The Jetboy & The Sunset Strip Archive consists of 178 fliers, posters, handbills, press releases, and fan club mailers that are some of the best examples of graphic design in the Los Angeles Sunset Strip hair metal scene of the late 1980’s. Jetboy were a band that failed to find the fame and fortune that many of their peers did but not for lack of trying. They exemplified what others on the Sunset Strip were striving for but who became victims of over-saturation and shifts in culture towards the late 1980’s. Among the fliers included are bands who would go on to find success on MTV such as Poison, Damn Yankees, Faster Pussycat, Great White, Slayer, and Warrant billed in some of their earliest gigs alongside lesser known bands.
Heavily influenced by glam rock acts such as T-Rex, British heavy metal bands like Judas Priest, and the attitude and aesthetic of punk bands like The New York Dolls, hair metal or “sleaze metal”was a sub-genre that proliferated in Los Angeles along the historical Sunset Strip. Among the most well known bands in the scene were Mötley Crüe, Van Halen, L.A. Guns, and Poison. Misogynistic and irreverent, the hair metal bands embodied an ideal of excess in neo-capitalism unlike the punks before them, embracing mainstream record labels as a means to become rich and using the new vehicle of music video culture through outlets like MTV and Friday Night for exposure. Even before a band had been “discovered” it wasn’t only common, but necessary to put on the airs of being successful. In the Jetboy & The Sunset Strip Archive, the members of the bands are often depicted on fliers in full make-up and teased hair striking poses in spandex and leather jackets. As much about gimmick as it was talent, this archive helps shed light on the less documented bands that made up the Hollywood metal scene in the 1980’s.