With hair-metal legends(?) Ratt playing Warehouse Live this evening, Rocks Off decided we'd take a look back at the definitive document of that era of metal in Los Angeles: Penelope Spheeris' rockumentary The Decline Of Western Civilization II: The Metal Years.
Ratt isn't featured in the film, but plenty of the band's contemporaries are. Poison, Faster Pussycat, and W.A.S.P. perform, and legends like Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy Kilmister, Alice Cooper, members of KISS and a then-newly sober Aerosmith are interviewed. By far, KISS' Gene Simmons comes off as the most lascivious, almost lizard-like.
The best interview, other than the segments where Ozzy pontificates while making breakfast one afternoon, is W.A.S.P.'s Chris Holmes. He is shown pouring what is supposed to be vodka down his throat while his mother watches from poolside.
"Heavy metal saved rock and roll for the '80s" - Alice Cooper
"It doesn't matter what size your pencil is, it's how you write your name" - Dave Mustaine (Metallica/Megadeth)
"I'm just a drummer man, I don't bang my head. I beat off" - anonymous metal drummer
"If you think you got what it takes, shove it out, run it up the flagpole and see who salutes it" - Lemmy Kilmister
"Metal, dude! Fucking Metal! K-N-A-C!" - random metalhead
"If you're gonna bump into some chick and you just pulled into town, and she's gonna fuck you, you know she fucked everybody else from this star down" - anonymous bassist
"The best groupies are from Salt Lake City, and I've had them four at a time" - Chris Holmes
"I enjoy drinking, I just enjoy life. I'm the happiest son-of-bitch and motherfucker there ever was" - Holmes
"If you can tour one year it will take four years off your life. Four years, five. Haha!" - Holmes
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"I have a rule that chicks don't get in the house unless they have a sack of groceries with them" - hungry metalhead
"Our dicks get really hard for Gold Cards" - London
"Popes don't get laid and I do" - Gene Simmons
Released in 1988, Decline 2 was the middle installment of Spheeris' musical trilogy. 1981's The Decline of Western Civilization covered the late-'70s L.A. punk scene and featured the Germs and Fear, among others. 1998's The Decline of Western Civilization III chronicled squatters and crusty-punks still holding on to the DIY ethos to almost disastrous levels.