Recent news of VH1 dropping 'That Metal Show' is not good at all...yes we still have podcasts galore (none better than Eddie Trunk's own) but the demise of 'TMS' got me thinking of better times and watching bands like GNR, Poison and Def Leppard on TV. Unfortunately due to failing memory (I'm 42 but at times feel a lot older) and disappearing brain cells (that would be the Guinness), I couldn't remember many of the shows in detail. Raw Power anyone?
In truth rock music has been criminally overlooked on the small screen. Considering that metal has the most loyal fans (according to Spotify at least) it would seem that television output has been minimal. Why make a rock program when the world doesn't quite have enough property shows yet? Yes I'm sure cost is a huge factor but surely there is a gaping hole in the market? How can there be channels dedicated to, amongst other things, buying a house, selling a house and renting a house, and not one for rock music...in particular heavy rock / metal. I'm not just talking about a show or channel showing endless videos (I gave up on 'Kerrang') but instead actual interviews with bands. That's what Eddie Trunk has done so well.
Everyone loves rock music...don't they? I guess it depends on your definition of rock and metal but the best selling live tours certainly seem to lean towards the more rockier side of music. Despite the lack of dedicated rock shows over the years what immediately came to mind when Eddie Trunk announced the cancellation of 'TMS', was a certain Vanessaa Warwick. Ah Vanessa, with your luscious blonde hair (colour could change regularly), bandanna and that twinkle in your eye, you got me through many a teenage night watching you present 'Headbanger's Ball'. If you were state side of course you may not be familiar with Vanessa. You had, the not so glamorous, Riki Rachtman on the original US version of the show. For me though, as a teenager discovering what my kind of music actually was, Vanessa guided me through potentially treacherous waters in the right direction...away from Kylie and Jason.
Beautiful, sexy, scary as hell, at times Vanessa interviewing technique bordered on the scatter gun approach, but she always got the bands to talk. Those pissed up rockers in denim jackets never failed in talking shite to Vanessa. In between the bull shit though she always got more out of them than most. They seemed to feel more at ease when speaking to her. Afterall she looked the part, married a rocker and more importantly she was usually the last person I thought of when I went to sleep in 1992.
I loved Headbanger's Ball. It was the only thing on TV that showed the music that I liked. I remember watching the show in the early nineties (a quick peek at Wikipedia tells me the European versions ran for seven years from 1990 until 1997). Certainly for the first four or five of those years I was an avid watcher (or rather I taped it on our VHS recorder and skipped through the thrash section and the bits with Nelson). How I miss those days. Glorious times when we actually got to see interviews with anyone who was anyone from the rock world..."Don't miss next week when we have an exclusive interview with Tyketto..." Heady times.
While writing this my curiosity got the better of me and I checked on line to see what Vanessa was doing these days. What was this power house of nineties rock music, the woman who interviewed Lemmy in a Strip Club, doing with herself in 2016? Working for a record company maybe? Presenting a rock show on radio somewhere in the world? Turns out she has her own property channel on You Tube with interviewees not quiet the same standard of Lemmy. Property channels...we really can't escape them.
Vanessa. It's time to ditch the property and get your rock back on. I need you. Eddie needs you. Dammit Vanessa...rock music needs you.