Just The Alternative Facts, Ma’am

Okay, so here’s some alternative facts about me:

I’m 6’6″, 255 lbs with long wavy hair. I can bench press 455 lbs and can dead lift 575 lbs. I own 40,000 acres of land and I’m what you’d call a gentleman farmer. I dedicate 30,000 acres to growing produce that I give away free to those that need it. The other 10,000 acres I use as miniature schnauzer farms where I make sure the endangered miniature schnauzer can repopulate so they can one day take their rightful place as supreme leaders of Terra. When I was 15 years old I was a roadie for a Christian rock/funk band called Lovewar. My great-grandfather owned a record shop on Hollywood and Vine and hit it big in California oil fields in the 60s and for a short time I was the lead guitarist for the 80s rock band Cinderella.

Since alternative facts don’t have to be factual, I’m standing by each and every one of those, umm, facts. Okay, okay, you got me. I wasn’t ever the lead guitarist for Cinderella, but I sure did dig that first album Night Songs.

Night Songs came out in 1986 and I remember getting the cassette right around Christmas break of that year. That previous summer I’d gone through both an AC/DC and Aerosmith awakening(the AC/DC phase continues to this day), so when I first heard “Shake Me” I was instantly reminded of both the Australian crew and the Boston crew. Cinderella seemed to be pulling from both of those bands and making a rather unique and heavy sound all their own. While most bands of the day were more about the European side of metal, pulling heavily from the NWOBHM, Cinderella seemed rather content to pull from earthier roots. Now at 12 years old I wasn’t really looking at it that deeply. I was just thinking “I like this.”

I’d yet to get into true heavy metal, speed metal, or even anything that would remotely be considered alternative. At just the cusp of becoming a teenager I just wanted music that was visceral, loud, and could maybe occasionally pull on the old teen heartstrings. Night Songs covered it all, really. Opening track “Night Songs” was like a cross between “Hells Bells” and “Mama Kin”. It was this doomy track that appealed to the working class dude. Of course I wasn’t a working class dude. But my older brother was. I’d see him come home from working 3rd shift, beaten down and wore out and the only thing that made him feel good was noodling on his electric guitar in his bedroom and cranking up some music on the stereo. In that way I got it. “Drinking gasoline”…yeah, that’s what hard working long hairs do, man. Cool. Of course then you have “Shake Me”, the naughty hit single with the video where hot women dance sexily making teen boys awkward and uncomfortable in a good way. Things are starting to get re-wired in your brain when you hit 13. Girls become something to pine for, not run away from. In all honesty, I never went through a “girls are icky” phase. I’ve always been a fan. I had a crush on a young lady from when we were in pre-school clear to the 4th grade when she finally moved away. Always a lover, not a fighter. So when you come across a song like “Nobody’s Fool” and you have your first real heartbreak, it’s a combination that creates hours of feeling sorry for yourself in your bedroom as the song plays on and on and on.

cintwoI think the one thing I’ve noticed going back and re-listening to this album after years is that it’s still a pretty solid album. So many albums of this ilk were loaded with filler that surround one or two good tracks between two sides. While Night Songs isn’t a classic, it’s a solid listen all the way through. Songs like “Nothin’ For Nothin'”, “Hell On Wheels”, and “Somebody Save Me” aren’t just cushion to fill out sides. They’re damn good tunes. Also going back and revisiting these guys I’ve come to the conclusion that Cinderella was a band that would’ve rather always stuck to jeans and t-shirts, much like Tesla did for their entire career. They seemed like a working class rock band that bent to the current Sunset Strip trends of raiding your sister’s closet and hitting the stage at the Whiskey-A-Go-Go. There’s some glammy strut in a song like “In From The Outside”, sure. But Tom Keifer seems like a guy that could hold his own in a bar fight. “Push Push” is pulling heavy from some serious AC/DC vibes. A nice mix of the Young brothers with some naughty Sunset Strip vibes. “Back Home Again” ends it all with a tip of the hat to Aerosmith’s “Nobody’s Fault”. A good head basher to end things on.

Maybe I might be regressing a bit hitting up all these old albums from my youth. That’s possible. One blogger pal even said as much. This may be true. Or maybe it’s an alternative fact. Or maybe it’s part truth and alternative fact. I will say this, Night Songs is still a pretty solid record after 30 years. Cinderella went the way of blues rock after this album and had a pretty monumental hit with “Don’t Know What You Got(Till It’s Gone)”. I liked Long Cold Winter enough. There were still plenty of girls to break my teenaged heart, so the big ballads and bluesy rockers were a welcomed reprieve from reality. But it didn’t keep my attention quite like that first time around.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some miniature schnauzers to attend to and some compact cars to lift over my head and toss like mere twigs.

28 thoughts on “Just The Alternative Facts, Ma’am

  1. I wish the alternate facts were true. I want to live in the world with a Schnauzer farm. That’s how I want the universe to be.

    Never bought this album! Don’t even fully know why! I love the hits.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Someday, with my winnings from winning the Mr. Universe contest 5 years in a row, I will open my schnauzer farm. You and the wife are welcomed to come stay at ‘Das Schnauzer Farmen’ anytime.

      You really should own this one, man. It’s solid all the way through.


      1. Which — that I love Schnauzers or that I don’t own this album? If you recall, Uncle Meat advised that Cinderella can lead to a case of the “ear f*ckies”.

        As for Schnauzers?

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Great album and great post. I am gullible so I believe each and everyone of your Alternative Facts! I think I am with you on regressing a bit as I have picked up so many albums from my youth on vinyl over the last year. It is crazy…well my wife thinks it is crazy.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Wait… so you weren’t the guitarist in Cinderella?

    I have Metal Health, which is a pretty fine album. I’ll check this one out… even if there is a danger of ear fuckies.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great introduction by tying current events into your love of metal. One of the problems with music is that everything is divided into subgenres that it gets to the point of being ridiculous. Labeling things helps to define something, but the music industry slices and dices music genres needlessly. If you have the time could you check out my blog and tell me what you think.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I think I’ve got about 10 years on you and must admit to having been an absolute prig when it came to these early days of hair metal. I don’t think I’ve ever purposely listened to Cinderella until this post! I have gotten over myself in midlife however and have gone back to find some really good times in the era’s offerings. That “Nobody’s Fool” is a sugar-coated blast!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. One of my closest friends is 10 years older than me and I’d have to say he’s pretty much like you. He skipped the hair metal thing. I think it’s the age thing, honestly. When you’re college age in the 80s the last thing you want to listen to is androgynous dudes singing about getting f****d up and trying to get some tail. My older brother is 6 years older than me and by 1985 I think he was done with it as well. He was hitting up the Doors, Zeppelin, and speed metal.

      There’s a handful of albums worth hitting up from that era. For the most part they’re shite.


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