1986: Unions and Splits

First of all, I must apologize for the fact that I’m slipping in my old age. I never gave the answer to my riddle on the Yngwie Malmsteen post, not that anyone came forward with a guess. So here it is:

Q. How many Yngwie Malmsteens does it take to change a light bulb?

A. Twenty-one. One to change the light bulb and the other twenty to find out how Ritchie Blackmore would have done it. Note, that riddle came courtesy of a die hard Blackmore fan.

Tommy Lee and Heather Locklear

For most people on both sides of the Atlantic, the big wedding in 1986 was the one between Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson. If only we knew back then what we know now about old Andy. However, for most metalheads, the big wedding of that year was the one between Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee and actress Heather Locklear.

What astounded me was all the animosity towards this union by all the mainstream media. The non-metal world was deeply resentful of the fact that a Hollywood beauty such as Heather was marrying a heavy metal musician. Some supposed know it alls claimed that Heather was being a rebel and trying to create more publicity for herself by marrying Tommy and many stated the marriage wouldn’t last a year. Even my favourite talk show host, David Letterman, poked fun at the couple by having a Heather Locklear- Tommy Lee marriage calendar of days one to fifty. Sorry Dave, their marriage lasted seven years, longer than a lot of celebrity marriages.

Tommy and Heather’s marriage wasn’t the only one involving a heavy metal musician to attract negative publicity. It seemed every other week in People Magazine, Eddie Van Halen’s marriage to actress Valerie Bertinelli was heading for the divorce courts. If not that, it was commenting on Val’s supposed heartache over not having a child. Of course, the ignorant blamed it on Eddie being some drug fueled metal musician which was preventing Valerie from conceiving, utter nonsense. Those idiots were proved wrong too.

Tony Iommi

Unfortunately, it wasn’t all happy times for metal musicians in 1986. The year also saw the engagement of Tony Iommi and Lita Ford come to an end. Remembering articles in metal mags at the time, Lita was quite reserved about things, stating that it was just one of those things. Since then, there have been reports that Tommy used to slap Lita around which makes me look at him in a whole different light. I still love his guitar skills but I don’t like the man so much anymore.

Even with all the open hostility towards heavy metal that was circulating throughout 1986, there were some happy moments where metalheads got to stick one to the anti-metal establishment. One thought, if news of Tommy’s treatment of Lita had made this news, the media would have used it to say that all heavy metal men are woman beaters, that was the sad case of things back then.

Next post: Triumph- The Sport of Kings

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

8 Responses to “1986: Unions and Splits”

  1. Wow! I remember this too as I was a teenager who kept up with all the rockers! And I’ve found that the same people who hated heavy metal? Some are listening to it today! How ironic! And pleasantly so!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Q. How many Yngwie Malmsteens does it take to change a light bulb?

    That was good! I read another one, I think Kim Mitchell said it. How many lead singers does it take to change a lightbulb? One and then they wait for the world to revolve around the.

    Liked by 1 person

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