Sunday, 28 July 2013

Hair Metal Is Not (Necessarily) A Derogatory Term

     Hair metal was a term originally coined as a sort of derogatory reference to the American rock bands of the 80s. While many fans of bands like Motley Crue, Bon Jovi or Dokken vehemently hate the term and call it insulting, I, biggest hair metal maniac out there, have got to take a second to say that it really isn't a rude thing at all.
     Hair metal means hair, as in the look of these bands, and metal, as in the music of these bands. The two are mentioned in equal importance in the monicker because in this genre, the look was every bit as important as the music. Don't deny that. Hair metal was about being hot, and singing about being hot. It's a central value of the genre of music, so it only makes sense that the title of this brand of music relates to the appearance as well as the music of these groups.
     Hair metal was a term coined by thrash bands which was meant originally as a way to write off these bands as rubbish. That much is true. However, it's still simply just a word. The word itself is not rude or derogatory, it is the intention with which the word is used. I say hair metal in a positive manner and to me it is a simple and correct term which applies well to so many of my favorite groups. Others may say hair metal in the context of "just another crappy hair metal band" and that to me is wrong and derogatory, but it is not the word hair metal which is insulting here. It is the way people use it to generalize and write off all those bands. The same goes for all other categories of music too. You can say "just another crappy hair metal band" just as easily as "just another crappy grunge band" or "just another crappy thrash band." Anything can be made to be an insult. We call redheads gingers, don't we?
     And plus, hair metal is just the normal, current term for this brand of music. If classic rock from the 80s is John Mellencamp and Bruce Springsteen heavy metal is Iron Maiden and Motorhead, and pop music is Madonna and Michael Jackson, well, what we call hair metal cannot really be associated with any of those bands. Hair metal is too pop to be rock, too heavy to be pop and too commercial to be rock. It is a separate entity, its own kind of music. That's not to say it isn't versatile though. Within hair metal you find many other divisions. There are "pretty" or "glam" bands like Poison, there are "sleazy" bands like Guns N' Roses or Faster Pussycat. Some of these bands even have a direct blues influence like Cinderella or Whitesnake. The term hair metal designates such a wide range of music that to use it as a write off is ignorant as well as pointless. Hair metal is a term, a word, simply to help distinguish a very awesome kind of music. Anybody who finds it derogatory has just got to get over themselves by now, or simply change their perspective.

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