A few weeks ago, Cole Graham, the singer for Maryville glam-metal revivalists Gun*Slinger, complained that the band has had a hard time convincing people that they're not just playing cover songs. "It's been frustrating trying to shake the stigma that we're a tribute band, when what we're trying to do is make original hair metal in the 2000s," he said.
The band called it quits back in January, in part because of that consistent misconception. They got back together this summer, but their reintroduction to the local scene hasn't been smooth so far—the band's performance at Irish Times Pub & Restaurant in Turkey Creek last Friday ended abruptly when the bar's owner, Jon Ferrie, stopped the band halfway through their scheduled four-hour set. Ferrie paid them $200, but canceled their Saturday night show.
Ferrie says Gun*Slinger's sleazy Sunset Strip shredding wasn't what he expected. "I had no idea they were a hardcore heavy-rock '80s band," he says. "When you hear ‘'80s hair band,' you expect Soft Cell or something."
Ferrie says he'll be more careful about the bands he books for weekends in the future. Graham says he should have been better prepared this time.
"He asked us to do something completely different from what we do," Graham says. "He wanted us to do Duran Duran or something. I told him, ‘We're a rock 'n' roll band, that's not our forte.'"
For his part, Ferrie says he'd still book the band if circumstances were different. "When they started playing the bar was at 100 percent capacity," he says. "When they started the second set it was 20 percent capacity. ... I told them, ‘You guys are dynamite; you're very talented. If I had a different venue where I promoted you as you, a hardcore '80s hair band, I'd pack the place out. But right now it's Friday night at Irish Times and it's just not happening.'"