Serious Question. What is it about this place and Van Halen?

Gibson Dog

Silver Supporting Member
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There are pictures in his autobiography of Steven Tyler onstage in what looks like a gold lame pantsuit, wearing eye makeup and teased up hair in 1974. I guess that's hair metal as well. :rolleyes:

Truth is hair metal is a derogatory term that was come up with when 80s melodic hard rock/metal and the prevailing aesthetic of the time (which were both popular with women, BTW) were falling out of favor as a means to denigrate it. There is no hair metal music - The '80s melodic hard rock/metal stuff was just an evolution of earlier hard rock stuff with a lot of virtuoso musicianship (which no one should be knocking).

I dunno about you guys, but when I was playing original hard rock back in the '80s, it sure was fun playing complex rhythm guitar parts and lots of solos, while looking out and seeing nothing but women lined up in front of the stage. If that's hair metal, count me in I guess...

Steve
Steve - I agree 100% with every word you wrote. I say this all the time people can say whatever they want about the music & the time, that's a matter of personal taste but ALL of those guys could play & sing. To me the music was/is just Rock n' Roll.
 

TFR

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Yep! And Beavis and Butthead nearly single-handedly were responsible for Winger's undeserved reputation as posers. Seriously.

Go listen to Winger and then attempt to play that stuff. It ain't easy. That decade of music was and is technically challenging. Serious props to those axe pioneers that were on the bleeding edge of guitar back before there were YouTube videos showing everyone how it's done. You listened to the albums and your jaw dropped, solo after solo. It was the age of excess, the decade of decadence. Hard rock guitar took giant steps forward. Then the 90's hit and you couldn't find a guitar solo no matter how hard you tried. Technicality and pure sex driven rock was out the window.
Man, I still listen to Winger. A friend of mine who's a high school percussion instructor took some of his students to PASIC (Percussive Arts Society International Convention) back in the '90s and when he suggested going to the Rod Morgenstein clinic they were like "Ewwwww, you mean that dude that was in Winger? No thanks!" He talked them into it and, of course, they quickly realized the error of their ways.
 

Gibson Dog

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"Hair Metal", as a term, was about ten years after your club debut. However, if you think Rush or U2 played to the antics of that genre, that's your own biz, don't know what to say that might help you.

I was gigging in SoCal in the mid-80s ... ground-zero for hair metal. We didn't consider either band in our particular loop.

Musically, both Rush and Metallica were far beyond hair-metal. The former had by 1982 introduced mainstream reggae and whitified funk into their sound, while the latter were hard-nosed face-punchers who put the pedal to the metal. Both those bands explored odd time-sigs, too.

The idea that either two, or U2, are "hair metal" is laughable. Neither sonically nor in terms of image did any of those three bands fit in with Motley Crue, Scorps, Dokken, etc.

Here's your "hair metal":



No man the point I was trying to make was 'hair metal' wasn't & isn't a genre it's just rock n' roll. There are plenty of pics of U2, Rush, Metallica with the hair & maybe not the spandex but they were leaning that way for a few years. Almost everyone was it was the Miami Vice decade. Again without seeing who's playing it the music is just Rock n' Roll that's it.
 

rstites

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No man the point I was trying to make was 'hair metal' wasn't & isn't a genre it's just rock n' roll. There are plenty of pics of U2, Rush, Metallica with the hair & maybe not the spandex but they were leaning that way for a few years. Almost everyone was it was the Miami Vice decade. Again without seeing who's playing it the music is just Rock n' Roll that's it.
You'd have a better point here if you talked about Iron Maiden or Judas Priest who embraced the look, but nobody considers them in the same genre as the glam/pop metal scene.

Rush was doing the hip sports jacket and skinny tie thing in the 80's. They looked more new wave than anything rock or metal. Their cheesy look was the epic kimono look in the 70s. That was about the time Sabbath was shooting that Sabotage album cover, and Judas Priest looked like flower children. That's three bands that (generally) get respect around here, but man they all went through some pretty wild-and-weird looks! :)

EDIT: I played metal throughout the 80's and had long hair. However, I never wore makeup or spandex, or leather for that matter. I was pretty boring: blue jeans and a t-shirt, with some high top sneakers (white, of course). Of course, I wasn't doing anything on the poppish end of metal, even remotely.
 
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No man the point I was trying to make was 'hair metal' wasn't & isn't a genre it's just rock n' roll. There are plenty of pics of U2, Rush, Metallica with the hair & maybe not the spandex but they were leaning that way for a few years. Almost everyone was it was the Miami Vice decade. Again without seeing who's playing it the music is just Rock n' Roll that's it.
Oh, I didn't realize you were categorizing music by looks. But even so, those bands didn't cotton to the spangled eyeliner/three chord stuff that I think defines hair metal. "Seeing it" is pretty irrelevant to enjoying it, to me, and always has been.

Musically speaking, lumping those bands in with "hair metal" seems really weak. Different than what I'd said about VH, fo sho.
 

amigo30

Supporting Member
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7,397
Time for a musical interlude.

All thread participants please pause your rant's for a few moments, turn up your speakers or put your headphones on, and take in a bit of perspective. Enjoy.

 

I Am Misery

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3,220
... turn up your speakers or put your headphones on, and take in a bit of perspective. Enjoy.

still couldn't care less. is that nod to Dixie towards the beginning? whoahh, look out. classical/violin style played on guitar is not the type of thing that would turn my world upside down. i don't really ever want to hear that again.


my younger brothers grew up on Barney the purple dinosaur, the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, and
all sorts of sub-par hip-hop. must have blown their minds, i think my one brother still talks about Nelly. i guess you "had to be there"?


Yep! And Beavis and Butthead nearly single-handedly were responsible for Winger's undeserved reputation as posers. Seriously.
Winger was uncool as soon as they hit the scene, which is why they were shown as they were on Beavis and Butthead. a band for kids whos parents wouldn't let them listen to Guns N' Roses or Metallica. nobody cared whether they could play or not.
 

sah5150

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630
But even so, those bands didn't cotton to the spangled eyeliner/three chord stuff that I think defines hair metal.
This is such bullsh#t. There is some amazingly cool and complex rhythm guitar playing that came out of '80s melodic hard rock/metal:


I could go on... Hate on it all you want, but you can't deny that it isn't "three chord stuff" and it takes real talent and practice to play it...

Steve
 

jalmer

Member
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1,881
Imagine the scene: 1978 at a keg party and this guy with the best car stereo in town pulls in after returning from the music store.

He played ‘Running With the Devil’ and then ‘Eruption’.

Our minds were blown. There wasn’t anything like it. We imprinted on VH and our world (at the time) was chicks, music and beer.
It’s hard to forget those wonderful times and new music sucks in comparison because we have house payments, etc. (i.e. responsibility).
Eddie Van Halen was magic to non-jaded kids.
yeah, that first album had some good songs, but that was about it for me. Songs-wise only. God bless the boys, etc.
 
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9,007
This is such bullsh#t. There is some amazingly cool and complex rhythm guitar playing that came out of '80s melodic hard rock/metal:


I could go on... Hate on it all you want, but you can't deny that it isn't "three chord stuff" and it takes real talent and practice to play it...

Steve
The vast majority of it was I-IV-V stuff -- especially once you look at chart-toppers. "Lay It Down", cool exception, but really, it wasn't prog. Why pretend it was?
 

sah5150

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630
The vast majority of it was I-IV-V stuff -- especially once you look at chart-toppers. "Lay It Down", cool exception, but really, it wasn't prog. Why pretend it was?
I didn't - and the majority of all rock music is I-IV-V - so what? It doesn't have to be prog to be complex, interesting and hard to play. There are tons of arpeggios, single note scale fills and cool rhythmic things in the songs I posted. It's certainly not just ham-fisting three chords with eyeliner on...

Look, I love jazz. I love bands like The Aristocrats. But we're talking about popular music with rock/hard rock. The majority of people couldn't sit through an Aristocrats set. Getting "outside" of what most people find to be pleasing progressions and rhythms is not what melodic '80s hard rock/metal was about. But doing something interesting with that is arguably as artistic as playing "outside"...

Steve
 
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Danny D

Member
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229
The UK was definitely pumping out great stuff during that time. The US was musically in a bit of a lull and VH definitely was one of the big things that came up and kicked in the door.

NWoBHM was really a little later (not much, just a little) and was always underground in the US. Lots of those bands you mention didn't break into the US until after VH had opened the door. Someone like Judas Priest wasn't well known in the US until Unleashed in the East and then British Steel, unless you were in the niche buying import records. Even someone like AC/DC really broke into the US with Highway to Hell. Both bands' earlier works gained mainstream acceptance after Any they made it big. Both broke big in the US after VH was already out. This is one of those places where the history of releases may not show the full story.
Any guitarist that came of age in pre-prop 13 California had a better chance of coming into full bloom.
 

dhdfoster

Silver Supporting Member
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13,071
I graduated high school in 1986, and learned to play guitar during the hair metal years. To me, the term “hair metal” is a comment about the excessive use of hair spray and makeup in the metal genre during that decade. It’s not about long hair as much as it’s about the height of it.

Other characteristics of the genre are a preoccupation with guitar solos, helium vocals, vapid lyrical content, repetitious muted chug-chug-chug rhythm guitar parts, and S&M/tough-guy androgyny.

Van Halen is like SRV for me in that I like and appreciate them, but I mostly dislike their imitators and the sub-genres they helped create.
 




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