This might be hard to understand, now that you can’t really be in a band unless it looks like you could get beaten up by my imaginary kid sister I invented just now for the purposes of this blog, but back when I was growing up, guys in tight pants and make-up who teased their hair out and sang in really high voices ruled MTV and the airwaves.
Back when rock was tough.
I know that might not make any sense, but I mean “tough” compared to a bunch of pussies like Dashboard Confessional or James Blunt or Metallica.
My point is, for a brief period in time everybody loved hair or glam metal. They won’t admit it now, of course, but they did.
You know the names, but probably only from infomercials and VH1:
Poison. Ratt. Motley Crue.
But who was the best? The most “rock n roll”?
For the purposes of this comparison, I will leave out Bon Jovi, because I hate New Jersey. Also, I won’t count any bands that were actually any good, like Guns N Roses. These were all on the fringe of the hair metal scene, anyway.
I will leave it to any band that looked like a bunch of girls. Which, I must stress, still makes them tougher than any emo band out there.
- Poison. Poison was always a second-tier hair metal band in my mind. They had some chart success but were never really that cool. You wouldn’t see any really badass kids wearing Poison concert shirts to school, though you might see a really skanky chick with a giant band patch on the back of her stonewashed denim jacket. How wussy were they? I went to one of their concerts. But despite all that, Poison loses by disqualification for having a member appear on a reality show after getting cleaned up and having his life turned around. Lame.
- Motley Crue. You might think a band known for having a drummer with a huge wang who used to bang Pamela Anderson couldn’t possibly lose a contest like this. And you would be wrong. Why? Three words: Vince Neil. While it’s super cool to get wasted and crash your car and kill your friend and then never go to jail for it, it’s not super cool to cry about it at church with M.C. Hammer and then “jam” on stage with Corey Feldman.
- Ratt. If you lived in America in the 80’s or Eastern Europe right now, you couldn’t escape the hit single, “Round and Round” by this band. I think one of their members died of AIDS. They are prominently featured on one of those behind the music things; VH1 seems to love them. That speaks pretty highly against them (the VH1 thing, not the AIDS thing – no letters please), but what really sinks them is the fact that they are still together, playing county fairs and shit like that. Just give up!
- Great White. Another fringe band, I remember my friend Todd, the one who used to chase his sister around and play grab ass, really liked them, but I never got it. Then they had that fire at the concert and a bunch of people died. You probably think that’s pretty cool and rock n roll of them, but I think the fact that they are primarily known not for their music, but for negligent homicide speaks to the fact that they weren’t very good. Murder would have been another story.
- Warrant. Back when women knew their place, these guys were putting out good time hits like “Cherry Pie.” It might be hard to believe now, but in the 80’s you could actually get away with having a video featuring a big-breasted slut on roller skates who gets sprayed with a hose and generally objectified, to promote a song that compares her vagina to food. But before you get too wistful for the good ol’ days, you should know they also put a song called “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” that had nothing to do with black people or slavery or anything like that. Not cool.
- Winger. You guys wrote a song about statutory rape and you still can’t win this thing? Really? Not only did you lose, but you came in last place? (Yeah, I guess this is in some sort of order.) If you have watched a single episode of Beavis and Butthead, you know why these guys are so lame. They are the favorite band of Stewart, Beavis and Butthead’s bed-wetting, wussy friend. If he loves ’em, that’s enough for me not to.
So there we have it. Six shitty bands.
But who’s “the winner?”
“This list doesn’t really make any sense,” you say? “Eric, you are a goddam idiot, just tell us who won already–”
The winner is Cinderella. A band that named themselves after a beloved fairy tale princess, yet still managed to be the toughest, most rock n roll hair metal band ever.
Why? I’ll tell you why. They never went on a shitty reality show and cried about their problems. They never burned anyone to death or threatened to beat up a cartoon. They never did an interview about how much Nirvana sucks for ruining their careers, then tried (and failed) to re-invent themselves as Nirvana so their illegitimate children wouldn’t starve once they realized hair metal and glam rock wasn’t ever coming back.
They didn’t really do anything. They just disappeared. As they should. As all of these bands should have done. I don’t want to see them and their man boobs on Celebrity Fit Club and they have politely honored this request so far.
So, because they had the good sense to go away and shrivel up and die in a cave in Pennsylvania or something, I award Cinderella with the title, “The Greatest Hair Metal Band of All Time!”