Do you remember Helix?
It’s okay if you don’t. They were Canada’s answer to…Dokken, I guess. The band actually started in the early 70s but didn’t really get cooking until 1983 when they ditched their denim-on-denim look for studs and leather and scored their first big hit with the kinda-great-but-mostly ridiculous guitar anthem “Heavy Metal Love.” They hopped the money train from there and rode the glam metal wave for the next decade or so, touring with everyone from KISS to Aerosmith to Alice Cooper to Rush. But they were always considered tamer than a lot of their contemporaries, even with the requisite druggy bass player problems. So when the next album, 1984’s Walkin’ On the Razor’s Edge rolled around, they decided to go full-tilt porno. How’s that for edgy? Not even Mötley Crüe made videos with underage porn stars.
They were different times, man.
Around that time, Playboy’s cable channel was commissioning nudity-laced cuts of music videos to show between whatever softcore bullshit they were airing at night. Power-popper Dwight Twilley’s 1984 clip for “Girls” is probably Playboy’s most well-known music video, featuring a bunch of Playboy bunnies recreating the teen sex comedy classic Porky’s, but they also made a racy R-rated version of the already iffy video for Helix’s cover of Crazy Elephant’s “Gimme Gimme Good Lovin’.” Both the MTV and the Playboy cut of the video features a satire of the Miss America contest called “Miss Rock Fantasy” starring Slumber Party Massacre star Brinke Stevens and (ahem) a sixteen-year-old Traci Lords. And yeah, she’s topless. Even by 80s hard rock standards, it’s pretty tasteless. Not surprisingly, even the PG version was banned from most cable channels. It ultimately found a home on the dayglo lycra-abusing porno Electric Blue 26.
Naturally, it’s a “big box” VHS.
Helix frontman Brian Vollmer was interviewed by cable TV culture vultures Night Flight about the video. He admitted it was probably too much.
“Uh, looking back on it, in hindsight, it probably was sexist and we’re tending to get away from that.”
And then he went right back to signing some groupies’ boobs.
This is how rock n’ roll looked before they invented emo.
Below, the PG, safe for work (if it was still 1985) version. If you (really) want the raunchier one, it’s on YouTube, That’s all I’m gonna tell you.
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Traci Lords’ new Women in Prison-cum-Sharksploitation flick: ‘Sharkansas Women’s Prison Massacre’