A dark and ominous cloud had settled upon the music industry in the late 1970’s. The rain sang of devils, demons and monsters. It was loud, and hard and fast. It had no time for fashion, or even interest in clothing. It was dirty. It was unkempt and it began to manifest itself into the male dominated music scene of the day. It was called heavy metal.
Exactly what is a happy trail anyway?
The 1970’s were a hairy decade. It was the decade of the full bush, the full beard, and the mustache. I can’t help but wonder if razors were even invented all the way back then. The bands of the day didn’t care what they looked like, what mattered was the music. If you ask google, and many of you do, you’ll find pictures of 1970’s musicians in bell bottom jeans, with long bushy hair-dos, and often an open button down shirt. It is that button down shirt that gets our attention at the moment, or at least the exposed skin underneath. That is where you’ll find the happy trail, a trail of hair leading all the way down to…
When it was the music that mattered:
In 1970’s the influential progressive rock band Deep Purple switched over to a heavier sound, earning them a seat in the “Unholy Trinity” of British hard rockers. Through intense guitar solos, amplified distortion and a kind of raw, unadulterated masculinity Deep Purple became a staple in the collection of every hard rock radio station around the world.
The Unholy Trinity of British Hard Rock Bands
- Black Sabbath
- Led Zeppelin
- Deep Purple
Heavy Metal Fashion:
Visual imagery has often played a defining role in music through the years. Even for heavy metal bands who appear to be unruly, unorganized and unkempt. In the early years there really was only one defining characteristic of all heavy metal musicians: hair, and lots of it. Hair so long that it pours down to the middle of the back.
As the genre developed, and the years passed heavy metal fans would see off shoot genres come to pass like glam metal. Big hair, lots of make- and glitter. Yes. Glitter. Even through all the make up the music remained the same. Hard, fast and loud. Bands like Led Zeppelin, Judas Priest and Black Sabbath kept it simple, long hair and leather. Kiss and Twisted Sister in the early 80’s on the other hand brought a bit more to the show with their giant boots and painted faces. Whatever package the music is dressed in, the fans of the genre are recognizable around the world.
In a world where pop music is over processed, and over rated, where fashion takes priority over lyrics, one might miss the value that a dirty, long haired, hard core rock and roller brings to world. Expression of emotion, thought and ideas through sound, that’s what music is about.
And long hair.
And happy trails.