I was a metalhead as a teenager. From 1987 until 1994. My favorite bands were W.A.S.P. Cinderella, Poison,Guns N Roses, Warrant, Winger,Alice Cooper, Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, Slaughter, Skid Row, Motley Crue and Aerosmith. My son threatened to jump out of the car the other day if I played one more Motley Crue tune. I have brainwashed him into loving "Hair" Metal and he even knows the words to most of the songs. From time to time, he gets on my case about listening to my CD's all the time but I just ignore him. My wife makes fun of me but she listens to my "Hair" metal music. I honestly think Kurt Cobain was a pretentious, overrated asshole with some real drug issues, and that Nirvana and the grunge scene as a whole buried a lot of talented, 90’s metal act that were keeping the genre alive at a time when it's popularity was fading. I was alive and rocking during all of this. It was grunge fans that thought it was cool to hate metal bands because hair metal bands, not nirvana were the mainstream. They called it cock rock. Fans of alternative music (which encompassed a whole lot of types of music that never gets credit) tended to become elitist snobs and turn their noses up at all metal because of this. "Hair metal" bands were despised by heavier metal fans and grunge fans. Your typical Slayer fan was not particularly fond of Poison and up and coming grunge bands weren't either. When grunge came along, music labels dumped all interest in metal bands and grunge became mainstream. If you weren't grunge, labels wouldn't look at you. If anything is worthy of being hated on, it is the mind-numbing decade of post-grunge like creed and sickening pop-punk,like Green Day and blink 182 that needs to take a dirt nap. Grunge was very pesimistic, I don't need anybody to remember me how hard life is! Grunge turned the 90s into a musical wasteland. Nirvana? Cool. Soundgarden? Old-fashioned head-banging music. Pearl Jam? Proved that you could be the most popular and the most uninteresting at the same time. Grunge fans' faith in their heroes' purity is touching - I'm sure Cobain was never concerned about "getting chicks," lol. And you're right, Cobain's image was based on sort of anti-fashion stance, but he ended up being somewhat fashionable and glam in spite of himself. In the 90s, you didn't hire Anton Corbijn to direct your video without having some concern for putting across an image. I thought Soundgarden sounded like a million other bands, and I just never got the infatuation with Pearl Jam. They actually sounded to me like a bunch of wannabe folkies, or maybe a bunch of folkies who had jumped on the grunge bandwagon. I can't even be bothered verifying whether that is historically accurate, except that I know a couple of them came from Green River. There's an anecdote about Def Leppard doing an unplugged performance at a radio station in the post-grunge era in which they played several unplugged numbers with three-part harmonies. When the DJ commented, “That was incredible,” Joe Elliot replied, “You must be a product of the nineties. There is nothing incredible about three guys singing in tune.” I remember grunge was identified as a movement and game-changer almost as soon as it hit, whereas hair metal wasn't even a term used for that music until many years later. Most of the bands in that genre probably saw themselves in the same harmless fun, hard rocking/pop tradition started by Van Halen. When I think of 1992, I remember "Let's Get Rocked"-era Def Leppard and Slaughter alongside Nirvana on MTV. It's not like September 1991 hit and Bret Michaels suddenly had to go get a job at IHOP. What really makes this time special I think is it's the last time young people were all bonded together by a common music culture. This was pre-internet, and everyone still watched the same videos on MTV, whether it was Dr. Dre, Def Leppard or Metallica. I went to my 1st Motley Crue concert with my father when I was 12. You can call me old all you want but these kids today will never know what it's like to see your favorite band for 11bucks in a sold out stadium or the thrill of buying your favorite album. Nirvana and all the other grunge bands were nothing but a bunch of kids who barely knew how to play their instruments. They sounded like very amateurish garage bands. On the other hand, bands like Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, Poison and Def Leppard were absolute experts at their instruments. Plus they were older and had much more musical experience. They were true serious musicians, not just a bunch of garage band kids like the grunge bands. There is just no comparison. I think the only reason Nirvana and other grunge bands became popular is because teenage kids liked the depressing whiny no-talent music. It was just a stupid fad that kids liked back then, but unfortunately that stupid fad ended up ruining rock music. Poison have nothing to apologize for; they wrote songs that are no less complicated than a lot of stuff by legendary bands that's idolized regularly. And they weren't factory created overnight sensations, they came to L.A. and starved with a goal and a dream. They made it, and it didn't last forever. Poison 1986-1991 were more talented musicians and played better together in general than The Beatles. If you want to talk about sloppy, listen to The Beatles at Shea Stadium. Nirvana were probably the worst grunge band of the 90s. Nirvana created depressing music, and they made it cool to be depressed or sad or whatever. The post-grunge landscape (late 90s) was so depressing in terms of rock. The grunge movement really started in 1992, but it wasn't a "shock" or something, and it actually COEXISTED with the successful hair/heavy metal bands. The hype was huge, but no one took the music seriously. Nevermind, elevated that scene and gave it pop credibility, but that is all. Grunge was a marketing term that lead to an early death for a bunch of music. This will sound stupid, but I honestly think Weird Al was responsible for getting more kids into Nirvana than Nirvana themselves were. Mostly I remember kids making fun of them for the lyrics being "impossible" to understand when "Teen Spirit" first came out, and those of us who were into music were still too wrapped up in our Poison and Motley Crue or Guns n Roses or whatever albums to care much for a while. But I'd wager that Weird Al's record sold way more copies to kids at that time than Nevermind did, and I actually knew kids who didn't like "Smells Like Teen Spirit" at first but started liking it after "Smells Like Nirvana" broke. For me I remember just not "getting" SLTP at all when it came out. Why the hell is MTV playing this crap and not the new Slaughter video!? But as for the other kids? I don't think you really saw the changeover take place until at least late 1992. I'd bet everything I own that more kids in this area bought Def Leppard's Adrenalize than bought Alice in Chains' Dirt that year. Plus, I don't think I ever really saw any of the huge backlash against metal/hair-metal like you read about around here - all the kids I knew who loved grunge also still liked Guns 'N' Roses and Ozzy and Metallica and whatnot. You'd probably get made fun of if you were still a huge Winger fan or something, but it seemed like most kids just went along with the "alternative revolution" because that was what was happening at the time, not because they suddenly woke up and hated metal one day. I like Winger. Yes they probably deserve to be lumped as a "hair band" but they were one of the better ones. Bands like Bulletboys, Little Caeser, Black N Blue, etc were awful. Winger actually wrote some good pop metal songs and their ballads I think were pretty damn good. Their 3rd album came out during the grunge era and MTV was actually playing the first single from it and sales were OK but then Beavis & Butthead came along and helped kill the album for them by having their nerd friend in a Winger shirt and making fun of their videos. So many 80's bands kicked guitar ass, people took it for granted back then. It's indeed useless to name 80's band with strong guitar presence because generally it was guitar dedicated decade. Million pages won't be enough to name all the great guitarplayers and the great guitar oriented bands that reigned through this epoch. Quite different than todays music. Warrant had good tracks and were intentional about letting some of their bluegrass rise to the surface in some of their songs. Seriously, how many songs can anyone id that kicks ass and has a banjo in the intro? The lead singer, Jani Lane, died at age 47 from alcohol poisoning. He had such a sad story, I saw him in an interview talking about how all of a sudden grunge was popular and anyone who had anything to do with 80's music was screwed and that his record label dropped him because he was no longer relevant. He turned to alcohol and his life just fell apart and he wound up dying because of it. So sad because he really did have a lot of talent and I thought his voice was great. The problem that Warrant faced is that they were mixed into the Hair Glam Band era along with too many bands of much lesser talent. It was difficult for the good bands to segregate from that label. Another was Winger. That is how the whole emo thing started in my opinion.. I never knew about goths before Nirvana existed, they are the first ones to create depressing music..Well them and Alice in Chains, and Pearl Jam and the rest of the grunge bands. My point was that the barrier to entry to be in a rock band went way down almost overnight. And the music that was easiest to play was grunge since it didn't feature guitar solos - it was all power chords. 3 guys in a garage could practice over a weekend and suddenly had a "band." The fact that grunge died off so quickly is testament to the fact that the low barrier to entry made it easy to quit...just like in software businesses. It is really funny now to look back at the bands that were grouped in as "grunge" and how vastly different their sound is. "Grunge" was just a marketing term. Grunge music itself what started by corporate labels as a means to attract the mainstream public. Even Kurt Cobain admits that he just prepackaged a sound that had been captured by bands like Dinosaur Jr, The Pixies, Sonic Youth, Black Flag, Big Black and a bunch of other bands from the 80s. What he did differently is he used simple pop hooks. Sonic Youth was responsible for getting Nirvana signed in the first place. There was nothing groundbreaking about Nirvana. As '91 and '92 happened, the metal bands were losing members and generally falling apart, generally through their own excess (Motley Crue, Warrant, Cinderella, Poison). Bon Jovi put out "Keep the Faith" and while it didn't sell at the level of its predecessors, it was a hit and I wonder if other similar bands could've survived just by staying active through the era. I think grunge gets entirely too much credit for this. Most hair metal fans weren't interested in a "cool" image--in fact a lot of them were casual listeners, if I remember correctly. I knew plenty of people into Poison et al, but none of them were music freaks. There's no way hair metal could last much longer since it started around '82/'83... it's just the way it goes, musical trends change, Nirvana gets way too much credit. Nirvana kinda destroyed rock n roll swagger once and for all, and today we all suffer the consequences, living in a world without rock stars, leather, spandex and excess.In my opinion, nirvana ruined rock music . They pretty much created all of the crappy bands that most of us hate today. They influenced a bunch of kids who knew some power chords to form punk bands, which leaves us with blink-182, sum 41, new found glory, etc. they also made all of this "sad, depressed, suicidal" crap popular, which leaves us with papa roach, korn, boxcar racer, etc. Nirvana did somewhat ruin rock music because of what it would influence later on. i.e post-grunge, nu metal, rap rock, and I'll even go as far as saying that they influenced mainstream emo/screamo which along with "crunk music" would lead to the worst abomination of all, Brokencyde. Simply put, grunge influenced post-grunge which influenced nu metal and rap rock since most of those bands share the "Oh my whole life is horrible, fuck everything" attitude. Bands from all three of those genres pretty much fed off of the cash of angsty teens and stupid douchebags who don't know shit about music. Not to mention all of the scene kids who worship Kurt Cobain just because he died. Grunge did more damage to rock music then any other style after it faded away liking rock music just became uncool especially with all the rap taking center Stage in the 90s. 98-99 when nu metal started to grow and become main stream like korn and limp bizkit, the only rock that was left after Cobaine died was what Hoottie and the blowfish and other acts similar to them. All other heavy metal acts that were still around sort off when underground for the majority of the 90's. Remember back then it was all about RAP MUSIC you had entire generation of kids talking and acting BLACK and that led to people making fun of rock music & heavy metal all i heard back then was "ohh you listen to that white boy shit". The grunge bands killed the bling effect of rock and the music industry sat on their hands too long on how to deal with internet sales/protection... they screwed themselves. Old time rock n roll might not have been as arty as grunge, but it sure was a heck of a lot more fun. I could not stand a second of Nirvana...probably the most overrated band in the history of music...IMO of course. GnR were huge then...at least far more established than Nirvana at the time when both bands were a going concern. GnR even asked Nirvana to open shows on the UYI tour, but Kurt Cobain outright refused and instead fostered a beef with Axl Rose. Since Kurt Cobain's death, Nirvana has attained a legendary sort of status that they definitely didn't have when KC was alive, and it has also eclipsed how big GnR were at their peak. Guns'n'roses were the bigger band. they had bigger concerts and the hype around Use Your Illusion albums was HUGE. At the time, GnR was treated as a superstar band. I was a teen in 1992 (the year both UYI1&2 and Nevermind had been out for a while) and in my class G'N R (as well as Def Leppard) was massive with a bunch of hits while Nirvana was a cool side-thing with one big hit that most people liked but not obsessed over. That's how I remember the moment of the releases. A couple of years later G N' Rwas no longer cool and Nirvana was the ultimate cool. GnR were playing stadiums while Nirvana played arenas and large theatres. They fronted every magazine , every time you put MTV on it was G n R. Guns' songs, musicianship, diversity and raw talent were superior to Nirvana, plus they appealed to a wider audience. They were rooted in Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith, so many older generation classic rocks fans also loved them, not just the kids. Back in 1992, GNR was the biggest band in the world, period. Nirvana was just the quintesential hipster band and after Kurt comitted suicide they obtained immortal status. After '94 GNR stopped being relevant, while Nirvana was still talked about a lot. But GNR sold more records and tickets and were more "mainstream" . Teen Spirit hit in the fall of 1991. It wasn't an overnight thing, but 1992 saw a quick rise in the grunge bands. I remember noticing how depressing music became around that time. Around 1994, I remember Korn, Wu Tang Clan, Dr Dre, Tool, and Nine Inch Nails on heavy rotation on MTV. That's when I quit listening to modern music for several years. However, I miss those Hair Metal days. I say this...It was a fun time to be a fan. Going to see a band was an event. And the girlss! Let just say they seemed to enjoy the "culture". If you didn't see it and all you know is the current hipster revisionist history, I can understand why it seemed silly. It was silly, even then. But we didn't care. The songs sounded great. Took my son to see Arcade Fire a year ago. A good band. The audience seemed to enjoy themselves. But they had know idea what it was like when Motley Crue or Bon Jovi hit the stage. I feel sorry for kids today.