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hair metal votes; ball of confusion [updated]

I've been told I need to make the guidelines for voting on the new entry to the HoF clearer.

Not looking for the greatest hair or biggest hair, per se, but the best band that had big hair.

Yes, I know it sounds like an oxymoron, but we are nomingating in the category of BEST HAIR METAL BAND.

Leave your nominations here instead of there, and don't forget a testimonial.

Update: To further define hair metal:

Wikipedia -
Hair metal is a type of hard rock that arose in the late 1970s, in the United States, and was a strong force in popular music throughout the 1980s and early 1990s. Such bands are frequently called hair bands. Pejorative terms for hair metal include poodle rock, due to the teased, bushy hair of many performers, or other derogatory terms, such as cock rock reflect a fixation on sexual lyrics and deeds and the lack of respect afforded by some music critics.

Though hair metal started in the 70's, techinically, we are going to stay on course here with 80's hair metal. For specifics, see the list here, the requirements for hair metal bands here, another list here, a hair metal playlist here.

I wish my old friend Brandy was around; she's the hair metal expert. And where's Mikey when you need him?

Ok, read those links. You'll understand what hair metal is. Though some of you, I suspect, need no reminding.



Motley Crue- They were one of the first hair bands I can remember. They were one of my first favorites and Tommy Lee is still hot!

Well a band considered "hair metal" by some but around before the boom were Y&T who have more talent than the rest of em' put together. (You could say the same for Whitesnake who, like Y&T were just caught up in the whole fad.)

Of the ones to come out at the prime of LA metal scene: I would have to say Winger is the most talented and the best.

PS: Could you, Michele, define what you mean by hair metal? For a few reasons... most people refer to as hair metal; ain't metal in any way shape of form just heavy blues.

Great White. I saw them live in 91 or 92 and they did an amazing version of "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You" that would have made Plant and Page go "Dammmmmmnnnnnnn."

Bubbling under for me is Cinderella. They released one freaking brilliant album in the form of their debut (Night Songs) and they did fairly well with their sophmore effort. After that it became a law of diminishing returns. Cindrella are still brilliant live.

Crue was a real metal band dressed up as hair.

True hair? Real, honest-to-god, no-depth-just-party, hair hair?

Poison. Hands down the kings of hair metal.

Skid Row, Slaughter, Firehouse and Steelheart come to mind, because every hair metal band needed at least one hit ballad to be truly hair.

Whitesnake, of course.

Nuff said.

I guess I'm dim. What's the standard we're shooting for? Do we want the best musicians of the the hair metal bands? Or are we strictly basing it on Hair Metalness?

second the Crue vote.
Poison, Whitesnake (the '80's version Whitesnake... the late '70's version was a blues rock band), Quiet Riot, Saigon Kick, Night Ranger... oh, how the list goes on and on and on.

Great White is disqualified from any type of hall of fame MENTION for torching thier fans.


Nevermind, you updated your post and I didn't read it. I'm a dork. I need more coffee.

Since Guns and Roses are on the hair metal playlist, I'll go with them based solely on their first album.

I think for the greatest pure Hair Metal Band of the 80's you have to go with Bon Jovi.

Although I wince a little at using 'Metal' and Bon Jovi in the same sentence, they pretty much defined 'hair metal'. They had the teased up hair, the ripped jeans, the chicks, the makeup, masturbatory guitar solos, posing, you name it.

Plus they were the rallying point for the anti-hair bands like Metallica (I remember well James' 'Kill Bon Jovi' sticker).

And I will grudgingly admit to liking several of the popular Bon Jovi tunes.

DOKKEN...George Lynch is second only to Eddie Van Halen

Noooo! NOT Guns & Roses! They were a GREAT band and they also had hair, but please don't confuse them with "hair metal!" They were a kick-ass ROCK band. Really, I implore you, G&R were NOT hair metal! Don't let this be another Jethro Tull Grammy!

Michele's right, this category is an oxymoron because the bands I consider best are not hair metal to me. I guess I tend to consider hair metal to be a bunch of copycat posers, and not serious musicians.

That said, I consider MOTLEY CRUE to be a great band, and there's no denying their metalness or their hair. They were probably the first of the hair metal generation (unless you wanna dig back and put KISS in the category, but I think that would be wrong).

This category brings me much cognitive dissonance.

I would never let GnR win this category. Not to worry.

In case my last post was unclear, my nomination is...


Testimonial to follow after coffee clears my head.

Because Vince Neil killed the competition (RIP, Hanoi Rocks), Nikki Six returned from the dead, Mick Mars is still at it with a completely fused spine, and Tommy Lee went to college.

Oh, and we should never forget:

Too Young to Fall in Love
Dr. Feelgood
Girls Girls Girls
Home Sweet Home

Right. GnR is not hair. I actually had to correct a Wikipedia entry that called GnR "glam," when really they were a reaction of sorts against glam.

As for Y&T (from Contra Costa County, California's answer to New Jersey, so does that make them the west coast's Bon Jovi?), to this day I have no idea what they look like, so I don't think they're hair.

When I think of hair, I think of the most prominent thing on the album cover being the band members, posing in a way calculated to most effectively display their elaborately-coiffed locks and say "look how pretty we are - hey girls, after we take you backstage and shag the shit out of you, maybe we can do each others' hair and makeup." The only Y&T album covers I remember had cool predatory animals on them, like a black tiger and a striking cobra (or was that Blackfoot?).

If we're nominating based on best and most influential band who happened to be in the hair genre, I'd have to say Motley Crue, who largely defined the genre as it existed in the 80s.

But since they're already nominated, I'll nominate Ratt, who was almost as influential. They did cop quite a bit of Crue's look, as well as Aerosmith's (Stephen Tyler's scarves, not to mention "Out of the Cellar" / "Rats in the Cellar"), but they somehow made it their own, and the "Round and Round" video helped the hair metal trend really catch fire in the mid-80s.

Old Motley Crue rules. I mean I'd take Wildside over Girls, Girls, Girls any day.

However, for my nomination, it has to be Vixen. No band created more confusion in the androgynous hair metal scene.

Dokken... Because of George Lynch. As much as I love Eddie Van Halen, George comes first - even still today. My second vote would be for Crue, since they were my first Hair Band loves... Knock 'Em Dead Kid.

Motley Crue, because they still put on a kickass show. I got to see them in July and it was everything you'd ever want at a Crue show, sluts, boobs, sex, drinking....awesome. Just awesome.

Well if it can't be Whitesnake because their pyrotechnics caught a club on fire and it can't be GnR just because...then I'm out of here on this one. Hair bands for me were the proof that the punkers had it right.


Great White burned down the club, not Whitesnake.

In my opinion, Whitesnake was a pretty decent band, and I always liked David Coverdale's voice from back in his Deep Purple days. They certainly had the hair, and they were metalish. Whitesnake would be my second choice here.

Personally, I'll save them in case Michele comes up with a sexiest video category--I mean I STILL dream of Tawny Kitaen slithing across the hood of my car!

Motley Crue - I guess I have to go with the crowd here, if we are talking about hair bands that are talented/influential. "Girls, Girls, Girls" was my first rock cassette, and I played the hell out of it.

However if we are nominating poser, pretty-boy, gimmick bands, how about Stryper?

My first rock show was Bullet Boys, Winger and Cinderella, but I'll save those for another category. (Perhaps Best Band With a Fictional Character Name?)

Great White, not Whitesnake. I knew that.

Michele, just delete all my comments to this post, they're useles, my brain is fried. I was trying to distract myself from personal crap going on and just mucked things up. Sorry.

Some days I wonder why I threw out the Welbutrin.

Wow...I still don't really count the Crue as hair per se, but man, this:

Because Vince Neil killed the competition (RIP, Hanoi Rocks), Nikki Six returned from the dead, Mick Mars is still at it with a completely fused spine, and Tommy Lee went to college.

Has just about won me over. :)

Ok, after re-reading the guidelines again (this really is a ball of confusion and I need more coffee) I recind my Bon Jovi nomination.

Since we are voting on "Best band that had big hair". I gladly throw my vote over to Motley Crue as well.

They started out with leather and studs, switched to lace and makeup and wound up in plain jeans and t-shirts. Their look changed but they continually put out some really great rock songs. Shout at the Devil.

Not looking for the greatest hair or biggest hair, per se, but the best band that had big hair.

Yes, I know it sounds like an oxymoron, but we are nomingating in the category of BEST HAIR METAL BAND.

Well, I have a dark horse candidate - one that has the big haired cred, they're terrific songs, piles of hair, impeccable discography, lots of hair, and - as a bonus - in 1989 they won first Heavy Metal Grammy.

Ladies and Gentlemen, mostly Lady - how can Jethro Tull not be the winner of this prestigious award?

Poison and Motley Crue might be the popular choices - but Tull would be the right one.

hair cred

hair cred 2

Cinderella! Great hair, great first album.

"I need a shot of gasoline, I'm hittin' one sixteen, I get so hot I see steam"

You have to go with the Crue. For no other reason than the fact that I got to see Vince Neal lead the Chicken Dance at Ocktoberfest last year...

You GOTTA be the real thing to pull THAT off...

Nah, save Tull for the One-Legged Flute-Playing Art Rocker with Bad Teeth category.

As someone who has seen the Hair Band Tour which such luminaries as Dokken. Winger, Firehouse, Poison and Cinderella as well as seeing the Crue years ago and just this year....I have to vote for the Crue.

Cinderella does an absolutely amazing live show, they're the reason I go to the Hair Band tour but....

This summer, the crowd waited in the pouring rain almost two hours after the Crue were to start playing. This was in San Diego. Vince did fade at the end but it ended up being one of the better shows I've ever been to.

Old Motley Crue rules. I mean I'd take Wildside over Girls, Girls, Girls any day.

Wild Side was a single on the Girls, Girls, Girls album.

As a New Jersey native, I have to go with Bon Jovi. They personify what hair metal is all about. They had songs that rocked and they had power ballads that nobody else could touch. I mean cmon, we all went to the concerts. What was better than 20,000 people all holding up lighters to songs like, "Silent Night", "Never Say Goodbye", and "I'll Be There For You"? (Now it's people holding up cell phones. Too funny).

I love the Crue. But they don't really fit the hair band mold. They were bad boys and their earlier material such as "Shout At The Devil" and "Too Young To Fall In Love" is too intense for the hair metal scene.

Sadly, Jay says:

"I love the Crue. But they don't really fit the hair band mold. They were bad boys and their earlier material such as "Shout At The Devil" and "Too Young To Fall In Love" is too intense for the hair metal scene."

See, now there you go discriminating against a band because they're original and gritty. They were the crisp originals from which all the impotent poser all-hair-no-content bands were xeroxed. With each generation of copy, the product was softer, fuzzier, and less vital. I hope we're here to reward innovators and not watered-down copycats.

For their hair cred., see here:


I hope we're here to reward innovators and not watered-down copycats.

Cmon dude. How are they innovators? Motley Crue didn't hit the big time until 'Theater of Pain' came out, and specifically, when 'Home Sweet Home' was released as a single.

Prior to that, they had tricked out hair, but they weren't 'it' when they were wearing the spikes, leather and pentagrams. It was only when they softened somewhat, went from leather to spandex and started making videos with lots of girls in them that they really took off. That was a path that had already been cleared by the likes of Bon Jovi, Dokken and Ratt.

From 'Livewire' to 'Girls Girls Girls.' Is that progression?

OK, Jay, ya got me.

Well, maybe I sorta overstated things. Innovation is not the right word. They had good songs, but no Earth-shattering innovation. However, they seem to mark a point on the continuum from great bands with hair to vapid cotton candy puff "metal" that signifies the beginning of the hair metal genre.

They had me at Shout at the Devil in 1983, and that was their best period in my opinion. I don't vote based on when bands hit the "big time" because mass appeal doesn't validate bands in my opinion.

Poison are absolutely the kings of hair metal. They meet all the criteria, spawned a few of their own, and they never had pretentions of being anything other than what they were.

Ian S.

Except that they pretended to be musicians.

I mean, have you tried to listen to C.C. Deville's guitar playing? Christ, he played it unplugged onstage and even HE didn't notice!

For best hair metal attitude you've got to give at least honorable mention to Skid Row. In Decline of Western Civilization Pt 2 they talk about gettin into hair metal ( and buying a bar ) for one reason only...to get laid. If that isn't the essence of hair metal-ness I don't know what is.

Mark, I agree with you somewhat. Remember too that I am openly biased. I'm probably one of the few guys who will admit to liking Bon Jovi and making no excuses for it. So take my strong defense with a grain of salt.

Ian, to this day I think every member of Poison should be tarred and feathered for hellish creation known as a song called 'Unskinny Bop.'

Crue. If only because of a story I heard about their first show in Germany, where the fans were chanting for "Motley Cruh, Motley Cruh." Pronouncing the umlaut, you see.

Clearly the winner has to have an umlaut.

Put me down for Whitesnake, then Crue..although calling MC a "hair-metal" band is a bit of a stretch(for me).

Anyone consider The Cult? I'm talking '80's Cult...not '90's-present day Cult. Ian Astbury had hair down past his ass.

Nah... the Cult began pretty much as a punk band. I think the laws of nature prohibit punkers from morphing in to hair metal, even if some of their mainstream hits sounded metalish.

Mark, if you can find it..check out the Pure Cult DVD. It has videos from every album they put out since the early '80s when they were punk, through the present. It's hilarious to see their hair/clothing fashion styles change through the years.

OK, how did AC/DC make the list on that first link? Cinderella? Check. Dokken? Check. Quiet Riot? Check. Ratt? Check. But AC/DC is not a hair band. There is nothing glam about Angus Young.

I do think you have to qualify Motley Crue as hair metal. The music may have transcended their hairness, but they were totally hair. Please, just look at the cover of "Shout at the Devil" and tell me with a straight face that they were not hair. Needless to say, my vote went to Motley Crue.

Have any of your seen the press photos for the first GnR album? Big hair and eye-liner aplenty.

If Whitesnake qualify then so do GnR.

BTW the pics above of Whitesnake is taken for one album and then it was quickly dropped.

If I could have anyone's voice it would David Coverdale without a doubt. His range, still, is freaking amazing.

Children, "Girls, Girls, Girls" cannot and should not EVER be considered "old" Motley Crue. "Too Fast For Love" and "Shout at the Devil", now that's vintage. And even back then we were listening to "Public Enemy #1" and saying it needed more cowbell.

Damn do I feel old.