gone, sadly) and I saw a sign that essentially read "If you enter the premises, you agree to be filmed for Reality Check, a cable-access TV show"...etc. At the time, I was managing/booking bands, writing for local magazines like American Music Press, and DJing at Terminator, a local Rock 'n' Roll dance club, along with Bondage a-go-go, an underground club that focused on goth/industrial music and live bondage and fetish displays. I figured it would be cool to have these guys come down and check out BAGG, to help spread the word on an underground level. So, I found Hugh and Moca floating around the club, and we struck up a conversation, and found ourselves to be kindred spirits with a lot of friends in common. I invited them to BAGG, and they showed up. They shot an interview with me on camera, and as time went on, became fast friends. On a parallel track they had hooked up with other mutual friends who did a local KISS Fanzine, called KISS Heaven, and lived with Danny. We shot a segment on that as well. Danny and I also knew each other from working in the local music scene, and so I had Hugh and Danny come to a show I was doing at Big Heart City, a "Battle of The Bands" thing. As it turned out, Moca failed to show up, and Danny and I sort of subbed for him doing interviews with the bands. Essentially, both Danny and I just became part of RCTV because the original guy fell by the wayside. We used our contacts to get well-known artists to appear on the show, and so that is how it has been since 1993. But RCTV probably had a couple dozen episodes prior to me, and subsequently Danny becoming a part of the program.
PUNK GLOBE:So when you and Danny Shipman joined Reality Check TV had you already gotten a time slot on Cable?
Ace Annese:Yes, but when is a question for the creator of the show, Hugh MacKenzie. All hail the Creator!
D-D-D-Danny:It was airing twice a month on Sundays when it was channel 25 and changed time slots a few more times before I took over as editor. By then it had become channel 53 and we were still on twice a month. Once I had big enough back catalog we went to being on weekly.
PUNK GLOBE:Hugh is such a nice guy! Tell us about the original crew at Reality Check TV 25 years ago?
Ace Annese:There was Hugh and for a short time, Moca, and occasional camera work by Kevin Champ, Bret Ford, another guy named Scott Williams, and then myself and Danny. A couple of years later, the classic line up was solidified when Dave Dragon became a member. We've had some guest commentary/interviews by Ron Skullsmasher, and Yvonne Fimbres as well. More recently, my dear friend Bobby Black of High Times mag has even done an interview for us, with Cheech and Chong!
PUNK GLOBE:Other than Cable playing host for the show has it given you any financial support?
D-D-D-Danny:For a brief while we had a page on Mevio.com and had ad campaign deals and began getting some fat paychecks! For a while we making enough to live on but then Mevio got rid of all outside content and just does their own now.
Ace Annese:No, Reality Check TV has been self-funded by all of us.
PUNK GLOBE:Tell us how often you aired new shows in the early years?
Ace Annese:Probably 10-20 shows per year, and now it's probably 25-30, sometimes as many as 40 per year. This year we'll hit 666 total, if not more.
D-D-D-Danny:I have every satanic episode planned!
PUNK GLOBE:Wow That is incredible to say the least. As memory serves me right Realty Check TV and Dee Dee Russell's show were nominated for San Francisco Cable Access Awards in San Francisco.. Tell us about the years you won?
Ace Annese:The SF Cable Access Awards were 1997 & 98, if I recall correctly. More recently, it was revived as SF Commons Awards, as the channel is now administered by Bay Area Video Coalition.
Dee Dee's show was in a different category. Actually, I think she was in a different category back then too...Anyway, we love Dee Dee TV, which is completely different from our show. We also have 3 "Best of The Bay" Awards; 2 from the now-defunct SF Bay Guardian. and an SF Weekly Reader's Poll Award for Best Local TV Show.
D-D-D-Danny:I remember Ginger Coyote attending the '97 access awards their to support us. That meant a lot you came there for us.
PUNK GLOBE:I sure did Danny and also Dee Russell's show... That Tell us about some of your blow out parties that you have hosted?
Ace Annese:Hmm, well, we've done quite a few. Personally, I have held some great events in NYC to coincide with my 45th, and 50th Birthdays. I had some NYC artists play, including Dava She Wolf of Cycle Sluts From Hell/She Wolves (now in Star & Dagger w/ Sean Yseult of White Zombie) and Richie Scarlet of Ace Frehley's Band, a dear friend who also has played with Sebastian Bach (Skid Row) and Mountain. Those have been personal highlights. A few years back we had a BIrthday Bash for Danny with THOR, the Rock Warrior performing, who is a dear pal. That was a good time. I personally organize several showcases at local venues like Bender's or Slim's or DNA each year, and we've been part of events like Nadine's Wild Weekend and Noise Pop, among others, which have featured local and regional acts, and some well-known headliners. We've collaborated with local promoters like Iron Fist Circle Productions and Bay Area Rocks for things like Hannemania (a tribute to the late Jeff Hanneman of Slayer) at Oakland Metro and Slaughter By The Water, a festival that has had a variety of headliners and local metal bands. The latter had one of its shows on an aircraft carrier! For the past several years I have been Stage Manager/MC of the Haight Ashbury Street Fair and the HASF Battle of The Bands, which we shoot segments for annually, and in a related fashion, we are Media Sponsors of Comedy Day, a charitable event held for the past 30 years or so in Golden Gate Park. So we are proactive in putting on and supporting events of all kinds on a variety of levels!
D-D-D-Danny:Our party for the release of the film "Detroit Rock City" was a wild drunken fest at our house! At one of my birthday parties got a spanking from pro dominatrix the Vinyl Queen. The paddle she brought was like a baseball bat! We've had burlesque performers and strippers at our events. I had the Almost Lucky Side show perform at another of my Birthday bashes where I got to staple gun a playing card to this girl's forehead then she let me drink a beer through a tube that wen up her nose and out her mouth into the pint glass!
PUNK GLOBE:Love Dava and Sean! Looking back at the last 25 years tell us about some of your stand alone episodes?
D-D-D-Danny:Our most famous interview is with Abbath of Norwegian Black Metal band Immortal. I was expecting him to be super serious and melodramatic and try to come off all evil and mean as most Black metal bands portray themselves but instead he was goofing off and being silly and for some reason it's gone viral with new comments everyday on our You Tube page That can be viewed here
My personal fave is with another black metal band called Dark Funeral who really tore Christianity and the Bible up in the interview with some very strong and valid points https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sp_hTvOVSHQ Joey Ramone back in '94 was absolutely great and he asked about you Ginger and the Debutantes. Falling James Morling of the Leaving Trains had me in stitches as he went off on his ex wife Courtney Love and did a great impression of El Duce from the Mentors! One of our infamous moments was when we used to air on Concord cable and an episode featuring adult film star Lovette caught the ire of this housewife who called Channel 7 ABC news and gave us the best publicity ever! Our annual coverage of the adult entertainment expo always goes over big with our viewers including Dragon Dave's adventures at the Moonlite Bunnyranch. One of our "Reality Chicks" Cathy M*E*T*A*L got us a lot of attention with her 36K boobs and caused quite a a stir like when she got them plaster casted
I also interviewed equally busty porn star Claudia Marie which turned into a make out session
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1HWmFEMq2fs Music wise I'm especially proud that we're the only show that gives real love to female fronted and all girl rock,punk & metal bands like The Donnas, Girlschool, L7, Bitch, Hellion, Lita Ford, Doro and more I'm very proud of my interviews with the lovely Elize Ryd of Sweden's Amaranthe. She has the potential to be as big as Lady Gaga or Madonna if she can get the right push in America http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x13p99y_amaranthe-s-elize-ryd-on-reality-check-tv-7-30-13_music Jello Biafra has given us some priceless moments. Our content has been used by the E-channel's "True Hollywood Story":Rock Wives, Pink, Bret Michaels,and Criss Angel. Ace and I have both been interviewed and our material used in the documentary "Get Thrashed:The Story of Thrash Metal",an unauthorized Green Day documentary, 2 unauthorized Metallica documentaries, New Wave of British Heavy Metal Band Raven, and the forth coming documentaries on L7 and Ginger Coyote!
Ace Annese:Well, with so many episodes, stuff blurs together. But some of my favorites of course tend towards my celebrity/pop culture icon/rockstar interviews, like Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons and Peter Criss of KISS, Malcolm McDowell of Clockwork Orange fame, George Takei and Nichelle Nichols of the original Star Trek, Mark Hamill of Star Wars, Rick Neilsen of Cheap Trick, and our dearly departed friends, the late Ronnie James Dio and Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead. The latter 2 were close friends, especially Lemmy. I am still saddened by his passing. He was truly one of the best people I have had the pleasure of knowing, and he was a big fan of ours.
Lemmy on Reality Check TV
PUNK GLOBE:How did your connection to KOFY TV 20 come about?
Ace Annese:My understanding is Dave Dragon, our co-host, met one of the execs at the station, and told him about the show. We set up a meeting, and went there to talk to him, and later on, his boss. They thought we'd be a good fit in their programming. However, for us to air on the channel, we'll have to pay for the airtime, so we're in the process of soliciting sponsors and have a GoFundMe campaign to raise some cash to help get the program on the line up. While the gang there loved our show, their biz model doesn't include funding independent productions. So, we hope to have it funded by Fall 2016 to coincide with the 25th Anniversary.
PUNK GLOBE:Danny, Marc and Ligaya of One Finger Films loved the footage that you sent! Especially the Joey Ramoone footage. Thank you so much. Is James Gabbert still involved with the station?
Ace Annese:Gabbert sold the station to a media corporation quite a few years back, and wasn't involved for a while. More recently, he was brought back to act as a sort of mascot/spokesman but he doesn't have any day-to-day portfolio, as far as I know.
PUNK GLOBE:I believe we all have been guests on the Late Night With James Gabbert at The Sleazy Arms Bar.. Do you have any good tales?
Ace Annese:Oh, yes, I did a few of those shows, which were filmed during the daytime, and were sponsored by a different beer or brand of booze each time. I 1st appeared on it around 1990 or 91 to promo a DJ gig that became Terminator. My memories are kind of vague otherwise, because I was pretty hammered!
D-D-D-Danny:I was on there once with a local band called the Screaming Bloody Marys. Chelsea Rose of Bite were there too and I think she was in the White Trash Debutantes at the time. It was sponsored by Mickey's and I got pretty sloshed on all the free Mickeys. James wanted someone to do something outrageous on TV so I swallowed a full cup of pretzels and spit them all over and I grabbed one of the Mickey girl models and acted like I was making out with her.
PUNK GLOBE:I really enjoyed it when KOFY TV 20 would do a Barnaby Jones or Cannon marathon? Did you have any favorites TV shows that Late Night aired?
Ace Annese:I liked the Creepy KOFY Movietime show, which featured go-go girls and bands playing in between cheesy horror films on Saturday nights. And Perry Mason with Raymond Burr. If only lawyers were more like that! Haha!
PUNK GLOBE:White Trash Debutantes played as well as were in the audience for those nights.. James Gabbert supported WTD alot.. Did any of you ever appear on Dance Party?
Ace Annese:I think I may have been present once or twice. I was more into Sleazy Arms, though.
D-D-D-Danny:I'd never do a dance party but we loved Kreepy Kofy!
PUNK GLOBE:Do you have any time frame when Reality Check will begin airing on KOFY TV 20?
Ace Annese:We hope to be on by Fall 2016.
PUNK GLOBE:Tell the readers about your Go Fund Me drive?
Ace Annese:As I mentioned earlier, the campaign is to help us pay for the airtime, which isn't cheap. Please help support indie media! The more donated, the bigger the prizes we give away for the support!
PUNK GLOBE:Can you give the readers any links to donate at?
Ace Annese:Click https://www.gofundme.com/realitychecktv - Any donations are greatly appreciated.
PUNK GLOBE:Any other Internet addresses you would like to let the readers know about?
Ace Annese:Yes, our main page is http://realitychecktv.com, which is a central location for visitors to see current episodes, and see what events we are either supporting or a part of. Our Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/realitychecktv/. We're on Twitter at https://twitter.com/RealityCheckTV2 and Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/realitychecktv/ We love to have fans follow us and we love hearing from you!
PUNK GLOBE:Describe yourself in three words?
Ace Annese:Rock and Roll!!!
D-D-D-Danny:Non stop Party!!
PUNK GLOBE:Who is the show backing in the Presidential race this year?
D-D-D-Danny:I haven't been paying attention!
Ace Annese:Hmmm...as a rule we don't really endorse anyone, but we individually support progressive candidates. We have had some politicians on the show, especially local SF Supervisors like Eric Mar, who is a fan of the show, and John Avalos. Former Supervisor/Sheriff Ross Mirkirimi has been on as well. Good guy who kinda got railroaded, in my opinion. Our State Assemblyman Tom Ammiano has been a frequent guest, because he's also a stand up comedian and appears at Comedy Day, which I mentioned earlier. Our State Senator, Mark Leno, has been on as well, as has current Governor Jerry Brown (back when he was Oakland Mayor) and even now-US Senator Al Franken has been interviewed, prior to his election. Someone I personally would LOVE to meet/interview is Bernie Sanders, and speaking for myself, would love to see him elected as President. He's originally from Brooklyn NYC, just like me!
PUNK GLOBE:I am glad you feel The Bern. Any final thoughts?
Ace Annese:I am thankful for the opportunity to be interviewed by the legendary Punk Globe, which has had so many cool people and great bands in its pages over the many years it has been published. I see some of what we do in it, although PG has been around a lot longer! I hope it continues for many years to come. It's been an honor and a privilege!
D-D-D-Danny:I thank you Ginger for your support and the times you've appeared on our show.I want all the Punk Globe readers to check us out if they can we're Hell raising debaucherous nonstop party action shock rock TV in the extreme!!!
Punk Globe would like to congratulate Reality Check TV for 25 years of entertainment. Here is to 25 more years... Thank you all so much!