Baltimore hair bands, then and now [Pictures]
It, of course, did not last forever. Hammerjack's was torn down in 1997 and replaced with the M&T Bank Stadium parking lot. To some, the loss of the well-known club was the long-overdue final nail in the spandex. To others, such as Mannekin lead singer David VanLanding, Hammerjack's lives on as a memory for those lucky enough to have been there.
"Hammerjack's was to rock 'n' roll what Studio 54 was to disco," VanLanding said recently. "It will never, ever be duplicated. I miss it badly. Not in a boo-hoo sense; I'm just thanking God I was able to be apart of it."
Later this week, the '80s return to the area, for at least one night. Van Halen -- led by original lead singer David Lee Roth, with the familial trifecta of guitarist Eddie, his brother and drummer Alex and the six-string virtuoso's 21-year-old son, Wolfgang, behind him -- will play a sold-out show at Verizon Center on Wednesday. While no '80s bands from the Baltimore area reached Van Halen-levels of fame or success, some had videos on MTV, built large fan bases through touring and lived high on the crazy rock 'n' roll lifestyle.
To coincide with Van Halen's upcoming Washington tour stop, we checked in with members of the area's biggest bands from the '80s to see what everyone is up to now. -- By Wesley Case (@louder_now)
Kix -- then
In 1988, Kix released its fourth album, "Blow My Fuse," on Atlantic Records. It sold more than 1 million copies, giving lead singer Steve Whiteman the feeling Kix had "joined the big boys' club finally." After 18 months of touring in support of the album, the Hagerstown-based group expected a big check that never came. Kix released a few more albums, but once grunge invaded radio, it was time to retire Kix. "There was a new party in town and we weren't invited," Whiteman said. The band went on hiatus after 1995's "Show Business" failed to generate buzz or sales.