Saturday, May 9, 2009

Song Dating -- Writer's Poke #227

Greg talked about how much he was enjoying his new XM radio. It made his long commute to work enjoyable, and it allowed him to explore music that he might never have listened to otherwise.

One such channel was 80s Hair Metal. He cranked up the volume, and his car transformed into a time machine, sending him back to his high school glory days. Skid Row, Whitesnake, Winger -- they were all here. And while Greg wasn't a big fan of any of these groups back in the day, he admitted that he found comfort into listening to them now.

For most of the 1990s, it was taboo to admit any fondness for Hair Metal. If you told someone that you liked Poison, for example, they would most likely pat you on the head while wearing a look of sympathy on their faces. But now, admitting to and embracing your musical past is acceptable. Charming even. Hell, they even play all the old anthems on VH-1 classics.

In 2001, Chuck Klosterman published Fargo Rock City. In this book, Klosterman damns hair metal while attempting to praise it. Maybe this is unintentional, and perhaps not enough time had past for him to fully embrace his inner KISS. And I'll be the first to admit that I had my Peter (St. Peter, not Peter Criss) moments for a few years, too. In the end, however, if music has any value whatsoever, it should be able to transcend labels and stereotypes. And for those of us that like guitars and music that rocks, there's really nothing better than Hair Metal.

What five year period of music is your favorite? Where were you during that period of you life, and what are your thoughts on why that music most speaks to you?

"When people hear good music, it makes them homesick for something they never had, and never will have." -- Edgar Watson Howe

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