BURNING HAIR DOESN’T STOP HAIRBALL’S “PAUL STANLEY” FROM PLAYING

Hairball guitarist and singer Bobby Jensen didn’t let a little thing like having his head nearly consumed by flames stop him from rocking this weekend.

As you can in the video below, a spark hits Jensen (who was performing in full Paul Stanley costume and makeup) just as the band starts playing “Detroit Rock City” by Kiss. The fire quickly and dangerously moves across his hair and over his head, as a bandmate attempts to douse the flames, then signals for help. Two members of the stage crew quickly extinguish the fire – and Jensen doesn’t miss a single chord or lyric throughout the entire ordeal.

“I live an Evil Knievel kind of life, so if I’m on fire a little bit, I don’t care, that’s just part of the fun,” Jensen explained during a quick phone call with Ultimate Classic Rock. “I knew I was on fire right away, and that wasn’t a wig, that’s my hair. It was really nice and foofy before the show, now I have a much better Alice Cooper cut.”

Despite a previous stint in Kiss tribute band Strutter, and 15 years in Hairball, Jensen says nothing like this has happened to him before. “But we always prepare for it. That’s why you didn’t see me freak out. I have 100% faith in my guys that they’ll get to me and put me out. So I just thought, ‘I’ll sing to everybody while I’m on fire.'”

The video has apparently already made its way to the real “hottest band in the land,” who promptly reached out to make sure Jensen was OK. “My friends in Kiss got a hold of me already, and asked me if I was alright. They saw the video, they said ‘hey are you OK? F— man, you just stood there and kept on singing.” Like I said, our guys are pros, we’re around the pyro all the time. It’s not anything that I’m really fazed by. It got a little warm on my head, and some of it’s burned off, but it still doesn’t look bad. We’re OK and the fire marshall was cool, and we’re all licensed and insured and everything’s done properly.”

It seems the only thing he’s got to worry about now is a possible “burning hair” gimmick infringement lawsuit from Gene Simmons, who first accidentally set his own mane on fire at an early Kiss show on New Year’s Eve of 1973. In a 1999 online chat, the God of Thunder estimated his hair had caught fire “six or seven times” while performing his on-stage fire-breathing stunt over the years.

Hairball, who bill themselves as “a bombastic celebration of arena rock,” have been performing together for nearly two decades now. Kiss is only one of the bands they pay tribute to at each show, as “the stage becomes an entirely new rock concert before your very eyes countless times throughout the night” while they perform classic hits from artists such as Van HalenMotley CrueQueenJourney and Aerosmith.

“Everything changes within like two songs. We’ll do a couple of Kiss songs, and then I bail and the other singer comes out as David Lee Roth and does a couple of Van Halen songs.” Jensen explains. “Then we’ll come out as Journey, and it rotates like that all night, to Bon Jovi, to Alice Cooper.. all kinds of craziness for every character. And everybody that we impersonate has played with us. We’ve played with Kiss onstage, and Alice Cooper and Dee Snider. Vince Neil’s played with us many times. It’s fun, because all the guys that we impersonate love us. That’s a good feeling to know that we’re doing it right and honoring it right.”

Hairball will hit the stage again Feb. 15 in Enid, Oklahoma. You can find out when they’re coming to your town at their official website.

Tribute band to perform in Spencer on Friday, Feb. 22

Fans of the 1980s should get ready have some fun.

Hairball is back.

The 1980s tribute band will be returning to the Clay County Fair & Events Center to perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 22.

The band is a popular one that plays hits from some of the biggest bands of the ’80s. But they don’t just play the music. They do so much more than that. They personify the musicians.

“Hairball is one of the top tribute bands in the United States featuring music from Van Halen, KISS, Motley Crue, Queen, Journey, Aerosmith, plus many more,” said Jeremy Parsons, the CEO of Clay County Fair & Events Center. “In their 19 years together, Hairball has developed quite a following because of their show — it is more than a concert — it’s indoor fireworks and a huge production.”

The Clay County Fair & Events Center has hosted Hairball in the past, but they hadn’t performed there recently.

“It has been several years since we had Hairball here in the Events Center so we thought it was time for a return visit from these great rockers,” Parsons said. “February and March are always busy times here at the Fair & Events Center – Hairball on Feb. 22, Family Fest (our one-day children’s event) on March 2 and Rock’n Bac’n Brew’n (our craft beer and bacon festival featuring The Johnny Holm Band) on March 30.”

Parsons believes that this show should appeal to lovers of this era of music.

“If you are a fan of ‘80s rock music, this is the show you won’t want to miss,” Parsons said. “It’s always fun to bring a show with this type of following here to Spencer. They have passionate fans who are fun to watch.”

‘I would go see Hairball’: Band brings ’80s back

ENID, Okla. — Just how does one describe the Hairball experience?

“It’s like a rapid-fire Mount Rushmore of cool rock and roll,” said the band’s guitarist, Happy, on Monday.

In its 19th year, Hairball provides concert-goers a trip back into the era of 1980s arena rock. The lights, sound and pyro offered by Hairball harken back to the times of audacious hairstyles, loud guitars and a no-holds-barred attitude.

“The Hairball show evolves right in front of your face,” Happy said. “It’s kind of 20 concerts in one. When we open up, it might be KISS; two songs later, it turns into Journey. Two songs later, it might be Queen.”

Members of the group include vocalists Bobby, Kris Box and Joe Dandy, with Freaky on electric bass, Billy on the drums and Happy on lead guitar.

Hairball does it “with all the blood, sweat and fire that the groups that originally did this back in the day did when arena rock was in its peak,” Happy said. Artists like Gene Simmons and Steven Tyler are brought to life with each show.

“… It’s music that people use to get fired up. It represents a good time in life … time for a little reckless fun,” Happy said. “People need a little bit every now and then.”

Happy said the lead singers might get most of the attention, but there’s a lot of sweat and stamina coming from everyone every single show. Challenges come from some of the more unexpected places, like pyrotechnics — Happy said a band member’s hair caught on fire at a recent show.

“We put in the effort … that’s one of the things that’s made Hairball successful. We’re using every weapon we can to amuse and things that these groups did (back in the ’80s) when they were selling out arenas,” Happy said.

Hairball comes to Central National Bank Center in downtown Enid at 7 p.m. Friday. Tickets start at $24 and can be purchased at cnbcenter.com, by calling (855) TIX-ENID or at the box office.

“If I wasn’t in Hairball, I would go see Hairball,” Happy said. “If I was in Oklahoma wondering whether to go see this show or not, I would definitely want to see it and not just hear about it from people later.”