Tuesday, November 8, 2011


RATT captured somewhere in time, the Sunset Strip in the early-1980s
Author: Bobby Blotzer.

My rating: 80%.

Hi, this book brings the reader back in time to a very special place in metal and rock history - the Sunset Strip, Los Angeles, in the early- to mid-1980s. It does succeed in capturing that time and place. It also captures Bobby Blotzer's anguish as hair-metal became unfashionable over night (around 1992) and all those great and successful bands became nothing in a very short space of time. Motley's Dr Feelgood was perhaps the last multi-platinum album of the hair-metal era. In one scene Blotzer describes steam cleaning an apartment in the mid-1990s and looking out the window to see an auditorium where only a handful of years before Ratt had played in to a huge crowd. You can feel the sadness and the "what happened?" vibe that 1980s metal fans all shared to some degree.

The weaknesses of the book, spelling and grammar aside, are that the golfing and boating stories drag on too long and you really would have had to have been there. In print the reader is thinking "go on" when that is the end of the story. Blotzer's relationship dramas are candidly told and I must admit they were interesting in the soap-opera kind of way. He sure dated some crazy chicks and it is hard not to agree with one of Blotzer's sons that his first wife was perhaps the best of the lot. Blotzer's relationship with his first wife reminds me of Peter and Lydia Criss in that the relationship endured so long and both pairs had great affection for each other but time off the road (rather than on it) killed both those relationships. Both Lydia Criss and Blotzer's first were Italians too coincidentally. Very little is told of the debauchery on tour in the 1980s.

Overall, as a fan of 1980s heavy-metal (but not Ratt in particular) I enjoyed the social and music history of this book, the capturing of time and place that the best books on punk rock were able to do. However, the punk rock classic texts were academic or quasi-academic so comparisons are not really valid. I feel Blotzer's pain in describing the rapid decline of hair-metal which was a truly remarkable event. I can remember in 1991 still in my long hair and black jacket loving 1980s metal, certainly not expecting the events of the next few years.

I appreciate Blotzer's honesty. The chapters on the decline in hair-metal and Robbin "King" Crosby's early death (RIP bjg man) are the most moving and best in my opinion.

Also Recommended: Lydia Criss, Sealed with a Kiss.

[by Jack Frost, posted on Amazon.com 14 June 2011]

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