DRIVIN, THEN CRYIN
One of the more interesting transitions of all time was when Drivin n Cryin -- a punk, then folk, then pop metal band of the late '80s and early '90s (actually still going) made a fluffy-haired metal video about ten minutes before Nirvana released 'Smells Like Teen Spirit.'
The video is an embarrassment now, even if the song doesn't sound as bad as it did for an audience clamoring for something outside the usual MTV rotation. But, with critics in their pocket, Kevin Kinney and company feathered the hair and went for the big hit, just as their gritty indie roots could have landed them more credibility with the charts, bigger labels and new fans. One of the bigger rock mistakes of all time.
I had a chance to talk with Kevin Kinney, the lead singer, about it just as the album Fly Me Courageous was released in 1991. He was a nice, thoughtful guy. Only 22, I snarkily compared it to Dokken -- I apologize, Kevin -- and got the following response to why the band went that way at what turned out to be exactly the wrong moment.
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