Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Back in Action, Big Hair and All; the Return of Hard-Rocking '80S Bands Poison, Ratt

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Back in Action, Big Hair and All; the Return of Hard-Rocking '80S Bands Poison, Ratt

Article excerpt

Byline: ROGER BULL

It was one of the those phases, so clearly stuck in a slice of time. The hair bands of the '80s came from Los Angeles' Sunset Strip and looked like nothing that came before or since.

Poison and Ratt, two of the biggest hairs, the glammest glams, play Sunday night at the Times-Union Center for Performing Arts. The show, originally scheduled for the arena, was moved earlier this week. Tickets will still be honored, but as of press time officials hadn't decided how the reserved seating would work.

When VH1 named the top hair bands a few years ago, it put Poison at No. 1 and Ratt at No. 11. The music was straightforward hard rock, with heavy emphasis on a good time: sex, drugs and drink.

But the look was teased hair, spandex pants and fishnet shirts. Despite the big hair, makeup and boas, there was none of the androgyny of David Bowie or the New York Dolls. It was all overtly heterosexual.

I got a girl on the left of me/a girl on the right/I know damn well I slept with both last night.

The music and excess spilled out of the '80s and into the '90s, but the glitter of glam metal was soon smothered by the flannel shirts of grunge. Poison fired guitar player C.C. DeVille and struggled through a few years without much more than a greatest-hits record. But DeVille rejoined and by 1999, they were back on tour, drawing thousands a night.

The band released the CD Poison'd this summer, featuring covers of some of their favorite songs: The Stones' Dead Flowers, Loggins & Messina's Your Mama Don't Dance and Jim Croce's You Don't Mess Around With Jim. But the band has stayed in the spotlight far better than most from the era, primarily due to frontman Bret Michaels.

Quote: "Since 1986 when MTV introduced the world to the blue-eyed lead singer of Poison, women around the world have worshiped Bret Michaels as a veritable Rock God." - VH1.

On the screen: Before the Pamela Anderson/Tommy Lee sex tape, there was the Pamela Anderson/Bret Michaels sex tape. And he's followed that up with more film and TV work. …

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