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The Independent Critic

Ron Keel, Steve Blaze, Eddie Trunk, Kyle Kruger, Steve McClure
Steve McClure
107 Mins.

 "Hair I Go Again" a Heavy Metal Fantasy Come to Life  

Be honest.

You've had the fantasy. If you were a child of the 80's, you've definitely had the fantasy. Even if you're like me, a paraplegic/double amputee who sits in a wheelchair and lacks anything resembling musical talent, you've had the fantasy.

Oh yeah. You know it. Just admit it.

How much would you be willing to sacrifice to really chase down that dream?

Think about it.

A good night's sleep? That's easy.

A social life? That's a given.

Job stability? Yeah, that might hurt a bit.

What if you had to truly lay everything on the line to make your dreams come true?

Would you do it?

In 1985, friends Steve McClure and Kyle Kruger were miles away from the debauchery of Sunset Strip with fresh perms and golden dreams of glam rock grandeur. Alas, as is true for the vast majority of rock n' roll dreamers, rock n' roll stardom wasn't to be and it wasn't too long before the band imploded.

Fast forward thirty years.

You might call it a mid-life crisis. You might call it a desperate last ditch effort for one last chance.

Call it what you will. At an age where most are settling down or settling in, McClure and Kruger cashed in their 401k's and maxed out their credit cards in an effort to reclaim the magic they'd once felt by trying to reunite their band and chase their dreams of rock n' roll stardom.

First and last chances happen only once.

This time, McClure and Kruger absolutely went for it.

Hair I Go Again, an indie documentary about friendship, dreams that never die, hope that never fades, the creative spirit that simply can't be squelched, and the fear of failure that so often keeps us from ever truly achieving our greatest successes. A film that is, at least at times, as narcissistic as they both observe it to be, Hair I Go Again isn't actually a narcissistic film, in fact it really couldn't be given how much of the film both McClure and Kruger struggle with the basic question of "Am I talented enough to really do this?", but there's something wonderfully endearing about two men nearing middle-age who are willing to risk everything they are and everything they have to feel that almost indescribable something that only those who've ever truly gone for it can possibly understand.

There is a spirit in Hair I Go Again that defies description. Directed by McClure, Hair I Go Again possesses such a relentless authenticity and honesty that it would be nearly impossible to watch the film without rooting for the two to achieve some semblance of their dreams even as they face obstacle after obstacle ranging from resistant former band members to serious financial issues to their own housing instability and so much more. These things, these obstacles, they aren't presented dramatically but in a way that simply unfolds and makes you realize that behind the glam and the shine of successful rock n' roll bands you very often have these bands who are giving up everything for just one shot.

Some get it. Some don't.

The music in Hair I Go Again, mostly supplied by Xander Demos and Kruger, serves as the perfect companion to the film's journey through the duo's experiences along with a wealth of interviews from some of the biggest and most well known names from 80's metal and glam rock including Ron Keel, Steve Blaze of Lillian Axe, Frank Hannon of Tesla, Brent Muscat of Faster Pussycat, Frank Bello of Anthrax, Phil Campbell of Motorhead, Erik Turner of Warrant, Frankie Banali of Quiet Riot, Ryan Roxie of Alice Cooper, Jimmy D'Anda of Bulletboys, Johnny Lee Middleton of Savatage and Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Kristy Majors of Pretty Boy Floyd, Oz Fox from Stryper, Helix's Brent Doerner, Jeff Pilson of Foreigner and Dokken and so many more.

Heck, there's even a terrific appearance by Indy faves Nova Rex including Kenny Wilkerson, Eddie Cruise and Jp Cervoni who themselves have experienced a career renewal following release of a doc based upon their own experiences called Nova Rex: Ain't Easy Bein' Cheesy.

Hair I Go Again is a terrific doc for anyone actually contemplating diving in to the music scene. While the film is relentlessly spirited, McClure also keeps things honest and we see, sometimes in painful fashion, just how close to the edge these two are forced to live and, quite honestly, the incredibly frightening risks they take in chasing their dreams.

There are times, fortunately fleeting, when Hair I Go Again drags just a bit but there's also something admirable about McClure's willingness to focus the camera on the mundane, the nitty gritty, the little moments when everything seems impossible and the spirited fights that can sometimes lead to the greatest successes.

Scheduled for a March 10th release, Hair I Go Again is the kind of film that will be easily pegged as a heavy metal documentary. In reality, it's so much more. Hair I Go Again envelopes you in the world of heavy metal, but even more importantly it invites you into the world of two disarmingly compelling men who are both the guys next door and the guys you always wanted to be. With equal doses of hearty humor and heartfelt authenticity, Hair I Go Again may very well have you wiping the dust off that instrument in the attic and reliving the days when you sat in front of the mirror asking yourself "What if?"

So, what would you do? Would you risk everything for your first chance? Your last chance?

Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic