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A lot can change in 30 years. On the night of September 14th, 1984, sexy Material Girl Madonna took the stage for her career making performance of “Like A Virgin” at the MTV Video Music Awards. Thousands of miles away that same night, Henry Rollins and his seminal hardcore band Black Flag played a chaotic set on the wrong side of Tijuana in some forgotten dive. Nowadays Rollins is a revered punk rock elder and hosts shows on The History Channel while Madge struggles to remain relevant in the high-speed modern music marketplace. Some of music’s biggest names were operating on the margins of the music industry in 1984 while the hitmakers of that era often find their heyday behind them. The charts were ruled by Michael Jackson, Prince and Bruce Springsteen, while Metallica and the Red Hot Chili Peppers struggled to build an audience. 1984 and 2014. The world is a very different place now so check out these music icons and ask yourself which year they had it better.
See Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich talk about the band’s humble beginnings back in the early ’80s in the heavy metal underground.