Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Rox: Northern Glam
British Hair Metal never really took off, thank the Lord. The NWOBHM bands grew up with Black Sabbath, Judas Priest and AC/DC rather than Kiss or the New York Dolls, neither of whom were that popular in the UK in the 1970s. So, while the early 80s saw bands like Motley Crue gearing up in California, back in the UK, metal bands favoured denim and leather, and there was an unwritten rule that anything beyond a pair of striped Spandex trousers was venturing dangerously into New Romantic territory.
Of course, there were exceptions. The above picture of Rox appeared in Kerrang! No. 27 in October 1982. You kind of see why Hair Metal never really caught on in the UK. First of all, cloudy skies and council houses just didn't provide you with the same backdrop as Sunset Strip or Laurel Canyon. Then there was the matter of giving yourself cool names. Rox did have a go at this, but you have to say that Kick-ass Kev Kozak, Red Hot Red and Bernie Emerald just didn't have the same quality as Ace Frehley.
The overall impression is a bit like one of those "American Burger Bars" that you sometimes come across when traveling in Europe, which operate under the belief that a poster of the Statue of Liberty and couple of black and white photos of Elvis and Marilyn Monroe will make you feel that you've magically crossed the Atlantic (I don't think it's a surprise that the one British Hair Metal band that did make it big- Def Leppard - plastered themselves in Union Jacks).