A Bad Time for Barbers, A Good Time For Denim

I have the occasional weakness for 80’s hair bands. I’m not proud of it but to be fair I did grow up during that craze and it was hard to ignore, especially when my best friend growing up grew his hair out and wore acid washed jeans on a daily basis. I wasn’t a huge fan of the LA based bands or music (or the jeans) but there were a few songs that I dug. Ratt was one band that stood out especially Round and Round and their first two albums Out of the Cellar and Invasion of Your Privacy were very strong. I also liked Cinderella and their semi-scary appearance to go along with the freaky AC/DCish vocals from Tom Keifer. I listened to Def Leppard, was lukewarm to Motley Crue probably because Home Sweet Home was overplayed and I couldn’t stomach Poison and was counting the days until their Behind The Music cliched nosedive into obscurity began. I have reaction to Every Rose Has Its Thorn similar to Bluto Blutarsky did in Animal House with an acoustic guitar player. 30 years after the hair band scene conquered MTV I can now appreciate the music more than I did then since it is no longer ubiquitous and in some ways it still feels the sting from Guns N Roses and Nirvana that both had a hand in the scenes demise. Appetite for Destruction and Nevermind put all the 80’s hair albums in perspective as the pop-metal songs they were and as such showed a limited shelf life. I’m not knocking the bands efforts since I do think they had something to offer but I have not heard a lot of bands name drop these groups as influence. Steel Panther or The Darkness maybe? I’m not sure if younger generations like this era of music or if it just hasn’t had a proper revival yet but I can personally attest to reaching for either Ratt or Cinderella’s greatest hits on any given day, give it a good play all the way through and then tuck it away into cd obscurity again until the next urge hits in a couple of years or so. The only band of this genre I’ve seen live is Def Leppard during their Yeah! tour as they toured with Journey as their opening act. It was a good show but the only part i really remember though was when the intro to Photograph started (the greatest 80’s pop song in my opinion) and my friend and I just looked at each other and yelled as loud as we could. I guess it’s part of our music DNA. Just don’t play “I gave my love a cherry, that had no stone…”

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