Nothin’ But A Good Time – Justin Quirk


Within a 12-month timeframe, there were releases not one, not even two but three books about the Hair Metal movement and the Hard Rock sound. Quite impressive, ain’t it? The birth, rise and commercial decline of a genre that first entered the lives of the unsuspecting US citizens 40 years ago and reigned supreme for a whole decade. So, after the sensational “Nothing But A Good Time” (Beaujour & Biestock) and the really good “The Rise, Fall and the Rebirth of Hair Metal” (Christopher Hilton) (both of which have been reviewed on Rockpages), we bought Quirk’s book that bears the same name as the one by Beaujour & Biestock although it should be noted that it was printed and released before the latter book.

Unfortunately, Quirk’s effort is a rather uninspired one and the final result leaves you under the impression that the writer has only a superficial relationship and grasp of the genre while throughout the book you can’t help but noticing a disturbing “snobby” view on the US hard rock music. In addition, Quirk surely follows the traditional horizontal timeline style of writing but in doing so he includes many unnecessary bands that have absolutely nothing to do with the Hair Metal movement. Also, some trivia info is surely welcome but only when it serves its purpose and not to further underline the aforementioned snobby outlook on things. Nevertheless, Quirk has done his homework and he is pretty accurate when it comes down to dates and facts but this…google approach only shows that the writer is not really a fan of the genre and naturally he doesn’t have a close and tight bond with the hard rock sound…at least not the commercial hard rock sound of the 80s. He chooses to include only the…usual suspects, the most famous bands and albums but even then he still has that underestimating view on some classic releases of the genre.

Some will say that this kind of writing is the perfect vehicle for an objective look on things. I beg to differ. When it comes to music and art in general, you have to be a fan of the genre and have a close bond with it so as to depict perfectly the…who, when, where and why of a musical movement. Quirk might be a good writer but he fails in capturing the essence of the hair metal movement. It’s a hit and miss…