Saturday, April 26, 2014

HAIR BANDS: 30th Anniversary "Greatest" List

30th Anniversary
"Greatest" List

Back in the day, my appetite
for this stuff was insatiable.
Oddly, these days, I'm not so
hungry. But 30 years later,
it's kinda fun to look back.
Isn't it?

Pioneered in the early '70s by the New York Dolls, developed in the mid-'70s by Angel and perfected in the late '70s by Hanoi Rocks, it caught fire on LA's Sunset Strip during the early '80s. And by the mid '80s, the turbo-charged, spandex-clad, Aqua Net-fueled, whiskey-soaked and cocaine-inspired "good-time" Hair Band craze had become a worldwide phenomenon. But by 1991, the party was over (cue the "fat lady"). And be sure, despite the denial of those who've tried in vain to administer CPR for the last 20+ years, the patient remains flatlined — and there ain't enough bogus, half-baked reunions or "Rib Fest" revivals that can bring it back to life.

The original Hair Band blueprint.
But to commemorate what I consider to be its "official" 30th-ish anniversary, I wanted to take some time to reflect on "the greatest" the outrageous bands and the iconic music that made the Hair Band era such a magical time for so many rock fans.


A no-brainer, to be sure. In fact, on
all levels, nobody else comes close.
The songwriting genius behind Poison's
mammoth success. And the 2000 self-
titled release from his side project,
Samantha 7 is ranked (by me) as the
4th greatest rock record of all-time.
Pick up that guitar and talk to me!


Stryper's "visual timekeeper" was (and is) a
magnificent musician and a powerhouse
performer. AND, he was hotter than most
of my girlfriends a definite Hair Band
plus! Check out "To Hell with the Devil,"
"Calling on You" and "Free" 'nuff said.


The mastermind behind Poison not only
was the greatest Hair Band bassist, but
he's also perhaps the all-time greatest
 rock star  PERIOD. And I'll stand
confidently behind that claim.

Paul Stanley

Even the infamous "masked messiahs"
morphed into a Hair Band briefly during
the '80s. Although "Crazy Crazy Nights"
and "Bang Bang You" were embarrassingly
cheesy, even by Hair Band standards,
"Reason to Live," as well as the entire
  Asylum album still stand up nicely against
some of KISS' all-time best work.

Arena rock sing-alongs about chicks — Check.
Non-stop fast and furious shredding — Check.
Wailing vocals — Check.
Mark Slaughter in tight pants — Check.
Ridiculous-looking hair — Check.
All systems go, indeed!
("That Time of Year")


Often described (by me) as "America's
Rolling Stones," this Pennsylvania-based
combo was greater and possessed more
cred than the "Hair Band" label would
suggest. And they hit a grand slam with
this 1988 classic. It still gets me "chubby."

Roxx Gang 

Their only major label record,
Things You've Never Done Before,
kinda tanked in '88-'89. But this
St. Petersburg, FL band was THE
"real deal" and it shoulda sold
ten million copies. If Guns N' Roses
had been twice as great, they
still couldn't have polished
Roxx Gang's boots. Just sayin'.

Britny Fox

Simply put, this band was the whole package.
(Seeing is believing)

"Girschool" MTV video

"Save the Weak" MTV video

"Standing in the Shadows of Love" 
MTV video

So there ya go my Hair Band 30th Anniversary tribute. I hope you enjoyed it. And please feel free to offer your personal comments below.

-Christopher Long
(April 2014)

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