The mid to late 1980s was a time of questionable taste and blonde-haired rock idols. People voluntarily listened to songs and went to concerts of "hair bands," showy acts featuring lots of bushy hairdos and tacky costumes. Anne Rice's famous "Vampire Lestat" series ("The Vampire Lestat" book was published in 1985) featured her beloved blonde vampire boy becoming a 1980s rock star. So when I did some character portraits from the Anne Rice vampire series, I borrowed the image of a then-well-known rock performer whose stage name was the musically blasphemous "Sebastian Bach." This very pretty youth was the lead singer for a band named "Skid Row." I gave him a black vampire cape embellished with a moon with eyes, which was a reference to the Grateful Dead's "Picasso Moon," a brilliant song first performed in 1989.
Fast forward to 2013, where hairy rock is relegated to nostalgia acts and grainy old videos. My Grateful Dead cassettes and Anne Rice books gather a layer of dust in my cyber-cave. Vampires live forever, but styles don't. Even so, "Sebastian Bach" is still performing, living the cultural equivalent of the vampire life.
"Vampire Lestat, Superstar" is watercolor and acrylic on illustration board, 7" x 10", March 1991.