The Hair Metal Band Crushed By Donald Trump
Making the headlines for his bold statements about women through the years, Donald Trump also played a key role in the downturn of an all-female hair metal band’s career in the ’80s.
Back in the day, Trump was a big name in real estate and often crossed paths with figures from the music industry. Among these was Danny Pritzker, whose father, Jay, was connected to the businessman through their joint ownership of the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York.
Trump Was Ready To Help The Band
In those years, Pritzker was collaborating with Precious Metal in his Capitol imprint records company Chameleon. The band was working on their second album, featuring artists from bands like Heart and Cheap Trick.
It was their first major deal and a big step for them, but as the 1980s moved on, the kind of music Precious Metal played was becoming less popular in Los Angeles. Danny needed a way to get the band noticed again. So, he came up with the idea to feature Donald Trump in their music video for the cover of ‘Mr Big Stuff.’
Leslie Knauer later talked about this experience, as reported by Classic Rock, saying:
“Trump said he’d do it for ten grand and give it to his favorite charity. So we went to New York, to the Grand Hyatt hotel, just me and Janet [Robin, lead guitarist]. He showed up with an entourage and about ten bodyguards, in the suit he always wears with the red tie. He was very professional; he said how much he loved the song.”
Janet Robin also noted:
“At the time, I had no reservations about working with him. He was someone I’d seen in the trash magazines, and it was funny.”
Things Went South After The Shooting
The plan was to have Trump playfully teased by Knauer in the music video. Everything went smoothly during filming, but after, things changed, as she shared:
“We were doing PR shots at the end, and he put his arm around me and said, ‘You’ve got a hot body, no cellulite there!’ It was inappropriate, and I felt uncomfortable.”
More issues came along when MTV said they’d put Precious Metal’s song on ‘high rotation straight away’ if the video included Donald Trump.
The Businessman Changed His Mind
The businessman later publicly criticized the band’s music and claimed he did more than initially planned in their clip. He wanted his fee bumped up to $250,000. Rumors linked his sudden change of heart to a disagreement with Jay Pritzker about his airline, the Trump Shuttle.
With no way to pay the former president’s new fee, the band had to redo the video with someone else pretending to be him. This new version didn’t get on MTV, and as music tastes changed, Chameleon and Precious Metal’s time came to an end.
Three years later, Trump sued the Pritzkers over their business together with the Hyatt Hotel. When he ran for president in 2016, neither Robin nor Knauer were supporters.