What do you do when the flu tortures you all week and you’re loaded up on every cold and flu remedy under the sun? Blog about nonsense. Now that I’m almost human again, and the hubby has a nice fire burning in the woodstove, I thought I’d yap about the 80s—when I came of age. Maybe this is why the decade of extreme excess has a special place in my heart? Big hair. Bold make-up. Bright clothes. Shoulder pads. Super-tight, tapered jeans. Bullet belts. Fringed leather jackets. High tops. Mismatched converse shoes (mine weren’t mismatched; black and white).
Phantom Blue was an all-female metal band, something you didn’t see in the 80s. Girls were regulated to video vixen or pop stars, or they fronted the metal band (think Doro Pesch or Lita Ford). If you never heard of Phantom Blue, check them out on YouTube. They really rocked.
Anyhoo, this is why I have a hankering for setting quite a few stories in the 80s. I love capturing that time of freedom and crazy. Since I was a metalhead, most of my heroes have long hair and lean towards the rocker side. While other girls pinned hot preppy actors on their walls, I stapled musicians over the blue wallpaper in the bedroom I shared with my older sister. Let’s see how this influenced a few of my stories…
Here’s a few of my fave rockers.
Jake E Lee (Ozzy Osbourne and Badlands) is my fave guitarist, evah. He’s half Japanese and half Welsh. When I first saw him, he reminded me of an Ojibway because he has the big, dark eyes and round face. So when I dreamed up Fire and Water, I modelled my hero’s physical attributes after Jakey (the Jakey on the far right, that is).
Next up is Ray Gillen (Black Sabbath and Badlands). My fave singer, evah. For the other hero in Fire and Water, he had to be very handsome—extremely handsome. So I chose Ray. My hero doesn’t have the long rocker hair, but I took into consideration Ray’s broad shoulders, “vampire” eyes, height (he’s 6’2), oval face, and perfectly shaped lips.
I do borrow “looks,” but personality is my doing. Or should I say the character’s doing? They tell me who they are; not vice versa, hah. Bossy creatures, aren’t they?
This super yummy fella is Kelly Nickels (L.A. Guns). I love the name Kelly on a guy. We had a few Kellys in high school. Therefore I christened a hero in my YA romance as Kelly Brown.
Here’s another fave guitarist—Vito Bratta (White Lion). I adore Italian-Canadians/Italian-Americans. I must’ve been one in a past life. Anyway, he always dressed in outlaw, old west sorta style. So I plopped a black cowboy hat on top of Kelly Brown’s head because Vito wears one, which I think is pretty cool.
Then there’s Warren DeMartini (Ratt), another guitarist I enjoy. He hasn’t had any influence on my WIPs. I put him here because he’s hot, hah.
Last but not least is David “Junior” Ellefson (Megadeth). Yes, I am a die-hard Rattlehead (nickname for Megadeth fans, or as Dave Mustaine likes to call us: Droogies). Junior hasn’t had any influence on my WIPs either, but I had to include him ‘cause he’s too cute.
80s Music Documentaries:
This is Spinal Tap: I think just about everyone is familiar with this movie. It’s more mockumentary than documentary. Rob Reiner casts some funny actors as aging rock stars who are followed by Mr. Reiner’s camera as they attempt a comeback. Spinal Tap borrows every rock ‘n’ roll cliché from being lost in the venue and unable to find the stage to their line of poor drummers leaving planet Earth in a big way.
My favourite scene is the album release party and the album cover. Haha. Fran Drescher is priceless. I also gotta give props to the girlfriend showing up. Too funny.
Don’t take a sip of your drink when the guitarist is doing a solo at a concert inside a hangar and a plane flies by. Haha. It’s available on DVD and well worth the purchase, or maybe try Netflix. I haven’t used Netflix because I’m on dial-up, but I’m sure it must be somewhere in their library.
The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years. Another look at heavy metal, this time on the Sunset Strip. Director Penelope Spheeris filmed this from late ’87 into early ’88, I do believe. Many up and coming bands are featured, along with my beloved Seduce and Megadeth. What? You never heard of the biggest band in Detroit–Seduce? Well, they shoulda been bigger. But when has anyone ever agreed with me when it comes to fave bands and music? I’m always in the minority.
This is not available on DVD, but you might catch it on YouTube. I do believe someone has uploaded most of the film. Not sure. I own the VHS—and yes, I still watch it to this day.
It’s very graphic. Just wanted to give you a heads up. Lots of filthy talk, quite a few drunken rock stars, and drunken dancing girls during the dance contest at a local club.
Heavy Metal Parking Lot. Here is a look at a bunch of metalheads before a Judas Priest concert in 1986. The lucky buggers had Dokken as their opening act. Argh. When I saw the Turbo tour that year, I got Bon Jovi. Not that I have anything against Bon Jovi, but as a teen, Dokken, besides Priest, was one of my fave bands. Damn my luck sucks. Mind you Bon Jovi put on a helluva show. Really. They won over everyone in the audience. At least from what I can remember. No, I wasn’t in this parking lot! LOL. I saw the band in Winnipeg, Canada.
Anyway, yes, this is what the parking lot used to be like before a concert: beer coolers, muscle cars, and absolute craziness. There’s lot of profanity in this film since it’s teenagers partying before a show, so you’ve been given the heads up. It’s available on DVD now.
Waking Up Dead. This is from the 00s, but the drummer (Phil Varone) followed in this documentary played in Saigon Kick. You probably never heard of Saigon Kick LOL. A good band. Anyway, this is a very sad tale. The director takes you into the world of a washed-up, struggling rocker trying to keep it together. Sadly, this is a tale of many of those guys from the eighties. Some managed to move on and enjoy the fruits of their labour, such as Vito Bratta, who lives a quiet life on Staten Island after carefully investing his royalties. Others? Not good.
If you want a real look into rock ‘n’ roll and the men behind the music, have a peek. As for Phil? He’s still fighting his demons, from what I heard. Before I forget, there are a few scenes after the show on board the tour bus. So just giving you the heads up when the camera heads for the back lounge.
Well, I hope this post made sense. My brain hasn’t been in proper working mode thanks to this major head cold going on.