The Greatest (hair) Metal Band of All Time!


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!”



  1. As much as I hate to admit it, I live in Oklahoma. The reason I am admitting this is that I don’t know any other way to tell you about something without you coming to the conclusion that I actually cared about a particular event. The event: ROCKLAHOMA, dude!
    This past weekend, most of the shittiest bands ever created converged just outside of Pryor, Oklahoma for festival of epic contortions. I dare you to google “Rocklahoma” without having a large container of eyewash handy. All your faves were there! Just think of it: 3 days filled with all the groups you mentioned (except Cinderella, of course, and Vince Kneel was there without the rest of the Crue-what a disappointment), plus Dokken (anyone for Rokken?), Skid Row, Quiet Riot, White Lion, Faster Pussycat, and more! Slammin’!
    Too bad you live in California where they dole out the cool in small doses. We get the whole schmageggy here in the heartland.
    If only Metallica could have been here. I just adore that song “Enter Sandbox”. So does my cat.

    Anyway, suck it. suck it hard. The great ones know where the cool is. I just wish I hadn’t forgotten to call in that air strike.

  2. What is your beef with Skid Row? They are frickin awesome! Do you consider them too heavy like GNR.

    Did you know that the Skids once played a softball game against PanterA and got smoked by 20 runs? That is hardcore…. Okay, I’m just rambling now…

  3. Ah shit, I knew I wouldn’t remember all these. I wrote this shit at 5 am. I’m still gonna stick with Cinderella for the following reasons:

    a.) Skid Row gets the same “one of their members was on a shitty reality show” disqualification. Plus he was on Broadway. That must have been awkward, huh? “Hey everybody, I’m that guy who wore that anti-gay shirt on national TV, but I’m now ready to sing and dance with you folks from BROADWAY.”

    2.) White Lion is the only other one I would really consider. Quiet Riot was too hard and Faster Pussycat was only popular in Oklahoma. White Lion can’t win because their biggest hit was about crying children. How metal is that? The answer: not very.

    d.) Dokken: weren’t they Christian? Nice try.

  4. Don’t forget about “Gilmore Girls”. Such diversity. He’s realy honed his talents since his days with “The Skidd Marks”.

  5. I drive all night
    Just to see the light….

    I used to be now Im not what you see, lord I try
    And now it seems all those dreams have come true, but theyre passing me by
    Some fast talkin mama for a dollar put a smile on my face
    Im drivin all night
    I end up in the same old place

    My gypsy road cant take me home
    I drive all night just to see the light
    My gypsy road cant take me home
    I keep on pushin cause it feels alright

    And whos to care if I grow my hair to the sky
    Ill take a wish and a prayer cross my fingers cause I always get by
    Some fast talkin jerk for a dollar wiped the smile off my face
    Im drivin all night
    Just to keep the rat in the race

    My gypsy road cant take me home
    I drive all night just to see the light
    My gypsy road cant take me home
    I keep on pushin cause it feels alright

    Sometimes I feel so old
    Got my lights burnin bright
    But Im lookin pretty sold
    Sometimes I feel so cold
    So cold
    Lets go

    Got to get on home
    My gypsy road cant take me home
    My gypsy road cant take me home, t-t-take me

    My gypsy road cant take me home
    I drive all night just to see the light
    My gypsy road cant take me home
    I keep on pushin cause it feels alright

    My gypsy road cant take me home
    I drive all night just to see the light
    My gypsy road cant take me home
    I keep on p-p-pushin
    My gypsy road
    My gypsy road
    My gypsy road
    My gypsy road
    My gypsy road

  6. Elise,
    Thank you for sharing your teenage poetry. That can be a very embarrassing time period. I am sure when you wrote that back when you were 13, you thought it was really good but now you look back at it and say, “that looks like something a 13 year old girl would write!” But we grow and mature, you know? I mean, imagine how stupid you would feel if you were an adult and you actually wrote the words,
    “And whos to care if I grow my hair to the sky
    Ill take a wish and a prayer cross my fingers cause I always get by
    Some fast talkin jerk for a dollar wiped the smile off my face
    Im drivin all night
    Just to keep the rat in the race.”

  7. here’s an interesting “Rocklahoma” story for you. i live in Nashville, and actually know a couple of dudes who drove out to Oklahoma to go to this stale event. i will admit, they did it mostly for the novelty. but here’s the funny part… one of the guys ended up fucking some dried-up skank who, hand to God, had “Too Fast For Love” tattooed on her ass. these people are still out there in ’07! and my buddy is fucking them.

    and sorry, Eric, but he couldn’t find anyone there with a pair of Oakleys for you. they were there… just not for sale.

  8. Was the dark of the moon
    On the sixth of June
    In a Kenworth pulling logs,
    Cabover Pete with a reefer on
    and a Jimmy haulin’ hogs.
    We’s headin’ fer bear on I-1-0
    “Bout a mile outta Shaky Town,
    I sez, Pig Pen, this here’s the Rubber Duck,
    and I’m about to put the hammer down.

    By the time we got into Tulsa Town,
    We had eighty-five trucks in all,
    But they’s a road block up on the clover leaf,
    and them bears is wall to wall.
    Yeah them smokies ‘as thick as bugs on a bumper,
    They even had a bear in the air,
    I sez “Callin’ all trucks, this here’s the Duck-
    We about to go huntin’ bear”

    ‘Cause we got a great big convoy
    Rockin’ through the night
    Yeah, we got a great big convoy,
    Ain’t she a beautiful sight?
    Come on an’ join our convoy
    Ain’t nothin’ gonna git in our way.
    We’re gonna roll this truckin’ convoy
    ‘Cross the USA.


    Well, we rolled up Interstate Fourty-four
    Like a rocket sled on rails,
    We picked up a case of penicillin
    At the Turnpike entrance scales.
    By the time we hit that Pryor Town,
    I knew we hadn’t been smart.
    I saw a twenty-five-year-old tattoo
    Saggin’ on a forty-five-year-old tart.
    We saw miles and miles of mullets,
    and a scene I’ll never forget;
    It was a parking lot full of pickups and Camaros
    That all smelled like mold and sweat.

    “Uh, breaker Pig-Pen, this here’s the Duck-
    Uh- you might want to back off them hogs,
    10-4, ’bout a mile or so, 10-roger
    Them hogs is gettin’ in-tense up here-”

    Well we laid a strip back to Nashville,
    An’ we wanted to get there quick.
    ‘Fore one of those tatooed one time groupies
    Put her festered lips on my wick.
    I sez “Pit-Pat, this here’s the Rubber Dick,
    We just ain’t gonna pay no toll.
    I’m just glad to get out of Rocklahoma
    With no jam on my jelly roll”

    Cause we got a mighty convoy,
    Rockin’ through the night.
    Yeah, we got a mighty convoy,
    Ain’t she a beautiful sight?
    This chick wants to blow our convoy,
    Ain’t nothin’ gonna git-n-her way,
    She’d like pullin’ a hair band convoy
    From Pryor to L.A.


  9. Geez, thanks for the dissertation Eric. My adopted brother Gabidula went without his one meal for the day because I read(mostly) this.

    Also, didn’t Tommy Lee give that guy from RATT aids? I’m kind of sure they shared a dick vein heroin needle once. I’m also pretty sure he is responsible for 59 of the countless communicable STD’s. Maybe it was 56 though, I don’t remember.

    Still, he has got a lot of gorgeous poon in his time, which makes him immune to scrutiny, right?

    Rock on!

  10. I really, really despise Hair bands… however, you’ve done a great job making me believe that there might be some merit in “when women knew their place.” Great job with the story!

  11. You know, thanks-a-lot Eric, you had to remind us all of these shitty bands! ;0) You are 100% dead-on about Cinderella, and I should know: I was so bored once, I went and saw them. What was so strange is that they sounded like a heavy blues-rock band live, totally unlike the LPs. Granted, they sucked-ass anyway, but it was odd, and it was 1988 at the JACC at Notre Dame. Amazingly, there was pot smoke in the air…I cannot see what anyone got out of this from their music in any respect whatsoever.

    Yeah, scary, but I saw a number of these shitty bands, though Motley Cure was OK in 1984 because they were so drunk that it was actually entertaining. If only every member of all of these bands was like Vince Neil (successfully killing one another while driving drunk). What’s really sad about all of these bands is that it shows the poverty of the average–OK, below-average, way below–person’s imagination. Why settle for such pap?

    Emo: wasn’t that some fucking comedian?! Not to disparage your fine profession, Eric. What I find so lame is that Emo actually is FAR FUCKING WORSE THAN GLAM METAL COULD EVER HAVE HOPED TO BE. It’s a bunch of whiny little suburban cocksuckers who needed an older brother to kick their asses around some, humble their narcissistic asses. Worst offender: Matt Hart of the lame-ass Squirtgun. I had contact with the asswipe at Ball State in the early-1990s. He had a shitty song that he played with his proto-Emo band “FON” (Freaks of Nature) that was on the “Mallrats” soundtrack called “Social.” He now teaches philosophy at Ohio State at Cinncinatti, the phagocyte. Listen to it online (don’t buy it), the song is excrement, just like the trust-fund cunt that “wrote” it. Fucking fuck is fucked! There, I think Bob Odenkirk might appreciate that. GOddamned right, I miss when wimmen folks knew their place…

  12. Metallica aren’t pussies? You ever seen “Some Kind of Monster”? There’s audio and photographic proof! They stopped being good when that bus crashed killed Cliff Burton, end-of-story! We’re forgetting that the Vince Neils of the world survive, while the intelligent, talented metalhead musicians die in a bus in some weird way. Randy Rhodes, perfect example! Insofar as good metal is concerned, I’d recommend Isis and most of the material put out by Hydrahead records, they’re tops. Relapse is OK too, though most metal can go die as it should have long-ago.

    Another anecdote: I argued with a redneck in Muncie, Indiana for an entire four hours over whether Spinal Tap was a real band or not. I shit-you-not, he never relented from the position that they were REAL, that the 60s footage was REAL, that they were a real band! Four hours. I assume he’s the guy who has to put on scuba gear and dive into sewage-tanks at the water treatment plant there–where he belongs for the rest of his life…

  13. Yes, I had the fucking misfortune of seeing Europe at the same rock festival as Motley Crue, Accept, Ratt, Ozzy, Quiet Riot (scary), and bunch of others I wish I could have amnesia over. Europe is a winner for worst ever, though I thought Poison was pretty egregious. Thank you Nirvana, and I didn’t even think you were all that either.

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