Everybody gets older it’s just a fact of life. A fact that if I’m honest I hate but I’m not daft, we can’t be forever young, no matter what the songs preach to us.
I guess when you look at it, you’re only as old as you feel and over the past couple of years, I’ve felt a lot older than what I am. Let’s be fair, the pandemic has made us all feel a bit of a shell of ourselves.
I’m not a big fan of my birthday, mainly because it’s not a day of my own like most peoples. I share my birthday with my mother and my younger cousin, so if anything my mother should be the most annoyed about it. Birthdays are meant to be an individual celebration but not mine. There’s nothing I can really do about it so I put up with it. This year it was a milestone birthday, I’ve hit my 30s. At first I was really bothered by it and I have been reflecting on it a lot, but now, I feel a lot more comfortable about it.
I spent most of my 20s in a relationship that should have ended long before it did. Doesn’t mean it was all bad, we had some great times but just dragged it out a bit too long. I worked at the same place for eight and a bit years, which I’m glad I did. Gave me a chance to earn my own money, meet some cool people and learn a trade that I could hopefully always fall back on.
From 2017 to 2018, my long term relationship ended and my long time place of employment ended but in turn, I met some of the most amazing people in my life, made life long friends and not long after in 2019 (despite a break up), I discovered what I was meant to do, something that I adored.
I joined Hard Rock Hell Radio and turned a half arsed idea (GlamRat) into its own thing. I became a radio DJ, I prefer the term radio personality as in the sense of a DJ, I am yet to master its practise. I have done things I never thought I would and actually decided to try and do this stuff properly. Become a professional gobshite aka a journalist.
I’m going to spend my 30s concentrating on myself I think. Turn GlamRat into more than just a radio show (maybe), more of a media company, blog, vlog and all that jazz in between. I’m going to try a be a bit like a California girl, work out to keep myself fit, gain a warm complexion (instead of a pale ginger), nice big hair, long nails and a wardrobe to die for. Yes of course, my own place, pass my driving test and all those bores but an investment in myself is more important. It is not something that I should ignore.
20s were a bit wasted, my 30s is where I hope to grow and hopefully take on the world.
I had been waiting for so long for November to come around and just like that, I’ve blinked and my week in Great Yarmouth is over!
With it being my big birthday too this year, I thought it would be the best time to just have one big birthday party. It was a bit of that but the thing that meant the most to me was to catch up with a lot of people whom I haven’t seen in 2 years.
A lot of people from the HRH community I’ve met via Facebook so to actually see them in person was amazing. People kept coming up to me, complimenting my show, my clothes or saying nice things to me which is a very humbling feeling. The community is such a loving and caring one and I never felt unsafe.
The HRH Awards night was amazing! Kicking off with the red carpet of course and this time, Simon Dunkerly (HRH photographer) actually managed to get a photo of me with my eyes open! Presenting with Jonni again was another fun experience and to see a lot of my favourite bands including, White Raven Down and Twister was a joy.
Over the weekend I grabbed quick chats with many people but not so many photographs which I am a bit bummed about. At least I can say I was enjoying the moment more than worrying about capturing it. The after parties at everyone’s caravans was just hilarious! Throwing satsumas at Jack’s head (Twister drummer), being screamed Tina Turner lyrics by 2 parts of the Wicked Jackals, arguing (well maybe more drunk debating) over the best era of Bon Jovi with Darren and Brian, talking to one of Chris Holmes tech lads (a Frenchman with a tattoo of a fridge on his calf) and wandering back home at 5am, those are the best parts.
Yet again, a week with the HRH family, seeing long lost friends and partying with old faces made me realise that life really is for living. I can be quite reserved and like my nights in cuddled up with the dog, but when you get those times to party and do what you love, those moments are priceless.
It made me immensely happy. Running off little sleep, plenty of coffee, enough nourishment to keep going but the high of fun was more than enough.
When you have little confidence in yourself and party with those you look up to (Caz Parker of MMH Radio being one of mine), just makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside. I know I use the same words to describe things but there is no other way to express it. A feeling you just can’t explain. I’ve come back with a new sense of myself and the direction I am wanting to go in, not just in my career but myself.
Maybe turning 30 has hit a different note but either way, a blistering time at HRH in between fire alarms, power outages, alcohol flooded floors and roaring voices! Roll on HRH NWOCR in January!
When you find an album or an artist, you never purposely go looking for it, not one that will impact your life that’s for sure. “Have a Nice Day” did just that and it started me on a journey towards the music that I love today.
My parents are great lovers of music, especially my mother. She loves everything from Glen Millar to Marilyn Manson to Frank Sinatra to David Guetta and many more mad combinations. I started paying attention to music a lot more when I got to 13. Rock music always hit a bit more of a stride with me except maybe 90s dance tracks from the likes of Hadaway, Sash and other horrendous 90s bands. With Linkin Park, Korn, Aerosmith, The Offspring and Green Day rolling around the house, I started taking more notice of music. Thanks to my grandparents and dad having Sky/Virgin (NTL at the time), I found music channels such as MTV, Kerrang and VH1 and was immediately captivated. They played a lot of music videos of the great rock bands of the 80s and the first video I saw was “Living on a Prayer”. From that a love (more of a teenage obsession) of Bon Jovi grew and that year (2015), Bon Jovi brought out a new album.
The “Have a Nice Day” single was released on 8th August 2005, with the album of the same name being released 20th September 2005. That image of the smirking face is one that’ll stay with me for the rest of my life. At the time of its release, I didn’t have any money to buy the album so I had to wait until I got money for my birthday to grab it all for myself. At Christmas the school made a trip to the Metro Centre in Gateshead and the only thing I wanted was the album. I headed straight to HMV and spent all my money on it.
From this album, the title track obviously grabbed my attention. “Who Says You Can’t Go Home”, got to number five in the UK charts but their duet with Jennifer Nettles, got the track to number one on the US Billboard Hot Country tracks chart. I love both versions to be honest and it is great when played live. “Welcome to Wherever You Are” from the minute it starts has always pulled a string on my heart. It is uplifting and when in doubt of yourself, it is a great track to make you both cry and smile. “Story of My Life”, “I Am”, “Bells of Freedom” and bonus tracks such as “Unbreakable” and “Dirty Little Secret” are all outstanding and amazing. I just fell completely and utterly in love with this album!
I played it on repeat, constantly. Everyday after school I’d run upstairs and pressed play on my CD player and listened to it all the way through, learning it word for word. The only track I skipped was “Wildflower”, looking back at it now, sadly that track was a taste of what was to come from Bon Jovi in years to come. A lot of the songs are typical rock tracks with some emotional lyrics that did touch a nerve with my emotional state at the time. When the family became homeless, living in a shelter with convicts and addicts, we couldn’t take much. I had to take my Walkman and my CD.
Thanks to discovering Bon Jovi, I went back and looked at their history. When Bon Jovi started, all of these other amazing bands were out there and I loved them too! Most of them I still do! “Have a Nice Day” was for me, the last album I felt that Bon Jovi were still a rock band. Yes I have seen them twice since, once with Richie Sambora (thank the lord) and once with Phil X (handsome man, great guitarist but not quite the same). I am yet to feel the same love, adoration and appreciation for the band and an album like I did with this one.
Over the years my love for Bon Jovi has wavered due to the lack of rock tracks and albums they have produced. I’ve not bought an album since “What About Now” but I have listened via Spotify. My love for the “Have a Nice Day” album will never change, the lyrics hit a certain spot at a difficult moment in my life and I needed music more than ever, just to escape and believe I was somewhere else with anyone else. My teenage crush of Bon Jovi and Jon will never change, my ultimate wish is to hopefully speak to Jon someday, a girl can have dreams right?
Watch the video for “Have a Nice Day” on YouTube and stream the whole album via Spotify to listen to your hearts content. I hope it helps and touches someone’s soul as much as it did mine.
I have always had dodgy skin. Skin on my face is oily, dry and dull, skin on my knees and elbows are dry and I had a terrible problem with strawberry legs. By accident, I found a scrub that I am completely obsessed with that has helped with all my problems… almost.
There is so many products out there that claim to be the miracle cure to every issue going. This scrub isn’t necessarily a miracle but hell, it has sure helped. The scrub is made ethically, kind to the planet and animals and gives back to charity. What more could you ask for?
I accidentally came across this scrub after I subscribed to Glossybox (it only lasted three months). It was something I didn’t think I would like, a body scrub, made from tea? I don’t think so! But I gave it a go anyway as the Body Shop had stopped making my favourite sugar scrub. The scrub was called Delhicious. At the time, I had the original flavour but there are three: original, coconut and mint. I opened the packet and I must say, it did stink of dead teabags, one that had been used within an inch of its life and slapped into the bottom of a bin bag. In my hand it felt very rough but not harsh. I lathered my skin in hot water in the shower and began scrubbing away.
Surprisingly I only had to use a small amount to get the full benefit. A 50 pence piece size did one limb at a time and the same for my body. Massaged it in and began buffing it off. My skin didn’t feel dry, it felt nourished and incredibly hydrated not exactly your first thought when using a rough scrub. The smell of dead teabag actually didn’t matter, it combined its scent with my own skin and was just amazing! It was even gentle enough (even though it feels rough) to use on your face and didn’t like my skin feeling tight or over irritated.
Fast forward two years and I am still buying this scrub. It is truly perfect. I only use it every couple of days, at a maximum of four times a week otherwise my skin does get dry. It is my favourite thing to come home to after a long shift, a weekend away or after being out the night before at a sweaty gig (or a long night of drink), it’s perfect to cleanse away all that grime. I like to take a little bit in a little pouch on holiday with me, just great to buff away the day’s sunscreen before applying aftersun lotion.
The coconut tea scrub is my favourite, especially during the summer, combine it with Original Source Lime shower gel and you smell amazing! The company has since gone on to create moisture balms which I am yet to try. Everything Delhicious makes is Vegan and Cruelty Free, and is ethically made. 10% of all profits go to a charity called “Stop the Traffik” which aims to stop human trafficking (click the link to find out more). I love this! Indulging in self love also gives love back to those who need it. I adore Delhicious for this and I think more companies should look at this.
The coconut scrub contains Black Assam Tea, coconut extract, sugar and salt, essentials oils and love. It claims to “combat stretch marks and dry skin giving you a radiant glow.” With a dab of Vitamin E to help promote healthy skin, it’s a wonderful bit of self love added to your day.
If you wish to give the scrub a go yourself, please head over to their website and order yours today! I promise you, you won’t regret it!
It’s been 10 days since I returned home from the most amazing weekend that I have had in nearly two years. I didn’t want to come home, there’s nothing wrong with coming home, I just can’t be me.
Not going to lie but I was anxious about stepping into a large venue again after being away for so long. To be amongst that many people in a confined space had me a little worried, but once I was through those doors I didn’t have a care in the world. I saw the girls from HRH Tower and then walked into the back room to give a big old hug to Toby, followed by Mikki, Geoff, Simon and of course boss man Jonni. The hugs from those whom you’ve missed so much are the greatest.
The room was filled with madness gathering everyone’s passes, sound check, sorting out bands, COVID checks and everything else, it was pure madness and as always the darling Toby was having kittens. The litters he have are unreal! Once the voting texts were all sorted and sound check was completed we were good to go! Twister sadly had a prior engagement so couldn’t open up the Highway to Hell competition but Enquire Within did a cracking job getting the crowd warmed up and ready to rock. After being away from live music for so long, my poor ears didn’t quite know how to handle it other than ache. So yes, I had to wear ear plugs for a bit. A failure to myself but my ears, wow! And in all honesty I have missed that after gig buzz in my ears and butterflies in my stomach. It was great to amongst my own people, my own kind!
I couldn’t get over the fact I was in a room with all these people and could feel the vibrations under my feet once again. We were in our own little bubble and nothing happening outside of the walls we were in mattered in that moment.
Another thing that I enjoyed was getting ready. Slapping on my make up, backcombing my hair, having a little drink before taking on the event. I had outfits saved and stored at home just for events like this. At home, you get called dressed up or too smart just for wearing clean clothes. During the day my town looks like a dilapidated Olympic village and by night a collection of Love Island rejects, but everybody is carbon copy of each other. Yes people have every right to be who they are and wear what they want but then why is it ok to shun and sneer at others who try to be different? At HRH, I’ve never felt like that.
People will say just be who you are or as Dave Lepard of Crashdïet (RIS), “Be Yourself and Not a Puppet in the Freakshow”, but it is hard when you have confidence issues. I was bullied a lot at school and diagnosed with a mild form of Body Dysmorphia so having any confidence in how I look is a big difficulty. Yet for some reason when I am at these events, I feel safe and more confident than ever before. Now I have friends who along the way have helped me become who I am and encourage me to be GlamRat. I can be Charlotte to my family, I can be Charlie to everyone else but I need to be who I am a lot more, especially since the years are ticking by. Before I know it I will be too old to take advantage of my position which I have done for years. Allowed the world to go by, not anymore.
After 18 months away from live music, I was dying to get back to it and where else was it all going to start? HRH Sleaze of course!
I have been eagerly anticipating Bank Holiday weekend since everything was allowed back open. Yes there was doubt as to whether the event would be allowed to go ahead with all the new Covid restrictions surrounding large events, I am so glad it did. It all kicked off at the O2 Academy in Sheffield on Friday night!
Walking past the O2 Academy gazing up at the sign “HRH Sleaze IV, The Return, Sold Out”, my heart was fit to burst with excitement! Checked in, unpacked, answered a few emails, threw on my glad rags and off I went. Enough hairspray on my head I created my own helmet, smoky eyes to blind for miles and finally bringing out the gold shorts! I was GlamRat ready for Highway to Hell, the warm up for the weekend.
Six bands compete for the Highway to Hell Competition, a chance to win a record deal with “Off Yer Rocka” Records, promotion and playing at events up and down the country including HRH Events, obviously. They had to play a short set of four songs with one being a cover track. The audience members each got a text while each band played and had to vote on performance, image, originality and whether they had “Balls”. The bands competing this year were: Fall from Ruin,Building Giants, Bastette, Kaluss, Lost Search Party and Cry for Mercy. Normally a performance by the previous winners open up the competition but sadly Twister had a prior engagement. Metalheads Enquire Within burst everybody’s ear drums with a killer set to get everyone fired up! It was great to back amongst the noise, sweat, alcohol and thundering vibrations from your back combed hive to your steel capped toes!
After some blistering performances from all the bands and a bit of a boogie in between, Bastette were the clear winners of the night! Their performance was through the roof and the stage presence was undeniable. Bastette’s cover track was Pink’s “Just Like A Pill”, but far one of my favourite Pink songs. I presented the band with their award which sadly was not made of glass but consisted of a white helmet, scribbled and signed by big boss, Jonni. It was time to hit the hay and get refreshed for the long day ahead.
The first band up was my good friends Twister to get everyone warmed up. They had already softened the morning with a private acoustic show with DC members (then had another set on stage two later in the day) but were biting at the bit to get onto the main stage. Twister played tracks from the debut album “Cursed and Corrected” much to the crowd’s delight. Pounding drums, soaring vocals, booming bass and screeching guitars, a fantastic band to kick off one hell of a weekend! A very proud friend moment, watching them for the first time in nearly 2 years and singing along to every word. Following up was the Takeaway Thieves, sadly I missed most of their set but from my advantage point, the crowd loved them and wow they had one hell of a time.
Next up was Gypsy Pistoleros, a band I have seen so much about and are signed to “Off Yer Rocka” Records. I’ve played them on my show a few times, they are very supportive of what I do and I just had to see this! I don’t know how to describe it but I was not disappointed! It is one of the most unique things I have ever seen! They got everyone dancing and feeling like they were at a sleazy mardi gras! Covered in sugar skull face paint, big sombreros, a HUGE bass and of course a bit of brass thrown in. Got me dancing and in a fun loving mood that’s for sure. Giving us a sneak peak of a Christmas track (Yes I said the C word) was just the hit of the party! ¡Muchas gracias mis amigos!
After a quick turn around, next up was New Wave of Hair Metal’s very own champions, Midnite City! I first fell in love with these boys in 2017 and couldn’t want to be watching them again. The guys have an immense presence on stage and filled the room. In that huge dark room with no light of what was going on in the world outside, the guys instantly transported you back to the strip, catchy tunes, great to look at and all round good time fun. I had a dance with some friends and I haven’t smiled so much at live music in a long long time! Hair metal certainly isn’t dead and Midnite City always bring the party!
For a while I disappeared helping out with merchandise for the bands so I didn’t get to see much of the afternoon but from what I could hear and the snippets I saw, everyone was having an amazing time! Everyone was happy, laughing, hugging and dancing without a care in the world. I caught a bit of Wayward Sons as we were rolling into the evening, first time I seen them since they opened for Steel Panther in February 2020. Once again, singing along, dancing and feeling good with Toby as entertaining as ever. Toby is like the friendly neighbour who will do everything and anything you ask him. I heard him say pardon to a heckler! A true British gent!
Tigertailz were there to wrap up the night and what a party to finish with! The crowd went nuts and the room was packed! Their limited edition welsh emblem shirts had been flying off the shelves all day. Rob (the singer) had a very busy day playing twice in as many hours, but not a drop of exhaustion in his performance at all! A band that doesn’t tour very often and performs when they want to is a great thing, gets the fans all hyped and for newbies like myself, a chance to see a brilliant band perform at their best. Dancing along to my favourite track “All the Girls in the World” had me smiling and dancing all over the place. The lights, the music and the fans made the room feel electric and I’ve never felt so alive in a long time, I’m sure the bands and the fans felt exactly the same. The lights came up, the disco started and danced into the wee hours of Sunday.
Another day of great music awaited my sleazy fiends with it all kicking off with Sweet Teaze! They put on a blistering set waking everyone up, or adding to their hangovers, either way it definitely warmed up the room. If that didn’t wake you up then The City Kids definitely did! Not exactly punk, not exactly sleaze, whatever genre you wanted to put them in, a whole load of rocking noise with a sprinkle of boogie and a skip full of attitude is exactly what The City Kids are! Billy of the Suicide Notes jumped up on stage singing along to one of their tracks “Rats!” sent the atmosphere through the roof! On a side note I loved seeing people wearing “Who the F*** is Dirty Berty?” tees! And what a busy boy Berty was too this weekend! First performing with Tigertailz and then with The City Kids, no rest for the wicked!
I did miss the next two bands from running around doing errands and interviews but from the snippets I saw, South of Salem packed the house and sold loads of merch to both old and new fans and that’s what I love about Sleaze, always discovering something new. She Burns Red turned up the heat and got everyone all fired up for the first American band on UK soil!
The Mercury Riots! Wow! What a great bunch of guys! So wonderfully Californian and so laid back, its infectious! Jonny and Zacchary set aside some time to speak to me before jumping up on stage and I loved their set. More of a hard/southern/blues rock band than sleaze but I think that didn’t really matter as the crowd welcomed them with open arms. Tracks about having a good time (Fired Up) and drinking (Save Me a Drink), it’s all everyone wanted and was actually doing. Guitarist on the bars, drummer running around between playing and just good old fan and artist banter. Can’t wait to see these guys again I really can’t!
To wrap the night up was the mighty, The Quireboys. Definitely a favourite for the HRH family. Spike is forever the charismatic frontman flinging his mike stand in the air, playing the harmonica and inviting everyone to a “Sex Party”. The crowd was hammered as I think were the band but as long as you were enjoying yourself why did it matter? The night felt like it was never ending but nobody seemed to care, no one wanted the music to end but sadly the lights had to come up, the gear was packed away and the sleazy crowd crawled out the door and slid back to their hotels.
No other event other than Sleaze could announce that HRH Festivals were back. Yes there was a lot of line up changes due to the ever changing Covid restriction landscapes but the best of British pushed the event through the stratosphere, people will always mumble and grumble, no matter what you do but all of that was left at the door. We all hugged, kissed, laughed, cried, drank and danced until we collapsed. An immense and unspeakable feeling. This event brought out the best of live music from the UK (plus one from America), I know everyone will agree that it was one the best weekends I have had in months.
I have loved Sixx:AM for a long time and found them accidently via YouTube and stalking Nikki Sixx via Instagram. They only started because Nikki was creating a soundtrack to go with his autobiographical diary entries from the 80s at the height of his heroin addiction. That book became: “The Heroin Diaries”.
After the book claimed amazing success and the track “Life is Beautiful” topped the charts all over the world, Sixx:AM became a more permanent thing.
After a few years, tours and a jaunt here and there, the band went quiet with Nikki, DJ Ashba and James Michael going off to do their own things. Nikki was getting ready for round two of Motley Crue’s farewell tour, James was taking some time to himself and DJ was expanding ASHBA Industries and taking over the world.
A few weeks a go, the band dropped a photo on Instagram and teased fans, giving them a trickle of excitement of something yet to come, then this morning, this popped up on Spotify.
“Skin” is a delicate and impacting track of raw emotion and a silent fighter song for anyone who has felt different and unjustifiably judged. It comes off the album “This is Gonna Hurt” and made me cry the first time I heard it. Still does if I’m not in the best of moods. James’s vocals crate such a beautiful atmosphere, blended beautifully with the orchestra, and in my opinion, holds a silent tone. It takes you out of your space and makes you feel isolated and at one with the song.
The band have called it the Rock Mix and yeah they have, by adding a banging guitar solo courtesy of Ashba’s talents, more drums and rumble of bass. It’s a great remix but for me, it takes away the initial rawness of the meaning of the track and James’ pure emotion in the original track is a definite heart string puller. In this version James is kind of more relaxed and trying to make it more of an anthem rather than a sorrow and sob story. The piano and slow intro pulls you in for the emotional ride but it doesn’t quite have the same feel to me.
It is a nice change but the impact of the original song is miles better, it’s generous of them to remix the track but it takes away the rawness and realness of true issues that hide themselves amongst the lyrics.
Thanks for the change of pace guys but I love the original too much!
Go and have a listen for yourself and let me know what you think!
With 2020 going wrong, I was hoping for 2021 to go a bit better, and it has… sort of.
The country was still in Lockdown limbo as the New Year crawled around, loved how many were buzzing online thinking that once Big Ben struck 12 that everything was going to evaporate. It lingered around like the mist from Silent Hill, hiding all the evils in its shadows. University classes stayed online but somehow I managed to gain high grades so I was definitely happy about that. Finally I went back to work in May and I have to say I have never been so stressed out in my life. The only good thing to come out of returning to work was A) having money again and B) I was losing weight and my clothes began to fit. Not that they didn’t fit me entirely, but it is a nice feeling to be able to do the top button and roll them over my fat arse without screaming bloody murder!
Since the world wasn’t quite ready to embrace normality again and with new variants popping up here there and everywhere, a lot of big gigs were pushed back to 2022. This move to be honest even if a bit frustrating, actually worked out better. Gave me a chance to work all this summer, spend my money on gigs and things for next year, save a little so then I don’t have to worry about working much next summer. Looking at the calendar, May 2022 is going to be banging!
It all kicks off with HRH Ibiza (aka Roadtrip) from 3rd May for about 10 days, I hope I can afford to be there the full 10 days, if not, 7 will do me just fine! I won six tickets before I started working for them and now I’ve got them spare, some are spoken for and the others I’m trying to send to good homes. I’m excited to see Skindred and the boys from Straight for the Sun. A chance to rock out in the sun is awesome with boat trips, gigs and booze. A working holiday in the sun, I’m in!
When I get back, Whitesnake is on their farewell tour and are making a stop off in Newcastle so it would be rude not to pop in and say hi! They are being supported by Foreigner and Europe but if I’m honest, I’m more excited to see Europe. Joey Tempest was one of my rock star crushes. All in all it is Whitesnake’s last call and I’m not prepared to regret that in years to come.
For the first time I am going to a festival – in a field – camping! I’ve been camping once with my mother and brother, it was ok, never quite understood why you would go and share a three person tent with two people that you can’t get along with in a three bedroomed house but whatever… people do. The festival taking my camping virginity is the fantastic Call of the Wild! I am so excited with two of my favourite bands as headliners and a load of other bands that I am sure will be awesome. How am I going to get there? I don’t know? Have I got what it takes to camp in a field for 5 days? We shall see!
The year of the Rat didn’t exactly go to plan. Let’s face it, 2020 didn’t go to plan for anybody. My optimism for the year quickly disappeared along with everyone else but there has been some sparkling highlights.
I was determined to take on 2020, invest more in myself and create more with GlamRat. I wanted to do interviews, reviews, work festivals and just become a whole new me. Sadly Coronavirus took over the world and ground everything to a halt.
My radio show with Hard Rock Hell Radio has carried on being a success during lockdown and my listeners were steady. To be honest, doing the radio every week kept me sane but it did become difficult with not having much to talk about. Nobody was touring and not many bands were producing anything new. Life did become a bit of a drag.
Over the summer we opened back up to the world and come the autumn I began my university journey, which was such a thrill (even though it stressed me out I loved it). Come the winter months we closed back down again and only now have we started to get back to some kind of normal.
Let’s just say last year was a bit of a washout but 2021 has started to pick up with only four months left to go. I’ve finished my first year with a 2:1 average and I gained a new radio show with Scotland Rocks Radio which has been great. A brilliant chance to show off other genres of rock, not just AOR. My first festival is at HRH Sleaze over bank holiday weekend, I’m back at university in September and then I have a milestone birthday in November, with two weeks at a HRH festival which I’m so excited for.
2022 is looking to be a busy year and I can’t be more excited for it! This is the main reason for me getting back to this website. I want to share more with you all both with the music side and personal side. The blog will be fun and maybe sometimes thoughtful and I’ll try to keep it interesting.
Most of all I want to thank you for taking your time to support me and who knows what the future will bring!
Mötley Crüe, Poison, Guns n Roses, Ratt, W.A.S.P, Def Leppard and many more have graced that infamous boardwalk, plastered the lamp posts with poster, rocked those clubs and broke many young girls hearts but they made it their sleazy playground. “A cesspool of depravity” as Vince Neil (Mötley Crüe) put it in the band’s autobiography “The Dirt” back in 2001.
The 80’s was the decade of excess. Everything was/is big in the USA but the L.A. club scene was fit to burst at its sweaty leather seams, dripping with body fluids, charged with cocaine, stinking of booze all tarted up with make up and held together with hairspray, “There was never enough hairspray as far as I was concerned!” – Bret Michaels, Poison. West Hollywood became every wannabe Rockstar’s dream, “If I can make it here, I can make it anywhere” was the main train of thought whether you were a group of lads in a band or a girl with dreams of becoming a video girl or a model. Since Motley Crue’s “Girls, Girls, Girls” blasted on my grandmother’s tv with the roar of their motorbikes, Mick’s opening chord and the thump of Tommy Lee’s drums, I wanted to be a Sunset
Nikki Sixx with some “fans”
Strip girl! At first I wanted to be a video girl after seeing Tawny Kitaen in Whitesnake’s video for “Here I Go Again”, damn that girl was so sexy! Flipping and splitting over those two jaguars with the smoke billowing around her with the luscious spill of backcombed auburn hair. Then of course there was Bobbi Brown… the Cherry Pie girl in Warrant’s video “Cherry Pie”. She was gorgeous too… I love my men but for a girl like her… dayum! Because of her (and a few of the guys) I wanted to dye my hair blonde, have a boob job and start roller skating again like I did when I was six. All those girls in the videos were tall with long legs, slim and beautiful bodies, perky boobs, long luscious hair teased to within an inch of its life with plenty of hairspray. But little old me, only five feet tall, auburn hair with awful split ends and a full fringe because I have a huge forehead and a very round face, short dinky legs, average boobs and slim(ish) body with braces to rein my tombstone hamster teeth with dorky glasses. I was nothing like the girls I idolised in the videos. I started to take drama classes at school and took Expressive Arts as a GCSE because believe it or not I can be rather dramatic when the time calls for it! But when I was told I was too ugly, I was stupid for thinking about it and not sexy enough, it really set me back mentally (even to this day) but it didn’t stop me idolising those girl’s on Grandma’s tv screen.
I remember I was sat watching Motley Crue’s infamous music video on Kerrang TV after school when Grandmother came in, exclaimed in horror and snatched the remote off me “Don’t let me ever catch you watching that smut again! It’s disgusting! It shouldn’t be allowed on tv!”. I tried to protest but I didn’t get anywhere, there’s no point when it comes to Grandma. The funny thing is that nine years later, she bought me tickets to their “Farewell” tour as a birthday present! I didn’t tell her that it was the band that she banned me from watching on her tv screen all those years ago, “Go and enjoy your rock band dear”… I shall! I was lucky enough that my gamble to stay behind after the gig paid off. I waited in the freezing cold for two hours just for a chance to see my teenage crushes (well two of quite a few). Nikki Sixx and Tommy Lee did come out to see their fans and I was over joyed. Nikki Sixx was so beautiful in the flesh and very nice to cuddle even though we had metal bars between us. Tommy Lee, even though I knew he was tall, I didn’t expect him to be so tall and his voice was rather deep. He was very funny and signed my brother’s wrist, thought he was going to bust a gut. After seeing them running around on stage, my love for the genre was reignited again! The bright lights, the thumping of the drums (obviously with the Crucifly going over your head with Tommy Lee, thrashing it to death is something else), the gorgeous girls shaking their tits and arses all over the stage… damn I wanted to be like that so much!
I had for years admired the glam rock/hair metal genre behind closed doors and only my close friends knew I liked the bands of yester years but as we all got older and moved away as life generally does take you, I felt isolated not having anyone to enjoy my love of these bands. Thankfully after splitting up with my ex I went onto social media full time (I had Instagram and Twitter for years but not Facebook), I found people who had similar music interests as me and I was joyous. I found myself admiring other girls on social media (mainly Instagram) dressing just like the girls I had admired in all the music videos from that golden era and wishing that I had the balls to do that. I kept my clothing just to the basic white girls uniform of jeans, t-shirt and hoodie which even now I still rock on the down days. But then slowly I began to realise I need to be an individual, be myself and if that meant dressing the way I wanted and not what was expected of me, then so be it.
I went back to all those music videos, carefully keeping an eye on the girls, what they wore, how they did their hair and makeup and matching them up to modern influencers. Maybe I was a bit late coming to the scene with my own style but with my mother’s attitude of “why dress like everyone else”, finding like minded people who gave me the confidence to be myself, having friends who encourage me to be myself and not like everyone else, then to top it off I found a man that made me want to make an effort. Sadly we are not together any more but have remained the closest of friends. He, himself, is a very individual person who is defined not just by his voice but his hair (pretty much like CC DeVille and Taime Downe, that’s why I liked him so much) and by him being so different and standing out, not because he actually wants to, but because that is who he is, it gave me the confidence and encouragement to be more like I wanted. Who I am.
When you look back at all the documentaries, photos and videos of all the girls queuing up to get into The Roxy, The Troubadour, The Cathouse and obviously The Whiskey, I wanted to be a part of that so much. Queuing outside waiting to see your favourite band is one of the greatest feelings, filled with so much excitement and dizzying eurpjoria! Can you imagine the feeling, the buzz on The Strip?! It is said that during the day, the Sunset Strip was just a mess filled with trash and was nicknamed by some as the Confetti Street because of all the posters and flyers ripped off the walls and scattered down the boulevard. I want to know more about my dream… what was it really like in the 80s? Will the excitement ever be recaptured? Or was I born in the wrong decade and just cling to everyone’s distant memories?