From Vice.com.

With tears and sold-out arenas as Mötley Crüe played their contractual final shows at the end of last year, and excited speculation and controversy as the definitive members of Guns N’ Roses spend the summer on a reunion tour, it’s fair to say that there’s a palpable resurgence of interest in ’80s-style heavy metal. Couple those headlines with the facts that satirical glamsters Steel Panther are headlining London’s Wembley Arena this autumn and that Reckless Love are helping to turn Helsinki into the new Sunset Strip, and it becomes increasingly apparent that people have a rekindled affinity with big hair and big riffs.

This wasn’t the case in the last two decades, by and large. In its ’80s heyday, the aforementioned Sunset Strip in West Hollywood was the centre of the universe for glam metal, melodic hard rock or whatever other elastic term you want to apply. Between the Whiskey a Go Go and The Viper Room, the Roxy and Troubadour, long-haired young men braved a relentless world of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll, being courted by corrupt A&R people while dark excesses waited around corners and peroxide groupies handed out flyers. But it couldn’t last. The creative well ran dry, forcing bands to further prioritise image over substance and vision. Penelope Spheeris’s toe-curling The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years documents a conveyor belt of mortifying, starry-eyed hopefuls, but is worth watching solely for a scene involving W.A.S.P.’s Chris Holmes and a swimming pool.

The end came with the arrival of a cardigan-clad knight armed with a Fender Jaguar. Alongside a wave of bands from Seattle, Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain helped to popularise grunge rock, a punk-based evolution that focused on alienation, introspection and frustration, antithetical to hair metal’s ebullient ethos. As kids’ attention moved from Pretty Boy Floyd to Pearl Jam, Hollywood’s music became as popular as Lars Ulrich at a Napster party, and the Strip fell silent. Continue reading on Vice…

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