cover image Nothin’ but a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the ’80s Hard Rock Explosion

Nothin’ but a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the ’80s Hard Rock Explosion

Tom Beaujour and Richard Bienstock. St. Martin’s, $29.99 (560p) ISBN 978-1-25019-575-3

Revolver cofounder Beaujour and former Guitar World editor Bienstock (Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck) give heavy metal a flamboyant retrospective in this raucous oral history. The pair interview dozens of figures from the glam-metal eruption of the 1980s, including Ozzy Osbourne and David Lee Roth; the members of Quiet Riot, Twisted Sister, Guns N’ Roses, Vixen, Winger, Ratt, and Poison; and sound engineers, record company execs, roadies, security guards, and costume designers (spandex pants, readers learn, became ubiquitous because they wouldn’t split at the crotch during acrobatic dance routines). Accounts of recording session tantrums, trashed hotel rooms, guitar-virtuoso rivalries, and the inter-band arms race toward ever-bigger hairdos and ever-crazier shows—“[w]e started making the fire sign and the torture rack and the raw meat box,” recalls W.A.S.P. stage designer Al Bane—and pure debauchery (“I would wake up out of a binge and there’d be naked people and drugs everywhere,” Mötley Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx remembers. “I’d have blood all over my hands and my feet and not know what happened”) round out this irreverent and fun narrative. Metalheads and those with a fondness for the over-the-top antics that marked the genre and era are in for a treat. (Mar.)