These are 10 icons from what some refer to as the Glam Rock Era of Rock-n-Roll. The 70's & 80's brought us some
of the most animated stage shows audiences had ever seen: Kiss, Motley Crue, Poison, Whitesnake, Alice Cooper,
Bowie, Twisted Sister, Quiet Riot... Despite the costumes and wild stage antics, one can't deny the talent of these
characters winding out on their axes.
Guitar Maniacs makes a distinction between Glam bands and Hair bands. Enjoy!
Robert Alan Deal, aka "Mick Mars" born May 4, 1951, in Terre Haute, IN, has been the
lead guitarist of Motley Crue since its inception in 1981. Dropping out of high school
and moving to California, he began playing guitar with a number of blues/rock bands in
aggressive guitar player". Nikki Sixx (bass) and Tommy Lee (drums) responded.
Adding Vince Neil on vocals,
Motley Crue was born. Their self-produced, debut album
Too Fast for Love (1981) was re-released in 1982.
Mars has written for John LeCompt (Evanescence), Machinia, CrashDiet's second album, The Unattractive Revolution
and soloed with
Papa Roach on "Into the Light" on Metamorphosis (2009). The Crüe has sold 80+ million albums
worldwide, reunited in 2010 and have resumed an aggressive touring schedule. In this interview for Gibson Lifestyles,
Mick discusses the Crüe’s new Vegas gig and new music. For more, visit the
Motley Crue website or Mick's official site.
Their heavy metal, glam rock style produced several best-selling albums during the
1980s, including three 4X Platinum LPs:
Shout at the Devil (1983),(spawning the hits
"
Looks That Kill", "Too Young to Fall in Love", Theatre of Pain (1985), (with the
power ballad, "
Home Sweet Home",  and Girls, Girls, Girls (1987), Then The Crue
caught fire with the 6X Platinum
Dr. Feelgood (1989) containing the
Grammy-nominated single, "
Kickstart My Heart" and "Same Old Situation"  
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The Scream, in Neil's absence), only two LPs hit platinum status since: The
compilation,
Red, White & Crue (2005) and Carnival of Sins Live (2006). The Crue
put out a boxed set
Music to Crash Your Car To, Vol. 1 & 2 (based on Neil's head-on
crash that killed
Hanoi Rocks drummer, "Razzle" Dingley).
Mick employs frequent use of a metal slide in his soloing and tunes his guitar down a
step to get a
"crunch" rhythm sound. This enables his pitch bending and pinch
harmonics during soloing. Mars introduced the pedal steel guitar to many of Crüe's
songs.
Michael Ronson (1946–1993) was born in East Riding of Yorkshire, England.
He trained in classical piano, recorder, violin, and the harmonium. Initially
wanting to be a cellist, hearing Duane Eddy changed his focus to guitar at 17.
After bouncing around in local bands for five years, in March, 1970, he played
guitar on Elton John's "
Madman Across the Water" (original studio version with
Mick Ronson) but the song was cut from the
Tumbleweed Connection album
(Released in 1971 on
Madman Across the Water LP). It was about this time an
old bandmate from
The Rats recruited Mick for a new David Bowie backing
band called
The Hype. In April 1970, the band began cutting Bowie's album,
The Man Who Sold The World. Keyboardist, Rick Wakeman, joined the group
in 1971 for the recording of
Hunky Dory.
Mick's final studio projects with Bowie was playing lead on Bowie's Aladdin Sane (1972)
and the 1973 covers LP,
Pin Ups. He left Bowie after the "Farewell Concert" in 1973 and
embarked on his first solo album,
Slaughter on 10th Avenue with the radio-friendly hit,
"
Leave My Heart Alone". His solos on this LP were said to have had a major impact on
Randy Rhoads playing style. The album featured a version of Elvis' "
Love Me Tender",
"
Leave My Heart Alone" and his most famous solo track, "Only After Dark". His next solo
LP,
Play Don't Worry, was re-released posthumously in 1997.
After Wakeman departed to join Yes, the band became known as The Spiders From
Mars which became the title of Bowie's next album, featuring Mick's guitar work on
"
Moonage Daydream",  "Width of a Circle" and "White Light-White Heat". Ronson
became important to Bowie by doing string arrangements and playing lead guitar on the
next LP,
The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust. In 1972, Ronson did the orchestral
arrangement for "
Sea Diver" on All The Young Dudes that Bowie produced for Mott The
Hoople, played lead guitar and piano on the "Perfect Day" track of Lou Reed's epic LP
Transformer.  (A documentary was made on this album alone: Here in five parts: Part 1,
2, 3, 4, & 5. Here's an interview where Mick discusses that project. Ronson even did the
guitar and strings parts on "
Angel #9" from the 1972 country rock album, Bustin' Out, by
Pure Prairie League. However, some prefer
Mick's version.
Mick rejoined Bowie for the 1977 Heroes tour that produced this great performance by Mick on the eBow and this
version of Dylan's "
Like a Rollin' Stone" which later appeared on Mick's 1994 posthumous release Heaven and Hell.
One of his Mick's last performances with Bowie was "
Space Oddity" from the 1980 Floor Show. He's also produced and
recorded with
Morrissey, Ian Hunter and Bob Dylan. (Ronson did appear live with Dylan for the Rolling Thunder Review
in 1975 that also featured Joan Baez, Roger McGuinn and Ramblin' Jack Elliott). His last recording session was as a
guest on the 1993 Wildhearts' album
Earth Vs The Wildhearts, where he soloed on "My Baby Is A Headfuck". Mick
passed away from cancer on April 29, 1993.
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