THAT Chris Holmes interview revisited

With former WASP guitarist Chris Holmes about to become the latest to join the celebrity reality TV circus, it’s as good a time as any to revisit the interview that made him more (in)famous than his music ever did. I remember seeing Decline Of Western Civilisation Part II at the time as a cowboy boot wearin’, hair sprayin’ teenage wannabe and I must admit my first thought was “wow, cool”.

Decline of Western Civilisation Part II makes a far more compelling case for being what killed off the Sunset Strip hair metal scene rather than grunge. Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam and co, just happened to be the next meaningful music scene to come along. Was it the likes of the guy from Wet Cherri holding a mirror up to the delusion that eventually got to us? If so, those wounds were self inflicted and slow rather than Kurt Cobain’s Fender Jaguar acting like some sort of rock n’ roll Excalibur. Ask anyone hanging out in rock clubs in the early 90s – we were just as happy to listen to Nirvana as we were to Motley Crue and that was a good 4 years after the documentary came out. I remember rock cover bands playing Enter Sandman, Smells Like Teen Spirit and Kickstart My Heart one after another and it never seemed in the least bit strange.

But years later as an adult that named his business after a Faster Pussycat song, it is Holmes calling himself a “piece of crap” and slurring his fooling-nobody statement that he’s “happiest son of bitch and motherf*cker there ever was” that resonates the most. Sure, we had a great time and I will always look back on the late 80s with great love, but unless you’re Robin Crosby or Razzle, we were all pretty lucky to escape in one piece.

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