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Popoff, Martin
Popoff Archive-3: Hair Metal (Book Review)
April 2017
Released: 2016, PowerChord Press
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: JP

The Popoff writing machine is back with another in what is turning out to be a very interesting archival book series. POPOFF ARCHIVE 3: HAIR METAL is as one might presume the third in the series. Self-published by his own PowerChord Press is matches the format and style in the others in the set. As of time of writing this, there are four in the set, Doom, Prog, Classic Rock and Hair Metal. I’m not thrilled with the term ‘Hair Metal’, (that is a whole other conversation over beers) but everyone knows what it means so it serves it’s purpose. The cover photo is not great but it is one that Martin took himself of Poison, sometime in the early 200’s so it has a bit of a personal connection.



In case you are not familiar, Popoff wrote for Canadian print ‘zine, Brave and Bloody Knuckles for about a decade or more and collected a ton of material, the vast majority of it never making to the mag. If it is did the interview was truncated for time and space. So now, this stuff is seeing the light of day, some 15 to 20 years later. No point in letting in languish in the vaults so these never before seen interviews got dusted off and is now available in small print runs of about 200.



HAIR METAL has about 30 interviews of spanning 1997 to 2002. This is important, because it is a pretty important period because the whole grunge thing had come and gone and the survivors in the melodic Hard Rock/ Metal realms were still chugging along, touring, writing new music and in some cases, like that of Ratt even getting signed back to major labels! Who said grunge killed Metal? It is more like the other way around! Popoff precedes each interview with a couple of quick personal notes about the where and when this interview took place and then it is transcribed pretty much verbatim.



I love reading these old interviews with the various dudes from Poison, Tesla, Ratt, L.A. Guns, Quiet Riot, Firehouse, Skid Row, Def Leppard, Enuff Z’Nuff, Warrant, a revealing chat with Don Dokken and the always entertaining Dee Snider discussing his underrated solo album and his other post-Twisted Sister project, Desperado. Lots of insight and gems, past present and future and with the added value of hindsight, we see who had plans that panned out and those that didn’t. What is cool is that most of these bands are still going in 2017! Curious omission; Motley Crue but if I recall Popoff never was a huge Crue fan and they were difficult to deal with and probably got enough press as it was.



HAIR METAL is a fun, easy read, a neat snapshot of a time when not many journalists were talking to these veteran (read:uncool) glam/hair dudes at the time, so Popoff’s archives have even more value and entertainment for old hair historians like me. Rock on!
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