Questionable Moments in Rock History part 5
I’m not going to write a long-winded, in-depth, thoroughly researched post about the largely disastrous era known as 80’s Hair Rock. Frankly, it sounds like exhausting work and I’m lazy. But I certainly could. I’m qualified. I have the experience. It was my genre of choice as a gangly teenager. Mercifully, I grew out of it. I even grew to hate it. As I became more worldly, I realized that 80’s Hair Rock was saccharine, over-produced, derivative nonsense that was always more about image than substance. Despite nostalgia softening my views somewhat, I still largely feel the same way. There is no redeeming qualities in 80’s Hair Rock.
For all its faults (and there are many), 80’s Hair Rock was completely self-realized. It unironically dove head first into a tepid pool of ridiculousness, sexism, unabashed commercialism and spandex chaps. 80’s Hair Rock fulfilled all of the outlandish possibilities of its characters and personalities. It was 100% what it set out to be. How many of us can claim the same?
Allow me to present exhibit A: The video for The Vinnie Vincent Invasion’s 1986 hit (using that term loosely) “Boyz Are Gonna Rock.” Marvel at a band gloriously unhampered by shame of any kind. The song itself is aggressively ordinary and utterly forgettable, yet the band hits the stage like they’ve written an anthem for the ages. They attack their instruments like they’re avenging the deaths of their forefathers after a centuries long blood feud. There’s more sequins than a New Jersey prom night and for some reason a guy is on fire.
Simply put, The Vinnie Vincent Invasion was awful, but you have to admire their unmitigated audacity. They took everything all the way. Maybe there’s something to be learned here. Or not.