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Theme Thursday – The 1980s


For those of us that remember the decade known as the 80s, it was a fun decade.  There were no major wars, no economic crisis that I knew of, and gases prices were lower than we will ever see again.  Metal (or rock in general) was on MTV all day and was also on the radio.  When I say metal I really mean the long-haired dudes that slightly resembled chicks (See photo  to the right and below if you can’t imagine what I am talking about).

I was a tween and a teenager for most of the decade.  When I reflected on the 80s I realized that the music (mostly in metal) revolved around three main topics; having a good time; hooking up and/or angst-ridden love; and the third topic was a general state of being heartbroken.  The latter of the three usually came in the form of the popular 80s power ballad.  Every band at the time had at last one or two.  This Thursday’s theme is about a genre of music known affectionately as hair metal or hair bands.

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Remember When…


At some point in a metalhead’s life there was a point at which metal entered said life.  If you are anything like me, there was a moment when your life changed from what it was to what it is now.  I am taking the time in this blog to reflect on where I came from (in musical interests) and the exact moment that my life changed.  This is one of those where you when JFK was shot moments…only I wasn’t alive back then.

In the 80’s I was into what was popular and at the time and 80’s hair bands ruled as far as I was concerned.  My first declared legitimate favorite band came in 1983 when I was 10 years old.  I was so hooked on Def Leppard’s Pyromania record…yeah I had the vinyl.  I had one of those portable suitcase type record players and I listened to the shit out that record.  At 10 years old I had my first favorite band and I was so jealous that my older brother was going to see them live.  My favorite songs on that album were Rock of Ages, Die Hard The Hunter, and Billy’s Got A Gun.  They still are.

I wasn’t until 2009 that I would catch Def Leppard live at Download Festival, U.K.  It was neat to see them live even if I just came from the Trivium headlining show at the second stage. 

From Def Leppard my muscial interests expanded to what is now affectionately known as hair metal, but I usually just call is 80’s rock.  My next favorite band is one that I actually got to see live…my first ever concert when I was 14. I bought my own ticket and got myself there.  It was actually a fairly short walk from home.  The headliner was none other than Loverboy, but the opener was the band I really wanted to see which was Dokken.  To this day I still really like Under Lock and Key and Beast From The East.  Dokken held the favorite band title for quite some time.  I was beginning to dabble with Ozzy and Judas Priest as well, but if you remember the 80’s like I do even Ozzy and Judas Priest were not scary at all and were not far off from the glam and glitz of that time.

Throughout the decade as I was trying to find myself, I was regularly listening to Bon Jovi, Skid Row, Dokken, Def Leppard, Ozzy, Judas Priest, Whitesnake, White Lion, Tesla, Poison, Great White, AC/DC, and just about any other band that played on MTV…when they actually played music.  The 80’s bands pretty much dominated MTV at the time so I listened to it all.

Sometime during the summer of 8th grade I had a little job working as a bus boy.  I had fun with it allowed me to buy my own music.  At this time I moved on to cassette tapes.  Anyway, in the back of the restaurant was this slightly older (by a few years) long haired kid who washed dishes.  Whenever I brought him stuff to clean he was always listening to this crazy heavy music.  I was intrigued, but all too shy to say anything.  Then one say said individual asks what I listen to.  So I start of rattle off the above mentioned bands.  He says that’s cool, but asked if I heard Metallica.  I say no, so he hits the play button on his boom box  The song that came on was Leper Messiah off Master of Puppets.  I remeber hearing Lars go 1,2,1,2,3,4,5 and then bam, ba, ba, bam, bam and so on.

That was it!  I never looked back.  I mean I definitely never forgot what I used to listen to.  But that warm summer New Hampshire day is when it all started.  When this kid took some time off I did the dishes for about two weeks and he left a case of tapes behind.  I soon heard Iron Maiden, Wasp, Megadeth, King Diamond, and many more.  I think that was summer of 87.  That’s when it started for me.

Today, I listen to pretty much the same metal, but that has expanded especially in the last two years after being in Europe.  I have been exposed to so much more.  BUT, after all is said and done I still throw in Under Lock and Key and Pyromania.  Do you remember when your metal began?  I would love to hear it.  Have a great day! Long live metal and those who inspired it.

 Photo Credit:

Def Leppard – www.defleppard.com

Dokken – http://memoirsofascreamqueen.blogspot.com/2010/10/music-mondays-dokken-dream-warriors.html