Friday, June 22, 2012

Crock of Ages

It's not generally in my nature to review things I haven't experienced firsthand; it seems kinda chickenshit. In the case of Rock of Ages, I'll make a small exception, given the non-stop promos and availability of reviews. It features actors I tend to like. The subject matter is something that I am intimately acquainted with, insofar as I occasionally would travel downstate back in that day and hit the infamous Sunset Strip clubs where hair metal got its start (and finish, for that matter).

I hate to disappoint the folks who just wanted to see something that sounds and smells like a hopelessly sanitized, Disneyfied version of the real thing. But it was really all about the coke and blowjobs. The notion that it was all just a bunch of nancy boys who poofed their hair, threw on some mascara, pouted their lips like Punky Meadows, listened to Don't Stop Believin' until their eardrums bled, and waited around for Metallica to come along and grow them all a set of denim balls, is just nuts. Don't take my word for it, go back and watch Decline of Western Civilization II (minus the Ozzy stuff). Some people took this shit seriously.

Believe me, I was an average-looking guy with average game growing up in a cow-town, and more often than not I wasn't even in a band, and every weekend was still like fucking Woodstock. (And no, none of us had to dress up like Poison or Motley Cure, or even Def Leppard.) The only way not to get laid and/or fucked up was to not leave the house. Anyone who actually lived through this period of time knows this; any film to make an honest attempt to communicate the reality would be borderline porn.

I get that it's a musical, looking at the "lighter" side of the scene. But I guess what I'm wondering is, who were they trying to go after with that approach? Maybe if they had figured that part of it out, it would have done better. This is the problem with nostalgia in general -- it's always attempting to reclaim a past that never actually occurred.

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