Rights of the Accused

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Rights of the Accused (called ROTA for short) was a Chicago band from approximately 1982 to 1991. The band was well known for their wacky live shows and funny lyrics. At some point around 1985 or so, the band's sound went from more of a punk sound to a metal sound.


  • Michael O’Connell, Vocals
  • Jay Yuenger, Guitar
  • Anthony Illarde, Drums
  • Brian St. Clair, Drums
  • Herb Rosen, Bass
  • Steve Steppe, Bass
  • Wes Kidd, Guitar


  • Fifth Amendment tape (demo)
  • Mean People Suck tape (intended to be a 7" on Version Sound/Feedback)
  • Innocence 7" (Little Farmer Music, 1984)
  • Dillinger's Alley LP (National Trust, 1987)
  • People You Fear 7" (Big Money, 1989)
  • New Rose 12" (Noise International, 1990)
  • Kick-Happy, Thrill-Hungry, Reckless and Willing LP (Noise International, 1991)
  • Christmas With the Devil split flexi w/ Soundgarden(Reflex, 1991)


Life After ROTA

Many of the members of ROTA went on to notable careers in other arenas.

  • Jay Yunger went on to become "J" in White Zombie
  • Brian St. Clair became half of Local H
  • Wes Kidd formed Silent Partner Management, who manages acts such as Cheap Trick & Local H
  • Kidd & St. Clair formed the band Triple Fast Action
  • Herb Rosen is the owner of popular Chicago nightclub The Liars Club
  • Steppe was part of many popular Chicago punk bands, such as Negative Element
  • Anthony Illarde formed Regress with Steppe and Joe Losurdo of Life Sentence
  • Illarde is also a member of San Tropez


External Links