Excerpt from column:
“Keep the punk leather jackets but bring a kind of transvestite vibe to it” - Nasty Suicide on the look of Hanoi Rocks.
Hanoi Rocks was a Finnish band formed in 1979/1980 by Michael Monroe and guitarist Andy McCoy. The original lineup consisted of Monroe (vocals), Stefan Piesnack (guitar), Nasty Suicide (guitar), Nedo Soininen (bass) and Peki Sirola (drums). McCoy at the time was the guitarist for another band, agreeing to join Hanoi Rocks later. In late 1980 McCoy along with Sam Yaffa (bass) joined, replacing Piesnack (who had been arrested for drugs) and Nedo. Soon after, Gyp Casino (Greatest drummer name ever? Uh, yes!) replaced Sirola on drums. Not clear whether this was based on name alone.
In 1981 the band released their first album titled Bangkok Shocks, Saigon Shakes, Hanoi Rocks. Prior to release the band had embarked on a 102 day tour; the tour developed their high energy reputation and Monroe/McCoy had become known as “The Muddy Twins.” They released singles for “Tragedy” and “Desperados” as they toured extensively through Sweden and Finland in 1981. After, they moved to London to work on their second album, another single, titled “Dead By X-Mas”, was released in December. In 1982, Hanoi Rocks shot three videos including one for “Tragedy”, a video that highlights slow motion jumping as well as Monroe’s straightened blonde hair and bright lip stick. There was a glam look to the band, but the music was very punk and drove the look, what glam rock was initially suppose to be (SEE: New York Dolls) before Sunset Strip bands (SEE: Poison) flipped the genre and turned to the look driving a pop rock style of music.
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David S. Grant is the author of BLOOD: The New Red. Follow David on Twitter: .david_s_grant