Glam Metal Runs Away
by Chuck Eddy | July 15, 2013
The great literary topic of '80s glam metal was not drugs or groupies or even hair, but tales of good girls and boys from the heartland running away to the Sunset Strip where they were confronted with scary drugs and hairy groupies. Guns N' Roses, early on, wrote almost nothing else, but they were far from the first band with hair even prettier than their groupies' to do it: Bon Jovi's first hit, in 1984 (when people really did still think they were a metal band for some reason), was actually titled "Runaway," and that very same year '70s glam holdovers Slade also hit with "Run Run Away."
Glam metal, remember, had been invented in the '70s, and bands like the New York Dolls (who even quote Del Shannon's "Runaway" at the end of "Lonely Planet Boy") and Alice Cooper ("runnin' through the world with a gun in my back" in "Caught in a Dream") were already singing about restlessness and escape way back then. So they're on this playlist, too, along with a handful of admittedly more-metal-than-glam bands (Angel Witch, Loudness, even Flipper!) addressing the topic, plus the possibly even-less-metal-than-Bon-Jovi Pat Benatar doing the theme from the 1985 runaway movie Legend of Billie Jean. But most of the the usual subjects show up, regardless: G'n'R, Poison, Skid Row, Warrant, Ratt, Tesla, Vixen, Lita Ford. Not to mention Lita's '70s band -- who, of course, were called The Runaways.