Ongoing History Daily: A new book on hair metal
Back in the 80s, the dominant form of rock was hair metal: guys with big hair, wearing spandex, and sometimes makeup, playing big riffs with punchy pop hooks. Think Motley Crue, Quiet Riot, Twisted Sister, Bon Jovi, and Poison.
The scene began in the late 70s—mostly in Los Angeles—and spread around the world. But everything came to an abrupt end in the very early 90s. When grunge appeared, everything about hair metal seemed out-of-step with the public and the whole thing crashed. And crashed hard.
The hair metal era is an interesting study in how a sound and a scene is born, peaks, and then dies. This is the subject of a new book called Don’t Call It Hair Metal: Art in the Excess of 80’s Rock by Sean Kelly. If you want to dig into the kind of rock that sold millions of copies, this is a good book to get.
Don’t Call It Hair Metal: Art in the Excess of 80’s Rock is out now.