Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Flash Metal Suicide: Vain

No Respect 
Polygram, 1990

For some reason, I was immediately captivated by this sleazy San Francisco hair lot and their big budget video for "Beat The Bullet", which saw these primped out metal models poncing around some big city sidewalks, checkin' their make-up in the shop-front windows, and frolicking about, pursing their lips, under neon lights, like ya do, and well, I was initially impressed with their singer, Davy Vain's nasally, Vince Neil-influenced, gutter whine and poses.

"Hey you! I'm no fool!/What you got going? What you got going?/You've got temptation eyes
What you got hiding? What you got hiding?
You've got a way to make me feel- Like I want to be with you!
Just a little more than hypnotized, But if I do what I wanna...
Get down on my knees/Praying to the lord that I beat the bullet/Get down on my knees
Praying to the lord that I beat the bullet
New York, L.A., Frisco
Boy, they got something- boy, they got something

Now I've been around this world/What's it got for me? What's it got for me?
You got temptation in your eyes/Now one and one is two
Just a little more than hypnotised/But if I do what I wanna
Baby baby what you got hiding/What you got going? Will I beat the bullet?
Oh you got more you got more more/Than a man could want..."

..Looking back now, I'm pretty sure I mostly just liked their clothes. I paid hell for it, too, cos yasee, at the time, I was already caterwauling, myself,  in this band called VAIN DAMAGE, and well, the guitar player was this dangerous art-rocker curmudgeon, who slept in a rodent infested basement, on some canvas drop cloths, and smelly piles of black G.B.H. t-shirts. At the time, he was listening to stuff like Scraping Foetus Off The Wheel, P.I.L.'s "Metal Box", Skinny Puppy, Big Black, White Zombie, early Raging Slab, "Hear It Is" by the Flaming Lips, and the Fast. He had a cat named Acid and a tarantula named Darby, and extremely little patience for glamour puss poseurs from the West Coast. We were kind of having our own cultural war, back then, as he was a bit older, and therefore, understandably more knowledgable and partial, to the English rose glam rock of the seventies, than the whining corporate sleazesters of the late 80's. I was somewhat redundantly always trying to get him to see the validity of Van Halen, Hanoi Rocks, Faster Pussycat, and Guns 'N' Roses, while he was always digging out rare pictures of Hanoi Rocks for me, "Young, Beautiful, Talented, and Rich?" from old N.M.E.'s and Melody Makers he kept stashed in the closet, but always trying to teach me more about the Clash, and Patti Smith, The Wanderers, and theVelvet Underground. In a way, I figure we both won, cos he eventually took to Faster Pussycat, and I ended up learning to dig most all of his Forced Exposure stuff, not involving Steve Albinior Ogre and Dwayne (RIP). He now plays in a glammish, high octane, NYC sleaze-rock band, while I sleep in a rodent infested basement on some canvas drop cloths, and smelly piles of black concert t-shirts. Sometimes, life is weird like that. Oh, yeah, so we ended up havin' to change the name of our band, too.

VAIN came outta the S.F. glam-metal scene that also gave the world JETBOY and the SEA HAGS. They played shows with Guns 'N' Roses, Poison, and Skid Row, and took the world, or at least the pages of all the heavy metal magazines, like Metal Forces and Kerrang!, by storm, with their pin-up looks and yep, infectious, whiney sleaze rawk. Davy Vain, also somewhat strangely, produced two albums for Bay Area thrash-merchants Death Angel at the time, and has continued to work in that capacity with young bands like Romeo Is Dead.

No Respect appealed to the same legions of fans worldwide who'd embraced Guns 'N' Roses, Poison, Skid Row, Ratt, and the Crue, but their follow-up album, "All Those Strangers" was abruptly dropped by Island Records, who were getting their asses kicked by the hair-metal corporate juggernaut, Geffen Records. DAVY VAIN went on to form ROAD CREW with ousted Guns 'N' Roses drummer, Steven Adler (Rumored to be righteously back in the studio,working with Izzy Stradlin, as I type this!) using the old name of one of Steven's early bands with Slash. Steven, God Bless 'Im, carried a bit of a reputation with him in those daze, and had sadly been reduced to a smarmy Dennis Miller punch-line: "How fucked up do you have to be to get KICKED OUT of GUNS 'N' ROSES? For doing too many drugs?!!" Davy Vain replaced Adler with former Lords Of The New Church drummer Dany Fury (Also of Kill City Dragons!) and made a third album called "Move On It", I believe.

Altogether, there have been at least four or five albums worth of Vain material, or solo Davy Vain material, featuring ex members of Vain and Road Crew, some released on obscure Japanese labels, but all widely available on-line. Try Glitzine's message board if you're thoroughly interested. Glam rock fans really do split hairs over which bands were "authentic" "Sleaze", as opposed to which bands are "poseur" "hair bands", don't we? Davy Vain has somehow maintained a passionate following throughout all these years of ups and downs, releasing "In From Out Of Nowhere" a few years back, and I remember the big buzz it generated in the mascara'd underworld.. If you find "No Respect" in the cut-out bins somewhere, you might as well snap it up, cos  it  WAS loaded with catchy, well-produced snotty sleaze metal, ("Icey", "Beat The Bullet", "1,000 Degrees", "Laws Against Love") and they're better than TUFF or ROXX GANG...Me, I'm still a hold-out for old Junkyard or Cinderella!

- Savage Henry

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