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1986.09.07 - Chicago Tribune - Here’s a flash from rockdom: Glam resurfaces

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1986.09.07 - Chicago Tribune - Here’s a flash from rockdom: Glam resurfaces

Post by Blackstar on Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:33 pm

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Here’s a flash from rockdom: Glam [or glitter, if you prefer] resurfaces
 
By Martin Booe
 
Don’t look for social significance in the boys dolled up in lip gloss and eyeliner, hair teased within an inch of its life. The bottom line is show biz.
 
Just when we were getting used to the ’60s again, with the recent revival of psychedelia and paisley shirts ... glam rock resur­faces with a splash.
 
That’s right—now they’re telling us to put on raccoon eyeliner a la Alice Cooper, smear on blood-red lipstick and assume a cadaverous pal­lor in the tradition of Ziggy Stardust!
 
They’re kidding, right? Wrong. All indicators show it’s time to dig up a pair of stack­ed heels and leopard-skin tights. We have seen the fu­ture, and it is somewhere back in the early ’70s. Glam rock is back.
 
Or maybe you knew it as “glitter rock.” It hearkens back to the David Bowie of 1973, the Sweet and especially Aerosmith. It means a preoc­cupation with flash and rock glamor, style over substance.
 
Most revivals, it seems, spring from the teenagers of yesteryear. But the glam craze suggests that musical roots run even deeper than adolescence. If there’s anyone to thank for the spate of nouveau ’70s-style hard-rock bands and the unex­pected reverence for faded ’70s glam bands, it’s not the teen­agers, but the 10-year-olds of the early ’70s.
 
Ruben Blue, publisher and editor of the underground rock magazine L.A. Rocks and a regular at several glam clubs, said most glam fans range in age from 18 to 25. “They like to dance to these hits from back in the ’70s, rather than dancing to something new,” said Blue.
 
Blue also believes that rock videos are partly responsible for the popularity. Reinforcing what might be considered a case of premature nostalgia are rock videos. “Before, bands didn’t care what they looked like, but with videos, they care more, and they dress up wilder.”
 
“To me, it’s like a ‘Star Trek’ episode,” said singer Mi­chael Des Barres, a former member of the glam-rock band Silverglam. “If you got beamed down to Sunset Strip in 1972, it would be the same scene. The one who emulates the archetype the best wins.” Des Barres has toned down his own act in recent appear­ances, such as with the group Power Station in Live Aid and his new album, “Somebody Up There Likes Me.” None­theless, Des Barres is all for it.
 
“I think the glam revival is a reaction to the seriousness, the artists who are involved with social change,” he said. “The majority of 15- and 16-year- olds just want to have fun.” Des Barres added one other perspective: “We were the forerunners of the guys who didn’t know how to play their instruments. But it was such fun, and I think that’s the op­erative word.”
 
So it’s largely a crowd of people in their early 20s that lines up outside clubs such as the Scream, in the basement of the Embassy Hotel in Los Angeles, to hear their favorite childhood records. While the black flak-suits and bleached- broomstraw hairstyles abound, there’s little or none of the menacing undertones that characterized punk rock. More than anything, it’s like a big masquerade party.
 
Inside, the singer for the band Guns and Roses thun­ders such rock and roll sen­timents as “All I see is sorrow in your eyes—feels good!’’ Bartenders in white shirts and bow ties provide a stark con­trast to the vampirish mode of the club’s patrons. An upstairs room is devoted to records: The bare wooden floor rever­berates with the Doors’ “LA. Woman,” while film clips from the movie “Easy Rider” flash on a video screen. Con­versation, of course, is next to impossible over the volume of the music, and nobody’s danc­ing. People seem content to check out each other’s costumes.
 
While enthusiasts embrace the original early-’70s groups and the newer ’70s-inspired groups with equal fervor, there are some subtle differences be­tween the two. The originals relied heavily on shock value. But it’s harder than ever to shock people, so contempo­rary glammers seem content merely to offend.
 
“It’s come under so much attack that it generates its own rebellion,” said Henry Peck, co-owner of an underground record store called Vinyl Fetish and by many accounts founder of Los Angeles’ glam revival. “Kids relate to that. People are rallying around it, trying to defend it.”
 
Don’t look too deeply for social significance in the boys dolled up in lip gloss and eyeliner, hair teased within an inch of its life. The bottom line is show biz. “We dress up to give you your money’s worth," said Bobby Dall, bas­sist for the group Poison, heir apparent to the glamdom throne.
 
“Poison does not have a po­litical message to give to any­one,” Dall continued. “Every­thing we do is about day-to- day life. We’re entertainment, pure escapism. We’re here to make you forget about your problems, forget about Mon­day through Friday.
 
“A lot of people put on makeup for shock value,” he said. “But we wear makeup because that’s the way we like to look. You strip away the makeup, and you’ve got four ugly guys.”
 
But why a form of music, that went out with the leisure suit—and why now?
 
“We grew up with it as kids, we read the magazines, and we believe what everybody else said,” said Dall, who won’t re­veal his age except to say he’s in his early 20s. He added with a laugh: “And now we’re stuck with it.”
 
Guns and Roses, a Los An­geles glam band [like Poison, it shies away from the epithet] recently signed with Geffen Records and enjoys a strong local following in such clubs as the Scream. Its lead singer, who goes by the name of Slash, said the group’s image and its music are inseparable.
 
“It’s 75 percent music and 75 percent image,” Slash said. “No matter what the music is, the kids need to have some­thing visual to relate to. They need to look up and see some­one who’s definitely ... having a good time. They need to feel a relationship with your atti­tude, something they can stand behind so they don’t feel alienated.”
 
Stephen Priest, former bas­sist for the Sweet, which many of the new glammers hold as the ultimate glam band [“Love Is Like Oxygen” was just one of its hits], is amused by the trend.
 
“I’m not surprised at it,” said Priest, who recently moved to Los Angeles from New York. “Show business is show business. We like to be entertained, and that was most of it.”
 
Priest said he has been work­ing on some songs and trying to put an act together. A glam-rock act?
“I hope not,” groaned Priest, 36. “I’m a bit long in the tooth for that.”
 
Los Angeles Daily News


Last edited by Blackstar on Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:46 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: 1986.09.07 - Chicago Tribune - Here’s a flash from rockdom: Glam resurfaces

Post by Blackstar on Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:36 pm

The article is a reprint from Los Angeles Daily News, unknown date.

There is a mention of GN'R and a quote from Slash (probably there's a typo there, unless Slash was that bad at maths Smile )
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Re: 1986.09.07 - Chicago Tribune - Here’s a flash from rockdom: Glam resurfaces

Post by Soulmonster on Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:46 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:The article is a reprint from Los Angeles Daily News, unknown date.

There is a mention of GN'R and a quote from Slash (probably there's a typo there, unless Slash was that bad at maths Smile )

That's funny. I actually believe the quote to be correct Smile
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Re: 1986.09.07 - Chicago Tribune - Here’s a flash from rockdom: Glam resurfaces

Post by Soulmonster on Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:46 pm

Where did you find this article, btw? A really old one.
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Re: 1986.09.07 - Chicago Tribune - Here’s a flash from rockdom: Glam resurfaces

Post by Blackstar on Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:52 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
That's funny. I actually believe the quote to be correct Smile

Yeah, maybe he wanted to emphasize Smile

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
Where did you find this article, btw? A really old one.

In the newspapers.com site I have a subscription to. Sometimes I find more articles when I narrow the search by date.
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Re: 1986.09.07 - Chicago Tribune - Here’s a flash from rockdom: Glam resurfaces

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