Scientists from Seattle University have this week released the results of a study into why some of the greatest musicians of the past two decades now suck eggs. And it could not have come at a better time, in the wake of Meatloaf’s wookie inspired performance at the AFL Grand Final.
The group studied rock stars from all over the planet and came to the conclusion that once certain rock stars cut their hair their talent, imagination and creativity is left on the barbershop floor along with their once flowing locks.
Example 1: Red Hot Chili Peppers.
In 1991, the Red Hot Chili Peppers released easily their best, and one of Australia’s favourite albums, BloodSugarSexMagik. It was an album universally applauded for its refreshing, energetic and unusual sound, mixing rock, funk, punk, pop and rap. At the time singer Anothony Keidis looked like this…
…their follow up, One Hot Minute, while not as commercially successful, was still a damn good album and seeing them perform in 1996 at the Melbourne Tennis Centre remains one of the best concerts I have ever been to.
This year RHCP released their second consecutive bland album and Keidis, along with his short hair is also sporting a disturbing Texan serial killer moustache…
This once great band has now been reduced to sound like nothing more than a bad, paint by numbers RHCP cover band. The drumming is uninspired, Frusciante’s genius has departed, Flea is merely going through the motions and the chorus’ lack lyrical charisma. Gone are the days of high energy, sexualised, provocative, sock on cocks Chili Pepper madness.
The group of Seattle scientists fear that after two bad albums RHCP may be beyond redemption, although they do recommend Keidis grow back his hair, RHCP re-recruit Frusciante and the whole group get back on the drugs, to once again make great music.
Example 2: Metallica
Following the release of the Black album in 1991 Metallica had the world at their feet. The album sold well over 20 million copies, and along with Guns n Roses, James Hetfield and co. were the biggest hard rock band in the world.
So how did a group with classics such as Battery, Master of Puppets, One, Enter Sandman, Fade to Black and For Whom the Bell Tolls end up releasing tripe like Load, Reload (wasn’t once enough???) and then St. Anger?
Once again, the answer is in the hair. At the peak of their powers, this was Metallica…
Only with Death Magnetic and re jigged set list, have the band started to regain some of the massive ground they lost. It cannot be by coincidence that prior to recording, guitarist Kirk Hammett had regrown his long hair and the band recruited the maned Rob Trujillo. If James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich, despite their receding hairlines, join these two in growing back their hair, then scientists believe redemption may be possible.
Example 3: The Offspring
Many people out there may scoff at the suggestion The Offspring were ever any good given how quickly they descended into a joke and how long they have been bad for ever since. However, I assure you, I do remember a time, albeit long ago, when these guys were producing quality rock music.
Back in the dark ages of 1994, before ipods, downloads and you tube, a braided Dexter Holland and The Offspring were tearing arse all across the musical world. Ignition and Smash were two of the best post-grunge punk albums of their time. Along with Green Day’s Dookie, Smash paved the way for punk rock bands such as Pennywise, NOFX and Blink 182 to break into the mainstream, while in the process becoming the biggest selling independent release of all time.
The change in the Offspring was almost overnight. No sooner had Holland snipped his locks and the band were producing Grade A cheese such as Pretty Fly (for a white guy), Why Don’t You Get a Job? and Original Prankster, songs that might make the cut for Sum 41, but surely not for the writers of LAPD, Gotta Get Away and Self Esteem.
Nowadays Holland, Noodles and co. are attempting to harden their style, writing chunkier, rockier tracks, however it is all too little too late.
Example 4: Bon Jovi
Despite their fashion sense, or lack thereof, Bon Jovi owned the 80’s rock arenas with classics like Livin’ on a Prayer, Bad Medicine, You Give Love a Bad Name and Wanted Dead or Alive.
Let this be a warning to you kids out there – 80’s fashion was NOT cool!
In the early 90’s with grunge becoming the preferred style of rock, many of the 80’s hair metal bands faded into insignificance. Bon Jovi, in need of an image change, emerged from the salon like this…
New cast members for the Bold & the Beautiful?
The band was able to eek out one last hit, Bed of Roses, before falling into the inevitable black hole of creativity. Since 1993 the best they have done is produce average radio friendly hits It’s My Life and Have a Nice Day, songs far from the top of any fans request list.
In 2011 Bon Jovi is still kicking on, playing arena shows around the world, but fans are not there to hear anything from the groups last five albums (Crush, Bounce, Have a Nice Day, Lost Highway, The Circle), they only want the classics.
Is a Bon Jovi country & western album imminent?
Examples of redemption: Pearl Jam & Machine Head
With arguably more talent and more influence on the 1990’s than Nirvana, Pearl Jam dominated the decade, along with many other grunge mates. Early into the noughties, with nu metal, pop punk and hip hop dominating the music scene the grunge kings were struggling for identity. Vedder went through a few image changes – short hair, clean shaven and a Mohawk.
During the years of readjustment Pearl Jam released live and best of albums, moves that usually indicate a career spiraling quickly to an end. However, after growing back his grungy locks Eddie Vedder and Pearl Jam have been back on track and has released two solid albums, while Vedder also wrote the acclaimed the Into the Wild soundtrack. The only blip on the radar has been Eddie’s decision to contribute to the Eat Pray Love soundtrack, why, nobody knows.
Heavy metal group Machine Head burst onto the scene with the excellent Burn My Eyes in 1994. Five years later, the band once anointed as the heirs to the metal kingdom, resembled nothing more than an angry version of N*Sync. To many metal diehards they had sold out to the nu metal wave with their album The Burning Red.
However, in the last few years Rob Flynn has once again become hairier than a woolly mammoth and Machine Head are back on top of the metal mountain, forgiven but not forgotten.
The Nickleback Clause
The report concludes that no matter how long some musicians’ hair is they will always suck eggs, simply because they make awful music.