The L.A. Metal Scene

Robert Hilburn, Patrick Goldstein, anyone who’ll listen: I muddled my way through Cary Darling’s article on Glam-Rock in L.A. (“Headbangers’ Haven,” Dec. 6).

I say “muddled” because I never really figured out the point.

The statistics were impressive, but not news. The history was interesting, but not news.

Then Darling asked a key but contrived question: “Yet the question remains as to why the scene is so endemic to Los Angeles and why so much of the movement is dominated by the ‘pretty boy’ or glam-influenced style that is so often sneered at by fans of traditional and speed metal.”


Without ever answering the question, the rest of the article uses phrases and quotes such as “sexually ambiguous” and “a guy in makeup and fish nets, whether they be on his legs or arms, is a lot less intimidating sexually to a teen-age girl than your basic jock . . . then the guys go there because the girls are there.”


Come on now, Cary Darling and Calendar. It’s the late 1980s. Spit it out, in print. Use that one simple three-letter word: glam-funk is hot in Los Angeles because openly gay is in.

The words aren’t just “tacky, trashy, femme"; “pretty boy"; “a guy in make-up and fishnets.” The word your article dug a hole around is “gay.”


Darling’s question--"why the scene is so endemic to Los Angeles"--has a simple answer for any young person who’s been to any of the dozens of glam-funk clubs--openly gay, lesbian or openly anything else is endemic to the L. A. club scene of 1987.

This is not true anywhere else in the world.


Los Angeles