I’ve been raised listening to A LOT of hair metal. As a result, I can honestly say that it’s my favourite style and era of music in every way.
Hair metal artists showed different degrees of theatrics with their hair, make up and costuming, yet they could still rock like you wouldn’t believe. The visual style of it all is very cool to me. I love the long, big, teased hair, the headbands and hats, the tight jeans and leather pants, the big black boots and I even like the make-up. I love the fact that these grown men were perfectly happy to get into their all their gear, which definitely pushed society’s idea of what a male rocker should look like, and get up on stage and go berserk and scream and sing and even just sit there with their guitars and sing some of the most beautiful love songs of all time. It’s awesome.
Now I love the style of it all but even more than that – I love the song writing. There’s a really wide variety of stories told in hair metal music. There was a pretty heavy drinking theme going on back then, it was the whole rock star/groupie theme where you play music all night, get drunk and then have girls throwing themselves at you. There was a lot of that and sometimes, even doing all three at the same time! But they could also belt out an unbelievable love song – something that could really reach in and take over your emotions and make you cry. Rockers had feelings and these guys weren’t afraid to show it!
Another one of my favourite things about hair metal is the amazing talent of some of the guitarists! We’re not just talking about guys who could play, we’re talking about some of the best guitarists of all time and also some of the best guitar tracks and solos of all time. Eddie Van Halen, Slash, CC DeVille, Mick Mars, Vito Bratta, Ace Frehley and Ritchie Sambora are all well known guitarists from the hair metal movement and they’re all absolute freaks.
My two favourite hair metal bands are Guns N Roses and Poison.
I’ve loved Poison from a very early age. Of course, I love all of the things that I’ve already mentioned – their style, appearance, performance quality, songwriting – but I also love the definite influence of blues and southern rock – giving the band and their music a bit more of a fun and approachable tone compared to others. This was definitely helped by Bret Michaels having a real cowboyish twang happening and I have to admit, it just completely sucks me in. I watch Poison music videos and concert footage and it really annoys me that I wasn’t around to enjoy hair metal as it happened or to meet Bret Michaels when he was younger.
The disturbing reality here, is that Bret Michaels is now 52 years old. Disturbing because I think I could be in love with him. It’s like that scene out of the Wedding Singer where Linda and Robbie are discussing why she ditched him at the alter. “I think I’ve figured out what’s been bothering me. I’m not in love with Robbie, now. I’m in love with Robbie, six years ago. Robbie, the lead singer of Final Warning; I used to come watch you when you were in your silk shirt and Spandex pants, and you would sing into the microphone like you were David Lee Roth”.
Well I’m not in love with Bret Michaels now, I’m in love with Bret Michaels, twenty seven years ago. I need to get some kind of magic letterbox, all Lakehouse-style, so I can have the romance I feel I’ve missed out on!
Anyway, now I’ve grossed you all out and regardless of my little crush, it’s a huge dream of mine to meet Bret Michaels and I’d love to interview him. I have a huge appreciation for Poison and the impact they had at the time and more the point, the impact their music has had on me and I hope he’d be impressed by the fact there are some fans (aka stalkers) out there from the younger generations.
Guns N Roses is my all-time favourite band in general. I could go on all day about the Gunners but I’ve decided to save that for another time.
I’ve rambled enough. Go and listen to the show!