Return with us now to those golden days of yesteryear, when metal bands were not so relentlessly packaged, videoed and multi-platinumed. Return to those days when--with a hearty "Hi yo, dude!"--headbangers took any excuse to clamber up on stage and just play .
These less rarefied days of local metal were recalled Tuesday night at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium during KNAC-FM's second anniversary party, a $17.50-a-pop benefit for Find the Children (a nonprofit organization designed to help parents find their missing children).
Oh sure, there were plenty of stellar talents on hand: the complete rosters of Guns N' Roses, Great White and Armored Saint, plus various members of such bands as Cinderella, Poison, Giuffria, Autograph, Quiet Riot, Keel and Black & Blue. It was as close to a glitzfest as one could imagine a 125-dB metalthon getting.
But when the musicians got together on stage and worked out on, say, Aerosmith's "Sweet Emotion," the sheer pleasure of nailing down Joe Perry's riffs or wailing Steven Tyler's vocals took over. So what if things got really sloppy, out of tune and just plain noisy? It was garage heaven for the lads, and the capacity crowd, from the pit down front all the way back, ate it up.