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How to Be a Buttrocker

Updated on January 25, 2010

First, Some Background on Buttrock

The first time I heard the term buttrock I instantaneously knew the precise genre of rock and roll the speaker was referring to, and found myself amused by everything such a terse description could encapsulate.

While in the last 15 years the term has definately jumped out of "slang" and into the lexicon of mainstream folks in the US, i became aware here in South America while speaking with a younger Brit, that the term is not universally known.  Therefore a definition is in order.

"Buttrock" as defined here is the genre of music made famous during the 1980's.  The genesis of the name has to do, perhaps, with the bank members' insistence on wearing (alternatively) insanely tight fitting jeans (or when that wasn't tight enough, spandex pants), or the lead singers' tendencies to shake their butt in the camera of a music video

Perhaps because of the simultaneous rise of MTV during this same time-frame much of the trite, cliche, guitar licks, bass lines, hair-dos, outfits, gestures to the camera (during a video), meaningless explosions, fire, downpours, and aforementioned booty shaking (see David Lee Roth).

In rare cases where band members were not UGLY enough to be considered a true butt rock band, the members of the band would apply copious layers of aussie sprunching spray to their hair and (at times) poorly applied makeup to accentuate their ugliness

Despite the inanity of it all, butt rock reached commercial, if not critical, success in the late 80's and 1987's top selling album was by non-other than Bon Jovi -- accomplished butt rockers -- even if failing on the "ugly" criteria.

Dee Snider and Twisted Sister Quintisential Buttrockers

Makeup and shoulder pads top off this ensemble
Makeup and shoulder pads top off this ensemble

Some Examples of Buttrock

Perhaps the easiest way to appreciate the buttrock attitude, way of life, and be able to properly categorize buttrock during a rare siting int the wild is by goin through some video examples from some of our favorite buttrock bands.

We will start our interactive study of buttock rock by looking at perhaps the quintisential buttrockers, twisted sister

Makeup? check.

Big Hair? check.

tight pants? check.

Ugly? double check.

Inane lyrics? check.

Sparkly stuff coming up off snare drum? (you guessed it, check.)

Poison -- Taking it to another Level


Later ButtRockers

Perhaps the buttrockers that annoyed me the  most was the band Poison.

By the time Poison pranced its way onto the stage, the whole makeup, big hair, and air kisses to the camera and hackish guitar licks were completely played out.

The music producers bet that no one would notice as long as they had a candy apple green guitar though....and, you know what, they were right.  Poison went onto commercial success extraordinaire.Makeup? check.

Big Hair? check.

tight pants? check.

Ugly? double check.

Inane lyrics? check.

air kisses and sexual inuendo with the mic stand? (you guessed it, check.)


ButtRockers with Talent

Surpise Suprise, some buttrockers actually had talent.

Of course, it didn't matter because a one note bass line and some spandex was really all it took...but victims of the times they were forced to hide their talent behind some spandex and flying V guitars.

Ugly? check.

Spandex? check.

Big hair?  where it wasn't falling out, check.

Talent?  Amazing.

Scorpions, Buttrockers with some Talent

Finally, The Answer: How to Become a Buttrocker

 Undoubtedly, some misguided retro movement will bring back the atrociousness of buttrock style to haunt us all.

For one inclined to jump on this trend ahead of time, some preparation is in order.

1.) grow out your hair? (don't worry if it's falling out)

2.) stuff your butt into some spandex.

3.) learn to play guitar, or if not possible, learn how to play one note bass line (A's or G's are preferred)

4.) raid mom's or sister's makeup

practice wiggling your butt in the camera.


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