Saturday Song to Get Stoned To


  • Kip Wingerschmidt

Nocturno reluctantly welcomed us into Hair Metal Week kicking and screaming, so this sappy finale is largely for him.  And those of you who like cheese.  A lot.

There’s been a lot of talk this week about what kind of sound does or does not make a band “glam” or “hair metal” or whatever the hell else you want to call it, but it’s also important to mention that for many of us the stinky cheese factor plays a huge role as well. So many of the bands in question were SO over-the-top ridiculous in their lyrics/music/attitude/wardrobe/etc. that it’s often unpossible to think about hair metal without associating how cheesy it all is.  Granted, this trend started in the 80s, so ample fromage is to be expected, but at the end of the day, doesn’t the corniness help define the genre itself?  Unless if some of you actually think that hair metal is unironically “cool”, which is okay I guess — we’re all entitled to our opinions, even if they’re wrong.

Regardless of where your tastes lie, we should all be able to agree that nowhere does the cheese fly nearly as much as in the power ballads of yesteryear…

If you were Bret Michaels or Sebastian Bach in the mid to late 80s, you surely had swarms of hairspray’d chicks clamoring all over you, desperately wanting an iota of your attention and a whole lot of your johnson.  But clearly a couple special ladies legitimately stole these dudes’ hearts, and thus two seminal (and undeniably sheeezy) power ballads were borne.

Skid Row’s “I Remember You” is a cathartic plea to reunite with a lost love, complete with Baz pouring his heart out with base imagery of raindrops and whispering wind, tears calling his name, painted pictures of days gone by…..with so many cliches it’s no wonder this was one of their biggest hits. Obviously it’s hard to accurately (and publicly) represent one’s man-pain and not make it sound cheesy, but I for one believe it’s possible to earnestly tell someone how much you miss them without stinking like gorgonzola. The more specific and personal you get, the more significant and artistic the result will be, right? I guess it’s important to balance it all out — the more esoteric this song were to have gotten, the less accessible it might have been (in a certain way) and the fewer records may have been sold (one can assume). And, as Sebastian Bach has mentioned in an interview past, this song was “the #1 prom song in the United States of America in the year 1990…” So go figure.

Poison’s “I Won’t Forget You” is another crumbly, stink-filled affair that could be paired with a nice Chardonnay. But while Baz seems pretty torn up over losing his best girl, Bret Michaels is trying to come to terms with letting her and all the plans they made go. In a way it’s kind of bittersweet: he “could” and “should” forget about her, but that’s easier said than done. “I should let you fade away,” Michaels croons in this 1987 boursin-ballad, “But that just wouldn’t be me.” As we all know, the same guy appeared on reality TV with some of the trashiest women in America, so his heartfelt lyrics should obviously be taken with a grain of salt. But then again, with his recent brain hemorrhage and having recently proposed to his sweetheart from years ago, it’s hard not to root for the schmuck a little.

I hope these songs inspire you to take solace in a moldy memory of your own and reach out to lovers lost if you are so inclined……obviously they’re still thinking about you, right?

And let’s not forget this “Poison”, eh?


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