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David S Grant

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Excerpt from Rock Stars
Monday, March 01, 2010  11:34:00 AM

by David S Grant



Music
Read an excerpt from Rock Stars: The rise, fall, and rise of eighties front men into pop culture.

 

From Introduction titled, "I Wanna Rock!"

I’ve never played the guitar.  It has never even occurred to me to pick up a guitar, or any instrument for that matter.  At the age of thirteen; my time often spent mowing the neighbor’s lawn with my Sony walkman, Ratt’s Out of the Cellar cassette blasting away into my ears, thinking about how cool Stephen Pearcy was as he sang “She Wants Money”.  I didn’t even know what she wanted money for; I just knew it was for bad reasons.  It was always bad reasoning and bad decisions. That’s what made Stephen Pearcy cool. 

 

Returning to my bedroom I would place the cassette back into its proper case (the one with Tawny Kitaen crawling on the cover before David Coverdale made her famous), remove Motley Crue’s Shout At The Devil, and stare at my walls covered by pictures torn our of Hit Parader, Circus, and Metal Edge magazines.  Most of the photographs were not live shots, but rather poses of the lead singer; usually with their lead guitarist (the one exception being that Nikki Sixx was a bass player and always posed with Vince Neil).  I never understood why Eddie Van Halen had to be in the same shot as David Lee Roth.  Why not include the whole band?  In addition to David Lee Roth, Vince Neil, and Stephen Pearcy you would find Bret Michaels and Axl Rose hanging on my wall, but never Kip Winger, it was just too much hair, even for a thirteen year old metal head.  

 

 

In the pictures they wore eye shadow, lipstick, and lots of women’s lace.  Their interviews told tales of sexual debauchery and drug use.  I was not gay nor did I use drugs nor was I having sex.  These were the lead singers of their respective heavy metal (or glam rock as would later be known) bands that belted out the lyrics of rebellion songs such as “Round and Round”, “Heaven’s On Fire”, the latter seemed like a rebellious anti-Christianity song, now after watching the video appears to be an ode to group sex, and “Ten Seconds To Love”, another song I wouldn’t fully understand the meaning to for a couple of years.

 

 

To this day I am able to list all of Motley Crue’s songs, in order, from their Too Fast For Love album through Dr. Feelgood (I still have not been successful listening to Generation Swine through its entirety).   At one point I owned six Ratt albums.  To this day I will defend the band Poison (not musically, but as a cohesive unit that made some of the best party songs ever).  Sebastian Bach is a great lead singer and his work on Skid Row’s second album should have won a Grammy. There I said it.  I can also honestly say that I will buy every new Motley Crue album for as long as I live. 

 

 

Back to my bedroom: I remember sitting, looking up at a shirtless David Lee Roth.  He had pouty lips, blood shot eyes, and was holding a bottle of Jack Daniels.  These were my heroes.   Twenty years later I found myself in Los Angeles, on Sunset Boulevard, steps away from The Whiskey where Motley Crue, Ratt, Wasp, and Poison all played.  Standing there, the temperature was seventy-five degrees yet I still got goose bumps.  I was thirty-four years old at the time.

 

 

As a teenage boy in Wisconsin I had nothing in common with any of these bands or individuals (nor do I today).  Still, these were the coolest people I knew at the time and to this day am still fascinated by them.

 

 

It was around 1991 when these types of heavy metal acts were declared dead by Kurt Cobain and the grunge movement out of Seattle.  Out went the pop guitar sounds laced with sleazy lyrics, the large amounts of Aqua Net hair spray, and eye shadow.  In came a new rock that supposedly sounded better depressed, draped in flannel while eating a granola bar.  Not surprisingly this movement didn’t last too long (although part of this is probably related to the fact that many of the grunge stars died), giving way to a whole new genre of music known as “boy bands”.  Almost ten years would pass until rock would return to the mainstream.

 

 

During the eighties the phrases “heavy metal”, “hard rock”, and “hair bands” were scary to most.  The music was direct, in your face with no apologies.  However, during the “dead years” something happened.  “Heavy Metal” became retro, classic, and given a second listen.  The same fans that turned their back on these bands realized the hole that was left and they wanted it back.  The bands made to look cool for MTV, wear excess on their sleeve, and put on over the top concerts was back in demand.  Which brings us to where we are today.  Welcome to the revival. 

 

 

So why now?  Why these same bands?  Was it grunge that killed the eighties glam acts?  For the latter, I say no.  For me, I pinpoint the end of the eighties was ten minutes after The Nelsons premiered there video “After The Rain”. 

 

 

Today’s culture is realizing what they missed from the eighties.  The same way soccer moms listen to Madonna, the accountant that used to shot gun Bud Lights listening to Dokken wants their youth back.  During the eighties your average heavy metal ticket buyer A: Had long hair and was considered a hippie, i.e. pothead  B: Was an outcast,  and C:  Liked the idea of incorporating a cigarette lighter into their music.  These fans are still around today.  The have mixed themselves into middle class society.  They do your taxes.  They pour your coffee.  They police your streets.  In addition to the adults that grew up with this genre of music young music fans are also just now discovering Van Halen, Motley Crue, and Guns N Roses and they want more.

 

 

The purpose of this book is not to promote any one or group of individuals, but rather look at their unique skill sets and how they have been applied to either today’s popular culture or have distinctly influenced the resurgence in heavy metal glam acts we see today.  It is hard to flip on the television and not see one of the eighties front men starring in a reality show, commercial, or making a cameo appearance in network TV.  Who would have guessed Motley Crue would be the special guests on a season finale of a network drama titled Bones, that Ozzy Osbourne would change reality television as a whole, or that Bret Michaels would star in three seasons of a reality show where he bangs as many girls as possible (that was the purpose of Rock of Love correct?)?  For many, this comeback of sorts has become their legacy, bigger and more lasting than the millions of records sold in the eighties. 

 

 

 

On Jon Bon Jovi (Bon Jovi)

"...Wearing tight acid washed jeans, Jon Bon Jovi made no qualms about putting "pop" back into rock.  Videos focused on his ass made it appear there was an unspoken jeans rivalry between Jon and Joe Elliot of Def Lepard..."

On Rob Halford (Judas Priest)

"...I have to rethink everything regarding Rob Halford since he came out of the closet, turning from ferocious front man of Judas Priest to fierce.  In hindsight there were signs.  The video for "Hot Rockin" was pretty much just a bunch of guys working out in a gym.  Hello!!..."

On Sebastian Bach (Skid Row)

"...Sebastian Bach and Skid Row made music for the kids smoking cigarettes behind the school.  Music for the kids that owned denim jackets, but didn't have the money for fancy patches (instead, forced to scribble SKID ROW across the back with a black Sharpie).  Essentially, Sebastian Bach made music for the bad kid in The Breakfast Club..."

Rock Stars is twenty-eight mini-profiles detailing strengths, weaknesses, and X factors ranging from Kip Winger's hair, David Lee Roth's use of the microphone, to Bret Michaels reality series comeback. 

Think Behind The Music on cocaine.

For more information go to: http://www.rockstarbooks.net

 

 

 

Rock Star Books

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The Check-In/Check-Out Diaries: Atlantic City - 12/16/2011 4:09:00 AM

NYC Rock and Roll Food Drive - 12/11/2011 8:07:00 AM

The Motley Crue Top 25 - 12/9/2011 4:07:00 PM

Travel Narrative: Florence, Tuscany, Pisa - 12/3/2011 5:40:00 AM

Reverse Grip's Nasty Reputation - 12/3/2011 5:26:00 AM

Sunday Old School: L.A. Guns - 11/27/2011 2:40:00 PM

New Issue of Chaotic Riffs Magazine now available - 11/25/2011 1:04:00 PM

Talk Dirty To Me - 11/25/2011 6:48:00 AM

Mickey's BLOOD: The New Red Pre-Order Party - 11/15/2011 3:33:00 PM

BOOK REVIEW: Duff McKagan's IT'S SO EASY: AND OTHER LIES - 11/14/2011 3:28:00 PM

ROAD REPORT: Vince Neil's 11/11/11 Atlantic City Show - 11/14/2011 3:10:00 PM

The Wine Diaries .PDF now available - 11/13/2011 6:16:00 AM

BLOOD: The New Red is now available - 11/12/2011 2:14:00 PM

The Last Vegas - 11/12/2011 12:08:00 PM

The Wine Diaries - 11/5/2011 8:56:00 AM

Sunday Old School DOKKEN - 10/30/2011 5:37:00 AM

Video Heaven - 10/28/2011 12:22:00 PM

The California Wine Country Narrative WITH Inspired Fiction - 10/27/2011 2:50:00 PM

A Classic Video Battle - 10/23/2011 7:10:00 AM

Venice Travel with Inspired Fiction - 10/23/2011 7:04:00 AM

The CT Wine Trail Travel Story - 10/14/2011 12:57:00 PM

Banned by MTV! - 10/14/2011 2:51:00 AM

PISA: Travel Narrative and Inspired Fiction - 10/9/2011 7:13:00 AM

Review of Hollywood Ending - 10/4/2011 1:42:00 PM

Interview at Nights and Weekends - 10/3/2011 4:49:00 PM

The Trifecta - 9/30/2011 2:43:00 AM

New LIVE WIRE column in Chaotic Riffs - 9/27/2011 1:48:00 PM

Sunday Old School: Poison - 9/25/2011 5:07:00 AM

New York Hudson Valley Travel Narrative - 9/24/2011 6:12:00 AM

Down & Dirty - 9/23/2011 3:24:00 AM

Tuscany: A Travel Narrative with Inspired Fiction - 9/17/2011 7:38:00 AM

Duff McKagan, Writer - 9/16/2011 2:41:00 AM

Interview with The Dirty Pearls - 9/14/2011 1:49:00 PM

Venice, Italy: the check-in/check-out diary - 9/5/2011 7:50:00 AM

Reivew of Big Foot - 9/2/2011 2:45:00 AM

Sunday Old School: Cinderella - 8/28/2011 4:40:00 AM

The Guns N' Roses Trilogy - 8/26/2011 2:59:00 AM

Roaming through Rome - 8/25/2011 3:13:00 PM

Remembering Jani Lane - 8/19/2011 3:02:00 AM

Bon Jovi - Unauthorized 80's - 8/17/2011 12:36:00 AM

The Bach is Back - 8/12/2011 10:45:00 AM

The Rockstar Ramblings: Guns N' Corn - 8/5/2011 2:09:00 PM

The Check-In/Check-Out Diary: Venice, Italy - 8/5/2011 2:03:00 PM

New column in current issue of Chaotic Riffs - 8/2/2011 2:22:00 PM

1986 M/F/K - 8/1/2011 2:38:00 PM

Interview from Sri Lanka's Sunday Observer - 8/1/2011 2:29:00 PM

The Rockstar Ramblings - 7/24/2011 10:10:00 AM

Review of Who's Coming Back to Who (The Dirty Pearls) - 7/15/2011 1:04:00 PM

The Check-In/Check-Out Diaries: Florence, Italy - 7/9/2011 5:00:00 AM

The Italia Diary, a Travel Narrative with Inspired Fiction - 7/8/2011 1:58:00 PM

Tourist Travel: The Dublin Trip (part I) - 7/8/2011 11:42:00 AM

The Check-In/Check-Out Diaries: Fire Island - 7/8/2011 11:34:00 AM

The Rockstar Ramblings returns - 7/8/2011 10:47:00 AM

New Blog: The Random 5 - 7/7/2011 6:33:00 PM

Unauthorized 80's: David Lee Roth - 7/4/2011 7:54:00 AM

Sunday Old School: Skid Row - 6/26/2011 10:34:00 AM

TravelMag's Madrid: The hangover begins - 6/20/2011 2:41:00 PM

Rome, The Italia Diary - 6/17/2011 1:16:00 PM

Unauthorized 80's Twisted Sister - 6/12/2011 3:31:00 PM

The Check-In/Check-Out Diaries: Amsterdam - 6/7/2011 3:34:00 PM

Sunday Old School: Ratt - 6/6/2011 5:55:00 PM

New Year's in Dublin @TravelMag - 5/24/2011 2:58:00 PM

The Chaotic Riffs Magazine Review - 5/22/2011 4:41:00 PM

Mickey Rocks! - 5/21/2011 10:12:00 AM

The Check-In/Check-Out Diaries - 5/21/2011 9:59:00 AM

Rock Stars eBook now available - 4/22/2011 4:42:00 PM

The Rock Star Ramblings - 4/16/2011 5:37:00 AM

Jamaica: Fear, Loathing, and Red Stripes - 4/4/2011 4:54:00 PM

Unauthorized 80's : Skid Row - 4/4/2011 2:50:00 PM

New Short: Open Door Policy - 4/1/2011 1:40:00 PM

You're Dead and I Killed You Nominated for Best Anthology - 3/31/2011 2:58:00 PM

Sunday Old School: Twisted Sister - 3/27/2011 5:43:00 AM

The Rockstar Ramblings - 3/18/2011 3:30:00 PM

Unauthorized 80's: Motley Crue - 3/4/2011 3:58:00 PM

Bliss now available via Kindle - 3/3/2011 3:05:00 PM

Bliss, a novella - 3/2/2011 3:15:00 PM

Rockstar Ramblings Are Back! - 2/26/2011 5:38:00 AM

Unauthorized 80's: W.A.S.P. - 2/16/2011 2:54:00 PM

Speaking of Rock Stars... - 2/12/2011 5:23:00 AM

The Ozzy Bowl - 2/5/2011 6:48:00 AM

Unauthorized 80's: Poison - 2/3/2011 3:14:00 PM

Sunday Old School: Motley Crue - 1/29/2011 8:11:00 PM

What if Van Halen never splits and more... - 1/27/2011 3:14:00 PM

The Ramblings American Idol and Glee Edition - 1/20/2011 3:36:00 PM

New Travel Website - 1/15/2011 6:37:00 PM

The Rockstar Ramblings - 1/13/2011 5:50:00 PM

Review of Youre Dead and I Killed You - 1/8/2011 11:43:00 AM

Rock Stars Re-Released! - 1/5/2011 6:32:00 PM

New Year's Resolutions - 1/1/2011 5:20:00 PM

Presenting You're Dead and I Killed You - 12/12/2010 8:41:00 AM

The Rockstar Rambings - 11/18/2010 4:02:00 PM

An 80's Video Marathon - 11/14/2010 8:32:00 AM

Slash (Velvet Revolver, ex-Guns N Roses) gets Slashed - 11/4/2010 4:34:00 PM

NEW Led Zeppelin book - LZ-75 - 11/1/2010 4:52:00 PM

The Rockstar Ramblings - 10/21/2010 3:47:00 PM

Bret Michaels Life As I Know It - 10/20/2010 2:20:00 PM

Dr. Ozzy Strikes Again - 10/9/2010 5:17:00 AM

The Rockstar Ramblings - 9/25/2010 6:16:00 AM

New Column at Metal Underground - 9/18/2010 10:27:00 AM

Growing Up Twisted Episode VI - 8/22/2010 2:23:00 PM

New Rockstar Ramblings Available NOW! - 7/31/2010 1:25:00 PM

Growing Up Twisted - 7/31/2010 1:16:00 PM

LOST SOULS now available (free copies) - 5/18/2010 6:59:00 AM

Rock Stars Reviews - 5/3/2010 2:41:00 PM

The 5 Star Review of Rock Stars - 4/27/2010 4:00:00 PM

Rock Stars Reviewed at The Cajun Book Lady - 4/23/2010 9:15:00 AM

Rock Stars FOUR Star Review at Cafe of Dreams - 4/21/2010 3:01:00 AM

Rock Stars Review at Acting Balanced - 4/15/2010 6:20:00 PM

Rock Stars Review at Confessions of an Overworked Mom - 4/13/2010 12:56:00 PM

Rock Stars on tour - 4/9/2010 9:37:00 AM

5 Star Review of Rock Stars at The Book Connection - 4/6/2010 1:28:00 PM

The Rockstar Ramblings: Cranium Accessories Hall of Fame - 2/19/2010 4:11:00 AM

Rock Stars REVIEW - 1/17/2010 9:42:00 AM

Happy Hour Now Available - 1/13/2010 3:12:00 PM

Rock Stars Now Available - 12/10/2009 3:25:00 PM

Hollywood Ending: Lights, Camera, Action - Reality Star - 3/23/2009 3:45:00 PM

Short Story Collection Lost Souls now available. - 1/9/2009 4:17:00 PM

Pop Syndicate Review of Bleach|Blackout - 9/15/2008 5:23:00 PM

New Novel by David S. Grant, Bleach|Blackout now available. - 9/5/2008 6:57:00 PM

Emotionless Souls and The Last Breakfast now available. - 4/5/2008 7:15:00 PM

Bleach & Blackout now available for pre-order - 3/12/2008 4:59:00 PM

Excerpt from Emotionless Souls - 3/10/2008 6:08:00 PM

Excerpt from The Last Breakfast - 2/24/2008 3:17:00 PM



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