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Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion

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Hard rock in the 1980s was a hedonistic and often intensely creative wellspring of escapism that perfectly encapsulated—and maybe even helped to define—a spectacularly over-the-top decade. Indeed, fist-pumping hits like Twisted Sister's "We're Not Gonna Take It," Mötley Crüe's "Girls, Girls, Girls," and Guns N' Roses' "Welcome to the Jungle" are as inextricably linked to t Hard rock in the 1980s was a hedonistic and often intensely creative wellspring of escapism that perfectly encapsulated—and maybe even helped to define—a spectacularly over-the-top decade. Indeed, fist-pumping hits like Twisted Sister's "We're Not Gonna Take It," Mötley Crüe's "Girls, Girls, Girls," and Guns N' Roses' "Welcome to the Jungle" are as inextricably linked to the era as Reaganomics, Pac-Man, and E.T. From the do-or-die early days of self-financed recordings and D.I.Y. concert productions that were as flashy as they were foolhardy, to the multi-Platinum, MTV-powered glory years of stadium-shaking anthems and chart-topping power ballads, to the ultimate crash when grunge bands like Nirvana forever altered the entire climate of the business, Tom Beaujour and Richard Bienstock's "Nothin' But a Good Time" captures the energy and excess of the hair metal years in the words of the musicians, managers, producers, engineers, label executives, publicists, stylists, costume designers, photographers, journalists, magazine publishers, video directors, club bookers, roadies, groupies, and hangers-on who lived it.


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Hard rock in the 1980s was a hedonistic and often intensely creative wellspring of escapism that perfectly encapsulated—and maybe even helped to define—a spectacularly over-the-top decade. Indeed, fist-pumping hits like Twisted Sister's "We're Not Gonna Take It," Mötley Crüe's "Girls, Girls, Girls," and Guns N' Roses' "Welcome to the Jungle" are as inextricably linked to t Hard rock in the 1980s was a hedonistic and often intensely creative wellspring of escapism that perfectly encapsulated—and maybe even helped to define—a spectacularly over-the-top decade. Indeed, fist-pumping hits like Twisted Sister's "We're Not Gonna Take It," Mötley Crüe's "Girls, Girls, Girls," and Guns N' Roses' "Welcome to the Jungle" are as inextricably linked to the era as Reaganomics, Pac-Man, and E.T. From the do-or-die early days of self-financed recordings and D.I.Y. concert productions that were as flashy as they were foolhardy, to the multi-Platinum, MTV-powered glory years of stadium-shaking anthems and chart-topping power ballads, to the ultimate crash when grunge bands like Nirvana forever altered the entire climate of the business, Tom Beaujour and Richard Bienstock's "Nothin' But a Good Time" captures the energy and excess of the hair metal years in the words of the musicians, managers, producers, engineers, label executives, publicists, stylists, costume designers, photographers, journalists, magazine publishers, video directors, club bookers, roadies, groupies, and hangers-on who lived it.

30 review for Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion

  1. 4 out of 5

    *TUDOR^QUEEN* (on hiatus)

    Five Stars Back in the 80's I was a yuppie working in the Wall Street Area, and I have very fond memories of listening to so called metal "hair bands" on my Sony Walkman cassette player during my commutes. I had grown up on The Beatles, transitioned to The Bay City Rollers and then KISS, back to The Beatles again...and then it happened: Bon Jovi, Motley Crue, Whitesnake, Cinderella, Stryper, Poison, Guns n' Roses, Warrant, Skid Row, Europe, Ozzy and others. This melodic heavy rock music made me f Five Stars Back in the 80's I was a yuppie working in the Wall Street Area, and I have very fond memories of listening to so called metal "hair bands" on my Sony Walkman cassette player during my commutes. I had grown up on The Beatles, transitioned to The Bay City Rollers and then KISS, back to The Beatles again...and then it happened: Bon Jovi, Motley Crue, Whitesnake, Cinderella, Stryper, Poison, Guns n' Roses, Warrant, Skid Row, Europe, Ozzy and others. This melodic heavy rock music made me feel alive like no other, and I still react that way to it today. When I'm working and I feel like I'm getting drowsy, all I need to do is launch my ipod on the playlist I created called "Metal Orgy" and the blood starts coursing through my veins again. These were bands who teased their long manes of hair to the max and kept it there with Aqua Net spray, wore leather or colorful tight stretchy pants, and makeup. It was an androgynous look, but seemed to attract scores of women to their audiences. I became a devotee of watching the "Headbangers Ball" on MTV every weekend and subscribed to magazines such as Hit Parader, RIP and Creem (I still have every issue). I read these magazines cover to cover, even if I wasn't familiar with all the bands. They were still interesting to read about. They weren't just a bunch of guys in jeans, they were eye catching and each had their own mystique and schtick. People who don't know me that well are surprised when they find out what a penchant I have for these bands, as they know me primarily as a huge Beatles fan. I still am, but I'm also a big Hair Band fan! So I gasped when I saw this book dedicated to the story of this music genre and jumped at the chance to read it. The book is delivered in oral narration format, which I love. The band members told their stories themselves. I know the history well of how up and coming bands flocked to LA where they held court at venues such as Gazzarri's, the Whisky a Go Go and The Cathouse to name a few. Bands would room together in mostly poor conditions relying on the patronage of female groupies who would bring them groceries, etc. There was a system of bands printing up flyers and posting them all over town. It was extremely competitive and bands would often find the fliers they had just posted- posted over by someone else. There was a signing frenzy for a period of time where record companies were snapping these bands up one by one. After awhile the genre became over saturated and their wave of success came crashing down with the advent of Seattle grunge bands. But years later, people who had grown up loving this music were nostalgic, and some of these resurfaced on package tours. A lot of bands had to seriously downgrade their venues if they wanted to play, as Nirvana spearheaded the next big thing with other bands like Soundgarden, Faith No More and Alice in Chains. An iconic moment is emblazoned on the book cover that reminds me of my favorite guitar solo. When Ozzy Osbourne went solo he had an amazingly talented lead guitarist named Randy Rhoads. Randy was in his early twenties with soft, long blond hair and was very petite. There is a photo of Ozzy holding Randy up on his shoulder during a concert (see "Ozzy Osbourne Randy Rhoads Tribute" album cover) If you ever want to hear an incredible guitar solo that meshes classical and metal music, play the video of "Mr. Crowley" in concert from 1981. As soon as the music starts, you will recognize the sinister organ intro and you'll be on your way! Quite tragically, Randy died in a plane accident after only being with Ozzy's band a short time, but his flying V polka dotted electric guitar will never be forgotten. Thank you to St. Martin's Press who provided an advance reader copy via NetGalley.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Suzy (Taking a break from reviews)

    4 stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ As a teen in the 80’s who was a little metal head (and proudly, I still am), I loved this book! All of my favorites are packed in to this gem. Mötley Crüe, Guns ‘n Roses, Van Halen, Ratt, Skid Row, Poison and countless others detail the good and bad that shaped their lives and careers back in the day. Not only musicians are giving details - we also have band managers, roadies and club managers giving insight. The interview format is genius and gave the reader a realistic view of 4 stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ As a teen in the 80’s who was a little metal head (and proudly, I still am), I loved this book! All of my favorites are packed in to this gem. Mötley Crüe, Guns ‘n Roses, Van Halen, Ratt, Skid Row, Poison and countless others detail the good and bad that shaped their lives and careers back in the day. Not only musicians are giving details - we also have band managers, roadies and club managers giving insight. The interview format is genius and gave the reader a realistic view of rockstar life in the 80’s. The “cast of characters” at the beginning of the book is awesome! I’m super nostalgic when it comes to music and still listen to these bands daily. They will always be my favorite and a big part of my life. Now if we could only get concerts to start back up again I’d be in heaven! I can’t wait! Rock on! 🤘🏼 Thank you to NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press and Tom Beaujour & Richard Bienstock for my advanced copy to read and review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Dave

    "Nothin But A Good Time" traces the journey that heavy metal rock took from the explosion of Van Halen in the late Seventies until the days of Nirvana and the grunge monsters bands heralded the dawning of a new generation of rock. Told not in expository fashion, but through interviews with artists, managers, and industry people, what this book does is give the reader a hands-on view of life in the metal trenches in the Eighties. For those not too familiar with the numerous hair metal bands of th "Nothin But A Good Time" traces the journey that heavy metal rock took from the explosion of Van Halen in the late Seventies until the days of Nirvana and the grunge monsters bands heralded the dawning of a new generation of rock. Told not in expository fashion, but through interviews with artists, managers, and industry people, what this book does is give the reader a hands-on view of life in the metal trenches in the Eighties. For those not too familiar with the numerous hair metal bands of the Eighties like Motley Crew, Vixen, or Guns and Roses, this format might leave you a bit lost at times. For those who lived through the era and remember what the Sunset Strip was like in those days, it might just be a trip down memory lane. There are no secrets here. Every excess of drugs, sex, fame, or straight-out idiocy is laid out in these pages as remembered by those who were there.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    I loved this book! As a big fan of rock and specifically 80s rock, this book took you back to those crazy days. I have read other books chronicling these times and this one is the best. The author had great access to the bands and told their story, both good and bad. And it is not just the bands, it is the scene. You go behind the scenes with the venues the bands played, the people who made the costumes, the people at the labels, the magazines, and MTV. It wasn’t all about the bands. I found mys I loved this book! As a big fan of rock and specifically 80s rock, this book took you back to those crazy days. I have read other books chronicling these times and this one is the best. The author had great access to the bands and told their story, both good and bad. And it is not just the bands, it is the scene. You go behind the scenes with the venues the bands played, the people who made the costumes, the people at the labels, the magazines, and MTV. It wasn’t all about the bands. I found myself looking up old videos and recalling where I was at in my life when I heard these songs. Well worth a read. ARC generously provided by NetGalley.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Joni Owens

    First let me start out by saying I love 80s metal so I was really looking forward to this book when I saw it available for review on NetGalley. It’s a really interesting read and now I’m spouting off facts and info. I rounded up my rating to 4 because it really gives a good accurate account of what was happening. The reason it’s not a 5 for me is because it’s really long and the flow isn’t terrific. It’s not awful but some chapters have multiple bands and I had to try and remember where I knew t First let me start out by saying I love 80s metal so I was really looking forward to this book when I saw it available for review on NetGalley. It’s a really interesting read and now I’m spouting off facts and info. I rounded up my rating to 4 because it really gives a good accurate account of what was happening. The reason it’s not a 5 for me is because it’s really long and the flow isn’t terrific. It’s not awful but some chapters have multiple bands and I had to try and remember where I knew the name from (may be helpful to say the band each time). All in all I enjoyed this book and would recommend to people that love the music.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Bookwraiths

    A decent book overall with many tidbits of information I personally didn’t know about this music scene. The main complaint I have is the format of the narrative; everything here is excerpts from interviews with people, and reading this gets confusion and hard to follow at times.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Liberty

    I'm a self-professed hair metal fan, the more guyliner the better. I would die of heart failure if I ever met Bret Michaels face to face. Give me pouty Sebastian Bach lips and slinky Axl Rose hips, and ALL the guitars and ballads. Preferably in music video format, as all good kids raised by MTV would want it. But despite all the heart throbbing love I have for these pretty boys and their glam music, this book just did not do it for me. I listened on audio AND had the gorgeous hardcover in hand, b I'm a self-professed hair metal fan, the more guyliner the better. I would die of heart failure if I ever met Bret Michaels face to face. Give me pouty Sebastian Bach lips and slinky Axl Rose hips, and ALL the guitars and ballads. Preferably in music video format, as all good kids raised by MTV would want it. But despite all the heart throbbing love I have for these pretty boys and their glam music, this book just did not do it for me. I listened on audio AND had the gorgeous hardcover in hand, but the format sucked.... I would absolutely watch it as a rockumentary though, if Bret did the interviews. 🤘🏻🖤🤘🏻

  8. 4 out of 5

    Monika

    Nöthin' But a Good Time is a flashback to 80s hard rock music and its history, in uncensored glory. I've never been so giddy to receive a book in the mail. I had my 80s rock Spotify playlist at the ready! The nostalgia was unreal. I loved so many of these bands as a kid, and still do! I was struck by how young these musicians actually were at the time. I was in elementary and middle school in the 80s, so even young 20-somethings seemed "old" to me then. And of course as a kid, especially pre-inte Nöthin' But a Good Time is a flashback to 80s hard rock music and its history, in uncensored glory. I've never been so giddy to receive a book in the mail. I had my 80s rock Spotify playlist at the ready! The nostalgia was unreal. I loved so many of these bands as a kid, and still do! I was struck by how young these musicians actually were at the time. I was in elementary and middle school in the 80s, so even young 20-somethings seemed "old" to me then. And of course as a kid, especially pre-internet and living overseas, I didn't know much about these musicians' backstories, and didn't hear about all of their antics, which is probably a good thing. I knew they lived pretty wildly, but reading about it in this book, as an adult? Wow, I had no idea. My imagination did not prepare me. There are also full-color photos inside, which took me right back to all those 80s metal magazines I'd pick up at the store, like Circus and Metallix. Tom Beaujour and Richard Bienstock formatted Nöthin' But a Good Time as bits of interviews that are spliced together to create each chapter's narrative. That setup makes for a somewhat disjointed read, but somehow it works. It's also a much faster read than you'd expect, so don't be afraid of the 500+ page count. There are a ton of names in here—a seven-page "cast of characters"!—but thankfully there are who's who reminders as each person appears. You know going into this book that it'll be about as problematic as you'd expect interviews with hard rock musicians from that era to be. There are plenty of cringey moments. But because of the interview format, you also get a sense of which folks grew past those attitudes. Nostalgia aside, I enjoyed learning about how the groundwork for the 80s hard rock explosion was set in the 70s, which bands paved the way, how the bands got their start, and hearing about the camaraderie (and the rivalries) between them. And let's be real, reading about all their staging and how they came up with and practiced for it (so much fire in places where fire shouldn't be)—Nöthin' But a Good Time offers both history and entertainment.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Leah

    ❐ Overall Rating 3½⭐ | Narration 😐 = Okay ❐ Narrated by Amy McFadden & Gary Furlong ❐ Listening Length: 15H 58M ❐ Non-Fiction ❐ Pop Culture --The 80’s Hair Bands ❐ Covering details of how these bands made it or didn’t make it, their agents, make-up, costumes, and even their groupies Not as good as I hoped it would be...but not bad, either. The bands above are just some of the bands that you’ll hear about in this book. While it’s very comprehensive, covering a little something from each of the 80s ❐ Overall Rating 3½⭐ | Narration 😐 = Okay ❐ Narrated by Amy McFadden & Gary Furlong ❐ Listening Length: 15H 58M ❐ Non-Fiction ❐ Pop Culture --The 80’s Hair Bands ❐ Covering details of how these bands made it or didn’t make it, their agents, make-up, costumes, and even their groupies Not as good as I hoped it would be...but not bad, either. The bands above are just some of the bands that you’ll hear about in this book. While it’s very comprehensive, covering a little something from each of the 80s hair/glam bands, it’s not all that in-depth. Although it would have been a lot longer if it had been more in-depth, I guess, and since I already found it to be tedious, I’m glad it wasn’t. The narration was okay but they only had two people voicing many people and so it felt like it was just; two people, you really had to listen to catch which person was speaking and it moved from one to the next quickly...and sort made me tune out a little too often. (cawpile score = 6.71/10)

  10. 4 out of 5

    Dr. Detroit

    The hair farmers, Hollywood and otherwise, were metal’s version of The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight, until it came to smack, then they couldn’t miss. But I have to confess. There is a raft full of songs from this era that I adore, particularly while howling at the moon on a warm Michigan night, fortified by several recreational beverages and sitting around a bonfire with friends. What can I say? My needs are simple. There’s also a ton of this stuff that gives me acid reflux, more annoying tha The hair farmers, Hollywood and otherwise, were metal’s version of The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight, until it came to smack, then they couldn’t miss. But I have to confess. There is a raft full of songs from this era that I adore, particularly while howling at the moon on a warm Michigan night, fortified by several recreational beverages and sitting around a bonfire with friends. What can I say? My needs are simple. There’s also a ton of this stuff that gives me acid reflux, more annoying than the comma in “Paint It, Black.” Looking back, it beggars belief the lengths some of the bands examined here would go to to make it, braving starvation, roaches, squalor, STD's, and petty backstabbing from the competition. What's even more appalling is the state of the music biz back then. If you’re offended by misogyny or sexism, look away. Now. Quickly. The story arc here is somewhat redundant as countless scruffy street urchins go from barely being able to afford a hamburger to buying houses, cars, and dope, many consumed with topping the previous generation’s powerful, romanticized necrophilic drug myths, out-popping Iggy and out-thundering Johnny, by taking matters that one extra step further toward punching their own tickets, swallowing, smoking, snorting, and shooting up everything they could lay hands on. God bless America. Pretty good stuff.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Frank

    NOTHIN' BUT A GOOD TIME is a rock n' roll roller coaster read through the history of 'hair metal.' The narrative is played out through a series of quotes revolving around the chapter's topic du jour. In short, it reads like an oversized VH1 Rockumentary. For hard core fans, there's not a lot of new insights or revelations. This is a rocket ride through the history of the music starting in the late 70s and culminating in the revival years we're now living in. It's snap shots of important milestone NOTHIN' BUT A GOOD TIME is a rock n' roll roller coaster read through the history of 'hair metal.' The narrative is played out through a series of quotes revolving around the chapter's topic du jour. In short, it reads like an oversized VH1 Rockumentary. For hard core fans, there's not a lot of new insights or revelations. This is a rocket ride through the history of the music starting in the late 70s and culminating in the revival years we're now living in. It's snap shots of important milestones of the genre. You get the rise of the LA rock scene. The domination on Mtv, Moscow Music Peace festival and of course, the advent of Nirvana. Of course, this is meant to be a sort of encyclopedia of the entire decade of decadence. If you want deeper dives, you'll have to go and cross reference any of the bands or band member's own biographies. What's cool is getting a bit of insight from the second or third tier bands and musicians that you may never get to hear from otherwise. This is a fun, nostalgic read for those who lived and loved 80s hair metal. It even a great read for those who were too young to be there but have discovered it and wish they would have been there. Now, you can get a better taste of what it was all like. This will be a treasured edition for my bookshelf.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Twerking To Beethoven

    There's a good chance everybody - even those who haven't read The Dirt: Confessions of the World's Most Notorious Rock Band yet - knows what happened back in 1983 by the side of a Holiday Inn's swimming pool. The incident involved Motley Crue, Ozzy Osbourne (all intoxicated and high as kites, go figure) plus some...ants. All right, by reading this book, you'll learn what went down the minutes before that. Yes, Jake E. Lee happened to be there & the only sober guy...basically, it all started rath There's a good chance everybody - even those who haven't read The Dirt: Confessions of the World's Most Notorious Rock Band yet - knows what happened back in 1983 by the side of a Holiday Inn's swimming pool. The incident involved Motley Crue, Ozzy Osbourne (all intoxicated and high as kites, go figure) plus some...ants. All right, by reading this book, you'll learn what went down the minutes before that. Yes, Jake E. Lee happened to be there & the only sober guy...basically, it all started rather innocently: a push-up competition between Nikki Sixx and Ozzy himself. Ozzy, managing to do just three push-ups, was the loser but then things spiraled out of control, leading to the ants-bit. Speaking of Ozzy, you'll learn why George Lynch didn't get the gig and how Jake E. Lee was hired instead. Apparently, it wasn't just a matter of better hair. Then there's a ton of stories dealing with the Sunset Strip, Bill Gazzari, the so-called "flyers battle", the Rainbow Bar & Grill, the Whiskey, the drugs, the groupies, the tour buses, the making of Penelope Spheeris' "The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years" (featuring the infamous Chris Holmes' pool interview, if you're curious and you have no clue what I'm talking about, it's on youtube for your viewing pleasure); in short, there's everything I loved about those years. Oh, Skid Row...I didn't particularly like their first record but I absolutely adored "Slave to the Grind" because it was unexpectedly 100% strictly-no-ballad & in-your-face METAL. Matter of fact, it was so much metal, the band chose to tour with Pantera. Wait a minute there...Pantera weren't their first choice. Sebastian Bach had asked Nirvana to go on tour with Skid Row but they turned the offer down, stating Skid Row was a "homophobe band". I. Shit. You. Not. It's in the book. Anyways, you know that bit off "The Wrestler" where Mickey Rourke dances to Ratt's "Round and Round" with Marisa Tomei, and goes on an epic rant about Nirvana ruining everything because, at the end of the day, everybody just wanted to have a good time in the eighties. Well, I'm that guy. And I know this is going to sound horrible but, when I heard Kurt Cobain had snuffed it back in 1994, I...nah, I'm not going to tell what I did then because that'd make me look like a despicable piece of wretched shit...which I probably am anyway. Let's just say I wasn't particularly saddened by his passing, all right? ROSS HALFIN When Nirvana came along, someone played me “Teen Spirit.” I started laughing. I thought it was fucking rubbish. Aye, fuck Nirvana, fuck grunge(*), fuck that stupid teen spirit load of wank song, fuck the nineties in general & read this book. (*) I actually like Soundgarden but don't tell anyone.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    Sure, it's easy to make fun of hair metal, but for those of us who grew up listening to it, it was a lot of fun and yeah, chick really dug it. I pre-ordered the book not knowing what to expect and it's way more than just a rise and fall of a genre of music that simply wanted us to have a good time. Was it over the top? Sure, but that was the point, and for a time there was no way to escape it. It's a well written book that allows the bands that were a part of the rise, and eventual demise of th Sure, it's easy to make fun of hair metal, but for those of us who grew up listening to it, it was a lot of fun and yeah, chick really dug it. I pre-ordered the book not knowing what to expect and it's way more than just a rise and fall of a genre of music that simply wanted us to have a good time. Was it over the top? Sure, but that was the point, and for a time there was no way to escape it. It's a well written book that allows the bands that were a part of the rise, and eventual demise of the genre to tell their stories and it makes for an interesting book. A few surprises and weirdly enough, it features Nelson and Winger who some say helped kill the genre. For those who weren't able to experience it, they now can in a way and while there are going to be some who say the behaviors and actions of those involved were a bit gross, but that was just how things were back then. It was all about getting laid and having fun. The book details a lot more than the music, but the actions of the bands themselves. As adults we can look back and say that maybe that behavior wasn't exactly politically correct, but it sure was fun. It allows us to relive those days and remember the bands who sometimes looked like chicks. The book is an interesting read that peels back the curtain and gives us the stories we've heard before and some that we haven't. It's a book for both fans, and newer fans that weren't around for the glory days of hair metal. While it may have worn out its welcome we still come back to the music because it's fun and while some of it hasn't aged well, some of it has. You have interviews with bands like Skid Row, Cinderella and even obscure bands like Pretty Boy Floyd who could have been huge if their album had been released a year or two earlier. Well written and one that fans and non fans can read and enjoy.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kirsti

    I love oral histories. A lot of the people interviewed in this book love oral something else. This is an affectionate, detailed look at 1980s-era bands who were part of the hair metal/cock rock/glam metal movement. They fought and made up and succeeded and failed and had confidence and doubts. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the most hairsprayed of times. The authors and at least some of the interviewees understand that sexism was a problem during this era. So there's a I love oral histories. A lot of the people interviewed in this book love oral something else. This is an affectionate, detailed look at 1980s-era bands who were part of the hair metal/cock rock/glam metal movement. They fought and made up and succeeded and failed and had confidence and doubts. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the most hairsprayed of times. The authors and at least some of the interviewees understand that sexism was a problem during this era. So there's an attempt to address that. I especially liked the interviews with the former members of the band Vixen, who seem to be smart and levelheaded women. I especially disliked the interview with someone I had never heard of, who said he would never want to be in a band with chicks unless the band was Heart. First of all, I don't think the members of Heart would touch him to scratch him. But what's really sad is that he still doesn't seem to understand that he dismissed 51 percent of the population for no good reason. There's a little in here about homophobia, but at the time nobody seemed genuinely upset about it except Kurt Cobain. He was of a slightly younger generation, of course, so that may have been part of it. It seems odd that in all these bands with all these musicians, apparently nobody was gay or bisexual. There's nothing in here about race. It seems deeply weird to me that in a movement that took place in Southern California, practically everybody interviewed is white. Everybody admires Slash, and there's one mention of Living Colour. That's it. Of all the massive egos in this book, the one I enjoyed reading most about was Kip Winger. Tall, handsome, talented, intelligent, insufferable. Just full of defensiveness, even after all these years, and seemingly always ready to tear down others' talent and accomplishments. All I remember about him from back in the day is that he had great hair and they were mean to him on that Beavis and Butt-Head show. I figured it was a bad roasting but that his fans wouldn't care. It turns out that three days after the Beavis show aired, they had to cancel the Winger tour. The poor man got laughed at in a McDonald's. All that would stick with me, too. Reasons this type of music went out of style, according to the authors and interviewees: • SoundScan was invented, so sales figures were suddenly far more accurate instead of just estimates. It turned out that lots more people were buying country music than anyone realized. (Also rap and hip-hop, but the book doesn't mention that.) • The record companies hired too many of the same type of band and flooded the market. • Most of these bands sounded similar, and almost all of them looked similar. • It was a new decade, and people wanted a new sound and a new look. • In a brief period, several bands released albums that confounded their fans' expectations. • A lot of bands either had addiction problems, didn't communicate well, got too caught up in the fringe benefits instead of focusing on music or even marketing, or simply ran out of ideas.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Fred Klein

    This is an oral history of the 1980s hard rock/glam metal/heavy metal scene. It focuses on the scene developing in Los Angeles, but it also explores the bands that came from the East Coast (Cinderella, Britny Fox, Skid Row). If you enjoy oral histories, you'll enjoy this one. There's lots of brief quotes from band members, managers, publishers, anyone who was involved, and they are organized to fit the narrative. Occasionally there's an interview with one person between chapters. We've heard some This is an oral history of the 1980s hard rock/glam metal/heavy metal scene. It focuses on the scene developing in Los Angeles, but it also explores the bands that came from the East Coast (Cinderella, Britny Fox, Skid Row). If you enjoy oral histories, you'll enjoy this one. There's lots of brief quotes from band members, managers, publishers, anyone who was involved, and they are organized to fit the narrative. Occasionally there's an interview with one person between chapters. We've heard some of the stories before. I don't really need to hear again about Ozzy Osbourne snorting ants, stunning the members of Motley Crue, but there are many new stories as well, and the book gives a good account of the rise of this type of music and how it went into a decline as grunge appeared. However, not everyone blames grunge. Some blame a glut in the market, the excess of the bands, declining quality, experimentation that alienated the fan base, so it's more complicated than Kurt Cobain appearing and murdering a genre. If you loved the music, this book is definitely for you. I never stopped loving it, and I still listen to many of these bands. I hadn't heard of (or didn't remember) several of them, and I'm checking them out.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Greg at 2 Book Lovers Reviews

    Have you every listened to that Audible that made you think to yourself, man I wish that could have been twice as long and a musical? Well, Nöthin' But a Good Time is that book! In the vein of Ready Player One and The Dirt, this book capitalizes on nostalgia. Every singer, every song, all those bands, each one brought back memories. Nöthin' But a Good Time doesn’t flow like a typical book. The contributors (you really can’t call them authors) sat and talked to many of the characters who were act Have you every listened to that Audible that made you think to yourself, man I wish that could have been twice as long and a musical? Well, Nöthin' But a Good Time is that book! In the vein of Ready Player One and The Dirt, this book capitalizes on nostalgia. Every singer, every song, all those bands, each one brought back memories. Nöthin' But a Good Time doesn’t flow like a typical book. The contributors (you really can’t call them authors) sat and talked to many of the characters who were active during the rise and fall of ‘80s rock. They plucked snippets of these conversations and made it all flow into a cohesive narrative of the time and place. The book was filled with some surprises and some things that weren’t so surprising; everyday I had several anecdotes that I felt obligated to share with my wife. It really speaks to the power of a book when you have to share it with others. Nöthin' But a Good Time embodies the period, it was fun, lighthearted, yet had its share of tragedy. A good deal was made of the end of the era and the birth of grunge; I have my own little theory about that. Was it a shift in taste? Did Nirvana kill metal? I just think that the fans got older; the fifteen-year-old who was blown away by “Eruption” in 1978 was 28 in 1991; the eighteen-year-old who stood in line for four hours to get Twisted Sister tickets in 1984 was 25 in 1991; the twenty-one-year-old who banged the "Cherry Pie" guy in the back alley behind Gazzarri’s in 1983 was 29 in 1991. These people got to an age where they had kids, they had to get up in the morning, they had bills to pay. They couldn’t go to the shows on a Tuesday night anymore. The market grew up, but we still love the music. Nöthin' But a Good Time may not be a creative masterpiece like some of the fiction that I typically read or listen to, but it certainly was nothing but a good time. And just an FYI, I’m listening to Mötley Crüe as I write this.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Mona

    A fun read. It’s funny how one day hair metal just took off. I went from Duran Duran to Motley Crue and in the end we all took another turn to grunge. It’s just the cycle of music.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sean Kirkpatrick

    This was a very well done oral history. The interview quotes were compiled in a way that told the story of the 80s metal scene in a compelling, page-turning manner. There was the appropriate amount of sleaze, drugs, and sex that you would want/ expect but the book doesn't overindulge in this angle. Much attention is paid to how the bands formed, how hard they worked to get people to their shows and to get signed. All these people were on a serious hustle; they weren't playing around. It was live This was a very well done oral history. The interview quotes were compiled in a way that told the story of the 80s metal scene in a compelling, page-turning manner. There was the appropriate amount of sleaze, drugs, and sex that you would want/ expect but the book doesn't overindulge in this angle. Much attention is paid to how the bands formed, how hard they worked to get people to their shows and to get signed. All these people were on a serious hustle; they weren't playing around. It was live or die on the Sunset Strip. The Northeast bands such as Cinderella and Twisted Sister took their craft similarly seriously. For those of us who grew up seeing the hair, leather, and spandex on MTV, this book is a fascinating look behind the scenes at the bands who put this scene on the map (despite the industry's interest in new wave at the time), those who rode it to success, and those who came in just as the glory days collapsed.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Edward Taylor

    I expected there to be more than what there was in this one. The book is broken down into small interviews based upon a quote and the memories of dozens of rock stars from the '80s I have to say to me that it was more like watching an MTV or VH-1 documentary than a book with 75% of the items already explored in the past. Quick read, but pretty boring... UPDATE: IT's a Podcast written into book form! Thanks to my pal Ursula for pointing it out. I expected there to be more than what there was in this one. The book is broken down into small interviews based upon a quote and the memories of dozens of rock stars from the '80s I have to say to me that it was more like watching an MTV or VH-1 documentary than a book with 75% of the items already explored in the past. Quick read, but pretty boring... UPDATE: IT's a Podcast written into book form! Thanks to my pal Ursula for pointing it out.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Scott Delgado

    I liked this book, but I know some people will be annoyed by the format. It feels more like a book version of a long documentary. It is predominantly made up of snippets of interviews. It's still good, but if you are looking for a more formally written book, this isn't it. It's pieced together with these interviews. That being said, if you are a fan of the era, I'd say it is a must read. And even if you're just casually entertained by that scene, it's still a fun read. I liked this book, but I know some people will be annoyed by the format. It feels more like a book version of a long documentary. It is predominantly made up of snippets of interviews. It's still good, but if you are looking for a more formally written book, this isn't it. It's pieced together with these interviews. That being said, if you are a fan of the era, I'd say it is a must read. And even if you're just casually entertained by that scene, it's still a fun read.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Osborn - Book Of Salem

    I may be a little biased because I absolutely love 80’s Hair Metal but I really enjoyed this book! One of the things this book has that a lot of other books don’t, are stories from other people in rock who aren’t the actual rock stars. They have stories from roadies, tour managers, producers and even heavy metal fashion designers. Of course, we have rock star stories too, from people like Slash, Nikki Sixx, Stephen Pearcy and Dee Snider, but having everyone’s perspective on the 80’s rock scene re I may be a little biased because I absolutely love 80’s Hair Metal but I really enjoyed this book! One of the things this book has that a lot of other books don’t, are stories from other people in rock who aren’t the actual rock stars. They have stories from roadies, tour managers, producers and even heavy metal fashion designers. Of course, we have rock star stories too, from people like Slash, Nikki Sixx, Stephen Pearcy and Dee Snider, but having everyone’s perspective on the 80’s rock scene really made you feel like you were a part of it. There are a couple reasons why this book is a 4 start instead of a 5. This book was pretty long, one of the longest I’ve read in a while. While I have absolutely nothing against a long book, this could have been a 300 page book. Also, this is a very personal opinion but I’m not a big fan of Stryper, Winger or White Lion, so I found myself skimming their sections. To be honest, I feel like many people will not be as interested in the chapter from bands they don’t gravitate towards. In contrast to that, I loved the chapters about Motley Crue, Ratt and Quiet Riot. I also really enjoyed the last few chapters about 80’s hair metal today and the bands that have been able to last, ie. Motley Crue and Guns N Roses, just to name a couple. If you love heavy metal, 80’s metal, hair metal, etc, you will love this book! Thank you to St. Martin's Press and Netgalley for an advanced reader copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Roxanne

    I was thrilled to win this book. Even though I grew up in music in the late 1906,s, I also love these hard rock and hair metal bands. I just love Gun,s and Roses, Kiss, Motely Crue, and Aerosmith. I loved MTV and I watched it every night and the Headbangers Ball was great. I could see the bands I loved perform on their video. It was fun years of music. Even Arnold saw what an impact these bands had and he went a recorded a video with Guns and Roses that played in his movie. He knew a really good I was thrilled to win this book. Even though I grew up in music in the late 1906,s, I also love these hard rock and hair metal bands. I just love Gun,s and Roses, Kiss, Motely Crue, and Aerosmith. I loved MTV and I watched it every night and the Headbangers Ball was great. I could see the bands I loved perform on their video. It was fun years of music. Even Arnold saw what an impact these bands had and he went a recorded a video with Guns and Roses that played in his movie. He knew a really good soundtrack made the movie better. I still remember the stadium shows and the powerful ballads. This book is so awesome because it has interviews with members of some of these bands which is very interesting. This was a good time in music and it had it's own style. As soon as grunge pushed these bands out I was done. I have a whole book of these bands and no matter how old I get I still say I am rockin until I am dropping.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sean

    I’m a huge fan of 80s hard rock and this is definitely a good read for others who share that fandom. However, 3/4 of the book is about the beginning of the hard rock scene in LA. You get an immersion into that world to the point where it’s almost overkill. After seemingly endless stories of bands living in squalor, doing coke, exploiting their female fans, and swapping band members, they all get record contracts and the book is almost complete. Then grunge comes along and their careers are over. I’m a huge fan of 80s hard rock and this is definitely a good read for others who share that fandom. However, 3/4 of the book is about the beginning of the hard rock scene in LA. You get an immersion into that world to the point where it’s almost overkill. After seemingly endless stories of bands living in squalor, doing coke, exploiting their female fans, and swapping band members, they all get record contracts and the book is almost complete. Then grunge comes along and their careers are over. There are a few interesting bits about albums and the songs but, for the most part, the focus is on the beginnings and the ends of the bands. The details of what happened after getting signed, making music, and going on tour get the short end of the stick. It’s there but it’s brief. A brief epilogue tells us that some of the bands are doing better financially now than back then. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good read but it’s not the “definitive” book on the era.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Norma

    I was a teenager in the 80s when most of these bands in this book were popular so naturally, I wanted to read it. I liked some of the bands so yeah, cool, right? No. This book's format was strange to read, it was boring and I felt like I was once again in a boring class in high school trying to look like I was actually reading the material. This book early on became a big "nope" and even though I finished it, I only remember being interested in just a few paragraphs. Not cool. I was a teenager in the 80s when most of these bands in this book were popular so naturally, I wanted to read it. I liked some of the bands so yeah, cool, right? No. This book's format was strange to read, it was boring and I felt like I was once again in a boring class in high school trying to look like I was actually reading the material. This book early on became a big "nope" and even though I finished it, I only remember being interested in just a few paragraphs. Not cool.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Dixon

    The best thing about this book is that it is about the music and everything that went into creating these bands and their images. I love the way it is written because it comes off as very conversational. Like a bunch of guys sitting around talking about the good ol’ days. One of the most enjoyable reads about 80s rock n roll. Rock on🤘🏼

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lani

    So entertaining! I really wanted the audio to include at least a snippet of songs from each band as they delved into their start in the music business. But like a lot of readers, I had to find some of these songs and videos that were mentioned so I could really get into the headspace of the life and times. It was interesting to hear from band members themselves about the era in which they were popular with their bands. Just a bunch of boys making loud noise! Also perspectives from band managers, So entertaining! I really wanted the audio to include at least a snippet of songs from each band as they delved into their start in the music business. But like a lot of readers, I had to find some of these songs and videos that were mentioned so I could really get into the headspace of the life and times. It was interesting to hear from band members themselves about the era in which they were popular with their bands. Just a bunch of boys making loud noise! Also perspectives from band managers, roadies, club owners, wives, etc. A lot of interviews went into this book. Many times I laughed out loud as I listened to the stories about staying up late, making flyers, posting them over other band's flyers, just trying to be bigger and better than the last group. I groaned at a lot of the immaturity, but come on, a lot of them were basically kids! It was completely fascinating to me to learn how these bands did so much self-promotion because there was no social media back then, no instant "likes" to help spread the word. They were on the ground, had the real life "street teams." Growing up, I heard about bands from the radio or friends, on occasion, a magazine brought to school by someone. I had no idea how hard these guys had to work to get their music out and how often they learned to work the system at MTV to have their team voting for songs to be played. Also, how easy it was for some of them to get into a band and others fought hard. I did love the information included about some of the women rockers who couldn't get any respect or ability to play because there just weren't many women guitarists in that genre. But I do subscribe to it being a different day and time and the debauchery that these guys had on tour was just what it was. Trust that most of the women these guys "used" allowed themselves to be used because in the words of one of the girls, "I'm with Mötley F***ing CRÜE!" Ah, groupies. Some of the story here goes over and over the same style of rockstar life, starting from nothing, having strippers pay their rent and buy them groceries, to making it big and snorting and drinking their way through life so hungover, at times, they could barely play their gigs. It happened as often as another hair band came on the circuit. Those were the days. It's the kind of book that you want to share with others so you can talk about it. It also makes you want to go around saying to random people, "Hey did you know that (insert book spoiler here)?" If the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll lifestyle is offensive to you in any way, don't read this. If you are easily offended by an enormous amount of graphic language, don't read this. To everyone else, if you ever loved an 80s band so much that you had their pictures cut out and posted on your walls, that you saved up your babysitting money (guilty!) to buy their album on cassette tape or stayed up all night trying to catch one of their songs on the radio to record, then you will devour this book. So fun! That's all. Rock on my friends. 🎸🤘

  27. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    Phew. Where to start? I was fourteen when Mötley Crüe's Shout at the Devil was released, which was right around the time I finally started to move on from the Country music (and Elvis) that my parents listened to as I was growing up in the Texas country. At the time I was still about a year away from delving into Hard Rock & Metal as I first dipped my toes into Popular music with acts like Billy Joel (my first concert), Men at Work and Duran Duran. But I evolved quickly, or maybe regressed, as w Phew. Where to start? I was fourteen when Mötley Crüe's Shout at the Devil was released, which was right around the time I finally started to move on from the Country music (and Elvis) that my parents listened to as I was growing up in the Texas country. At the time I was still about a year away from delving into Hard Rock & Metal as I first dipped my toes into Popular music with acts like Billy Joel (my first concert), Men at Work and Duran Duran. But I evolved quickly, or maybe regressed, as within a couple of years I was attending shows by Crüe, Ozzy (twice in five months, once w/ Metallica opening), Judas Priest and the Texxas World Music Festival... better known as the Texxas Jam. So I was just about the perfect age to be at Ground Zero of the '80s Glam/Hair Metal rock explosion. And I friggin' loved it. By the end of the decade, besides the aforementioned, I had seen a who's who of that era in concert as they came through Dallas/Fort Worth: Van Halen (w/ both Roth & Hagar), Ratt (w/ Bon Jovi OPENING), Krokus, Y&T, Keel, Scorpions, Honeymoon Suite, Dokken, Cinderella, Poison, L.A. Guns, Europe, Frehley's Comet, Lita Ford, Britny Fox, Kingdom Come... and after the '80s concluded, I later added others like Guns N' Roses - on their stadium tour w/ Metallica, Def Leppard, Night Ranger, Great White, Whitesnake & Sebastian Bach, among others, to my concert list. So yeah, I was obsessed - and I still am, although that obsession leaned more towards Prog Rock & Metal as I got older (Rush, Genesis, Yes, Dream Theater, Spock's Beard, Neal Morse, Transatlantic, Ayreon, etc). That stated, NBaGT had so many behind-the-scenes details I wasn't aware of that I could write a 50-page review of all the nuggets that I discovered: Mick Mars had an offer to join Accept just before he joined Mötley Crüe, Quiet Riot originally tried to sabotage their recording of "Cum on Feel the Noize" because they wanted to record their own stuff for 'Metal Health', Max Asher (founder and original drummer of Warrant) named the band such after Warren DeMartini because he was such a big fan of Ratt... stuff like that - I could go on and on. (I stopped counting after I had bookmarked about 20 anecdotes while reading.) BTW, just about any prominent band from the era you'd like to mention that hit the highest levels of success had to work (and starve) their asses off to get there; it's a common misconception that a lot of coattails were ridden. While the majority of the book tracks the rise of of Hair Metal, it does cover the end in detail. While the general consensus is that Grunge killed it dead*, it was a combination of: the regular cyclical nature of the music industry, copycat bands/oversaturation of the market by record labels signing any music act that bought Aqua Net by the pallet, the guitar arms race where most axe-slingers tried to out-shred each other to the detriment of the song and so on. And for the bands not named Guns N' Roses, Bon Jovi, Def Leppard & Poison that were popular but never quite landed the golden ring at the top, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that most of them are actually making more money now than they were in the '80s just because of the nostalgic resurgence of that music. (To which I say, "No shit!" because it was just pure mindless fun.) Definitely worth a read for anyone who lived, and rocked, through that era... or later became a fan. *I stick with this reason even though it's wrong because: (1) I hated that genre, and (2) I'm a stubborn cuss when it comes to music. (Besides, a number of those bands that broke through during the Grunge era either had members that started out playing Hair Metal, or got their first breaks by opening for some of those bands... and then immediately threw them under the bus when that music became unfashionable.)

  28. 4 out of 5

    Michael Caveney

    If your idea of a fun read is something like The Decline of Western Civilization II: The Metal Years by Studs Terkel, I have just the book for you. This oral history exhaustively details the rise and fall of the hard rock/hair metal of the '80s, with an obvious focus on the Sunset Strip scene. Despite the "uncensored" part of the title, this tastefully avoids the kind of tired surgical description of debauchery you'd find in books like The Dirt or Hammer of the Gods and talks about a more comple If your idea of a fun read is something like The Decline of Western Civilization II: The Metal Years by Studs Terkel, I have just the book for you. This oral history exhaustively details the rise and fall of the hard rock/hair metal of the '80s, with an obvious focus on the Sunset Strip scene. Despite the "uncensored" part of the title, this tastefully avoids the kind of tired surgical description of debauchery you'd find in books like The Dirt or Hammer of the Gods and talks about a more complete array of topics like flyering, guitar-god tension, jumping from band to band, living lean, and everything that had to do with the scene. Going for the oral history angle is smart because it makes this move like crazy and lends a more intimate, human feel to this than most other rocks books. Absolutely don't pass this by.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Doreena Silva

    This was one bumpy ride of a read! I felt like I had my own personal backstage pass and key to all these rockers shows and houses! A great "everything you always wanted to know" but were afraid to ask compilation of this huge list of included 80's rockers/hair metal /glam bands and others who knew or had interactions with them. If you grew up listening to this music by these bands or are just a music fan this is a must read. So much insight and history in one book. 5+ stars! Thank you to Netgalley, This was one bumpy ride of a read! I felt like I had my own personal backstage pass and key to all these rockers shows and houses! A great "everything you always wanted to know" but were afraid to ask compilation of this huge list of included 80's rockers/hair metal /glam bands and others who knew or had interactions with them. If you grew up listening to this music by these bands or are just a music fan this is a must read. So much insight and history in one book. 5+ stars! Thank you to Netgalley, St. Martins press and the Authors, Tom Beaujour, Richard Bienstock for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review

  30. 5 out of 5

    fc7reads

    This is a really fun read if you enjoy 80s metal. The Dirt dissects the rise of Motley Crue amidst the resistance of record companies to sign metal bands. Nothin' But a Good Time shines exactly the same light, but across the entire 80s metal scene. It's very fun to hear from the members of so many different bands. They have so many overlapping opinions and experiences. Plus, hearing what these legends have to say about one another is very gossip-y. The book winds down as the 90s are ramping up. This is a really fun read if you enjoy 80s metal. The Dirt dissects the rise of Motley Crue amidst the resistance of record companies to sign metal bands. Nothin' But a Good Time shines exactly the same light, but across the entire 80s metal scene. It's very fun to hear from the members of so many different bands. They have so many overlapping opinions and experiences. Plus, hearing what these legends have to say about one another is very gossip-y. The book winds down as the 90s are ramping up. The authors do end on a bit of a high note, though, noting that while these 80s bands took a big hit when grunge came on the scene, the nostalgia of my generation has kept them playing stages for the past twenty years.

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