Jizzy Pearl "Stuck in the 80s"
Love/Hate back in the day with Jizzy Pearl front and center.
STUCK IN THE 80’S
By: Jizzy Pearl
You hear that a lot, poor dude, he’s ‘stuck in the 80’s’ or that band is ‘stuck in the 80’s’. I remember the 80’s, I enjoyed aspects of the 80’s and to a certain extent am a bastard child of the 80’s. But I’m not stuck in the 80’s…or am I?
Hollywood in the 80’s was totally different than it is now. It was cool. There was a scene. You felt part of a community. Even though the Rainbow and the Whisky still stand they are shadows now, a parody like Steel Panther. New music bears no resemblance to anything I remember so consequently any trip to the Whisky would prove unfulfilling.
The Rainbow still has its stalwarts, it’s a small island of retro in a sea of emo. Old groupies way past their prime, drawn to their old spawning grounds like Botox’d salmon. Musicos still dress the part, Bret Michaels hat, Bret Michaels bandana & Bret Michaels coat but none of Bret Michael’s panache. They look more like middle-aged Hot Topic-ers, like Civil War re-enactors, raising their glasses every time an Appetite for Destruction song comes on the jukebox . My leather pants are in a drawer, hats are for the balding and bandanas…? I can’t figure that one out.
1999, 1st Poison tour. I was in L.A. Guns and was having a great old time. Stuck in the 80’s? Fuck yeah! It was nice to play arenas again, albeit as an opener. We were the band you found your seat to. This was the first large scale revival, oh there was the Rock Never Stops thing but it was hit and miss, this was everyone’s chance to pull out all their old Rock regalia and have some fun. I saw more fringe jackets that year than I’d ever seen, an ocean of fringe, like Spanish moss. Leather minis were in too, although the legs and the thighs that accompanied them were a bit of a contradiction. Girls walked or sort of penguined themselves along in unsteady heels, hair teased up like the old days, perfumed, like a high school reunion. Reliving the music and the time but most of all the FREEDOM before kids and house payments, jobs, beer guts, fat asses, fat faces, male pattern baldness and Debt.
I used to watch the people rocking out from the side of the stage when Poison played, I used to watch their eyes light up, the wife and husband clutching each other, remembering the Moment, hands squeezed, it was something to see. Vietnam vets watching a Credence Clearwater concert is the closest thing I can compare it to, shared experience and losing oneself in the music.
Then after that came the parodies, Hair-fest, Hairball Express & Hairpalooza—yes weren’t we a scream in our goofy outfits. And our coiffed locks, deeply conditioned for maximum flippage. And our silly videos with all the hot chicks and fire. But we did have radio back then, not satellite. And we didn’t have the Internet to steal music from so we actually had to get off our asses and buy it. That made it more valuable I think. And without the Internet we visualized our music and our musicians, we imagined what they were like—not some worthless Tweet about nothing. And we went out a lot more, rock clubs in every city, live music 6 nights a week. So many bands trying to make it—where are they now? They are clerks, blue & white collar, husband and father, tired from work and debt and Life in general. Too tired to stay out late, 2 drink minimum is totally fine, going out is a hassle. One big event per summer, one big night out, that’s all we can afford–let’s do Poison/Motley, that sounds good, tickets, parking, T-shirts & beer…sounds good.
Everyone’s going out this summer, bands I mean, but I think the Poison/Motley thing is gonna cream most of the competition. Call it the economy or call it the Hassle of growing old but I think one big summer event is good enough for most. Gas is going up along with food but music is cheaper now and there’s always Youtube if the tickets get too high—I don’t judge this 2011 transition, I just observe it from my Unibomber shack and count my blessings.