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The Glam Years

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Album Review

Most '80s glam metal bands may have swiped their look from the New York Dolls, but few modeled their sound after them (instead, Kiss, Aerosmith, and Van Halen seemed to be the genre's main musical influences). But there were a few exceptions to the rule, tops being Jetboy. A big hint that Jetboy were not your average-sounding L.A. glam band was the fact that they took their name from a Dolls song, and if you dug a bit deeper, their singer, Mickey Finn, had a previous punk background (and also sported a Mohawk — a pretty daring move in the largely one-dimensional glam scene at the time). So while Jetboy's sound did have a few familiar elements along with the Poisons of the world, their glitter punk approach was more in line with Guns N' Roses. They may not have scaled the same heights as Axl and company, but for a period of time Jetboy were picked by many to be the next big thing, and also put together a large local following — and their story is told in detail in the 2007 CD/DVD set The Glam Years. The CD portion is comprised of early demos from the group (as well as two newly recorded songs), and the demos do a fine job of capturing the group's raw, punky energy — again, the complete opposite of the largely sterile-sounding productions of the era's hard rock recordings. From a lyrical and song title perspective, however, it's all Bret Michaels-approved: "Little Teaser," "Don't Mess with My Hair," "Car Sex," "On the Lips," etc. But longtime admirers will undoubtedly be pleased to finally get their hands on these formative recordings — which arguably do a better job of capturing Jetboy's on-stage sound than their later studio releases. However, it's the DVD that is the must-have for Jetboy fanatics, as all of the group's surviving original members tell their story during an hourlong documentary, which includes tons of interesting topics, including their late bassist Todd Crew (who would later roadie for Guns N' Roses — a group that would often dedicate "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" to Crew on-stage), the inner workings of record labels, and the L.A. scene at the time. Also, it's refreshing that the bandmembers come off as down-to-earth, regular guys — not at all like goofy aging rockers trying desperately to hang onto their past (as so many other bands from the era seem to do in modern-day interview segments). And if that's not enough, the DVD also includes a 1986 performance from the band, plus a slide show of pictures from throughout the years. A very impressively assembled package, The Glam Years will appeal to long-timers as well as newcomers interested in learning the full Jetboy story.


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s

Although they were often considered Mötley Crüe/Poison disciples, Los Angeles '80s glam rockers Jetboy contained a former member of the group that may have been responsible for the whole musical movement in the first place -- former Hanoi Rocks bassist Sam Yaffa. Joining Yaffa were Mickey Finn (vocals), Fernie Rod (guitar), Billy Rowe (guitar), and Ron Tostenson (drums), and while they never hit the big time like the aforementioned pretty boy outfits, the quintet enjoyed exposure on MTV's Headbanger's...
Full Bio
The Glam Years, Jetboy
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  • $18.99
  • Genres: Rock, Music
  • Released: 19 June 2007

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