In fact, we are gonna take it
Mullet rock is back again
Lita Ford knew it would happen.
In the early 2000s, when boy bands ruled the charts, the heavy-metal songstress stood her ground, stating firmly that her style of music would be back. And she was right.
Call it “hair metal” or “mullet metal,” even “butt rock,” or worse, “cock rock.” But whatever you say it is, and whether you listen to it or not, 1980s-style heavy metal is here again, and what better time to celebrate than in our Sebastian Bach issue?
Rockers everywhere have embraced the heavy-metal thunder. Again, at last, L.A.’s Sunset Strip looks on any given night like the video for Mötley Crüe’s “Girls, Girls, Girls.” The latest Xbox 360 TV commercial features a choir of children belting out Poison’s ’88 hit, “Nothin’ but a Good Time.” You can hear the thunder in mainstream arenas all over the country. You can hear it right here at home, in Sacramento’s own Rude Attitude, the Hepburn Disaster and the Dirk Lang Band, among many others. You can rest assured that now it’s safe to roll down J Street bumping Whitesnake while belting out the lyrics to “Here I Go Again” with your windows open. Go ahead, take that cell phone off silent mode the next time you’re in a crowd. Let everyone get a load of your Krokus “Headhunter” ring tone.
It’s about time. For a while there, the ’90s made it seem like metal had died of shame. The likes of Soundgarden, Pearl Jam and Nirvana had bludgeoned the happy-go-lucky sound and image of ’80s metal, replacing it with a dark, serious, socially conscious tone of classic rock mixed with a bit of punk—what we then came to know as grunge. No longer were Anthrax, Dokken, Ratt, Faster Pussycat, Quiet Riot or even Mötley Crüe seen as hot topics. No longer did anybody give a crap if Vince Neil challenged Axl Rose to a fight live on MTV, or if David Lee Roth actually climbed on stage to accept his award wasted on coke and booze.
Hollywood was out, Seattle was in—and it began to seem like every heavy-metal band had fallen off the face of the earth, only to be remembered by old cassette tapes, vinyl records and coyly pitying where-are-they-now shows on the cable music channels.
Here’s where they are now. Bands such as Whitesnake, Dokken, Dio, Iron Maiden (with Bruce Dickinson) and Judas Priest (with Rob Halford) have recently reformed (or have come out of hiding) and are either working on new albums or on tour. Those lead singers who howled their way through the ’80s, like Bach (Skid Row), Neil (Mötley Crüe) and Brett Michaels (Poison) have made it past our broken eardrums and straight into our minds again. Take Michaels, who accumulated millions of fans worldwide throughout the ’80s, and recently resurfaced with a VH-1 reality hit Rock of Love. Or take our cover boy Bach, who obviously still knows how to rock our world.
What does it all mean? That Metallica will finally trade in its honey-coated fluff-rock for the hard-hitting, in-your-face metal of Garage Days?
Probably not. It means what it meant the first time: not much. So how about just enjoying it? Grow out that hair, slip on those cock-rock boots and drop the needle on your favorite metal masterpiece. In the words of Accept: “You’ll feel better when it’s done.”
Top 20 metal must-haves:
The Scorpions, Blackout
Faster Pussycat, Wake Me When It’s Over
Great White, Once Bitten
Accept, Balls to the Wall
Anthrax, Fistful of Metal
Skid Row, Skid Row
Mötley Crüe, Shout At The Devil
Cinderella, Night Songs
Living Colour, Time’s Up
Judas Priest, Screaming For Vengeance
Iron Maiden, Peace of Mind
Ratt, Out Of The Cellar
AC/DC, Fly on the Wall
Guns N’ Roses, Appetite for Destruction
Metallica, Kill ’Em All
Dio, Last In Line
Dokken, Tooth and Nail
Poison, Look What the Cat Dragged In