In 89/90, the winds of change swept in, with a noticeable change in heavy metal style happening world wide. I clearly remember this, as I sat reading through the latest edition of Kerrang! Or Australia’s attempt at a metal mag, Hot Metal. Cowboy Col was a fan of classic era / trad. metal bands such as Maiden, Ozzy, Dio, Priest, Twisted Sister, Quiet Riot, Giuffria, Crue, Night Ranger etc etc. All the good stuff up until say 86. Even the tepid Poison were digestible, to a point, as were a number of the copyists who rode in after G n R. But before long, I was reading about Jane’s Addiction, Love/Hate, Red Hot Chilli Peppers and others of the funk metal fusion that always left me a little cold. If I want to listen to funk and the fattest fro’s this side of Don King, I’ll go watch re runs of Sly & The Family Stone on Soul Train. As time has gone on, I’ve developed a kind of distant tolerance for the RHCP, but to this day still can’t cop Janes Addiction. Coming down the mountain! Love/Hate were a semi retarded looking lot with names straight outta Snow White. Remember in those hedonistic days though, it was not the cool LA thing to use your real name, and it was also cool to use a chicks name as your first name – ie: Traci, or Keri, or Kyle Kyle from Bang Tango etc. When it came to pseudonyms though, the Love/Hate boys took the cake – with Jon E. Love, Skid (Rose) (yawn), Joey Gold and Jizzy Pearl out front. On a scale of the worst or the worst – with Ugly Kid Joe being probably the worst, L/H were only a couple of rungs above. Looking back at these guys, they come across as characters from a Looney Tunes cartoon – animated, predictable – but funny. They make me laugh cos they were serious rock dudes but came across as friggin’ circus clowns! Painted leather jackets and long shorts. WTF? Where’s the Chuck Taylor high tops, skin tight black jeans and standard issue black leather? Shorts ? For a brief moment there, front man Jizzy, who we shall call by his real name Jim Wilkinson, tried hard to be a standout amongst the throng of shoulder to shoulder sunset strip dudes, so I give him points for that. He was known as the dude with the painted leather jacket, but he has a bit too much of the Jim Morrison’s going on, without being obvious about it, and he certainly took a page or two from the book of Ian Astbury. The drummer – Joey Gold. Poor bastard. Quite possibly the ugliest dude in rock. When the groupies were lining up – I bet poor old Joey was left standing by the band’s food rider. Let’s take a little look at the bands history, and be sure to count off the cliché’s with me. The band lived together in an LA warehouse (check) called SoulHouse, and in their first year together played a short and not very well received tour of Mexico, no doubt due to the ‘glam’ look and make up they were sporting at the time. No amount of Max Factor could do much for poor old Joey’s mush though. In 1986 the band renamed themselves as Love/Hate from a song they played at the time called Love and Hate. They also changed their look and style to a more gothic image (yeah) , having been influenced by the release of the album Love by The Cult (see my comment above). For the next couple of years they tried various styles of music and were pitched to many record companies in an attempt to get signed. 1987, the band settled on the rock genre. Around this time they briefly employed bass player Tracy G, who came with the requisite chicks name. (check) After seeing a video of a drunken performance, lead singer Jizzy, Morrison, I mean Jim, resolved to turn himself and the band around. Let’s get serious fellas. In early 1988, Skid Marks wrote a new collection of songs, which would later form the bulk of the album Blackout in the Red Room. They began performing regularly at the free Monday night ‘No Bozo Jam’ at Sunset Strip’s Whisky a Go Go. (Bet I would have spotted bozo or two there). However, the band felt much frustration as at that time many Sunset Strip were being signed by record companies, with Glam Metal at its height, but Love/Hate were repeatedly overlooked. Dudes, ditch Joey! The chicks want lookers like Bon Jovi, Sebastian and Kip on their walls! This aside, like much of the other over bloated Sunset Strip dross, they finally inked a deal in December 1988. Their debut album Blackout in the Red Room was recorded in 1989 and released in March 1990. It reached No. 154 on the billboard 200. To be fair, I actually thought the tile songs and the Why Do You Think They Call It Dope were OK, in a quirky kind of way. Quiet Riot they weren’t, but it wasn’t 1984 anymore either. After a small club tour they supported Dio on an arena tour, their biggest to date, but were unpopular with the Dio fans. Stand Up And Shout! In 1991-1992, with Kurt and Eddie and their ilk now flavour of the month, Columbia Records rejected the set of songs the band submitted for their second album. Landscape had changed dude. The band had to start again from scratch. They relocated to New York, again living together as they had done in their formative years. (check).At this point they began to have creative differences with the label (check). The second album Wasted in America was released later in 1992. At their gigs in the early 90s, the band’s bass player Skid Marks would often kick off the gig with a wild dance using a cross made out of Budweiser cans. Dude, that’s so cool. On June 1, 1992 Jim performed his legendary publicity stunt to try and help album sales. This involved Jizzy, with the help of a few others, successfully erecting a cross on the letter ‘Y’ of the Hollywood Sign and performing a mock crucifixion on it, with a camera crew in a helicopter to film it. The band had assumed the authorities would quickly notice the stunt, but in the event Jizzy was stuck on the cross, 60 ft in the air, for several hours. Eventually a TV news helicopter spotted him and the police and fire dept were called to bring him down. Straight outta Spinal Tap. Columbia were furious at the stunt and the publicity quickly faded with no noticeable impact on record sales. Soon after being dropped by Columbia, , Skid sold his car to finance a third album. Let’s Rumble (1993) was recorded in a few days and the band went on a 9 week US club tour. BMG picked up the album and released it in the UK, which was followed by a 3 week UK tour. However, the label didn’t want to release the album in the US. The band sent the album to a number of labels, but with the rise of Grunge their style of rock was out of fashion and there was no interest. In the 15 years there have been reunions and side projects and Jim fronting Ratt and Warrant etc. I’ve re listened to both the ‘Blackout’ and the ‘Wasted In America’ albums. As I said, far too funky for mine. Jim doesn’t so much sing – more so he squawks like a scalded cat. One listen to the lyrical theme though of much of their material made me think that I was listening to the Helix songbook – birds, booze and party’s (check). Checkout Wasted in America, Fuel To Run, Slutsy / Tipsy, Happy Hour, The Boozer, Beer Money – sheesh, these could be Helix tunes! Having said all that, I’ve heard far worse albums than Black Out, one trick pony that it is. I’m sitting at my day job listening to this album, and it’s not without its moments, which probably speaks more about the tedium of my work than the calibre of the album. Those lyrics, ”Let Me Eat Your Cookies”. Red room, Redrum! Enough already. Next!