Rainbow Keyboardist Claims Bands Like Mötley Crüe And Van Halen Killed Rock

In a recent interview with VintageRock Pod, Rainbow’s Tony Carey talked about his career and the 80s music scene. The rocker also expressed his views on how glam rock bands like Mötley Crüe and Van Halen ‘ruined’ the rock scene and why he believed MTV ‘killed’ rock music’s ‘mystique,’ stating:

“For me, it’s [rock and roll] all about the mystique, you know. And all of a sudden, you put cameras on people that aren’t actors, and it’s pretty much ridiculous. Then, it led to the inevitable – which is glam – put the David Lee Roth and guys that are actors and can wear spandex and Mötley Crüe.”

He continued by detailing his views on ‘glam:’

“Didn’t love it, hated it, got it out of there [80s rock scene] as soon as I could, and never went back. I didn’t like it at all. I mean, my idea of rock – I’m a 70s guy or even a 60s guy. My idea was rock is rock. [It] has a mystique in it and an image.”

Then, the singer also shared what he thought the rock scene should be like:

“You don’t have to see everything, and it didn’t have to be sexy girls in the video because there isn’t a video. And if they come to play in your town, you go see them, and word of mouth spreads it, and the occasional mystique like Led Zeppelin had. You know, Zeppelin weren’t an MTV band, or Creedence Clearwater, or the Doors, or Big Brother and the Holding Company, or Grateful Dead, or Fleetwood Mac. They’re really good 60s and 70s bands.”

He also went on to explain Rainbow’s position during the glam era 0f the early 80s:

“We were a kind of LA strip band, Rainbow, by the way. We were based in West Hollywood, and we took our name from the Rainbow Bar and Grill in Hollywood. So, I consider us an LA band even though even those two Brits and a New Yorker and me, but the next generation, in the early 80s, they were like 5-6-7 years later than us.”

Noting the shift toward glam rock, his words ended as follows:

“This is glam rock which took over everything from Warrant, or Poison, or whatever. Van Halen, Ratt, all of that stuff, and they were like made for MTV, and then [David] Coverdale when he came back with his new look and his sexy girlfriend, and all that. Great, that did him well, but I hated it.”

Still, MTV played a part in Tony Carey’s career. The channel featured songs from his Planet P Project, and around that time, his single ‘A Fine, Fine Day’ climbed the charts.

Talking about the song’s background in a 2013 interview with Indian Music Mug, the singer said:

“No big story; it’s a song. I’m a songwriter; I make stuff up for a living. I’ve written 1200 songs, some of them hits, most of them pretty good, some of them awful. ‘A Fine, Fine Day’ was about a criminal – my ‘uncle Sonny’ – and cause I was in the right place at the right time, and because MTV was just starting, I got lucky.”

You can watch the former Rainbow keyboardist’s interview in the video below.