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

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The New York Times Bestseller The Explosive National Bestseller A backstage pass to the wildest and loudest party in rock history--you'll feel like you were right there with us! --Bret Michaels of Poison Nothin' But a Good Time is the definitive, no-holds-barred oral history of 1980s hard rock and hair metal, told by the musicians and industry insiders who lived it. Hard roc The New York Times Bestseller The Explosive National Bestseller A backstage pass to the wildest and loudest party in rock history--you'll feel like you were right there with us! --Bret Michaels of Poison Nothin' But a Good Time is the definitive, no-holds-barred oral history of 1980s hard rock and hair metal, told by the musicians and industry insiders who lived it. 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," M�tley Cr�e'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. Featuring an impassioned foreword by Slipknot and Stone Sour vocalist and avowed glam metal fanatic Corey Taylor, and drawn from over 200 new interviews with members of Van Halen, M�tley Cr�e, Poison, Guns N' Roses, Skid Row, Bon Jovi, Ratt, Twisted Sister, Winger, Warrant, Cinderella, Quiet Riot and others, as well as Ozzy Osbourne, Lita Ford and many more, this is the ultimate, uncensored, and often unhinged chronicle of a time where excess and success walked hand in hand, told by the men and women who created a sound and style that came to define a musical era--one in which the bands and their fans went looking for nothin' but a good time...and found it.


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The New York Times Bestseller The Explosive National Bestseller A backstage pass to the wildest and loudest party in rock history--you'll feel like you were right there with us! --Bret Michaels of Poison Nothin' But a Good Time is the definitive, no-holds-barred oral history of 1980s hard rock and hair metal, told by the musicians and industry insiders who lived it. Hard roc The New York Times Bestseller The Explosive National Bestseller A backstage pass to the wildest and loudest party in rock history--you'll feel like you were right there with us! --Bret Michaels of Poison Nothin' But a Good Time is the definitive, no-holds-barred oral history of 1980s hard rock and hair metal, told by the musicians and industry insiders who lived it. 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," M�tley Cr�e'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. Featuring an impassioned foreword by Slipknot and Stone Sour vocalist and avowed glam metal fanatic Corey Taylor, and drawn from over 200 new interviews with members of Van Halen, M�tley Cr�e, Poison, Guns N' Roses, Skid Row, Bon Jovi, Ratt, Twisted Sister, Winger, Warrant, Cinderella, Quiet Riot and others, as well as Ozzy Osbourne, Lita Ford and many more, this is the ultimate, uncensored, and often unhinged chronicle of a time where excess and success walked hand in hand, told by the men and women who created a sound and style that came to define a musical era--one in which the bands and their fans went looking for nothin' but a good time...and found it.

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

  1. 5 out of 5

    *TUDOR^QUEEN*

    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. 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.

  3. 5 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)

  4. 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.

  5. 5 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.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Angie Fehl

    The synopsis will tell you that this sets out to be "the definitive, no-holds-barred oral history of 1980s hard rock and hair metal..." Oral history is the operative word here. Maybe my own mistake, but I went into this expecting something with more of a scholarly setup. While the presentation may not be traditionally academic, quite a bit of work went into compiling these stories. Browsing over the book's appendix, it looks like the first interviews started around 1997, carrying through to 2018 The synopsis will tell you that this sets out to be "the definitive, no-holds-barred oral history of 1980s hard rock and hair metal..." Oral history is the operative word here. Maybe my own mistake, but I went into this expecting something with more of a scholarly setup. While the presentation may not be traditionally academic, quite a bit of work went into compiling these stories. Browsing over the book's appendix, it looks like the first interviews started around 1997, carrying through to 2018, with supplemental facts and follow-ups carried out until 2020. The history, nearly 530 pages worth, made more cohesive through the efforts of music journalists Tom Beaujour and Richard Bienstock, is put on full, raw, unfiltered display by the men and women who lived it, and makes for one seriously fun, sometimes cringey read. If you're at all a "delicate flower" type of reader, this might be a tough one for you, because there's no censor button on these rockers! Seriously. None. A good bulk of this book is full-out locker room talk about --- you guessed it --- sex, drugs, and rock n' roll. The format Beaujour and Bienstock chose to go with actually does make for pretty fast reading, considering the size of the book. Perfect for fans of Rolling Stone Magazine-style interviews, each chapter is given that kind of layout (think play script dialogue, if you will). Set up with a chosen topic, the interview style format then gives the reader the opportunity to feel as if you're backstage in the green room hearing these stories first-hand (which, I mean... in a way, you are). My one critique of this would be that at the start of each chapter I would have appreciated something like a subheading to let the reader know which band would be featured in any given chapter. While the emphasis may often be on the sexual exploits and hardcore drug use of these bands back in the day, there are also times where these guys get real about how hard they worked to become "overnight successes" and later, a similar struggle to stay relevant in the industry once punk rock / new wave came onto the scene. Some of these testimonies paint a real picture of just how competitive the business truly is, how hard these bands had to work to get noticed by record labels at all. The reader is left with a better, more honest understanding that not ever day was fame and glory. A lot of clawing...and maybe even a little backstabbing... had to be done to get them to the level of being in any way enviable. Along the way, there are also a few quick "cameo" stories where otherwise famous faces crossed paths with these guys --- names such as Stevie Nicks, Milton Berle, Sam Kinison, and Christina Applegate. As far as bands covered, much of the focus seems to be placed on the genesis of Motley Crue. Given how successful these guys became, it's wild for a reader to try to picture the early days described in these pages: being so poor in the beginning you're having to live off of other people's food scraps; hooking up with girls to have a guaranteed place to sleep... and then stealing shirts from them the morning after because you don't have money for new clothes; stealing phone books to use for TP... I've been painfully poor before but I don't know that even I've ever been yellow pages-for-tp poor! Eeesh! But if MC is not your band of choice, other bands offered the spotlight here include: Guns n Roses, Stryper, Warrant, Skid Row, Quiet Riot, Van Halen, Poison, Ratt, Cinderella, W.A.S.P., Dokken, and Twisted Sister, just to name a few. There's even some conversations here with Nelson (as in, singing twins Gunnar and Matthew Nelson, sons of singer Ricky Nelson and nephews of actor Mark Harmon). Not to leave out the ceiling-shattering ladies, interviews also include those with Lita Ford (check out her story of touring with Poison and referring to the area of backstage girls as "the cattle pen" -- that's a visual!) as well as the ladies of Vixen. Some of the stand-out stories for me: * Quiet Riot: This book left me with mixed feelings on the whole QR history situation. On one hand, I get why they might still be a little salty over how they were treated by the industry... but a few of these guys came off REAL salty still... I mean, it's not like they were denied success. Later in the book, it's said that QR was the first metal band to go #1 (with "Bang Your Head"), knocking Michael Jackson's Thriller and The Police's Synchronicity out of their spots *Note: The band said they celebrated with lots of champagne and cocaine...and then completely forgot they were supposed to open for Black Sabbath hours later. QR also held title of biggest rock debut album ever (Metal Health) until GNR came into popularity. And then there's this whole rivalry with Van Halen? Well, it read to me like a rivalry, but the interview with Michael Anthony claims that there was no rivalry that he knew of... still, QR guys seem pretty sore that KISS chose VH to mentor rather than them... * Van Halen: Speaking of Van Halen and KISS, I had a serious facepalm moment reading that Gene Simmons didn't like the name "Van Halen", instead wanted to change it to "Daddy Long Legs", complete with a logo of a spider in a top hat.... yeaaaa, props to the VH guys for pushing back on that one LOL That image might work for a swing revival band, but a metal band? (On the topic of band names, some of these stories regarding the evolution of the names gave me serious Parks and Rec Mouse Rat visuals). * W.A.S.P. : Chris' Holmes' mom saying the band Warrior was "100x better" than his band... Don't know that I'd want a mom THAT real with me, but I loved the laugh from that story! * Stryper: The backstory of Stryper (originally Roxx Regime) cracked me up, the competing metal bands of the time being confused by the shift to religion-based rock, like "They found religion? Since when? They've been partying with the rest of us!" And then the whole thing with them throwing full size bibles into crowds, surprised that people were getting pegged in the face -- OMG! Yeah, it's a mystery why most musicians go with t-shirts and guitar picks.... why did hardback books never catch on?? LOL * Winger: It was interesting reading that Kip Winger was always against naming the band after himself. They went with it after Alice Cooper made a comment about it being a great name, but to this day Kip Winger says he's still not fond of the namesake decision. * Cinderella: The story of Fred Coury remembering touring with David Lee Roth, and how DLR urinated in Coury's road case, but Coury ends by saying, "He couldn't have been a nicer guy!" * Ratt: The band having to get the tour bus fumigated because of a crabs infestation (of the STD variety) -- Blech! Oh, and that hilarious story of the album cover shoot involving Tawny Kitaen (RIP) and the "rented rats". * Guns n' Roses: Ohh, the crazy train that is GNR. I loved learning about Slash and Axl pre-GNR fame, and how Slash sometimes couldn't make rehearsals because he couldn't get time off from his job at Tower Video (apparently both guys worked there for a time)... I just love the image of walking into a video place and seeing someone with Slash's classic look saying, "Hi! help you find something?" LOL But that's nothing compared to the story of Axl Rose reportedly chasing David Bowie down the street outside a club where Axl was having a sound check because David Bowie popped in to see this band GNR he had heard about and dared to strike up a conversation with Axl's-then girlfriend. Maybe no surprise after reading that, but there is an interesting part later in the book that discusses how label execs became SO frustrated with GNR's general lack of professionalism that Appetite for Destruction almost didn't happen. Can you imagine?! (Sadly, no such luck for Chinese Democracy.) My attention waned some during the parts that got heavier into studio politics, and, if I'm being honest, I actually had to take a break now and then from reading these stories because as fun and wild as they are, part of me would just become exhausted from page after page of just, sheer immaturity mixed with my realization that several of these stories closed on the guys, now in their grandpa eras, STILL whining and moaning over some of this stuff from literal decades ago. But then of course I'd want more rock gossip, so I'd get back into it LOL Fun times, with probably plenty of stories you've never heard before, straight from the mouths of the people who were there. An easy recommend for fans of metal / hard rock. FTC Disclaimer: Macmillan Publishing kindly provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The opinions above are entirely my own.

  7. 5 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.

  8. 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.)

  9. 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.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jeremiah Dollins

    I am a child of the 80s. I was raised on MTV and the hard rock bands that overcharged the cable lines with their excessive fashion, misogyny, and guitar solos. Bon Jovi, Poison, Mötley Crüe . . . loved them all. W.A.S.P.? Ozzy? Scared the living hell out of me. G'N'R? Inspired both love and terror. All I knew of their lifestyles was that they lived fast, had women drapped over their arms, owned expansive homes and sports cars, and played to stadiums packed with adoring fans. What I didn't know yo I am a child of the 80s. I was raised on MTV and the hard rock bands that overcharged the cable lines with their excessive fashion, misogyny, and guitar solos. Bon Jovi, Poison, Mötley Crüe . . . loved them all. W.A.S.P.? Ozzy? Scared the living hell out of me. G'N'R? Inspired both love and terror. All I knew of their lifestyles was that they lived fast, had women drapped over their arms, owned expansive homes and sports cars, and played to stadiums packed with adoring fans. What I didn't know you could literally fill an entire book with. And so someone has. Nöthin' But a Good Time is a treasure trove of behind-the-scenes anecdotes, reflections of the business, and a look at how culture changes, yet the awesome things never do. Some highlights: * Jack Russell of Great White telling the story of how he got arrested for robbing his own home and shooting the family maid. * Ozzy's tour with Mötley Crüe. Sure, we've heard the stories, but they never get old, even as the storytellers do. * Stryper's descent into alcoholism. * Gunnar Nelson admitting to his fiancee that he cheated on her early and often. * Ratt telling about getting buddy-buddy with Milton Berle on the set of the "Round and Round" music video. * Anything and everything about the Moscow Music & Peace Festival, but mainly Ozzy screaming at Sebastian Bach to shut the fuck up on the plane ride. * Tom Keifer of Cinderella talking about his first time rehearsing "You Don't Know What You Got Till It's Gone" for a show with the piano lifted way up over the stage. * Jon Bon Jovi waiting for Sebastian Bach at the end of Skid Row's set so he could punch the guy's lights out after being told that Bach called him a "pussy" on stage. * Duff McKagan's commentary on the fight between Kurt Cobain and Axl Rose at the 1992 MTV VMAs. And so much more. It's a long book. But the sort that you want to read out loud to whomever is in the room with you just so you can see their reactions to the stuff these guys have shared. This book is continued proof that the oral history is perhaps the best non-fiction music/entertainment genre we have. There is nothing quite like hearing Jake "Snake" Sabo of Skid Row talk about the time Sebastian Bach left an expletive filled message on his voicemail for his entire family to hear at Christmas, followed by Bach himself sharing about how well he compartmentalizes things. As a child of the 80s, this book definitely made me spend way too much time rewatching music videos on YouTube and remembering how my after schools were spent before Dad got home and I needed to go do my homework.

  11. 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.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Owens

    Subtitle: The Uncensored History of the ’80s Hard Rock Explosion I received an advance reader copy of this book from the publisher through Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. I was in my twenties for nearly the entire decade of the 1980s. I enjoyed a lot of the popular music of that era, but was always a bit puzzled by the success of the hard rock “hair” metal bands. When I saw the listing for this book on Net Galley, I thought it would be a great opportunity to learn more about those ban Subtitle: The Uncensored History of the ’80s Hard Rock Explosion I received an advance reader copy of this book from the publisher through Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. I was in my twenties for nearly the entire decade of the 1980s. I enjoyed a lot of the popular music of that era, but was always a bit puzzled by the success of the hard rock “hair” metal bands. When I saw the listing for this book on Net Galley, I thought it would be a great opportunity to learn more about those bands and the music they produced. The book began with the story of Van Halen playing the L.A. club scene and signing their first record deal in the late 1970s. Although they became wildly successful, the record companies hesitated to sign more rock and roll bands afterward, preferring to invest in punk or new wave music. The early 1980s saw groups like Quiet Riot, Ratt, Motley Crue, Poison, and many many other form and prosper in the Los Angeles area. Groups like Bon Jovi, Twisted Sister, and Skid Row emerged from the New York/New Jersey area at the same time. Hits by Quiet Riot, Ratt, and Twisted Sister earned major airplay on MTV, leading to the golden age of the hair bands. It was fascinating to learn how the various groups came together and how they adjusted their lineups during their quest for success, signed with recording labels, and fine tuned their music and stage performance skills. The advent of grunge put an end to the hair band era but not permanently, as many of the groups have become as popular as ever on nostalgia tours. I gave Nothin’ But A Good Time five stars. I’ve read a lot of non-fiction books so far this year, but I think this one is the most fun read yet. If I could change one thing about it, I would add reminders every now and then about which band is being discussed – there are simply so many bands, group members, producers, agents, etc. that it became difficult to keep them all straight.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Becki

    I love this book! Ok, let me start by saying I was born in the late 70’s, so I was a kid when 80’s hair metal was big. But I have a sister who is almost 6 years older than me, and the coolest parents in the world. So my first concert was Pat Benetar when I was 8, and my first hair metal show was Def Leppard and Europe when I was 10. The year after that was Poison and Tesla. And on and on... Now, at 43, I’ve been to over 200 shows and seen hundreds of bands. So reading this was like reading 500+ p I love this book! Ok, let me start by saying I was born in the late 70’s, so I was a kid when 80’s hair metal was big. But I have a sister who is almost 6 years older than me, and the coolest parents in the world. So my first concert was Pat Benetar when I was 8, and my first hair metal show was Def Leppard and Europe when I was 10. The year after that was Poison and Tesla. And on and on... Now, at 43, I’ve been to over 200 shows and seen hundreds of bands. So reading this was like reading 500+ pages of nostalgia for me. It took me longer than usual to read simply because every time an album cover, picture, video, or style was talked about, I pulled it up to look at or watch online. Watching these videos after 30 years just added to the enjoyment of the book, and I highly suggest you also do this. In fact, the next edition of the book should have that as a great big suggestion on the cover! As for the book itself, it was a great read. It’s written in an almost interview style; each chapter has a subject and then it’s filled with various musicians and industry people commenting and telling stories that relate to that subject. It flows seamlessly from one person to the next, so sometimes you don’t even realize you went from reading Warren DiMartini’s words to Sebastian Bach’s words to Lonn Friend’s words. There were so many things I got a peek into and read about that would never have been shown to the world without this book, and along with some hilarious stories, I learned a lot of crazy and interesting things. If you love metal, read this book. If you love hair metal, read this book. If you love rock, read this book. If you love music, read this book. If you love the 80’s, read this book. If you love stories about rock stars, read this book. If you are curious about the business side of music, read this book. If you were there for any of this, read this book. If you wished you were there for any of this, read this book. Everybody, just go read this book!

  14. 5 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.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Michael P

    Being a child of the '80s and someone who was a big fan of rock bands like Dokken, Ratt and Motley Crue, this book was right up my alley, and I couldn't wait to get it when it was released. This book concentrates mainly on the so-called "hair metal" bands, mainly on the groups who cut their teeth on the L.A. club scene, although a good amount of attention is paid to the bands who broke through on the East Coast, like Bon Jovi, Twisted Sister and Skid Row, among others. Which means you won't be se Being a child of the '80s and someone who was a big fan of rock bands like Dokken, Ratt and Motley Crue, this book was right up my alley, and I couldn't wait to get it when it was released. This book concentrates mainly on the so-called "hair metal" bands, mainly on the groups who cut their teeth on the L.A. club scene, although a good amount of attention is paid to the bands who broke through on the East Coast, like Bon Jovi, Twisted Sister and Skid Row, among others. Which means you won't be seeing much of groups like Judas Priest, Metallica or Slayer in here. The book is done in an oral history format, which means the musicians, managers and executives are telling it in their own words, and some real good stories are told here. The thing is, they're told over and over and over again, except that the names and the faces change. Just about every band in L.A. played at the Troubador, Whisky and/or Gazzari's; practically every musician knew someone who knew someone and bounced between a few bands before settling in; just about every band played like crazy to get that big record contract, then when they got it had to deal with meddling excutives and producers, and when they hit it big fell prey to the excess of fame. And so on and so on. It can get repititious. However, if you're a fan of this genre, you will stay interested on what your favorite artists have to say 30-some years later about how things went and (mostly) where things eventually went wrong. It also gives you a pretty good idea of how the music business worked for these bands, and it wasn't pretty. So, it's not a perfect book, but pretty enjoyable to anyone who banged their head to these flamboyant rockers and enjoyed (but pretty much cringe at now) their videos on MTV.

  16. 5 out of 5

    NhaughtyV says Damn the Zon Save the Reviews

    "Cum on feel the noize Girls rock your boys We get wild, wild, wild…" -Quiet Riot Anthem rock, hair bands, heavy metal, glam rock, whatever you want to call it, in my opinion, those who grew up listening and attending those concerts in the 80’s are the specific fan base who will luv this book for the sheer joy it will bring in walking down memory lane. I certainly loved it, and vividly reminisced of concerts featuring Motley Crue, Whitesnake, Faster Pussycat, Cinderella, Tesla, Bon Jovi, Poison, "Cum on feel the noize Girls rock your boys We get wild, wild, wild…" -Quiet Riot Anthem rock, hair bands, heavy metal, glam rock, whatever you want to call it, in my opinion, those who grew up listening and attending those concerts in the 80’s are the specific fan base who will luv this book for the sheer joy it will bring in walking down memory lane. I certainly loved it, and vividly reminisced of concerts featuring Motley Crue, Whitesnake, Faster Pussycat, Cinderella, Tesla, Bon Jovi, Poison, Ratt, Quiet Riot, Twisted Sister and the list goes on and on. These kick ass metal heads showed the music industry that rock wasn’t dead, and the loyal following of those bands continues to this day. Nothin’ But a Good Time is a time machine in book format that transported this 80’s hair band luvin’ chick back to one of my fav eras! Written in an oral narration format, it was like handing me a VIP backstage pass to all my favs and giving me the opportunity to read in their own words of how they achieved success and rock and rolled all night and partied every day! Oh baby, talk dirty to me! That being said, I’m not sure the new age of canceling culture could stand for some of the antics of these youth gone wild…so if you are in the easily offended line, move on, nothing to read here… Dear Reader, if you were like me growing up and devoured every magazine that had a cover of Motley Crue or spent your lunch money on the next Poison album, you will devour this book! It’s a fun read that will make you crank up Hair Nation, and I highly recommend! **I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book that I received via NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own. **

  17. 4 out of 5

    Matthew J.

    Although Poison's Nothin But a Good Time isn't my favorite rock anthem, it holds a key spot in my life's soundtrack: at my 1988 High School Graduation Party, FHC Principal Bert Bleke joined me and friends on the dance stage and rocked out with us to this song . . . just one of dozens and dozens of great memories of growing up and going to college in this Wild Mick Brown era of sex, drugs, and rock n roll. I don't have the physical stamina to relive those days, but "Nothin But a Good Time: The Un Although Poison's Nothin But a Good Time isn't my favorite rock anthem, it holds a key spot in my life's soundtrack: at my 1988 High School Graduation Party, FHC Principal Bert Bleke joined me and friends on the dance stage and rocked out with us to this song . . . just one of dozens and dozens of great memories of growing up and going to college in this Wild Mick Brown era of sex, drugs, and rock n roll. I don't have the physical stamina to relive those days, but "Nothin But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion" is the next-best thing. The book is an engrossing, retrospective, detailed group diary that recreates the ambition, passion, and party power of the 1980s hard rock scene. More than 220 people are interviewed and quoted, everyone from Ozzy, Motley, Lita, Dokken, Cinderella, Poison, Warrant, Ratt, Quiet Riot, Twisted Sister, Great White, both Guns (and more) t0 photographers, label personnel, managers, and club owners. Having followed and covered many of these artists as an amateur journalist (Warrant Morning Network rules!!!!!!), I thought I knew all of the background stories. Not so. And not in this detail. Two unbeknownst, amazing anecdotes: 1.) Prince funded Warrant's demo, but later dropped them because he didn't think they danced enough on stage. 2.) In 1979, Dee Snider from Twisted Sister was making $300K a year solely playing live music at clubs on the East Coast. No record deal, no air play . . . just clubs. That's more than $1 million in 2021 dollars!!!! This book is a must-read for hard rock fans. It's fun, nostalgic, and at times heartbreaking. I recommend it highly.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Elisa

    The 80s Metal Scene was not my cup of tea but I am a huge music fan and I lived through this era. Anyone who was anyone in the scene was interviewed for this book and not just bands but also scenesters, costume designers, producers and more. It's a real look at what that era was like. It was sex and drugs and rock n' roll and they make no apologies for it. If language offends you, this book probably isn't for you. I've read other books that attempt to take on a music scene (like Meet Me in the Ba The 80s Metal Scene was not my cup of tea but I am a huge music fan and I lived through this era. Anyone who was anyone in the scene was interviewed for this book and not just bands but also scenesters, costume designers, producers and more. It's a real look at what that era was like. It was sex and drugs and rock n' roll and they make no apologies for it. If language offends you, this book probably isn't for you. I've read other books that attempt to take on a music scene (like Meet Me in the Bathroom - the story about the scene in the 90s in NYC) and there is so much ground to cover and it can get muddled. "Nöthin' But a Good Time" avoids that and is laid out in an easy to follow way. One thing this book does correctly is to include a glossary of everyone interviewed and what bands they were affiliated with. You'll read about the big names - Guns n Roses, Poison, and Mötley Crüe, but you will also hear from members of Tuff, Bang Tango and even Pretty Boy Floyd. This is a hefty book and you might be sidetracked by google searches or Spotify/YouTube playlists. I was constantly looking up bands to see what they looked like then and now as well as playing their hits to refresh my memory. This was so fun to read and I am recommending it to anyone that loved Hair Metal. I wish this was out in time for Christmas because I know a few people this would be perfect for!

  19. 5 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.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jason

    Truth be told, I wasn’t a fan of any of this music back in the 80s. I mean, I liked Appetite for Destruction, but everyone liked Appetite for Destruction. I think I always just associated bands like Poison and Mötley Crüe with girls who were a few years ahead of me in school, who smoked and had massive teased hair and dated guys who looked like they were 30 or, to a lesser extent, with the dirtbag burnout kids I steered clear of out of self-preservation. I was a skatepunk kid in the late 80s and Truth be told, I wasn’t a fan of any of this music back in the 80s. I mean, I liked Appetite for Destruction, but everyone liked Appetite for Destruction. I think I always just associated bands like Poison and Mötley Crüe with girls who were a few years ahead of me in school, who smoked and had massive teased hair and dated guys who looked like they were 30 or, to a lesser extent, with the dirtbag burnout kids I steered clear of out of self-preservation. I was a skatepunk kid in the late 80s and listened to bands like Bad Religion, 7 Seconds and the Descendents or my older brother’s R.E.M. and Depeche Mode cassettes during the pinnacle of 1980s hair metal as a dominant pop subgenre. So, why did I read this? I've long been fascinated by this era: its inexplicable popularity follow by a near-total cultural erasure, its mostly mediocre output, the strange paradox between its hyper-masculinity and its gender fluidity (autogynephilia? is that what was going on with all these alpha males in makeup and fishnets?) I was interested but not enough to spend a whole book reading about any specific band whose music never did much for me. And I did mostly enjoy this. I remembered more of these bands than I thought I would considering I was 14 or 15 when this music fell out of fashion, but I enjoyed hearing some of the anecdotes about the scene's humble origins, its obscene excesses and its hard fall in the early 90s. I would have preferred a little more analysis by the writers than a few brief paragraphs opening each section and really think this could have been a great book with more discussion of the scene's misogyny (the shameless exploitation of female fans) and homoerotic subtext (more references to how good looking other guys were than I can count). Taken as a straight oral history without much contextual commentary, the book still works pretty well.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Scott Budman

    If, let's say, you arrived in Los Angeles to be a college student in the mid to late 80's, the rise of glam metal is, as Joan Jett might say, right up your alley. "Nothin' But A Good Time" is awesome. It answers all the questions I had when, as an Oakland product used to DJing R&B and rap parties, I walked into the UCLA radio station and saw the "Look What The Cat Dragged In" poster on the wall. From Van Halen to Dokken to Ratt to Motley Cure, Warrant and LA Guns, Skid Row and Cinderella (I could g If, let's say, you arrived in Los Angeles to be a college student in the mid to late 80's, the rise of glam metal is, as Joan Jett might say, right up your alley. "Nothin' But A Good Time" is awesome. It answers all the questions I had when, as an Oakland product used to DJing R&B and rap parties, I walked into the UCLA radio station and saw the "Look What The Cat Dragged In" poster on the wall. From Van Halen to Dokken to Ratt to Motley Cure, Warrant and LA Guns, Skid Row and Cinderella (I could go on), the two authors have put together a terrific oral history of what it was like to be in the band, to manage the band, and - to a smaller extent that maybe should have been larger - to follow the band. They both did their homework as to what the scene was like, and were granted some wonderfully candid interviews from many members of big bands like Poison, Guns 'N Roses and Motley Crue, as well as those on the periphery, who admit they were too late to cash in on the caligulan carnival of women, money, and drugs. It manages to feel both crazy and honest, and the archaeology they put into play while discussing why it all came crashing down is fantastic: Was it the drugs? The rise of Nirvana and grunge? The "Cherry Pie" video? This book is hard to put down, and will make you wish you had better hair.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne

    (Thanks to NetGalley.com for the advance digital copy.) I've read lots and lots of musicians' memoirs and books about rock music. During the years when I was in high school (1987-91) I read every rock/metal magazine I thought was worth reading (so, no Circus or Hit Parader), over and over, because I managed to be both a headbanger and a bookworm. However, Nothin' But A Good Time still managed to teach me a few things about the bands of my era, and keep me enthralled for the weekend it took me to (Thanks to NetGalley.com for the advance digital copy.) I've read lots and lots of musicians' memoirs and books about rock music. During the years when I was in high school (1987-91) I read every rock/metal magazine I thought was worth reading (so, no Circus or Hit Parader), over and over, because I managed to be both a headbanger and a bookworm. However, Nothin' But A Good Time still managed to teach me a few things about the bands of my era, and keep me enthralled for the weekend it took me to read it. (That I got through it so fast is proof of how difficult it was to tear myself away.) I enjoyed the format (using the words of the people who were interviewed, instead of hearing the authors' voices directly) because it made me feel closer to the musicians and others who were there for all this. (However, it did get confusing at times to remember who each person was if they weren't one of the band members whose names were engraved in my brain 30 years ago.) I particularly like that it doesn't just end in the early 90s and blame the downturn in hair metal completely on grunge bands, but spends some time on what else happened, and a little bit about what figures in the scene did later. It's as much of a happy ending as the facts allow.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Snow

    As someone who was part of the late 80s hard rock/hair metal scene, I was excited to read "Nothin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion." The book actually starts back in the L.A. rock scene of the late 70s/early 80s with bands like Van Halen and Quiet Riot, but the bulk of the book contains memories and anecdotes from musicians who ruled the charts and MTV's Headbanger's Ball in the late 80s and early 90s. Bands like Poison, Warrant, Cinderella, Guns'n'Roses, a As someone who was part of the late 80s hard rock/hair metal scene, I was excited to read "Nothin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion." The book actually starts back in the L.A. rock scene of the late 70s/early 80s with bands like Van Halen and Quiet Riot, but the bulk of the book contains memories and anecdotes from musicians who ruled the charts and MTV's Headbanger's Ball in the late 80s and early 90s. Bands like Poison, Warrant, Cinderella, Guns'n'Roses, and many more. I'd heard some of these stories over the years, but a lot of these interviews presented new information or pieces that were missing. Towards the end, the book even covers what happened when grunge hit, and what some of the musicians are doing now. If you're a fan of the 80s hard rock bands, I heartily recommend checking this book out. If you're looking for all the sleazy groupie stories and tour hijinks, this book has some, but more as a passing story than a focus of the book. I'm giving Nothin' But a Good Time a 4.5 out of 5 stars. A full review will be posted 4/23/21 at zengrrl.com.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Matlow

    This book definitely isn't for everyone, but it definitely is for me. I gave it four stars but if you weren't part of the metal scene - either professionally or as a fan - don't bother reading this book. If you were part.of either, by all means pick it up and you won't be able to put it down. It's long, but it doesn't drag at all. I was in the music industry frrom 1987 - 1998. As an A&R person I spent nights upon nights on the sunset strip - Roxy, whiskey, troubadour, rainbow, Central, etc. I pe This book definitely isn't for everyone, but it definitely is for me. I gave it four stars but if you weren't part of the metal scene - either professionally or as a fan - don't bother reading this book. If you were part.of either, by all means pick it up and you won't be able to put it down. It's long, but it doesn't drag at all. I was in the music industry frrom 1987 - 1998. As an A&R person I spent nights upon nights on the sunset strip - Roxy, whiskey, troubadour, rainbow, Central, etc. I personally know and had worked.with more than a handful of people in the book. That aside, it was a wacky time with wacky looks, loud guitars and lots of attitude. Its the perfect book version of Decline of Westwrn Civilization Part II. It's a train wreck and you can't look away. Loved this book. Well done on bringing the decade back to life. I've been listening to 80s rock on Spotify since I started the book. #netgalley #nothinbutagoodtime

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lance Lumley

    This is an objective look at the glam (or hair metal if you want to call it that) bands of the 1980s from the people who were involved; musicians, producers, costume designers and more. The story is told from the breakout of Quiet Riot and Twisted Sister as ground breakers and follows bands on both the East and West Coast forming bands to make it big. The book interviews original band members who left before bands broke big, MTV execs, and others. The Sunset Strip flyer wars, to bands taking oth This is an objective look at the glam (or hair metal if you want to call it that) bands of the 1980s from the people who were involved; musicians, producers, costume designers and more. The story is told from the breakout of Quiet Riot and Twisted Sister as ground breakers and follows bands on both the East and West Coast forming bands to make it big. The book interviews original band members who left before bands broke big, MTV execs, and others. The Sunset Strip flyer wars, to bands taking other members of rival groups to form their successful lineups. Great interviews by The Nelson brothers, members of Warrant, Vito Bratta, and more are all here. This isn't one of those books bashing the 80s genre , and for a fan like me, it is welcomed. For an in depth review, visit my review on: https://sleazeroxx.com/reviews/nothin...

  26. 5 out of 5

    Suzy

    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.

  27. 4 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.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Frank Murtaugh

    This is a fun book. With a sad ending. Eighties rock-and-roll, to this day, makes me feel 16 . . . in all the right ways. (Most of my workout playlist features heavy guitar, screaming lyrics, rock STARS pumping adrenaline as well as volume.) The hard-rock ("hair band," if you prefer) era was just that: an era of sound and culture. And it remains unforgettable. I'll be seeing Motley Crue in Boston in July, the fifth decade(!) in which I've seen "the Bad Boys" live as they continue to leave a scar This is a fun book. With a sad ending. Eighties rock-and-roll, to this day, makes me feel 16 . . . in all the right ways. (Most of my workout playlist features heavy guitar, screaming lyrics, rock STARS pumping adrenaline as well as volume.) The hard-rock ("hair band," if you prefer) era was just that: an era of sound and culture. And it remains unforgettable. I'll be seeing Motley Crue in Boston in July, the fifth decade(!) in which I've seen "the Bad Boys" live as they continue to leave a scar on music history. There are survivors (like, somehow, the original members of Motley Crue) and there are many left behind, some no longer with us. The hard-rock movement took years to build (from roots planted by Zeppelin, KISS, AC/DC, and Van Halen), but crashed suddenly and rather violently on September 24, 1991. That's okay. This book — written entirely from first-person accounts — breathes life into the memories, memories we can hear to this day, during a workout or otherwise.

  29. 5 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.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jesse

    Surprisingly entertaining and new, and this is from someone who has read, among other things, Steven Adler's autobiography. The thing that sticks with me from this is all the work involved--those grotty apartments, all the food they scrounged from dumpsters, and there's a great chapter just on leafletting wars. Also one on costumes, which is really fun. Inspirational remark, about "Bret Michaels from Poison" (as I will always think of him after that repeated bit on The Chris Isaak Show: "Bret wa Surprisingly entertaining and new, and this is from someone who has read, among other things, Steven Adler's autobiography. The thing that sticks with me from this is all the work involved--those grotty apartments, all the food they scrounged from dumpsters, and there's a great chapter just on leafletting wars. Also one on costumes, which is really fun. Inspirational remark, about "Bret Michaels from Poison" (as I will always think of him after that repeated bit on The Chris Isaak Show: "Bret wanted to be Kiss and I thought they needed to be a lightweight bubblegum group. They didn't have the talent to be anything else. And Bret, you know, is to be commended because up to Poison I think the ability to carry a note and sing in tune had been a barrier to entry. Bret opened up that field..."

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