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In Defense of Hair Metal

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?

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Darcie Cameron is a RYT 200 who believes Yoga is a gift that is accessible to everyone with proper modifications, a patient smile and just taking the time to breathe. One of the greatest presents you will ever unwrap is when you connect your mind, body and spirit in perfect sync with your own breath. Connect with Darcie on Facebook

24 replies

  1. I’m basically in the same spot you are, being THAT parent. This weekend, I told my youngest daughter that I believed Justin Bieber was trying to channel Vanilla Ice with his side-shaved hair, blond streak, big hooded sweatshirts, tats, etc. She had no idea who I was talking about, so we Googled images from his early days. “Oh My GOD!” she screamed. And, for the next 10 minutes or so, I reveled in my coolness. Plus, I can’t stand Justin Bieber, so it was an awesome 10 minutes in my fatherhood.

    1. Hahaha! I can’t either…I was cleaning out some old boxes the other day and came across a mixed tape. My son looked with curiosity and asked “What is that?”

      The times they are a changing…

  2. If anyone ever got a peek at me home alone on a very good or very bad day, they would catch me listening to the music of days gone by, dancing and singing into a hair brush.

  3. I not only don’t listen to hair metal, I didn’t even know what it was. I have heard of Motley Crue, now that I think of it, but never listened.

    So. What does the rocking chair set listen to when they’re ready to get it on? This, for example.

  4. No, I never got into the whole hair metal craze. For me it was (and still is) grunge. I was listening to it on the drive to work this morning, as a matter of fact. Long live The Melvins!

  5. You know, for hair metal being so “forgettable,” there really are quite a lot of people still discussing it and its forgetability…

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