Over a week ago I was destined to see Motley Crue take the stage. But life happens and I sighed in defeat knowing that I would never get the chance to catch Tommy Lee’s drum sticks in the air at the end of the show.
As a kid caught at the end of the Gen-X curb I was brought up in two worlds the first was my early teens in tight jeans singing out loud to the sounds of hair metal. Only a few later years I had evolved into grunge with my Walkman volume on high looking very angry all of the time.
I am now that parent in the car complaining to her kids that they just don’t make music like they use too.
As the sun was shining on Sunday afternoon I pulled out May’s edition of the Atlantic, curled up on the patio chair, and went straight to James Parker’s article “Bad Hair Days.” It was about the rise and fall of hair metal. I cringed and agreed as he made his long list of complaints about the decadence and excessiveness of hair metal. He points outs “…hair metal was inherently forgettable – perhaps the most forgettable music ever.”
This is the part where I disagree with Mr. Parker as I have not forgotten the big hair, the make-up, and when Dr. Feelgood comes on the radio I hit my pedal to the metal. I still sing Talk Dirty to Me and I embarrass my kids when I start to sing We’re Not Going to Take It with their friends in the car (the perfect anthem for a really bad day).
The purpose for Hair Metal was to have a good time and perhaps it is not for the pretentious at heart.
You know that one music friend.
“Did you hear the new Lumineers album?”
“Yes, I heard it a while ago.”
“Isn’t it great?”
“Well. It was. But now it is just over-commercialized.”
If we have learned anything popular music has an end date and moves onto the next newest thing. It keeps Mr. Pretentious Music happily on his toes so he can admit to be the first to listen to it.
“You know before it was big.”
As Mr. Parker put down hair metal with gusto “There art was flashy and disposable – and is has been disposed of.” He forgets that millions of people still listen to these catchy tunes because sometimes they do not want to wallow in the depths of despair to the recent sounds on the radio or the anger of grunge. Sometimes people just want to have a good time and that will never be a disposable art but a fact of life.
Do you still listen to hair metal from time to time?