“When I moved to LA in the late eighties, I was spending a lot of time with Jonesy and he knew the Chrome Hearts people who had started out in 1989 from a little backstreet operation in Santa Monica.
They made leather jackets and leather pants and I believe I was their second ever customer… Jonesy was the first! They were just doing cool bespoke biker stuff and jewellery and I had some leathers but traded them back for jewellery.
Then in the early 90s there was a big fashion to have the wallets with the big chains dangling down so I had one of those. When The Cult played the LA radio station KROQ FM’s ‘Almost Acoustic Christmas’ show in 1992 I remember sitting playing and the chain got stuck in the chair! I ended up dragging the chair off stage at the end of the set and that was pretty embarrassing!
I also took the wallet chains off to make necklaces as they can unhook and later on there’s pictures of me wearing those too.
Over time they started getting more and more popular and a lot of major artists started wearing Chrome Hearts jewellery. Now they are a multinational brand and I still remain great friends with Richard and Laurie who run it.”
Billy - August 2019