Is Glam Metal Back From The Dead? A Look Into Glam’s Recent Revival

I moved to LA from New Jersey a year ago. As a visitor, the novel spark of spending a short amount of time here can be escapist intoxication at it’s best. Playing shows in LA always stood out; you put a pin in the date on the calender. That’s where the labels, agents, and managers were, and that’s where you took the party up to the next level. It was the one place where the “Rock N Roll lifestyle” was the de facto way to live. This was all learned of course. All of us had read about Mötley Crüe’s sordid tales in The Dirt, and watched the countless Behind The Music episodes and documentaries detailing that same stereotypical story about the Strip, the girls, the drugs, the money, the arenas, and the inevitable descent.

By the time Sam Dunn’s metal history documentary series, Metal Evolution, aired on VH1 in 2011, the glam episode was by far the most boring to me because these stories had become clichés. Now, as someone who lives in LA, the degree to which many people here prop up and deify the glam era has somewhat baffled me. Don’t get me wrong, the upper tier like Crüe, Skid Row, Ratt, and the Scorpions were excellent bands, but the ranks get pretty thin after that, and I refuse to put it on a pedestal, free from critical analysis. There are some great bands, a bunch of awesome, fun, party songs, but a checkered legacy. I refuse to hang my hat on ANY genre that’s best day are 30 years ago. I’d rather look forward for innovation.

Glam metal never really went away 100%. You had bands like the Darkness strike it big a decade ago, and a successful power metal band like Dragonforce that welcomed the inherent cheesiness that is in lockstep with the glam ethos. The stars of the era like Sebastian Bach, Tommy Lee, Dee Snider, and Bret Michaels maintained a healthy celebrity on television and various other outlets. Poppier fair like Bon Jovi and Def Leppard survived in the mainstream, and Guns N’ Roses transcended the entire genre and burned the rule book becoming the most important rock band of their generation (if you don’t count Nirvana). Despite my mixed feelings on the genre as a whole, I have noticed a resurgence of the sound and imagery with a collection of new(er) bands. There is a reason so many have held this genre so close to their hearts in recent decades, and it’s important to acknowledge the passion and staying power.

Steel Panther

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