A Riff of One's Own

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Published by:
Beth Winegarner
Digest / 5.25" x 8.25"
28 pages Saddle-stitched
'80s metal, Feminism, gender, glam metal, hair metal, heavy metal, hysteria, music, queer, sexuality

It’s been decades since the heyday of Skid Row, Def Leppard and other popular metal bands of the 1980s, but some of us haven’t stopped thinking about them. In A Riff Of One’s Own, journalist and pop culture critic Beth Winegarner offers two new essays looking back at ‘80s glam/hair metal through a personal and sociological lens.

In “Finding my Queerness in Sebastian Bach’s Gold Pants,” Skid Row’s supermodel-esque frontman, along with other gorgeous pop-metal musicians, become signposts for adolescent queerness.

In “What Def Leppard’s ‘Hysteria’ Teaches Us About Actual Hysteria,” Winegarner explores Def Leppard’s decision to name its most popular album after a sexist diagnosis -- and comes closer to understanding both the album and hysteria itself.

These essays aren’t just for music fans; they’re for anyone interested in understanding how women are represented in pop music and medicine, and how musicians play with gender and sexuality.

A Riff of One's Own

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