Metal Evolution-Episode 5: Glam Metal (DVD)
Released: 2012, Alliance Films
In this episode, my personal metal evolution returns to the highway.
While the US was exposed to a feast of 24-hr MTV television, Australia only tasted a crumb with a weekly one hour or so show; however the show and record companies managed to saturate my life with glam metal and so my transition from boys with short who wore makeup and transgender clothing evolved to boys with long hair who wore makeup who wore transgender clothing.
While Dunn's distaste of glam metal was confessed, it was good to see a fairly accurate and unbiased presentation of this subgenre.
John Kalodner is one weird dude and I laughed when he called Whitesnake a mediocre band. I'm thankful to whoever made David Coverdale tow the glam line, otherwise I might not have experienced a band that still sits firmly in my top list today.
I never got into the extremes of glam metal like Poison, Faster Pussycat, etc. I had a problem with guys that had perms and spent more time to get ready than I did, but it was interesting that Dunn interviewed my style icon of that era, Tawny Kitaen - a regular in Whitesnake videos and David Coverdale's woman of the time, though I'm still not sure which came first.
While Dunn concentrated on some of the extreme glam bands of the LA scene, that era also included less pretty bands who have contributed to metal's evolution like Winger, Bon Jovi and Skid Row. Dunn has left a great big hole in this evolution of metalmentories as these bands also don't fit into the competing subgenre of that era, covered in the next episode - thrash.
Even from an Australian's perspective, I would need a book's amount of words to fully critique this episode, I can imagine how much an LA-er could say.
From the beginning, Dunn makes it clear that he hated Glam Metal growing up, but considering that it is still played today (not so for Grunge) he realizes that it is an important, if polarizing genre and movement in heavy metal. Dunn traces the roots of Glam Metal to Van Halen and Los Angeles, and the influence that Eddie Van Halen had on upcoming guitarists like George Lynch. While again, much of this ground has been previously covered, this episode is a cohesive and logical progression, with Dunn covering all of the most important trailblazers of the genre namely. What is also cool, is Dunn throwing commentary in from some of the Thrash bands, like Gary Holt admitting going to hair band shows to pick up girls. Also, was the emergence of GNR which Dunn contents was part of the death of Glam Metal, which was finished by Grunge. I liked that Dunn shed some light onto what some of the bands did during the lean years, giving them a more human quality than their 80s personas could ever have revealed. I disagree with the contention that Glam Metal is dead, with the New Wave of Swedish Sleaze Metal really doing much to put this style back on the map along with Steel Panther, Glam Metal is still very much alive.
Even though Dunn admits right up front he doesn’t like Glam (Hair Metal etc) he does a good job keeping it neutral and professional. Stomping around the sunset strip in LA he meets with members of Warrrant, Poison, Motley Crue and Quiet Riot. There is a segment on how Glam affected some older bands like Whitesnake and Judas Priest who adapted to trends. There was a good part about which former Glam Metal guys have transitioned into Reality TV and retro tour careers. Dunn semi-grudgingly concludes Glam Metal was more relevant and important than he had originally thought. My favourite part was the very candid and honest interviews with George Lynch about the compromises bands made to become successful. This episode could have commented on the utterly massive global glam movement happening world-wide