Metal Evolution (2011) s01e05 Episode Script

Glam Metal

Sam Dunn: Here we are we've
arrived in Los Angeles. And uhh,
not the usual transportation,
we're in a leopard skinned limo,
because we're here to explore
the glam metal scene.
Growing up, the one style
ofmetal I couldn't stand was
glammetal, hair metal,
popmetal,whatever you
wannacallit,to me the
styledidn't have the
thebandsseem like boybands
puttogether by musicexecs
just to sell records,
but this style is still
a major chapter in the
history of metal.
So I want to understand
where it came from,
and where it fits in the
evolution of this music.
Glam metal emerged from the
sunset strip in the 1980'sand
grewto become a massive
millions of records.
Butthe L.A. hard rockscene
didn'tstartthere, more than
onthestrip,so I'm
meeting with VanHalen
bassist Michael Anthony
to find out how they inspired
the 80's glam metal movement.
Sam: When Van Halen started out
in L.A. what was the scene like?
Mike Anthony: The scene in L.A.
in '74 I think it was kind of
like still a very David Bowie,
Ziggy Stardust type of deal.
Everybody was walking around
with flared bell bottoms
and platform shoes and
spandex and stuff like that,
and here we are from
Pasadena, California.
Jeans and t-shirts coming
into this whole scene,
Hollywood is like a whole other
planet. We didn't go full-blown
glam but we had the platform
shoes and we had stepped up the
look a little bit as we
continued to play out in
Hollywood clubs out there,
we were really successful.
It started to really
build a following.
George Lynch: They changed
everything locally here in
Southern California. They were
massive I mean it was scary.
When all the other guitar
players got wind of Eddie it
struck fear in the hearts
of the rest of us.
I was pretty devastated.
Frankie Banali: I had never
heard of Van Halen before.
Edward Van Halen sounds like a
painter to me, so I expected to
see some old guy with a goatee
and a little guitar sitting.
When I got to the Whisky, the
line was around several blocks
to get in and I went in
and all of a sudden
I see Van Halen for the first
time and oh my god.
Mike Anthony: I remembered we'd
play shows and Dave would
tell Ed, he'd say "Hey when
you go into one of your
hammer on solo's, turn away from
the crowd because we don't
want any guitarist out there
seeing what you're doing".
I think they just looked at Dave
cause' Dave obviously was very
fashion oriented, and very
physical and athletic on stage,
just that look with the long
blonde hair and you know
Dave was a very unique front
man back then at that time.
Ben Liemer: They had inspired
the whole L.A. scene because
people said these guys starved
and suffered they played the
Roxy you know they were
hanging out at the Rainbow.
They did it. We can do it too.
And then it just exploded.
Van Halen inspired young
L.A.musicians that they could
makeit big and layedthe
generationofmetal bands on
thestrip anditwas Motley
So how did Crue kick start
the glam metal movement?
Vince Neil: Me growing up, and
when I first got into singing
it was always David Lee Roth was
the guy that I looked up to.
Dave was kind of like me, born
and raised in Los Angeles and
had that kind of beachy vibe.
I saw myself you know in him.
Sam: Can you describe sort of
what it was like to be there
before it became such
a massive scene?
Vince Neil: It was just a lot of
really cool bands on the strip
and around Hollywood. Started
playing at local places;
Gazzarri's, Starwood and
Troubadour places like that.
Me, Nikki and Tommy lived
in an apartment above the
Whisky a Go-Go and we went
out to the clubs together,
that's where the girls
came in we would always
get girls to buy us drinks
or we'd get some money from
some girls and go buy some cheap
alcohol, drink it before we
went into the clubs. So
it was a cool scene.
Nic Adler: I think for any scene
on the sunset strip who evolved
it was because there was
some sense of community at
that time, it was cheap to live
on the strip so they weren't
just coming here once a week,
they're eating here, they
were eating here, they were
working here or partying here.
They were really able to
refine the next look
because they literally lived
it and did it every night.
Ben Liemer: These guys they were
all starving in the early days,
a lot of them were
sponging off woman,
woman would buy them make up,
how they ever got people
to buy them all that food I
don't know but they did.
Mike Anthony: I mean we didn't
have any money back then, so
everything we did was very
budget. But we had put out our
own record "Too Fast for Love"
was our own label Leathur
Records we had a small
distribution. Everybody passed
on us; nobody wanted anything
to do with Motley Crue.
Vicky Hamilton: I
loved it immediately.
It was just like, god this is
so different and so great.
I was a record buyer
for the record store;
Licorice Pizza, that was across
from the Whisky a Go-Go.
So I put my ass on the
line, I bought 300 copies.
We made this great window
display and I had
in fluorescent pink "Motley
Crue" across the front,
and Nikki brought me whips
and chains and Vince came
in there and dropped a pair
of pink panties in my hand
and I was like "Ew was somebody
actually wearing these?"
Sam: Why was the visual
presentation of Motley Crue
so important?
Barry Levine: To
make a statement,
Nikki never felt
the music was
just enough,
I mean these guys were
the embodiment of
what their music was about,
what their lyrics were about.
I saw a vision of Motley Crue
as young punk version of KISS.
Nikki always had a vision
of being a real edgy
grounded theatrical band
with no holds barred.
You're very keen on the
theatrical and appearance side,
which I think you're perhaps at
the forefront of bands who do
care what you're like on stage
and videos in a different way.
Nikki: It's our job. I mean we
go out and we try to put on a
good show for the kids, and try
and at least look presentable.
Nikki Sixx: We sort of lived
in our own world, we were a
mixture of a lot of different
kinds of bands and influences.
Most visibly the Dolls, early
Aerosmith and Van Halen,
and we were taking our
influences and wearing them on
our sleeves and when we hit the
stage I felt an excitement that
we always wanted out of Rock
n' Roll and Heavy Metal.
We felt the audience was seeing
what they had been dying for.
Ben: Nikki Sixx was one of these
conceptualizers, he was looking
at the big picture, how do
we look, we want to have a
great stage show, they would do
anything to get a reaction.
Vicky: He was always very
experimental with things.
I remember when he got those
leather platform boots that
came up over the knee.
He decided then that he was
going to be doing all this
pyro-technics stuff.
Vince: You got this stuff
called pyro-gel, and you
know we just wanted to see
let's light Nikki on fire.
Ok cool. On stage we'd
have it on the sword and
I'd touch the candle and the
sword would catch on fire and
I'd hit Nikki with it,
and we'd light him.
Barry: It would go up and he
would just bring his head back.
And it was like that
was a special effect,
one that would put
you in the hospital.
Nikki: It was how many more amps
can we get on stage,
how much bigger could we make
our pyro, we would go see other
bands and go "we can
top that." You have to
experiment musically and
visually to push the envelope.
Frankie: Motley Crue really had
an attitude that they were gonna
make a huge huge impression.
If you went to the extreme,
they did that times ten. It
was all big big big big.
By 1982, Motley Crue
was signed to a major and
established themselves as the
hottest band on the sunset
strip, and once Crue and other
L.A. metal bands played the
US festival in 1983, the rock
world started to pay attention
to what was happening
on the strip.
of any US festival, between
250 and 400,00 people.
In the early 80's heavy metal
was blowing up in Europe and
bands like Judas Priest,
Scorpions and Iron Maiden were
beginning to make a
major impact in the US.
But when L.A. newcomers Motley
Crue and Quiet Riot played
to massive crowds on the US
festivals heavy metal day
the spotlight was
turning to America.
Vince: As a young band to
look out there and see
rolling hills of
people where you
couldn't see
where it ended was
just unbelievable.
We were still just
kids, this was '83,
we hadn't been on tour yet.
I remember quiet riot
opened the whole show, we
came out right after them.
Frankie: We had played to
the single biggest audience
that I think anybody
had ever played too,
and if Quiet Riot had never
done anything beyond that date
it would have been enough for
any musicians' lifetime.
Quiet Riot I'm gonna go and
catch the set are you ready?
Quiet Riot: Yeaahhhh Lets do it!
Quiet Riots performance
at the US festival exposed
the band to a huge
audience but it was
L.A. producer Spencer Proffer
who honed Quiet Riots sound
and helped pave their way
to commercial success.
Sam: Take me back to when you
first met the Quiet Riot guys.
Spencer Proffer: I was driving
around L.A. listening to
pop radio, 'Cum On Feel
The Noize' came on
as an oldie by Slade, I
said holy (beep) if I could
find a band to sing that song
how cool would that be.
I went out to this club in
Reseda, California and these
guys were singing 'Bang Your
Head', singing 'Party All
So I went up to them afterwards
and I said I'd like to
take you into the studio to
record 4 songs, and I said
you need to do a song called
Cum On Feel The Noize.
Kevin would go, "That's Noddy
Holder that (beep) (beep)
from Slade, no way
over my dead body",
I said sorry dude
that's the deal.
Frankie: The day comes
that we have to record
'Cum On Feel the Noize'
you know begrudgingly, and I
start playing and it's sounding
pretty good, and Kevin is
sitting on the other side of the
room and daggers are coming
out of his eyes at me like a
cartoon, smoke is coming out of
his ears and he was just livid.
Carlos Cavazo: We didn't like
the idea at first, we didn't
wanna play it, you know we were
being like little bratty kids,
wah wah wah we're not gonna
do this, we ended up doing
it and it was probably the
best thing we ever did.
Frankie: We did the video for
'Cum On Feel the Noize' and
we were opening up for Black
Sabbath in Rockford, Illinois
and we found out that night
that Metal Health was
going to be number 1 on
the billboard charts.
Spencer: Quiet Riot was the
magnet to the movement, and the
dominos fell behind that, all
these other bands got signed
because you know how the
A in our game works,
once you have a big hit everyone
wants 20 of the same thing.
Lizzie Grey: That was when the
record companies said
wait a minute this crazy
weird stuff that Hollywood
is manufacturing is sellable,
the country will buy it.
bands flocked from across
America to L.A. to become
a part of the Glam Metal
scene on sunset strip.
Sam: Describe for me why
that it is that you decided
to leave Pennsylvania and
come to Los Angeles?
Rikki Rockett: Central
Pennsylvania is not fertile
ground for musicians
and artists.
So we bought an old ambulance
and I remember listening to
Motley Crue, Bret and I
are assembling flooring
in this ambulance
thinking to ourselves "How many
people died in this thing?" and
we gotta drive this across the
country, you know what I mean?
It just made sense they had the
US festival out here, there was
all this energy out here, you
know you think about California
you know you hear these
bands on the radio,
you're just like I need
to be a part of that.
Sam: What was the scene
like in L.A. at that time?
Erik Turner: It was freakin'
awesome. I mean it was like
Monday night through
Sunday night,
it seemed like thousands
of people on the strip.
Bobby Blotzer: There was all
these bands, you know playing
at either the Troubadour or
the Whisky or the Roxy
or Starwood.
There was always somewhere
to go and see someone play.
Everybody would be hanging out
partying having a good time
chasing girls and
doing what we do.
Tawny Kitaen: There
were no principles,
there was nobody
telling you no.
It was also a time
of decadence,
the indulgence of
drugs, of possessions
and the way that you
could really do that and
get away with it was
by being a rock star.
Stephen Pearcy:
Yeeahhh! Check
this out,
this is
Hollywood as we
know it today.
Vicky: The sunset strip became
the social networking ground of
all those glam metal bands,
they all had their posters,
the poles were about this
thick with staple gun fliers.
Erik: That's what I think of
is fliers, fliers, fliers.
The streets were covered with
fifty bands out promoting
their shows. So how do you
make your band stand out
from the other 30 fliers
that somebody got?
Rikki: That's what we
went out and promoted
and where we really really
excelled. Most of the
record companies, almost all
of them passed on us at least
twice they said you know you
gotta build a following.
Los Angeles was at that point
it was the heavy metal, or
rock n' roll capital of the
world and we wanted to be big
fish in the big pond and you
gotta be not only talented but
you gotta be determined
to make it cause without
determination forget it.
Rikki: We played one gig
I remember we had to
open for somebody, I go,
"Bret tell everybody
we're having a party
when we're done".
He goes out on stage and tells
everybody that as soon as we are
done the first 100 people in the
room at the party up the street
got free beer. So nobody was
there for the headlining act,
everybody was hanging out with
us at the party and we were
like man let's do this every
time. It put us to like
headlining status overnight.
You know what I mean, it was
like you know, really worked..
Yeah. It really worked.
Vicky: Poison were the kings
of promotion at that point in
time and what happened was
the girls all loved it,
and the guys followed the
hot girls to see Poison
and that's when it
started taking off.
Deena Weinstein: The woman liked
hair metal because the men
were behaving as they do,
they wear lots of make up,
they spend time doing their
hair, the girls weren't
particularly interested
in guitar solo's.
Rikki: You know the really
heavy bands hated us,
which we thought was cool,
we probably got into close
to thirty street fights.
People didn't know what to make
of it, they either wanted
to (beep) us or fight us. And
I'm proud of that (chuckles).
Scott Ian: We never actually
backed going out and beating
up people wearing spandex
and having big poofy hair,
but I certainly never told
anyone to not do it.
Gary Holt: We were viewed as
the hair bands as our nemesis,
we were the dirty
motor headers and
they were the
sissy nancy boys.
But secretly we went to
their shows all the time
cause that's where
all the chicks were.
Deena: If you look at a
seventeen year old guy,
what is his interests in life?
Being a real man yeah, and
getting some. And so if you
had to choose which way
you were gonna go, hair
metal got you some.
By the mid 80's, the
glam metal scene in L.A.
was booming, bands were
fillingclubs on the strip
andsigning record deals with
major labels. Once glammetal
videos made it to MTV, the
movement started to sky rocket.
Announcer: This is it. Welcome
to MTV music television,
the worlds' first 24-hour
stereo video music channel.
MTV embraced glam metal
giving bands a perfect show
case for the sound and look
andcatapulting this music
fromthesunset strip into
livingrooms across the globe.
Rikki: The minute 'Talk Dirty to
Me' hit MTV it just started to
take off and we got the
opportunity to tour with Ratt,
the first couple weeks there is
like 20 people in the audience,
but by the first month all of a
sudden the place is filled up
when we hit the stage, and
that's when I started to go,
"Wow, this is really
starting to happen"
Nikki: In those days, everywhere
you went MTV was on
cause it was the
biggest radio station
in the world.
There were kids across the globe
that wanted something that was
gonna make them put their hands
in the air and it was then that
I knew we could take this
thing around the world.
George: We spent massive
amounts of money on videos,
it was just another
avenue to get us exposed
to a much larger audience.
Jerry: The minute you made a
video you just reached every
single eye ball in the
country, you've like wow ok,
there's your song, there's
your band, there's your look.
Robert Walser: The bands that
make it are the bands that
look good on TV because
of the medium that it is,
and it rewards
Glam benefitted
tremendously from MTV,
Glam was MTV ready because of
the emphasis on spectacle
that already existed
in the live concert.
Deena: I am quite sure that if
there was no such thing
as MTV we would
have never heard
of hair metal.
Cause' MTV, it's music
teleVISION, it's look,
the sound was far less
important than the look.
Derek: It was important, it was
important in those days.
The fame was based
on the MTV image;
they had to look the part and
a stylist was brought in
to make them look the
way they looked.
Bobby: Stephen always had this
term with fashion metal back
then, because Stephen knew
somebody on Melrose that owned
a store and had all these
custom made clothes with all
the rhinestones and sequins
and crazy puffy coats and
all this kind of junk, everybody
had their hair up big.
That's what everybody did then.
Wouldn't do it now, that
look, cause that was then.
George: I actually remember
going to the guy that used to
make outfits, and he made
everybody's outfits, from
Motley Crue to Krokus to Ratt.
He had a pattern he would use,
but he would sorta just change
the things on the pattern or
the colors so we all ended
up looking the same
By the late 80's, glam
metal bands had become
media darlings and the genre
was now a house hold name.
It was so pervasive that even
established 70's hard rock
bands hitched their
wagon to the glam metal
movement to help
re-invent their careers.
Sam: What was your role in
working with Whitesnake?
John Kalodner: I had been
a fan of David Coverdale
and the Whitesnakes
but I didn't feel like
they were making any
commercial music.
I thought he was a star
front man, star singer,
I thought he had a mediocre
band and just average songs.
My job was to make them a
commercial rock band in the
United States in order to get
the look that was appropriate
for America in 1987. I just
hired the best stylist,
the best make-up artists,
best video maker.
Sam: I see you guys kind of got
lumped in with glam metal.
David Coverdale: Well yes
in some of the pictures it
kind of difficult to tell the
difference between Whitesnake
and Poison unless you hear
the record. We worked
with the same stylist who was
doing Van Halen, Motley.
It actually just became more of
a joke to us y'know cause it
was just sort of out of control,
you know how much eye liner
shall we use? I don't know
let's look like girls!
Tawny: When I met David he was I
found out about 2 million
dollars in debt to Geffen,
but he was in a very hopeful
stage, he was very hopeful
that his album was gonna sell.
Whitesnakes great!
Oh thousands, they're
lined up outside for blocks
and blocks.
David: For whatever reason we
call it the Zeitgeist,
9 out of 10 hotels that I
checked into, when I put the TV
on one of Whitesnakes videos was
playing. MTV was the icing on
the cake and it saved me 3-5
years of hard road work
in the United States to
achieve that kind of success.
That was the immense change
of hundreds of thousands
of records to millions of
records. I was familiar with
being an underground artist
and still being successful.
To be so over ground was sort
of uncomfortable clothes.
I wouldn't change a thing,
regardless of the teasing,
it was uh, yeah my son of
course has great amusement
looking at these photos, some
of the photos at least.
Derek: The older musicians saw
their opportunity by making
themselves part of that
movement, it really raised their
career it makes them current.
Those songs are pop dressed as
metal, they looked like metal
but they were playing pop
So they were able to capture
both the hard rockers as well as
the female audience they were
able to combine both that's why
it became that popular, because
that's a mass appeal audience.
Phil Collen: It had a huge
appeal, you know it was like
lots of girls going crazy, a lot
of guys liked it as well, this
kind of looked like a pop band
but sounded like a rock band
but the songs were a
bit of both anyway
so it had a real genuine
cross over. At the time a
really big rock album would sell
about 2 million copies, but if
you crossed over into pop it
went, right through the roof.
You would do a million in a
week at one point and it was
ridiculous. And that was cool,
geez why wouldn't you want that?
Deena: If you look at which
songs were played most often on
the radio, it was the power
ballad, it was family friendly
and it's romantic,
romance brings in that
female audience and so it
sells the rest of the album.
John: A power ballad is what
allowed the audience for heavy
metal hard rock bands of the
later 80's to become so huge,
many people would tell me it was
their song whatever their song
was that they first kissed too,
their first date, their first
(beep) too.
Michael Sweet: The radio
was playing the ballads,
you would achieve
success in having
a top 40 or top 20
or top 10 or number 1 song with
the ballad much easier than
you would with the edgier
side of the record.
Sam: Did you get excited about
writing power ballads from a
musicians stand point?
George: Does anybody get excited
about writing power ballads?
I think we felt it was
a necessary evil,
I mean our power ballads
were our most successful songs.
Personally the things I liked
least about Dokken were some of
the things we were recognized
for the most and had the most
success with, but when you
get to the point where
you start making music because
it's the music you're supposed
to make rather than what
you wanna make you're
definitely compromising
but that's what we did.
Although glam metal had
become hugely popular by the
late 80's, many metal fans
including myself felt the
power ballads and MTV image
had gone way over the top,
and the music no longerfelt
like metal. Thenglam metal
startedto crash, its downfall
haslong been blamed on the
of the Seattlegrunge movement,
but it'salso been attributed
tothe massive impact of L.A.
hard rockers Guns n' Roses.
Sam: You know the history
books kind of positioned G n' R
in a way as being sort
of a giant killer.
Slash: Well I mean I
wouldn't wanna say
that we had
anything to do with killing it,
I think a lot of those bands
didn't have that much substance
so they would only last for so
long and then the interest
level would just sort of wane.
Sam: You never attempted to
throw on the spandex with
the hair and make-up thing?
Slash: We never did the spandex
or anything, there was a little
bit of make-up umm in the early
days, there was a little bit of
hair spray that happened in
the very beginning and there
definitely was a glam influence
but it was more from say
Marc Bolan than it was
the Bay City Rollers
Sam: or Cosmo Magazine.
Slash: or Cosmo yeah.
Neil Zlozower: There's pre-Guns,
and there's after Guns.
Before Guns everybody was
going to clothing designers
and having stuff made, and
pretty much after guns
all the hair and hair
spray started coming down
and all the makeup
got less and less.
Bobby: When Guns n'
Roses released their
I was like it was a
bad ass record, a
bad ass band
I was like okay we gotta
keep on our toes here.
Kevin Estrada: I don't think
Guns n' Roses helped kill hair
metal but I think they did
create a new avenue of escape
for metal fans, musically they
weren't doing what those glam
bands were doing , they were
real, they were great musicians
and music was in their blood.
That's what separated
Guns n' Roses from all
those other bands.
Spencer: Glam wasn't musical
enough. Melodically and
cord wise you couldn't
go to that many places,
after awhile it wasn't
that original anymore,
everything was cloning
everything else.
Jerry: There was Warrant,
then there was 25
mini Warrants,
and there was Ratt,
then they made 25
mini Ratts.
Pretty soon it was
just so saturated
Ben: The third and fourth
generation glam bands had
gotten so ridiculous, it's
like now we're gonna do a
power ballad and now we're
gonna do a pop anthem and we've
pink lip stick and peroxide
hair, we've got tons of
whatever the stuff that
makes your hair stand up,
I don't know what
different brand names.
Slash: We thought the L.A.
glam scene was just a lot of
they just weren't genuine. So we
were sort of the antithesis of
that and right under the heels
of that came a bunch of cool
bands like Soundgarden, Alice
in Chains, Nirvana, Pearl Jam
and then they had an even more
stripped down sensibility
that everything started
to go in that direction.
Spencer: The glam metal scene
just dissipated because
it burned, that whole Seattle
movement had an attitude,
it had a sensibility
it was a little dark
but it was fresh and it
was a change of pace.
Vicky: At that moment in
time I got it, it was like
oh yeah this is taking
over the world and fast.
I remember being at the
Rainbow and thinking okay,
the hair bands better enjoy
their last ride here.
Bobby: All I would hear on the
radio was everything but all
of us, That's pretty much when
it was like ooh man okay.
George: I experienced the
backlash of being sort of a
semi-glam L.A. metal band, we
did a show and the club was
there was people spitting at us.
I mean raining it down on us
the whole show, and I looked
over at Jeff for a second and
he had opened his mouth
to go up to the mic and
sing just got lucky or some
(beep) song and I just saw
a big loogie go right
down his throat.
We had to take him to the
hospital and get a tetanus shot.
Frankie: I think it's
over simplified;
you get a lot of musicians that
say Nirvana and grunge did it.
That played a part into it
only because almost all
styles of music at some
point, their due date comes
and I think the due
date for the bands of
the 80's was going
to come to pass.
Rikki: A different generation
was coming in and going
you know, I can't get with
this I don't feel like that.
They're saying I don't feel
like nothing but a good time I
just don't.
I can't blame them for
that, you know I'm not mad
at anybody for that,
you know what I mean.
Sam: I remember the 90's
being a really bad time
for metal, if you were a metal
head like me you didn't
really have much to be proud of.
Not only glam had disappeared
but thrash had died and
grunge was the new thing.
So what I've always
wanted to know is
what happened to the lives
of metal musicians?
Especially the glam metalers
once this music had faded out.
Sam: Were the 90's a difficult
time for you and Poison by
comparison to the 80's.
Rikki: I flat out got out
of music.
I went I'm gonna go for a
little while do something
I've always wanted to do, I'm
gonna go work on comic books.
I could not contribute to what
Nirvana, Soundgarden and those
bands were doing. It wasn't
where I come from, it wasn't
what I was feeling, it would
have been disingenuous for me
to put out a record that sounded
anything near like that.
Michael: That's when the band
you know, disbanded and went
our separate ways and went
okay, this isn't gonna work.
The other guys worked
other jobs and that's when I
took on work at a family
owned business, working a
cranberry bog business, a
uh campground business.
Bobby: The year break I thought
we were gonna have was
now turning into 4 years. You
know the dough was going
pretty quick, we gotta
buy some businesses,
I bought a flower shop and a
vending business. Next thing
I know I'm buying 75 coke
machines, candy bars all this
stuff and I had to service them.
My hands smelled like quarters
and dollar bills for the next
5 years. Pretty funny though.
Sam: How do you remember
feeling at that time?
Carlos: I
felt like (beep).
I felt like a piece of bubble
gum spit out on the ground.
We did so much for the
label and also they want
nothing to do with you. I
had to sell my houses and
everyone went through some
financial difficulties.
It's sort of like having a
girlfriend dump you I guess
you know, without knowing it,
without having any heads up.
Derek: Ultimately when the time
was up if you like as far as MTV
and radio, most of the bands
that had garnered their fame
during that period weren't able
to drag themselves out of that
hair metal bag. I'm in touch
with Tom and he's still a great
friend and I'd put on a demo
that he's just done and some
kids who were working
for me came in and said
"Man that's great, who is this?"
And I said "Cinderella".
And they said "Oh".
Enough said.
Sam: So I'm here n the outskirts
of Baltimore, Maryland
for the M3 festival where there
is Vince Neil, Cinderella,
Winger, Warrant and all
these 80's hair metal bands
have all come to play, and
so far it resembles more of
like a giant barbeque
then a rock festival,
so we gotta go figure out
why people are here.
Sam: Do you think people
are here for nostalgia,
to relive that time or why do
you think people are here?
Fan: I think they just wanna
have a good time and live the
80's all over again, cause
it was a great time.
Fan: Hot guys, long hair,
rock and roll metal.
That's what I live for, I'm
45 and I still love it.
Sam: He's still got
the good hair.
Fan: I know he's awesome
that's why I love him.
We move on with our lives
the music stays with us
that's what daddies
talkin' about.
Frankie: I think that the
advent of things like the
Rock Never Stops Tour and
Rocklahoma, all those events,
it really was like a
throwback to the 80's.
I think that it's
safe to say that
the great majority of the
audience were die-hard fans that
were there in the 80's when
it all started. There's no
resurgence it's just that those
bands are still willing to go
out there and work at any cost
at whatever level they can,
it's really pay roll.
Fun, but it's payroll.
Deena: Hair metal never
recruited a younger generation
into it and so there's no
hair metal community,
it's rooted in nostalgia today.
Bret: We're gonna take you back
to 1986, off the Cat Dragged In
record, first big ballad you
helped make big for us,
this is called 'I Won't
Forget You'. Let's do it.
Sam: Do you worry that people
will just see you as
the nostalgia
retro act is that
a concern?
Rikki: Right this minute we are
a nostalgia act in a way, and
I'd have to be honest with
myself because I mean we're
playing our old songs we're
not playing anything new.
That's nostalgia.
Today's festival and country
fair circuit has helped many
glam metal bands keep their
music alive for audiences
across America, but this isn't
the only way glam metalers
have managed to stay
in the public eye.
Hey I'm Bret Michaels
everybody, and it has been
smokin' hot, all so I can narrow
down 20 of the finest woman
you've ever seen to find
my one true rock of love.
Sam: Why do you think
these guys have
translated so well to
reality television?
Sam: Well they're stars so you
can translate in most medias,
like a Bret Michaels he's
always gonna be a star no
matter what he does.
Mark Cronin: I think the main
thing that has driven glam
metal stars into television
and reality television
is kind of a timing issue.
Television and music videos
made Poison, made Motley
Crue and because of
that you see these guys going
"Yeah, I'll do television".
They became rock stars for
a reason, they went into
this for the adulation, for the
crowds, I really feel like they
need to go on television to show
people that they're still here.
Hey, this is Sebastian
Bach, no this will not be
your average show.
Sebastian: I think all this
celebrity rock and roll started
with Ozzy, with the show The
Osbournes. That was the first
time a heavy metal musician
was outside of metal in
the public eye doing something.
My wife had her own show,
I married Sebastian Bach which
is a number one rated show,
I don't know if it was
classified as a drama,
a horror, a comedy
or all the above.
I like making albums, that's
what I do and all this other
stuff happens, when
people stop buying CD's,
you know well you got
a TV show let's go.
If you wanna know the truth
I don't do them because
I wanna do them, I laugh when
they put me on a TV show
and I go, pfft I'm just
gonna take all your money
and put it into metal.
Thank you for your money, cause
I'm putting it on the stage.
Hello you have made it!
Although reality TV has
proven a perfect match for some
glam metal front men, not all
glam metalers have found
success on prime time
television and managed to
re-invent their careers.
So how do these bands make
ends meet when they're
not playing the nostalgia
festival circuit?
[Background talking]
Erik: Need to pour some
vodka all over it.
This might be my new
career man, food network.
Erik: If we're playing 50 shows
a year that means I have about
200 days off. I've been here
the last 18 years you know.
So I said what can I do
what can I do to make some
money and keep busy and so I
started working in a high end
guitar shop. I love guitars, I
love gear so I do that a few
days a week as well. Then on the
weekends we'll go play some
festival. It's an interesting
perspective, because you go
play for a thousand of people,
like a rock star then come home
Sunday, and then you know
Tuesday you gotta be at work.
Sam: Why do you think so many
of those bands came out of
that L.A. scene died off?
Erik: It's easier to die off
than it is to stick around
and fight it out and
be tenacious and
not give up and be
gluttons for punishment.
Jerry: Quitting is just
never an option.
There was many a night where
we could of just hung up the
old hat and shoot me in the
head I can't take it.
Sam: Why do this at this
time in your life?
Rikki: Well I'm not gonna be
able to do Poison forever,
I'm not getting any younger
so.. umm who knows I mean
maybe we'll be the glam rocks
Rolling Stones I dunno.
I decided to start my own
company with my name,
Rockett Drum Works,
put my name on it.
I'm here you know, punch me
if I do the wrong thing.
I feel like again I can bring
something to the table, I feel
like it's something I could
turn over to my son one day,
I can't really do
that with Poison.
I really get excited about
making a guys dream come true,
I'm the person that
really does understand.
Sam: What's the balance of
priorities for you right now,
Poison and Rocket Drum Works?
Rikki: Well Poison you know is
obviously my priority cause I
know that's how I can make
money and it's been my
life's' work you know. But this
is more about craftsmanship,
I lived in Pennsylvania and
it's a very working class area
of the country and when I came
out here started dancing
around Hollywood trying
to be a rock star I kind
of left a little of that behind
but it really is in me.
Sam: I think it just sort of
adds to the story of glam metal
that a lot of these guys have
moved on and with someone like
Ricky he's actually managed
to build a second career.
I think we have this assumption
that they did their thing
in the 80's and they're
all washed up and done.
And you know, some of them
are, but some of them aren't.
Bands that survived were also
the bands that ultimately
weren't just in it for the look
and the lifestyle. Say what you
want about Poison, fact of the
matter is a guy like Rikki
he had a vision for what
they were going to be.
Even though I'm still not
a fan of glam metal and
can't stand the outfits,
many glam metal bands
are not the boy bands
I thought they were.
After meeting with these
musicians I have a new found
respect for their
commitment to their music,
and I admire their
determination despite
abuse from die hard
metalers like myself.
Glam metal is clearly a much
more important part of the
evolution of heavy metal than
I ever gave it credit for.
Previous EpisodeNext Episode