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.
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.
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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.
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.
(1) ridiculous wig minimum? 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."
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'.
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"
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.