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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Hairforce takes O’Malley’s back to the 80s

    Hairforce takes OMalleys back to the 80s

    In such uncertain times as these, it’s hard not to reminisce about the old days. The world was a much simpler place twenty years ago, when men wore makeup and women didn’t care; when hairspray was the nation’s most lucrative industry and black leather reigned supreme; when heavy metal was the voice of the people, and the only thing Americans sought after was “”Nothin’ but a Good Time.”” Where, oh where, have the glittery, glorious ’80’s gone now, when we need them most?

    Rockers, search no longer! The ’80’s can be found alive and well in the backroom of O’Malley’s bar on Fourth Avenue, courtesy of Hairforce – an emphatic hair metal cover band who will be rocking out there every Tuesday at 10 p.m. for the next four weeks – and you can be sure that the band is looking for “”Nothin’ but a Good Time”” themselves.

    Older readers may already be familiar with Hairforce, who formed in the eighties at the height of hair metal fever. Like any self-respecting rock band, they broke up during the grunge era. “”We’re not happy about what happened with the haircuts and the staring at the floor thing,”” said G-String, the band’s guitarist and most well-known member. After the breakup of Hairforce, G-String spent some time playing for the recurring local act Metalhead at the Cactus Moon, where he cultivated a fan base through the power of his shredding licks and colorful stage presence. When Metalhead, too, broke up, what was the rocker to do but reform Hairforce?

    “”I’ve missed this,”” G-String yelled at the cheering O’Malley’s crowd just as their first set began last Tuesday, “”I’ve been doing this shit in my room for three months!””

    The remainder of Hairforce is comprised of wailing vocalist Bobby Scotch, charismatic bassist Franklin “”Frankie”” Badparty, and laid-back drummer Al NaturAl. When combined on stage, they are more than a mere blur of leopard-prints, flowing locks, and ’80’s attitude: they are an all-singing, all-shredding homage to the undying spirit of hair metal.

    When word got out that Hairforce was back together, they were approached by a number of venues throughout Tucson. Ultimately, the band settled on O’Malley’s because of its ample space, convenient parking, central location, and clientele. “”There are super hot girls here all the time,”” remarked Badparty following the band’s first explosive set.

    That same evening, Frankie’s claim would be put to the test when the band paused their second set to host a “”Hottest Groupie”” contest. A gaggle of O’Malley’s patrons and staff soon joined the band onstage for evaluation, coaxed by a hundred-dollar reward for rocking the most hair and flair. Whether Hairforce was feeling exceptionally generous, or perhaps just exceptionally horny, the “”Hottest Groupie”” contest turned out to be a “”Hottest Twelve Groupies”” contest, awarding a hundred dollars cash to each of the dozen entrants. The lucky winners remained on stage while the band rocked a rowdy cover of Van Halen’s “”Panama,”” then commenced dancing throughout the entirety of Def Leppard’s “”Pour Some Sugar on Me.”” Whether this unexpected generosity will remain consistent over the coming weeks is uncertain, audience members can expect the “”Hottest Groupie”” contest to be a Hairforce mainstay.

    On stage, Hairforce is truly a force to be reckoned with. G-String’s energy alone can barely be contained by the modest O’Malley’s stage; his vigorous guitar solos effectively steal the show when covering crowd-pleasers like AC/DC’s “”TNT”” and Poison’s “”Talk Dirty to Me.”” The quirky quartet covers close to forty artists, including all the hair metal mainstays such as Ratt, Twisted Sister, and the Scorpions, occasionally entering into the punk and heavy metal territories with tributes to The Ramones and Metallica. The band has compiled some original material as well, but tend to stick to the covers unless they receive a request from the female portion of their audience; far be it from a rock band to deny the whims of their women.

    Off stage, Hairforce’s rockstar attitude remains solid. After closing their first set on Tuesday with a riotous rendition of Ozzy’s “”Crazy Train,”” the members of Hairforce shot playful banter back and forth while discussing a variety of rock-related subjects. When it comes to fashion, for example, Hairforce is all authenticity. “”We’re just trying to keep things…NaturAl”” said Al coyly, much to the approval of his band mates who all wore matching tank tops and tight jeans. When the subject of the heaviest rock band ever is broached, however, the boys are all over the place.

    “”Led Zeppelin,”” said Al without hesitation.

    “”What about Gwar?”” G-String offered after some consideration.

    “”Gwar is pretty heavy,”” Frankie interjected, “”but I think it’s gotta be Manowar.””

    “”How about Loudness?”” suggested Bobby Scotch, sheepishly.

    “”They’re Japanese!”” G-String responded, affronted. “”Keep it with the English people!””

    “”Rammstein!”” joked Frankie, dismissing G-String with a faux German baritone.

    “”Man, this guy likes Radiohead,”” G-String continued, pointing an incriminating finger at Bobby.

    The rockstar banter continued when Hairforce came back for their second set, bridging the gaps between songs with amusing off-the-cuff conversations about who deserves another drink, or what the band was almost named instead of Hairforce.

    “”We talked about C-Section for a little while,”” said Frankie with a smile.

    “”Yeah, but G-String’s C-Section just doesn’t work!”” G-String laughed.

    “”We were gonna call the band G-String and the Jock Straps,”” Al added, grinning, “”but I didn’t want to be a jock strap.””

    Playing so close to the UA campus, Hairforce is faced with a younger audience than that which frequented Metalhead’s sets at the Cactus Moon. Though the band does expect a lot of Metalhead fans to show up over the coming weeks, Hairforce and O’Malley’s have a lot to offer the college crowd as well. In addition to the bar’s friendly atmosphere and the draw of quintessential 80s party hits like “”Rock You like a Hurricane”” and “”We’re Not Gonna Take it,”” the entire band agrees that there is something vital for students to learn from Hairforce.

    “”They can get some fashion tips, first of all,”” said Bobby Scotch, getting smirks of approval from G-String and Franklin.

    “”The whole long-haired thing is coming back,”” added Al NaturAl, nodding as the wavy black tendrils of his own hair bounced atop a red bandana.

    After watching Hairforce play their first of six shows on the O’Malley’s stage, a few things become certain. First off, the band feels right at home in the Fourth Avenue bar, the accommodating surroundings complementing Hairforce’s off-the-wall style tastefully. Second, the ’80’s may be long gone, but the fun-loving spirit of the decade remains. Finally, G-String ain’t kidding when he says “”rock and roll is the thing that makes you move – it’s the thing that makes us live!””

    Added Bobby Scotch, “”It’s not what you do; it’s what you are.””

    HAIRFORCE

    Tuesday nights

    10 p.m.

    O’Malley’s

    247 N. 4th Ave.

    520-623-8600

    21+ ladies free, guys $5

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