I'm usually surprised when rockers from my generation die prematurely. Yeah, I know, the rock and roll lifestyle and all that. But as a member of the first MTV generation, I think of these guys the way they looked back in the 80's, young and full of life. And so many of the 80s rockers survived their party years, if not unscathed, at least alive and mostly functional. It's hard, then, for me to think of the guy with the goofy yellow and black striped pants singing Cum on Feel the Noize... as dead. Of course, it's hard for me to think of him over the age of 30, because I'm stuck in a nostalgia-saturated time warp where most music from that era is concerned. I graduated from high school in 1984, and Cum on Feel the Noize was a staple at pretty much every dance my entire senior year. Despite my self-appointed status as a Diehard Rocker(tm), I was sick to death of the song and did my best to tune it out after awhile (though of course it was better than sappy junk like "True" by Spandau Ballet, which also infested every dance of my entire senior year. But I digress...). Now, though, hearing it brings back a flood of memories, taking my middle-aged brain back to a time when spending 45 minutes curling my hair seemed a perfectly logical thing to do, when 501s and a concert shirt made up about 80% of my wardrobe, and when nothing (NOTHING!) was more important than
Now covering grey is more important than using a curling iron, most of my clothes are business casual, I've been married for 16 years, and if I tried to bang my head, I'd need to head straight for the chiropractor. And a man who sung one of the great rock anthems of the early 80s is dead.
So crank up some Quiet Riot and raise your glasses in memory of Kevin DuBrow. He may be gone from this earth, but he lives on in the hearts, minds, and iTunes libraries of 80's children like me.
Cum on Feel the Noize:
Metal Health (official video -- not great quality):
Metal Health from the US Festival, 1983: