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The State of GLAM & HAIR METAL


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I know this article is a couple years old... but it is a pretty funny read. I'm sure some will just shrug this off while others will be pissed at the writer. After reading this, I just wonder how he can explain the growing popularity of this music nearly 3 years later. I also wonder how he would explain the explosion of new bands since the "Return of glam & hair metal"...

 

Anyway...Here it is:

 

Glam-Metal 2008! You’ve got to be kidding me!

 

By Mike Cavanaugh

 

Could today's resurgence of 80's glam-metal band reunion tours mark the return of this genre or is it just some sick and twisted reenactment of H.G.Wells “War of the Worlds" initiated to drum up attention for a product? I truly hope neither, but I'm sure Maybelline and Aqua Net could use the sales.

 

When I was in my late teens / early 20's living on the East Coast in Maryland, bands like these (Motley, Ratt, Cinderella, Bon Jovi, Def Leppard) were all the rage and I, along with my stoner friends, went to see these bands play at the Capital Center in Landover and the Bayou in Georgetown. And truth be told, between the ages of 18-22 I was a make-up and spandex wearing, bleached blond lead singer for numerous garage glam cover bands in Maryland. I even moved out west to follow a music dream in 1988. Luckily, reality kicked me in the head and I gave that idea up quickly. However, in the last few years as a music photo journalist and writer within the Los Angeles music scene I've started noticing more and more 80's era band gigs listed in the LA Weekly or on club marquees. Wait a minute, isn't this 2008? How on earth is there a burning desire to see L.A.Guns, Motely Crue, Pretty Boy Floyd, Y&T or whatever 80's glam-metal reunited (missing a member or two) band, at a legendary club like the Whiskey or some other club, 20+ years after the fact? I'm wondering if I should plan on dusting off the lawn chair and sleeping bag to camp out for tickets?

 

Through the years of living in Los Angeles I've become jaded musically towards the 80's sound, the sound of my generation, and thankfully I'm not stuck in an 80's music era fog like many 40 something’s I see who flock to the dance floor the second "Cherry Pie" or "Here I Go Again" hits the P.A.. And you know exactly who you are. But leave the confines of La La Land, and the radio desolated wasteland of Los Angeles, and these 80's bands are still selling tickets, albeit at monster truck rallies and shopping center grand openings, but hey 10,000 screaming fans is still 10,000 screaming fans. And yes I understand why Poison is popular given the unimaginable success of the VH1 show "Rock of Love" - a complete and utter farce in its own right, yes Brett a joke - but Poison isn't the leader of this resurgence so there's gotta be something else.

 

I'm convinced this resurgence of 80's glam-metal bands is the direct result of what can be described as Middle America Mullet Syndrome or MAMS. A devastating and debilitating syndrome affecting its infected host by causing copious consumption of cheap 12-pack Busch Beer while listening to "Round and Round", "Pour Some Sugar on Me" and "Come on Feel the Noise" cranked up on the exhaust spewing Camero Alpine car stereo in some dirt patch out yonder. Coupled with the Mullet Syndrome is the graduated 80's sect of the public who can't get past and let go of the whole high school experience, and nothing brings back those 80's memories like going to see Poison at the Value Center Arena in Columbus, Ohio. But don't stay out too late because the baby sitter has to get home to finish her Social Studies report. Come to think of it, I wonder how much it costs to rent out Cinderella or White Snake for the upcoming 25th high school reunions?

 

There's something about watching aging glam-metal rockers in their 40's, 50's, and dare I say older, prancing around with dyed hair plugs (I could name names but that would be mean), the always fashionable but never forgotten guyliner, bandana's with faux fur cowboy hats hiding missing parts (dare I say who), expanding waist lines in black leather pants going on reality TV shows to get their fat asses in shape, unable to come close to hitting those solid gold notes without the manipulation of ProTools filters. There's a reason this music fell out of fashion, should remain out of fashion, and the reason the term poser exists in our musical vocabulary. It's obvious none of you 80's era glam-metal rockers hang out with people who aren't star struck, kissing your ass, or working for you. Because if you did you'd hear what's honestly being said about your performances the next morning around the water cooler - old, slow, tired, fat, worn out, out of tune, pathetic, a joke, looked and sounded like a parody of themselves, I thought I was watching an episode of Spinal Tap.

 

Now I don't want you guys, or you 80's rocker chicks, to think I'm picking on you because I'm jealous of your success because I'll honestly never know your success unless this editorial piece wins me a Pulitzer. At which time rest assured I'll credit you on David Letterman with inspiring me to create my hit reality TV show where I search for long lost band mates, hunt for love, loose my spare tire, discuss my dysfunctional family, showcase my manliness to change a flat tire (how do you spell triple-A), and of course display my killer fashion sense. I'm just as critical of every single new upcoming Indie band I review who sings off key, writes crappy music, wears stupid looking clothes, and plays in those same pay-to-play clubs you started in.

 

Bands that filled the radio and MTV back in the 80's were somewhat cool then, but this is 2008, and these bands are no longer cool. What we have now are guys who are 20+ years older, who look and sound every bit of those years. How outdated is the new Motley Crue "Saints of Los Angeles" track? Gee guys, thanks for bringing us this rehashed can of Spam in 2008. How did you know this musical re-run was exactly what we were missing in our lives? Oh, and we're all on pins and needles waiting for the new Axl Rose solo project (and one original member of Guns & Roses does not make it Guns & Roses either). When this new CD drops I sure hope Amoeba doesn't sell out because I'll just die if I don't get my copy of that overblown ball of twine. Just release the damn thing and move on, because we have. And let's not overlook the 80's rockers who have tried to step outside the musical box which made them household names. I think Dr. Frankenstein's first dozen attempts were more effective than your Linkin Park / Limp Bizkit, copycat of whatever’s hip today, rip-off disco DJ project. Oh, and don't think your solo CD or country CD got overlooked either. Actually, they did get overlooked, and makes my point for me.

 

I must confess I am being a bit too harsh because I honestly can't fault these bands for getting together to make a little extra coin to make a house payment. After all, everyone has bills to pay and mouths to feed. However, getting together to play a couple dates is one thing. But these full blown tours, and dare I say new CD’s ("with or without all original members") 10, 15, or 25 years after your last record, gives me the same doubled over sickening feeling in the pit of my gut I get when I'm walking into the dentist office for a root canal. I don't care if you've made new music! Radio stations don't care you've made new music! The new music makes us not only question the validity of the hits but points out how bad your song writing was and still is. Do us all a favor and write a book or paint instead. This way we can save our laughter when it's reported in the press that you've gone back into rehab and this band member isn't speaking to that band member and the band has once again "officially" broken up but the tour is continuing on with scabs. Your new music, and most of your old music, aside from your hit, is the moment in the club I put the horns down, walk over to the bar to get another tequila, and head for the clubs patio area to wait out the tedium and misery until something palatable is played, or until the next band comes on.

 

As for whether these 80's glam-metal backs are making a comeback, all I have to say is Elvis, has left the building!

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Wow, I remember reading this... why is this guy so angry? Why does he seem to encounter 80's style music and fashion everywhere he goes? He should probably just read Rolling Stone, because they don't like that shit either and they can tell him exactly where all the cool hipsters like himself hang out. I love it when the pseudo intelligentsia uses all them big ol' words and yet can't seem to do it without a whole bunch of typos, run on sentences, etc...

 

These are the guys that happily embrace "real life" and "growing up" because they live in complete fear of the possibility of being on the other end of their insecurity fueled ridicule.

 

...and like you said, so what does he think now, a couple years later when these bands still get $1000's per night?

 

Ah well, I'm sure he's got a pithy remark for that too.

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While I think there is some truth in what he says in the article I also think it is a desire to hear enjoyable music - we had to endure grunge and then the boybands and whatever fad has come and gone. I think people enjoy listening to stuff they grew up on (pointing to the graying classic rock bands out there still) but the music itself is good. The new wave of glam and hair bands build on the success of their elders and they are gaining in popularity.

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Wow, I remember reading this... why is this guy so angry? Why does he seem to encounter 80's style music and fashion everywhere he goes? He should probably just read Rolling Stone, because they don't like that shit either and they can tell him exactly where all the cool hipsters like himself hang out. I love it when the pseudo intelligentsia uses all them big ol' words and yet can't seem to do it without a whole bunch of typos, run on sentences, etc...

 

These are the guys that happily embrace "real life" and "growing up" because they live in complete fear of the possibility of being on the other end of their insecurity fueled ridicule.

 

...and like you said, so what does he think now, a couple years later when these bands still get $1000's per night?

 

Ah well, I'm sure he's got a pithy remark for that too.

 

Well said, Pete. I won't waste my time dissecting his article but it's not nearly as witty as this guy thinks it is. Cavanaugh; go back to taking pictures and trying to look cool.

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In my opinion, the "State of Glam & Hair Metal" is that there are far too many good bands for me to afford to buy all their CDs!

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I'd actually be interested to see what this clown's musical preferences were, just for interest's sake.

 

The thing is that... and I don't know how it is around the rest of the world... but when I go to these gigs, yeah, I see an abundance of old dudes with the old shirts and even the odd 20 year old mullet. But every single time, without fail, in the mix is a heap of younger kids too. Ten years younger than me, even, and I think at 31 I'm even considered to be a "young" fan of the genre.

 

I dunno, all I mean to say is that the music doesn't just speak to the people who were around when it was in the charts. There are plenty of other people out there, unsatisfied with the current musical landscape (like I was back in 1995 when I first got into this type of music), finding joy in great music.

 

I often think about this, but I wonder if there are other "fads" of music still doing as well as "glam & hair metal"? I wonder if there is still a scene for all the fads that have come and gone as strong as there is for this type of music. It's a legitimate wonder too. Not a condescending one. I seriously wonder if fans of a music genre that has supposedly been and gone still have it as good as we do. I know about 10 years ago we didn't really have anything much to look forward to either. Back then I thought all I had to do was pick up everything that had already been released and I'd have all the CDs I needed for the rest of my life. I never really counted on new stuff being released that was as vital as the stuff from the hey day.

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I just love how the "only" people that still listen to this music in his humble opinion are 40-somethings with mullets sitting in their Cameros with the tape deck cranked while they rev the engine and swig cheap beer. Must be shitloads of those fellers since the music has enjoyed such a nice resurgence in popularity lately.

 

So what about the 30-somethings still sitting in their parents dark basement with their greasy hair and dirty flannel shirts smoking pot and hating life with Nirvana cranked up on their Kenwood stereo? Maybe that can be the authors next rant. :screwy:

 

Here is the schmuck's website by the way...

 

 

and here is the music magazine he writes for...

 

http://www.allaccessmagazine.com/vol6/issue09/glam.html

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  • My Little Pony

Pheww! I thought he was talking to me, but he was adressing you old-ass mullet wearing gits. Actually, scary thing is I'm a 23 year old mullet wearing git.

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The thing is that... and I don't know how it is around the rest of the world... but when I go to these gigs, yeah, I see an abundance of old dudes with the old shirts and even the odd 20 year old mullet. But every single time, without fail, in the mix is a heap of younger kids too. Ten years younger than me, even, and I think at 31 I'm even considered to be a "young" fan of the genre.

Even in my little indie band, I'm amazed at the amount of young (and I mean young) people that just dig the shit out of our music from all over the world. So yeah, we've got the 40-something angle covered, and being one myself that's awesome because I can actually relate to my audience. But then we've got like freakin' teenagers thinking we're the coolest thing since sliced bread... met quite a few of 'em at shows and on the web, and they dig "our" music.

 

Quite honestly I wouldn't want some elitist fuck like the author of the editorial coming to our shows. I'm from Jersey, and I've already had my share of scowling arm-crossers at shows with my old bands, all thinking they could do it better, etc. Fuck 'em... :banger:

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I don't even care about what other people like this say.

 

I like what I like and could give a fuck if someone else likes it or not.

Amen Brother. Amen.

 

I'd have to say that most of us probably have this same point of view. Even in the heyday of hair bands and glam I took all kinds of abuse.

 

Since the college I went to was 3 hours away for any larger city I would always have to travel to see shows.. sometimes missing classes to do so. I was always being ragged on for my loyalty to the genre. Man I wish I knew where some of these people were now. All those A-HA and Cutting Crew fans... and by the way, where are those bands today?

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I know about 10 years ago we didn't really have anything much to look forward to either. Back then I thought all I had to do was pick up everything that had already been released and I'd have all the CDs I needed for the rest of my life. I never really counted on new stuff being released that was as vital as the stuff from the hey day.

 

Exactly. I remember picking up Steve Plunkett's My Attitude several years after its release (Without inet access at the time, I wasn't even aware he had released one) and it instantly became my album of the year. I genuinely loved it but my discovery of it came at a time when nothing ('cept maybe the Scorps) was being released within that genre. Coverage in magazines like Metal Edge had become nonexistent.

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  • 2 weeks later...

You know... I was pretty into the Metal scene (between playing a bit and working for the larges rock publication in the area) in and around Baltimore at the same time he claims he was in these bands. I grew up 30 minutes outside of Baltimore and 40 minutes from Washington D.C. and went to every club in the area. In 1989 I moved to Ocean City, Maryland (Maryland's Easter Shore)where this guy claims to have been in bands. In the summer Ocean City becomes the second largest town population wise behind only Baltimore... but in the winter everyone in the area knows everyone. Just saying.. I think he is full of shite. I wish I knew the name of some of these bands he claims to have been in. The odds are.. if they ever played outside of a garage I would have seen them at some point.

 

Would there be a way to find out which bands he was with..?

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