Three examples of why we really need an oral history of '80s hair metal
Vince Neil, Lita Ford, Don Dokken, Slash, Tommy Lee and many more stars of '80s hair metal have gone on the record with their fading memories of life on the Sunset Strip and elsewhere during our glorious decade. Salon has pulled an incredible collection of stories, tall tales and quotes from the artists who gave us the music. It's all from the book From the book Louder Than Hell: The Definitive Oral History of Metal by Jon Wiederhorn and Katherine Turman. Copyright 2013 by Jon Wiederhorn. Here are three highlights:
VINCE NEIL: "The first concert I went to was Lynyrd Skynyrd, with Black Sabbath opening. Then Foreigner, and Eddie Money, I think, at Anaheim Stadium. I was probably fourteen; friends who were sixteen had a car. Everybody was smoking pot. I remember looking around during 'Freebird,' and it was a stadium, you could see, like, the concrete bending; or maybe it was just me being high, but it was a surreal experience."
LITA FORD: "Trying to get [the Runaways] off their butts or out of bed or into sound check was difficult at times. I mean, I was into sex and drugs and drinking, too, but it never got in the way of my work. We did well, but it wasn’t until after the Runaways that I was really accepted as a musician, and especially a guitarist."
GEOFF TATE: "Living on Top Ramen was the way you survived. You only had a day job simply to keep you in rent money and pay for your musical instruments for your gig."