Forgotten Hard Rock Albums: Beau Nasty, "Dirty, but Well Dressed" (1989)

Updated on July 31, 2017
FatFreddysCat profile image

I've been collecting hard rock/metal CDs for more than 25 years and I love to share my discoveries with fellow rockers.

"Verily, preparest thyself for a most righteous kicking of thy posterior region, varlet!"
"Verily, preparest thyself for a most righteous kicking of thy posterior region, varlet!" | Source

Beau Nasty - "Dirty, But Well Dressed" (WTG/CBS, 1989)

The year was 1989, and the Hair Metal craze was rapidly approaching critical mass. Multi-million selling arena-rock success stories like Poison, Warrant, and Cinderella continued to take their bombastic blend of Aqua-Net and Marshall amplification to the bank while A&R scouts at record labels large and small pounded their fists on their desks and cried out in unison, "Dammit, we need one of those bands, too!"

This gave rise to what I like to call The Great L.A. Hair Metal Signing Binge - a period when it seemed like a new set of big haired second-stringers was being plucked from Sunset Strip club circuit obscurity and given a big-money major label record contract on a daily basis. The Binge was, of course, immediately followed about a year later by the Great L.A. Hair Metal Glut - when the debut albums by all of those dozens of newly inked look-alike, sound-alike bands flooded the marketplace at the same time. These saturation bombing tactics meant that only a few of these bands connected with an audience that was getting burned out on the whole hair-metal fad anyway. Therefore, a ton of bands got caught in the crossfire when the next big "wave" (hell-ooooooo, Nirvana!) came along and the majors all dumped their stock in hair metal. From the 1990s onward, used-CD stores (and later, auction sites like eBay) became cemeteries littered with the carcasses of such non-success stories as Salty Dog, JetBoy, Keel, Babylon A.D., Southgang, Pretty Boy Floyd, Hericane Alice, Bang Tango, Tora Tora, Spread Eagle, Sweet F.A., and many more...

...which brings us to today's Forgotten Hard Rock album: Dirty, But Well Dressed, the debut (and also final) disc by the ultra obscurity known as Beau Nasty. Though it was utterly ignored upon its original release, this album has slowly been attaining a rep as a minor classic amongst hair metal aficionados over the past quarter century. A quick check of eBay reveals that a copy of this CD will run you about thirty bucks, so naturally I cackled slightly when I came across one in near-mint condition in a thrift store recently for the irresistible price of one thin dollar.

"Shake It" music video:

So Who the Hell Was Beau Nasty, Anyway?

Finding info on Beau Nasty's backstory has been a frustrating task. They were supposedly L.A.-based but since they featured a couple of upstate New Yorkers and a Canadian in their ranks, I have a sneaking suspicion that they were a "manufactured" act put together by a manager or a label more than an actual "band." Apparently formed in 1988, Beau Nasty was immediately snapped up by CBS Records imprint WTG, where they were label mates with the likes of Motorhead and Bonham, the short lived melodic rock act anchored by Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham's son Jason. Beau Nasty's drummer Mike Terrana and guitarist George Bernhardt had previously worked together in the Canadian hard rock act Hanover Fist, whilst vocalist Mark Anthony Fretz had prior associations with a band called Zillion. WTG put this quintet into the studio with then-hot melodic rock uber-producer Beau Hill (fresh off of his multi-platinum work with Ratt and Warrant) and Paul Winger (big brother of Kip Winger) and they created an album's worth of catchy, radio-ready tunes with air-guitar-worthy riffing and an ultra-polished production job so slick and cheesy it should've come topped with pepperoni and mushrooms. Dirty, But Well Dressed was released the following year...and by all accounts, it made absolutely no impact whatsoever on MTV, on the Billboard charts, or in the hearts and minds of rock audiences. After a couple of low profile tours opening for lower-rung acts like Loverboy and Love/Hate, Beau Nasty quietly dissolved as the 1990s dawned.

Given the musical climate at the time, multi platinum status should've been a given for Beau Nasty...but obviously, it never happened. So what went wrong?

Promotional version of the album under its original title, "Shake It"
Promotional version of the album under its original title, "Shake It"

The Album...

I'm reasonably sure that the ridiculous album cover to Dirty, But Well Dressed did Beau Nasty no favors with record buyers. Perhaps they were trying to out-do the "waist-coats and frilly cuffs" look that fellow hair metallers Britny Fox were sportin' at the time, but DBWD's unintentionally hilarious Renaissance-inspired illustration of the band in a throne room, decked out in full-on Henry VIII style gear - complete with capes and feathered caps! - looks like the band is about to break into the theme from "Robin Hood, Men In Tights." The band photo on the back cover shows the boys wearing more traditional "street level" rocker-dude outfits, so I guess that the Ren-Faire duds were NOT part of their actual onstage attire. Too bad, because that might've actually helped them stand out from the pack. (haha)

Dirty, But Well Dressed kicks off with "Shake It" - which was the lead off single/MTV video and apparently the original title of the album as well (promotional copies of the disc exist under that name). It's a decent enough hard rock anthem, based around a chugging guitar riff that's ready-made for strip club rotation. Frentz's snarly vocals remind me of Mark Slaughter of Vinnie Vincent Invasion/Slaughter fame to a degree, though thankfully Frentz's high notes are nowhere near as irritating/antagonizing as Mark's. "Goodbye Rosie" and "Gimme Lovin'" keep the sleaze factor high and reveal that lyrically, this band is about as deep as a kid's wading pool. "Paradise in the Sand" slows things down a bit for a heart warming tale of a guy 'n' gal getting busy on a deserted beach (hey, I told you they were deep) and the title track is another bluesy, high-energy rocker.

"Love Potion #9"

Things falter slightly in the album's second half, as the painfully silly "Love to the Bone" (say what?), "Gemini," and "Piece of the Action" (how many hair bands have a song by that title?) all kinda meld together into a long, uber-slick mashup of generic hard rock riffing, sound alike choruses and canned "ahhh-ahhhh-ahhhh" backing vocals. It may sound OK while the album is playing, but you'll be hard pressed to remember a lyric or hum a guitar lick by the time the album ends with a cover of the Leiber & Stoller chestnut "Love Potion #9"...yes, seriously. I know cover tunes were all the rage in hair metal circles at the time but I've always hated that song, and this rock-out-with-yer-weenie-out version didn't do anything to change my opinion.

If Beau Nasty had been able to maintain the firepower of the album's first half, perhaps Dirty, But Well Dressed would've gained more traction in the crowded late '80s cock-rock scene. Otherwise, listeners are better off skipping the last five tracks and treating this disc as a five song EP.

Mike Terrana Drum Solo:

Where Are They Now?

After Beau Nasty split, Guitarist Brian Young worked with melodic rockers Talisman and later resurfaced briefly as a member of Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth's solo band. George Bernhardt played with the likes of Jeff Scott Soto and Rick Springfield, while drummer Mike Terrana relocated to Germany, where he became one of the most in-demand session players in that country's hard rock/metal scene. Terrana's probably best known for his multi-album stint with German power metallers Rage (who freakin' rule), but he has also appeared on releases by Masterplan, Axel Rudi Pell, Metalium, Savage Circus, Tarja Turunen, and Yngwie Malmsteen, to name just a few.

Dirty, But Well Dressed is a decent enough pickup if you can find it cheap, like I did... but I would resist the urge to pay crazy eBay prices for it unless you simply have to own a copy of every single hair-metal CD that was ever released on a major label.

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • profile image

        Dangerous Dan 

        10 months ago

        Perhaps the name is cursed?

        I've always liked that story, though It's highly unlikely to be true. I found it interesting that the name was an homage to someone who litterally, died in the gutter. Ultimately however; niether Beau Nasty the man, nor the band that bore his name, would be long-lived or remembered. There's almost an irony in that, one died in an alley, whereas, the other died a few miles away in a discount bin. And then, just like that, Gutter-Glam died of Nirvana. The circle of death. May they all rest in peace.

        Keep on rockin' in the free world.

      • FatFreddysCat profile imageAUTHOR

        Keith Abt 

        10 months ago from The Garden State

        Hey D.D. -- that's.a great story but I agree with you, I dont buy it for a minute! Haha

      • profile image

        Dangerous Dan 

        10 months ago

        Here's a little-known fact (or myth) regarding the origin of the band's name. Allegedly, the name Beau Nasty was tattooed on the body of a deceased vagrant, which the (at that time unnamed) band accidentally discovered in an alley.

        However; that sounds way too dark, edgy, sleazy and Sunset Strippy to be true. Some A&R guy at the record company probably came up with that.

      • FatFreddysCat profile imageAUTHOR

        Keith Abt 

        11 months ago from The Garden State

        Hi Toby... I agree, $60 is a bit much... it's a good CD, but not THAT good, haha!

      • profile image

        Toby 

        11 months ago

        I had bought the only copy of the "Dirty but Well Dressed" cassette at Newbury Comics in Boston back in 1989...as a fan of the hair bands...it wasn't half bad. Just remembered them, out of the blue....and Amazon is currently at a $60 bid for their CD...I'd love to be able to put a couple songs from this in my iTunes account but...wont pay $60 for the CD...didn't like it that much! LOL...thanks for the review and the blast from the past!

      • FatFreddysCat profile imageAUTHOR

        Keith Abt 

        14 months ago from The Garden State

        Hi Danny - thanks for your story! Cool that you were one of the apparent few who saw this short lived band live, haha.

      • profile image

        Danny Clark 

        14 months ago

        Hey Keith, I saw Beau Nasty back in the day I believe it was at Hammer Jacks. The place was packed until the 3rd song. The concert hall emptied like it was a fire drill lol. The singer was horrible couldn't pull his parts off live, at least not on that night. Everyone talked about how bad he was. If that night was any indication as to what the rest of their shows were like I'd say thats why they didn't make it over.

      • FatFreddysCat profile imageAUTHOR

        Keith Abt 

        3 years ago from The Garden State

        Updated

      • FatFreddysCat profile imageAUTHOR

        Keith Abt 

        3 years ago from The Garden State

        I still have a bunch of old Metal Edge mags (as well as Circus, Metal Maniacs, Metal Hammer, and many others) stashed away in the closet... a lot of good memories in there! :)

      • bethperry profile image

        Beth Perry 

        3 years ago from Tennesee

        Ooh, Metal Edge. I used to love that mag!

      • FatFreddysCat profile imageAUTHOR

        Keith Abt 

        3 years ago from The Garden State

        Hi Beth - Beau Nasty were one of those "if you blinked, you missed'em" bands...haha. Till I found this CD earlier this year, the only reason I had even heard of 'em was cuz I had an old issue of "Metal Edge" magazine which had an advertisement for their album in it....

      • bethperry profile image

        Beth Perry 

        3 years ago from Tennesee

        I did not know about Beau Nasty (and here I thought I knew all the 80's heavy metal bands!) I rather like that cover, and your review of the music intrigues me enough to look for it. Thanks for posting.

        btw, I remember Talisman. They were pretty good!

      • FatFreddysCat profile imageAUTHOR

        Keith Abt 

        3 years ago from The Garden State

        Updated

      • FatFreddysCat profile imageAUTHOR

        Keith Abt 

        4 years ago from The Garden State

        Thanx Suzanne!

      • Suzanne Day profile image

        Suzanne Day 

        4 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

        Some very strange looking album covers here which take me back.....back to a time before back to the future I suppose. The hair! The pants! Totally nuts. Voted awesome and liked!

      • FatFreddysCat profile imageAUTHOR

        Keith Abt 

        4 years ago from The Garden State

        Thanx Spartucus

      • spartucusjones profile image

        CJ Baker 

        4 years ago from Parts Unknown

        Enjoyable read, I always enjoy reading your hubs concerning forgotten hard rock albums. This is a band that I never heard of, and I always like learning about obscure music.

      • FatFreddysCat profile imageAUTHOR

        Keith Abt 

        4 years ago from The Garden State

        Hi Hackslap...yep, there were just way too damn many hair bands, haha. Typical major-label procedure, find something that works and then run it into the ground, haha! In Beau Nasty's case, I think they were a decent band but they were just a little too generic to survive...

      • Hackslap profile image

        Harry 

        4 years ago from Sydney, Australia

        Good review...the vocalist sounds like the guy from Britny Fox.. .I'm in doubt there're so many hair bands nobody has heard of even remembers considering glam really went crazy even by mainstream standards b/w '88 and '92 ..

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, spinditty.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://spinditty.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)