While we didn’t think the ’90s sucked the way Randy “The Ram” Robinson, Mickey Rourke’s battle-tested character in “The Wrestler,” thought they did, we have to admit taking more than a little joy laughing when Randy and his stripper love interest Cassidy extol the virtues of ’80s rock (“Like there’s something wrong with just wanting to have a good time,” indeed) while laying the blame for its death squarely at the feet of the late Kurt Cobain. And calling him a pussy for good measure.
Now, we like Nirvana, but there is more than a kernel of truth to what Randy is saying. Rock music, at least the music that cluttered the airwaves, wasn’t anywhere near as fun after grunge exploded, which has caused us to re-examine some of the bands from the ‘still allowed to enjoy yourself’ period of rock and see if our feelings have changed any about the quality of their work. The big winner, as it were: Motley Crue, and particularly “Kickstart My Heart.”
Sure, they stole the opening riff (the bit that comes after the sound of the guitar changing gears like a sports car) from Sweet and their song “Hell Raiser,” but no one outside of the UK (where “Hell Raiser” peaked at #2), knew or cared, and everything that followed that little bit of thievery was a full-blown adrenaline shot to, well, the heart, hence the title. Happy Friday, gents. Stay away from the zombie dust.