Song Of The Day 4/13/2012: Nitro - "Freight Train"

I have a little back story on this one. Way back in 1994 this cassette tape found its way into the KAOS studios. I believe Ian Jensen introduced me to this band, but it could have been Jeff Cleaves or Matt Johnston. I'm pretty sure it was Ian. It was, if not the most extreme hair metal I'd ever heard, then definitely the most extreme falsetto metal ever sung.

It left an impression upon me, but not one so indelible that I could remember the name of the band. The last 18 years have seen me trying in vain to describe the band's sound in the hopes that one of my headbanging associates would go, "Oh, yeah! That was ______!"

Then, the other day, I posted on my Facebook status asking for suggestions for artists who sang in falsetto, because my new son Johnny seems to enjoy it when I sing things like Lou Christie, the Bee Gees, Leo Sayer, all those other guys who sang in a girly voice. He is pretty aware it's a joke (as much as an eight-week old kid can be, but c'mon, he's a Pearson, we crack jokes like sunflower seeds), and it delights him to no end. He attempts to sing along. So I thought I'd ask for input.

My friend Andy Lewis suggested Nitro. And the minute I saw that, my eyes lit up. The gears in my recall maxed out. I drooled a little. "Holy shit - that's the band I was trying to remember!" For the past 18 years.

I found their music online and confirmed - yes, Nitro was the band on that cassette tape. I then found the video for their "hit" "Freight Train." Falsetto and cheap Freudian imagery is not all Nitro had going for 'em. Wait until you see the greatest guitar ever invented, as played by Michael Angelo (actual name!), at about the 2:20 mark. I always wondered what George Lucas did with those leftover scale-model X-Wing fighters from Star Wars. Now I know.

And if this isn't the most extreme hair metal I've ever heard, Jim Gillette's* voluminous coif is at least the most extreme hair in hair metal I've ever encountered. I mean, just look at it. It's huge.

Warrant could have used it for rehearsal space, that's how huge it is.

You could stash Nitro's cash revenue for years in that hair, and then later on, other members of Nitro would sue the hair for unpaid royalties. What I'm saying is, that hair is pretty fuckin' huge.

You could hide a piece of Jarlsberg cheese in that hair and put four rats in there to find it. Three days later, the rats would emerge from the hair and would have to be hospitalized for "exhaustion."

That is some big, big hair.

I love that we live in a society where this kind of endeavor is encouraged, welcomed and celebrated. Just watch this thing. This really happened.

*(Fun fact: Jim Gillette was married to Lita Ford for a long time. They acrimoniously separated last year after Gillette allegedly "brainwashed" their sons into attacking Ford and claiming it was her fault.)

(Fun fact II: Gillette is now bald.)
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