Lots of hair rock rules
Glam Metal, Hair Metal... whatever.
Like a lot of us late 40-something / early 50-somethings... this is the stuff I grew up playing. I was one of those teased up leopard skin spandex under my torn jeans shirtless drummers on Sunset for years.
I look back on those times and that music as some of the greatest times of my life.
We'd go see Xciter, then Dokken. We'd go see Greg Leon and Quiet Riot. We'd see the Crue at back yard parties, then at Pookies in Pasadena, then at the Starwood. I still have their self-pressed Leuther Records EP I bought from Licorice Pizza across from the Starwood.
Grand Avenue, Snow, Smile, Odis Lift, Kick Ax, WWIII, White Sister... the list of bands we saw or played with is endless.
I just got home from Japan today. There is a place in Tokyo called Disk Union. floor after floor of metal and punk discs. Stuff never released on disc here, or long long unavailable. I think I spent $200 in that place (or maybe $2000... I dunno. It was a pile of yen), and I had to drag myself out of there.
Priceless finds - bands I haven't heard anything out of for decades... now coming back to life on my iPod as I flew home this afternoon.
Oh, don't kid yourself... a lot of these guys could flat out play. But what is "great music"? Being a great artist? Being a great musician? Being in a great band?
For me, the memories of being in my 20's again - and all the amazing times we had were worth it. Fingering through hundreds of discs, wanting them ALL... just picking the most precious memories for my flight home.
I love hair metal. I love the songs, I friggen LOVE the guitar work, I love the over-the-top balls out live in the moment execution, I love the place it holds in history and in my own feeble mind. I love that we used to get dressed up to go out. Going to a club or a concert was an event... not a walk out the door thing. I loved getting dressed up to play. I loved having another personality to me during that time.
Music is one of those amazing things that utterly and completely depends on the stuff that came before it. As an influencer, as a validator, as a foundation. As musicians we all know this. Grunge is a response to Glam. Acid is a response to 50-s bubble gum. Most of the early rock guys came out of jazz and swing. Punk and Disco started as club music and spawned entire sub-cultures - influencing the rock most of us listen to.
I feel you, sbowman. IMO, the Hair Metal phase gets tossed off, spit on, laughed at, forgotten about, ignored, disrespected, and stepped over far too often. I'm a prog guy... have been forever - when Hair Metal was alive, my road took me that way. When it gave way, I moved back to prog and have been there since.
But of all the turnouts on this road I've been on, the hair metal glam metal turn out is absolutely my very favorite one. The music from 79 - 89 still shapes my playing today more than anything else. I can't listen to it exclusively... I'll go mad. But I love, love to come back to it regularly.
It makes me smile. And that's what music should do.