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April 06, 1995 - Image 13

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-04-06

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

A¢ How low can
you go?
I've reached the point in my col-
Umn-writing for the Daily when it is
petting more and more difficult to
come up with my topics. Not from a
lack of things to say (those close to
.me, and even not so close, will tell
you I always have something to say),
but rather because I hate to see my
time at the University coming to an
end.
April promises to be one of the
-tore emotional months in my life as
SJustaThought
prepare to leave this world I am
:comfortable in and head out into "the
'eal world." This might not be so
Wary if I could at least tell you which
geographical area of "the real world"
.I would be going to and what I would
do once I got there.
I have a feeling that some of any
fellow seniors might relate to the po-
,sition I am in. My life, like the lives of
bthers, has become a state of limbo
which seems like it will never end.
Every day brings April 29 a little
eoser and with it comes a cloud of
uncertainty which looms ominously
overhead. Limbo has never been one
of my favorite games and this one just
keeps on going - and the music is
even bad.
Even on the heels of Friendly Days,
it becomes harder and harder to put on
a happy face. In fact, Grumpy Days
are now in full force and Depression/
rustration Days seem to be lingering
retty close behind.
To fight these random emotions I
decided to attempt to make myself
4eel better after scouring the want ads
Of newspapers and writing endless
hover letters to people who will reply
ith a curt "thank you," if they reply
t all. There is nothing like having to
*ss the ass of some employer who
on't do you the courtesy of return-
g your phone calls.
In order to combat this frustration
I picked up a copy of "14,000 things
to be happy about." I'm not saying it
worked completely, but it did divert
my attention from my problems, if
only for a moment.
Granted, this is a cheesy attempt
at book -writing which was clearly
conceived because the author knew it
vould be marketable. However, there
ea few good reasons compiled there,
ough many of them are personal. At
e very least this book got me think-
ng about some of the things in my life
hich can bring a smile to my face.
What surprised me about my list
as the number of things that were
'elated to my time here at Michigan,
th directly and indirectly. It rein-
ored to me that my college years
ve been some of the best of my life.
Anyway, here are some of the things
I came up with:
* never stepping on the "M"
° Stucchi's - Mint Chocolate
Cookie/ Chocolate Cheesecake
" J.W. Dundee's Honey Brown
" Key West
* raging
. "Jungle Boogie"

* the high ropes course
* a good lecture
* Bruegger's bagels
* Amer's No. 44
* my column
* the Daily (sometimes)
* Mitch's on Thursday night
* the Friars
" the Compass Rose
* concerts at Hill Auditorium
" good friends
* Shakin' what my mamma
gave me
" Tequila Shrimp
* Pink Lemonade Snapple
Blue Razzberry Blow-pops
* straw hats.

GLAM

IS SLAM

IN'

By Kirk Miller
Daily Arts Writer

Mr Sister,
what do you
want to do want
with your life?"
-Twisted Sister
St. Patrick's Day in Vancouver
might not be the best place to hammer
the final nail in the spandex coffin of
'80s glam rock, but it will have to
suffice for this example.
Halfway through my phone inter-
view with L.A. Guns guitarist Tracii
Guns he was abruptly interrupted by
his tour manager.
"There's a hostage situation across
from the club right now," Guns ex-
plained. "We can't load in. Oh man.
That's typical L.A. Guns ... wherever
we go things fall apart."
While crazed gunmen had little to
do with the death of pop/glam metal,
some bands might have welcomed a
psychotic taking them hostage; maybe
then they'd actually get some press
coverage. While in the late '80s you
couldn't twirl a fluorescent drum stick
without whacking a Sunset Strip glam
band on a major label, today those
bands have been banished to dusty
corners of closets and
dollar tape bins around
the country.
The usual sus-
pects were blamed.
Too many bands
that sounded
alike, the im-

pact
of Nirvana
and grunge, the rise
of "alternative" radio, and the
general assumption that most of the
glam bands were disposable images
working from formula. What's more
surprising is how long it took to ask
why; only in the last month has Musi-
cian magazine started to ask the big
question of where it went and what
happened to the major players.
MTV used to fill their playlist with
the likes of Quiet Riot, Ratt, Warrant,
Whitesnake and Cinderella, and with
good reason. Big hair, sexy videos,
anthemic rockers and cheesy ballads
were all part of a great rock 'n' roll
lifestyle of sex, drugs and leather pants.
It was formula; every album had an
opening rocker, two power ballads, a
sleazy sex song filled with bad cherry
pie-style innuendo, guitar solos, an "ex-
perimental" track and lots of filler. But
for every band that coasted on an image
there were some incredible musicians
and good pop songwriters not far be-
hind, bands that ended up victims for
the same reason they initially suc-
ceeded.
Two bands out of the failed thou-
sands that survived were L.A. Guns
and Extreme, two completely differ-
ent sides of the genre that nonetheless
have shared a similar fate from the
media. Tracii Guns is a veteran of the
infamous Sunset Strip glam
scene and been re-

cording with L.A. Guns for ten years.
On the other side is Extreme, a Bos-
ton group that released their first
record in 1989 and up to two years
ago were radio favorites on stations
like WRIF. Hey, who didn't lose their
virginity to "More Than Words"?
Both of them are on the comeback
trail on A&M Records, home of the
alternative hard rock champions of
Soundgarden, Therapy? and Paw.
L.A. Guns' "Vicious Circle" is by far
the best album of their career, a di-
verse, multilayered sound that puts
newcomers like Candlebox and
Sponge to shame. It has enjoyed ab-
solutely no MTV consideration and
little airplay. On the other hand,
Extreme's "Waiting For the
Punchline" strips away the orchestra
and prog rock pretentious of their last
album in favor of a straight ahead
approach. "Hip Today' has been a
moderate album rock success and even
gets rotation on eMpTV ... at 3 a.m.
Both are in the middle of success-
ful club tours. Both are laughed at by
Green Day and grunge fans. Both
have some bones to pick.
As a one time member of Guns 'N
Roses (back in 1986) and one of the
first out of the area, Guns is slightly
bitter about being lumped in with
other "hair bands."
"Obviously we're not since we're
still here and they're not," he said. "It
was like wait a minute, we're not that
element at all. I don't want to take
anything away from those bands, but
I always pictured L.A. Guns as being
blues-based hard rock band with an
extreme edge."
Although new drummer Mike

Magnola
has only been with
Extreme for a year, he
agreed during a different phone
interview the next week.
"We're not hip today," he, la-
mented. "But we have the integrity
and we'll maintain it. We'll always
create ... and they could not play it
and we'll still be around."
Guns, always the metal guy with
the best hair (short, jet black, punky),
has seen all the trappings of the music
business. "We (GNR) started doing
some shows, getting real big and then
the bottom fell out for me and I wasn't
having any fun. And that's my whole
point, I just like to have a good time."
When he started L.A. Guns he
didn't realize he was also starting a
scene that would eventually suck up
all the bands from the area, much like
Seattle.
"All my friends are going to hate
me and think I'm dissing them," he
warned. "But I never really liked what
was going on. It just seemed kind of
phony. It seemed kind of like the
alternative stuff now. I mean, if they
look good that's killer, but it's so
secondary. Plus we were like the first
stuff, us and Guns 'N Roses. I kind of
resent the stuff after that, because it
seemed like nobody had a mind of
their own. We had a much heavier
blues thing, but that got ru-
ined by the record

company."
Unfortunately for the band, their
record company Polydor signed them,
had a hit record with no airplay and
suddenly expected hit singles, which
didn't sit well with the band.
"I was like, 'Oh I see where you're
getting at,"' Guns explained. "You
want us to spend tons of money on
people to write songs for us and a
producer to make us sound really little
and lose all respect."
With the next two records they
had their success, but not the way
they intended. Their biggest hits were
"It's Over Now," a better-than-aver-
age power ballad they didn't really
write and "Kiss My Love Goodbye,"
which was one of many songs the
record company tampered with.
"It used to be called 'Biggest
Breasts in the West,"' he said.
See GLAM SLAM, Page 4

And some other bands you might have forgotten about ...

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