Saturday, September 10, 2011

Looking Back Series: Who's To Blame For The 80's Hairbands and Global Warming:



Looking Back Series: 

Who's To Blame For The 80's Hairbands and Global Warming: 

The year was 1975 and the music world was prolifically and creatively pumping out great music every other week.   The airwaves were flooded with all kinds of great music.  Everything thing from Country,  to Pop,  to Southern Rock,  to Disco,  to Funk ...to Hard Rock:  great music was consistently being written,  recorded and released to the masses.   Elton John was singing about his Philadelphia Freedom,   David Bowie was telling us all about "Fame".     The Eagles were procrastinating with "One Of These Nights".  KC and The Sunshine Band taught us all how to "Get Down Tonight" and Olivia Newton John was flooring this 12 year old's love crushed heart,  with "Have You Never Been Mellow".

I still love ya',  Olivia!  

Seriously,  was there ever a more prolific decade of such a wide and diverse amount of creativity and great music?  Personally,  I think not.

Meanwhile and unbeknownst to the unsuspecting public,   Gene Simmons (of Kiss),  in a small night club in Washington D.C. had just discovered a band called Angel.  Simmons pitched Angel to Neil Bogart of Casablanca Records and they eventually signed.     Little did they know the influence Angel and their "image " would have on the 80's music world.



Often,   people like to attribute and credit Glam Rock or what I like to call "Androgynous Rock" to artists/bands like the Marc Bolan (and his band Tyrannosaurus Rex),  the New York Dolls,  David Bowie and even Mott The Hoople;  and they would be correct.   I believe this is accurate.

But when Angel came along they took this concept to a new level.  Angel was something new and even more elaborate.  Angel were the male Rock versions of Chara meets Zsa Zsa Gabor.

The members of Angel (Frank Dimino,  Greg Giuffria,  Punky Meadows,  Barry Brandt and Mickey Jones) came up with an (and some claim Gene Simmons was partially involved in developing their image)  an image concept that was to be a complete contrast to Kiss,  their persona's,  their elaborate costumes and stage shows.   Where Kiss were dark,  yet colorful,  sexually provocative and at times gruesome. 

Angel were pretty boys who wore nice white costumes,  had perfectly sculpted hair (thanks to hairspray and the existing ozone layer),   posed more seductively than Samantha Fox at a record label CEO convention,  they had a really cool "A" logo,  they wore mascara and had a nice,  clean androgynous image.  I'll leave it to you,  the reader,  to reconcile those last three aspects of their image.    Angel were so pretty, that,  in comparison The Go-Go's were often mistaken for Lemmy and Motorhead.     

The Tower...........

It was this image that won them a large,  loyal fan base.  Yet,  it was this very same image that often seemed to restrict them from gaining mass appeal.   It's difficult to sell the Angel image to the guys who shoot squirrels with Smith & Wesson .357 magnums,  drink Old Milwaukee beer and scratch their genitals with tire irons.  

Having said that,   once you got past their image,  their posing,  the feathers in some of their costumes (that's right,  feathers.  don't ask,  I don't know.  how can you not like feathers?):   the members of Angel were actually a very talented band with very accomplished musicians who wrote and played great music.

Their first two albums were largely progressive compositions with nice running melodies and themes and they sure rocked.

 From the first album...Angel.........Broken Dreams



Sunday Morning

Angel's next three albums moved more towards a Pop/Hard Rock style of music and only occassionally displayed the type of progressive arrangements the first two albums contained.   Despite the change in musical direction,  Angel still put together some great albums.   Their live shows were tremendous!   

After seven years,    the band members grew weary of their costumes,  their image and the never ending tours;  without ever achieving great,  widespread success.   In 1982,  apparently having won the Angel hairspray and styling mousse custody settlement,    Greg Giuffria moved on from Angel and started his own band,  simply named "Giuffria".    With him he took all the stying mousse and hairspray he could carry and Giuffria wore it proudly.   They had a big hit with "Call To Your Heart" but little else.   Then Greg Giuffria put together the band " House Of Lords" (signed to Gene Simmons' record label) and they became very successful.

It is no small coincidence that soon afterwards,   MTV,  the airwaves and every rock magazine cover were littered with the new generation of hair-based Rock N Rollers.    Hairspray,  styling mousse and hair gel stocks went through the roof.  Massive amounts of chlorofluorocarbons was the new "In Thing".    For a decade Hair Bands ruled the land.   So plentiful were hair bands,  that,   many became homeless in their failed attempts to reach hair band stardom.  But they still had the prettiest,   most beautifully sculpted hair in the soup kitchens and under the bridge down by the river.     

To this very day,  scientists still debate and speculate on the affects and damage that Angel and Hair Band chlorofluorocarbons may have done to the ozone layer and the subsequent Global Warming.  Or is that Climate Change?  I always forget which term people prefer.   Personally,  I prefer "The Weather Sure Is ******! "   But that's just me.  

Forget all you've been told.  Forget the cows,  forget automobiles,  forget commercial air pollution,   forget it all.  Angel was to blame for Hair Bands.   Both Angel and Hairbands are to blame for "Global Warming".   Can we blame Gene Simmons for all of it?   Maybe,   just maybe.

1 comment:

  1. I'm ashamed to admit that I'm more familiar with House of Lords than Angel. I'm going to rectify that shortly...

    ReplyDelete