Hair I Go Again
“We’re putting the band back together” – Elwood Blues
Tryxx were one of the thousands of Sunset Strip-inspired metal bands that failed to launch in the 1980s. Rather than grow old thinking about the glory days and what might have been, members Kyle Kruger and Steve McClure decide to get the band back together with the cameras rolling. On Wednesday night, Kruger and McClure brought their documentary to a Las Vegas rock club for a screening that included Oz Fox (Stryper), journalist Lonn Friend (RIP Magazine) and Ron Keel (Keel).
After a detailed history of Tryxx, the film focuses on Kruger and McClure’s attempt to sell former bandmates on the reunion. The reunion overtures fail so miserably that you feel guilty for laughing but this allows for a far more interesting film to develop. Shelving the Tryxx reunion plans, the guys walk away from their careers, re-learn their instruments and work on creating new music; all while staying one step ahead of bill collectors and evictions. Enter Ron Keel – who helms the studio controls as the duo work on recording a new EP with the hopes of landing a support slot for one of the bands they emulated back in the day.
Here’s the film’s opening scene:
The film includes cameos from members of Quiet Riot, Vixen, Great White, Tesla and tons more which will have you wondering where your mom put all your old cassettes when you moved out of the house. The ending proves a little anti-climactic (no spoilers here), but the journey of the two musicians takes enough turns to have you pulling for them. Ron Keel’s involvement is a blessing to the film. His energy and passion for music comes through in every scene and if I ever get the Spinach Men back together (we played one gig in Tallahassee, FL around 1996 if you weren’t there), I’m hiring him to produce our EP.
If you ever spent time in a garage making noise with your friends, you’ll appreciate the desire of Kruger and McClure to rekindle the dreams they had growing up watching bands like Queensrÿche and Van Halen. These guys sacrifice careers and relationships for just one shot on stage playing alongside their heroes. What angers me more than anything is that so many of those heroes have let us down as fans. The glam metal scene was fairly short-lived and unless you were a young teen watching MTV, it certainly seemed like a movement devoid of artistic merit. But there were A LOT of us watching the videos and those bands were the soundtrack of our youth. We would have given anything to be the next Bret Michaels back then (not so much now).
The dudes from Warrant make a cameo:
Now, thirty years since the apogee of the glam metal rocket, fans still crave the familiar riffs but the bands continue to splinter over petty personal issues. RATT, Queensrÿche, Great White and Faster Pussycat have either multiple versions with different original members or have become a vehicle for a lone remaining member. Listening to Eddie Trunk try to explicate the various lawsuits between members of RATT pisses me off because all I want is one chance to hear the original band play “You’re In Love” in a sweaty bar. Don’t even get me started on Van Halen without Michael Anthony. These bands meant something to us as young teens in the 80s and the members don’t seem to appreciate how lucky they are to still have a chance to be on a stage playing live.
Remember Danger Danger?
Go see Hair I Go Again and also check out the excellent Tuff Luck, which chronicles a band that almost made the jump from 2,000 to 20,000 fans. Both films will bring back fond memories of a colorful time in rock-n-roll. I’m hoping some of the popular bands of the era also catch these films and realize how lucky they were to have made it, even for the briefest of moments. If they do, maybe the musicians can set aside their differences and make music together again for all the fans that never made the jump from our parent’s basement to the Whisky A Go Go.
Here’s a cool little “making of” documentary: