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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Something to Believe In

From time to time, Frank posts music videos on his MySpace page. As an ongoing series called "Videos I Remember and Love from 120 Minutes," he's shared plenty of fantastic videos. I'm talking that dog's "Never Say Never," Failure's "Stuck On You" and Idlewild's "Roseability." There are plenty of 120 Minutes nuggets I'd like to share (Suede's "Trash" and 60ft. Dolls' "Stay" are at the top of the list), but I want to do something rather different. Very different.

Children are not born with a hip taste or a cynical look at pop music. That is something that comes with time. Well for me, between 1987 and 1990, I thought the kind of rock music that really rocked was hair metal. I wouldn't go so far to say I was a devoted fan of one band in particular, but I watched a lot of MTV then, and hair metal dominated their playlist. I saw plenty of videos filled with glitz, glamor, guitar solos and a lot of melodic singalongs. Of course, things were never the same after the "Smells Like Teen Spirit" video got regular rotation.

But before that change occurred, I liked almost hair metal song I heard on the radio and saw on MTV. One in particular really moved me. And I'm not ashamed to say it still does to this day (but in a different way): Poison's "Something to Believe In."

Yes, the same four guys who wanted to be the loudest, snottiest, sleaziest band in the land actually had a real tender side as well. Watching the video again, I remember a lot. Hearing the last thirty seconds on the radio coming back from a Boy Scout trip on Casey Kasem's countdown show, I wanted to hear the whole song. Luckily, the video was soon in regular, heavy rotation. It would remain that way for months.

Certain images, like Bret knocking his mike stand with his guitar, the fast push-in on C.C. during his solo, Bobby's piano slide, and the black and white shots, really stuck out in my mind. What can I say? Being a sixth grader at the time with limited knowledge that there was richer and denser music out there, this was the top. Once I learned what else was out there, it would be easy to dismiss all hair metal. It would be really easy to dismiss it at my age, but it still sticks with me.

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