Rock 'n' Roll was never as visually obscene outrageous as it was in the 80s and 90s—with its suggestive lyrics, skintight leather, cross-gender friendly use of eyeshadow, and of course, its teased-out, blown-out, permed, and crimped BIG HAIR. Just like those sexy guitar solos that we all love and miss (you know you do), the louder the hair, the better the songs seemed to sound. To celebrate the release of Rock of Ages, Biography.com pulled out a purple can of Aqua Net for old time’s sake and rummaged through the chemical-filled follicles of our favorite hairbands. Here are our mane picks.
Dee Snider Real Name: Daniel "Dee" Snider
Reason for Big Hair: Lead singer of Twisted Swister
Big Hair Hits: "We’re Not Gonna Take It," "I Wanna Rock," "Burn in Hell," "The Kids Are Back."
Big Hair Trivia: - Twisted Sister originally wanted their name to be “This” but opted for their now famous moniker since they feared that people would start saying "This Sucks."
- In 1985 Snider went to war against the Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC), which wanted to slap a letter system that warned parents of "offensive material" in albums. Snider, as well as Frank Zappa and John Denver, testified against the organization at a Senate hearing.
- In 1997 Snider hosted House of Hair, a syndicated radio program that showcased mostly 80s and 90s hard rock, heavy metal, and glam metal.
David Coverdale Real Name: David "Jack" Coverdale
Reason for Big Hair: Lead singer of Whitesnake
Big Hair Hits: "Here I Go Again," "Is This Love," "Still of the Night."
Big (Romantic) Hair Trivia: Coverdale’s former wife, Tawny Kitaen, was the sexy vixen featured in his popular music videos.
Anti-Big Hair Statement: Coverdale apparently was embarrassed with his big hair evolution and was later quoted as saying in an on-camera interview: "It got louder and louder, and so did I, to the point now where I have to get dressed up like a 'girly man' and tease ones questionable bangs or hair, and it's all becoming a bit…boring."
Lita Ford Real Name: Lita Rossanna Ford
Reason for Big Hair: To become a leather-clad, midriff-wearing solo artist
Big Hair Hits: "Kiss Me Deadly," "Close My Eyes Forever," "Back To The Cave," and "Falling In And Out Of Love."
Big Hair Trivia: - Sharon Osbourne was once her manager.
- Ford was briefly engaged to Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi.
- Scout Taylor-Compton portrayed Ford in 2010’s The Runaways.
Big Hair Comeback?: Ford promised fans in 2011 that she’ll be rockin’ them out with a true Lita Ford album soon.
Nikki Sixx Real Name: Frank Carlton Serafino Feranna, Jr.
Reason for Big Hair: Co-founder and bassist of Motley Crue
Big Hair Hits: "Girls, Girls, Girls," "Dr. Feelgood," "Home Sweet Home," "Shout at the Devil," "Looks That Kill," and "Wild Side."
Big Hair Trivia: - Sixx was wrote many of Motley Crue’s hits.
- Sixx overdosed over a half dozen times with heroin and after one such incident on December 23, 1987, he was declared dead for two minutes. A paramedic pumped him back to life by shooting two adrenaline shots to the heart. He claimed he had an out of body experience. Soon after, he and the band went into rehab and returned to the charts with their biggest album, Dr. Feelgood.
Pat Benatar Real Name: Patricia Mae Andrzejewski
Reason for Big Hair: To become a belting, solo artist tigress
Big Hair Hits: "Love Is a Battlefield," "Hit Me With Your Best Shot," "We Belong," "Invincible," and "Hell Is For Children."
Big Hair Trivia: - After seeing Liza Minnelli perform at a concert in Virginia, Benatar quit her bank teller job to pursue singing full-time.
- The song title "Love Is a Battlefield" came about through free association by songwriter Mike Chapman. The song was intended to be a ballad, but Benatar transformed it into an angst-ridden rock song.
C.C. Deville Real Name: Bruce Anthony Johannesson
Reason for Big Hair: Lead guitarist of Poison
Big Hair Hits: "Talk Dirty to Me," "I Want Action," "I Won’t Forget You," "Nothin But a Good Time," and "Every Rose Has Its Thorn."
Big Hair Trivia: - DeVille competed with and beat out Slash (now lead guitarist for Guns N’ Roses) for the lead guitarist position of Poison.
- Tensions between DeVille and lead singer Brett Michaels came to a head during the 1991 MTV Video Music Awards. The two had a punching match backstage when a high and inebriated DeVille performed the wrong song. He was ousted from the band but eventually returned in 1998 after an extensive stint in rehab and therapy.
WHO WERE YOUR FAVORITE BIG HAIR ROCKERS?