“Nothin’ But A Good Time: The Uncensored History of the ’80’s Hard Rock Explosion” by Tom Beaujour & Richard Bienstock – Book Review

It took me a long time to finally get to this book as I’ve had it a long while, but life kept getting in the way. When I was on vacation a few weeks back, I was bound and determined to finish this book and man was it a great read. The 80’s Hard Rock Explosion is the music scene I grew up with and is what I am most passionate about so this book was a no-brainer for me. This book was written by journalists Tom Beaujour who was co-founder of Revolver magazine and Richard Bienstock who was a senior editor for Guitar World magazine plus he has been published in Rolling Stone and New York Times. Both very accomplished writers.

These guys go back to the beginning even before the Sunset Strip music scene and we find out what was really happening and how things got started. The craziness, the sex, the drugs, the rock & roll all here in full uncensored glory. There are so many fascinating stories and I loved learning about the musical chairs between band members in the early days with Jake E. Lee jumping from one band to another, Warren DeMartini possibly playing with a band other than Ratt and just who was in Guns N Roses first and who wasn’t….it was so much to keep up with and a blast to read about. There are a cast of characters chapter showing all the people that were interviewed and quoted and it was 7 pages long. If they were part of the scene, they are in here from Steven Adler to Zakk Wylde and everything in between.

There were so many bands coming out of the woodworks back in those days, but it is surprising how few actually did make it. You get the very beginnings of all your favorite bands from that time, Great White, Motley Crue, Stryper, L.A. Guns, Faster Pussycat, Skid Row, Cinderella, Trixter to only name a handful. I loved learning about how each got famous and all the troubles that were there from the beginning and up to the end. And the discussions are from the band members themselves, the managers, the record guys, photographers and anyone else on the scene and involved, no stone left unturned.

Each chapter focused on either a band or a particular topic on the subject matter. I thought it was fascinating to learn that there were only two costume designers that all the bands were using which explained why they all looked a like. And then understanding that Grunge didn’t really kill the 80’s rock scene, it was the final nail in the coffin that was already imploding in on itself. They explore all the reasons why it died and it all makes sense. And it was all wrapped up in a nice bow where the 80’s rock scene is still alive and thriving today as bands are touring like crazy and making even more money than they did back in the day. Nice to see a happy ending after such a brutal and quick death back in the early 90’s.

This is truly a fantastic book to read and I loved every quote, every page, every picture and every story told. It is a history lesson on the 80’s rock scene told by the people that were there. If this was offered as a college course, I would’ve taken it!! My Overall Score is a 5.0 out of 5.0 Stars as it is a real page turner. Although you might now a lot of what went on over the years, it was never told like this and there is a lot you don’t know that they spill. Now go get a copy!!

17 thoughts on ““Nothin’ But A Good Time: The Uncensored History of the ’80’s Hard Rock Explosion” by Tom Beaujour & Richard Bienstock – Book Review

  1. Correct score and such a stellar read. They did there homework in getting guys like Vito Brat and the back stories in this book are so good. I need to reread this book after the Corbabi one . Great stuff Sir

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very cool. I’ve often wondered about this: “understanding that Grunge didn’t really kill the 80’s rock scene, it was the final nail in the coffin that was already imploding in on itself.” Glad to know some agree!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes and No. The genre was dying out already before Grunge came along as there were too many bands, all looked and sounded the same. They were basically killing themselves. Grunge helped pull the trigger.

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  3. I was under the impression that the record labels saturated the airwaves so much that the music became horribly derivative.

    In Metal, A Headbanger’s Journey, many of the bands complained about record labels needing a dozen mini Warrants, mini Ratts, etc.

    And yes, you need to read this book. The stories in there are great.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are right. It was the oversaturation of bands, same sound, same look. It was starting to die off…Grunge came along and just finished it off. They aren’t fully to blame for it ending.

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