Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Heart to Heart: A Fauxhemian Fairytale, Part I

Once upon a time, back when MTV was slowly transitioning from being the video that killed the radio star to the station that killed thousands of reputations and brain cells through programming like "The Real World," there was one hope for middle-aged people who would frown, shake their head at the MTV shenanigans, and deliver various head-shaking lectures about How Music Used To Be and how Kids These Days With Their Hipping and Their Hopping and Their Bipping and Their Bopping and Their Pants So Low You Can See Their Underwear.

No, that hope was not Bill Cosby stand-up on cassette.

That hope was VH1 Behind the Music.

Long before Rock of Love or For the Love of Ray J, there was this show steeped heavily in nostalgia and rehab that rehashed the triumphs, tragedies, and multiple overdoses of popular artists. Of course, "popular artists" usually meant "80's hair bands," because let's face it, the shenanigans of ACDC or Def Leppard made for better ratings than, say, Captain & Tennille.

"Yes, Nicki," you say, "We know about Behind the Music. We've all seen More Cowbell. That doesn't explain your random posting of poor quality concert photos with a Japanese Anime drummer, a middle-aged redheaded guitarist, and Rosanne Barr with 80's hair and black leggings?

Well, dear readers, I used to LOVE Behind the Music. This probably had a lot to do with the fact that it was one of the few programs my stepfather would religiously watch that wasn't a fishing show, a hunting show, or Emeril.

(Let the record show that I now love Emeril, but as a child I just didn't appreciate Emeril's Essence, his BAMs, and his uncanny ability to charm female audience members over 35.)
My favorite band to watch on Behind the Music was always Heart. My stepdad and I share (and still today share) a mutual respect of the Wilson sisters, probably because they were pretty females with  talent and a hard and fast Zeppelin-inspired sound. I misread their post-hippie 70's mary-janed rock aesthetic as gypsies, or rather, what I wanted gypsies to look like (as previously discussed). Plus, what kid wouldn't love singing along to "Barracuda" (or if you were me, the only words you knew in "Barracuda:" dun dada dun dada dun dada dun DUN DUN and the occasional screamed Ba-ra-CUUUUU-DA!")?

So when I turned not-so-sweet 15 (what birthday's more awkward than 15? Oh. 14), my stepfather racked his brain, went out, and bought me Dreamboat Annie. To this day, it is still my favorite album of all time (imagine my joy & rapture when I discovered it on vinyl for $2 at a thrift store a couple weeks ago).  I went on to collect more albums and still obsessively search for more every time I visit a new yard sale or thrit store.

But back to the grainy, poor quality pics at the beginning of this post. Ah, my friends. Ah, my dear friends. Those pictures are from the Heart concert I went to last Friday. Yes, that Rosanne-lookalike is the same Ann Wilson pictured on Dreamboat Annie. I will say this: Ann still has the best voice in rock-and-roll. She did not head the same direction as Stevie She-who-sounds-like-goats Nicks.

Ann's stage presence....well....oh, Ann.

Look at how fierce Ann Wilson was back in 1977 (fierce as in hot and tigress-like, not fierce as in the Tyra Banksian version of crazy)
So Ann did a lot of standing around and bobbing her still-in-1985 hair.
Nancy, by the way, still has IT. Star quality. Awesome hair. Amazing energy.  She WORKED the stage.

Don't let my catty bitching about Ann give you the wrong idea. I had an AMAZING time...a time that shall be chronicled in Part II because this blog post has already exceeded the point of human endurance.

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