The thriving modern music scene in Albuquerque started around 1979. The first wave of bands featured a handful of glam metal groups, most of which never made it out of the local bars. That scene would peak in 1988 with the national success of Femme Fatale. A local band that went to Hollywood, got signed to a record deal, made it onto MTV and national radio before suddenly breaking up. Gypsy Rose lead singer Billy Sunday (after changing his name to Billy Brooke) would make his mark on the Hollywood metal scene fronting metal rockers Tragic Romance. Local musician Michael Goodroe would find success as the bass player for Martha Davis and The Motels. Drummer Randy Castillo, a veteran of the local scene earned worldwide fame playing with Ozzy Osbourne, Lita Ford and Motley Crue.
Across the nation rock music was changing, Albuquerque would soon be engulfed by this wave of change. It was 1989 and Nirvana was leading the grunge stampede into the recording studios and unto the music charts. Across the country the indie rock scene was spreading like wildfire, that combined with the ascent of grunge rock made this the most prolific of eras for rock music. The age of genres was also upon us, metal, death metal, industrial, brit goth, punk, post punk, grunge, techno, house, rap, hip hop, classic rock, modern rock, alternative rock…ad nauseam. Nothing was clear cut and simple anymore, the new bands were complicated, lead singers were the moody, angst ridden products of neglect and poor parenting, all hell bent on self destruction (ok! so that part hadn’t changed much) But the real difference was in the music, gone were the songs of debauchery and self indulgence that the hair farmers had hoisted up as anthems for the addle headed masses. Almost overnight the intelligence quota of American rock went up, along with the decibels. Cherry Pie had been replaced by dark brooding tales of woe from the outcasts of the popular cliques in high school.