“The Glam Years” by Jet Boy

Artist: Jet Boy
Title: “The Glam Years” Movie & CD
Label: MVD Visual
Release Date: 11/20/2007
Genre: Glam Rock
Rating: 2.5/5

To say that there were hundreds upon hundreds of bands launched during the Glam Rock years of Hollywood’s Hair Metal scene in the eighties would be an understatement and while many of them seemed to be clones of each another, there were always those bands that stood out a little more based on their overall sound and band presentation. One such group was Jetboy – a group of San Francisco natives who relocated to Los Angeles to follow the scene that was happening over there based on what they had heard from their friends in other bands, most notably the guys in Guns ‘N Roses. While the band was lumped into the Hollywood Hair Metal vibe that was happening among the Glamsters, these guys had more of a Punk ethic going on when it came down to it. That made them just different enough to break bigger than some of the others but alas history would find this to not really be the case and they would remain popular more on the underground circuit and among their most staunch supporters. This DVD is the first to ever come from the band and it brings you a performance from the famous Hollywood hangout The Whisky a Go-Go. The show was filmed way back in 1986 and during this point in musical history there was not a lot of video from the up and comers so good footage is often a rarity. The concert film is done with a real amateur feel in terms of both audio and video and truly is a sign of the times against what the audience is able to capture with only a cell phone nowadays. In most cases you either had a club that pointed a camera down to the stage for live show footage or you had a friend in the crowd standing by the sound board to film you straight on as you did your set.

The video presented here is pretty much what I just described and as result is very poor with the visual quality and sadly with the audio as well. You get a feint idea about the group in concert but with the garbled audio parts and a dismal visual it is quite difficult to enjoy and at time arduous to sit through. The only people who would find an upside in this level of film would be locked to their diehards who would have most likely never had access to it beforehand. Had the DVD ended here I would have given this a lower rating but the films saving grace comes from the bonus features and the audio CD that is also included. The bonus features include interviews that were done recently with all of the members of the band and it’s tied together as a sort of band history with commentary that is very interesting when taken for what it is. They discuss their beginnings as a group and how they all met up, wrote tunes and eventually did their tours and secured their deal. They talk about life on the road and there are some hilarious recollections about the bands touring bus and how they came to own it. They also discuss the loss of a member and how sad it still makes them for this individual is no longer on this plane of existence. We also find out about their reunion touring and recording plans and how they all don’t care much about the fame aspect at this point and are more interested in just recording some more music together and hope that friends and fans would also enjoy it. A timeline photo gallery closes out the bonus features on the DVD.

The band in 2007 is comprised of Mickey Finn, Billy Rowe, Jeff Moscone, Michael Butler and Fernie Rod and for those unaware of the cast involved this is largely the original membership of the group along with some newer members who worked with the band American Heartbreak (a Hard Rock outfit formed by Billy Rowe and Michael Butler after Jet Boy went on their hiatus). Overall this ended up being a pretty interesting release to watch and it had some cool highlights that I didn’t expect of it. It’s primarily for those who were entrenched in the band’s comings and going but in some cases it is also a solid enough piece for any fan of the big hair eighties and who remembers the key players from any wave during this point in music history.

Audio CD: Little Teaser, In The Alley, Don’t Mess With My Hair, Car Sex, On The Lips, Fire In My Heart, Bad Disease, Quick Draw, Losin’ Streak, Cut Me Down, Feel The Shake (1987), White Rock Devil, High Gear, Bullfrog Pond, Moonlight, Groove Tube, Crank It Up, Slowgrind, Folsom Prison Blues, Feel The Shake (2007), In The Alley (1991).

*** Presented in the order that they were released we get the bands entire run of demo recordings and truth be told this is a great little bit of archeology to have dug up for the eighties music historian. As a group, Jetboy was not a bad band but like many others from this time period they didn’t reach the plateau that some of their fellow groups managed to achieve. With their demos we get to see how they progressed over the years and there is a lot of cool stuff to listen to here. We also get two newer tracks from the band. We have seen bands releasing their demos with more frequency recently and as a music fan I would like to see this trend continue. The real fans don’t care about the high end audio on such primitive recordings and instead just want to hear how their favorite group began.

Track Listing:
1. Fire In My Heart
2. Car Sex
3. Rockin’ And Reelin’
4. Quick Draw
5. Shout It Out
6. Cut Me Down
7. Bad Disease
8. In The Alley
9. Little Teaser
10. Don’t Mess With My Hair
11. (If You Don’t Wanna Fuck Me Baby) Fuck Off!!

Official Website: www.jetboyrocks.com

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