Rewinding the Clock: The Life Journeys of 80s Rock Heroes

The 80s were an exciting time in music history. Ronald Reagan was in office, MTV shaped pop culture, and “Hair Bands” were all the rage. Wearing acid-washed jeans and decked out in full makeup and colossal hair, these musicians ruled the airwaves. What have they been up to for the past four decades?

1. Sebastian Bach

Sebastian Bach
Image Credit: Weatherman90/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 3.0.

You may remember Sebastian Bach as the lead singer of the band Skid Row. Bach, whose real name is Sebastian Philip Bierk, became a solo artist in the late '90s before appearing in multiple reality shows, getting into acting and writing an autobiography. As of March 2023, Skid Row was writing new music, although an Australian tour scheduled for later in the year was postponed.

2. Vince Neil

Vince Neil
Image Credit: Brad Petersen/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 3.0.

Vince Neil, of Mötley Crüe fame, began touring as a solo act in 2022 and was joined by other popular 80s bands on a stadium tour later in the year. He also starred in a TV commercial for a questionable brand that confused fans. He and his bandmates recently sold their entire catalog to BMG, reportedly valued at around $150 million.

3. Ozzy Osbourne

Ozzy Osborne
Image Credit: Morten Skovgaard/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 2.0.

Solo artist and one-time Black Sabbath member Ozzy Osbourne has had his fair share of struggles. After recovering from his well-known substance abuse issues, the 74-year-old singer has seemingly been dealt consistent blows with his health, making touring difficult. His wife, Sharon, has stood by his side as he's coped with declining health.

4. Bret Michaels

Bret Michaels today
Image Credit: Senior Master Sgt. Vincent De Groot/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain.

Bret Michaels, the lead singer of the band Poison, jumped off the stage and onto the small screen, where he starred in VH1's popular reality show “Rock of Love” for three seasons. Diagnosed with Type I diabetes at six, Michaels is no stranger to overcoming health struggles. After recovering from a severe car accident in the mid-nineties, in 2010, he went on to experience an emergency appendectomy, brain hemorrhage, stroke, and surgery to repair a hole in his heart, all within a few weeks.

It appears Michaels won't let anything hold him down – he released his autobiography in 2020 and continues to make guest appearances on television.

5. Steven Tyler

Steven Tyler
Image Credit: Tsuni-USA/Shutterstock.

After securing a Las Vegas residency at Park MGM's Dolby Live over the summer of 2022, Aerosmith had to cancel the first two months before it started. Sadly, it was reported that Steven Tyler returned to rehab after relapsing. The time off allowed Tyler to focus on his health, and the band performed at Fenway Park for their 50th anniversary show before resuming their residency.

6. Jon Bon Jovi

Bon Jovi
Image Credit: A.PAES/Shutterstock.

Now rocking a full head of gray hair, New Jersey native Jon Bon Jovi will turn 62 in 2024. When he's not making music or touring with Bon Jovi, he's leading his charity, Soul Foundation, which provides funding for affordable housing in 11 states.

7. Prince

Image Credit: nicolas genin/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 2.0.

Prince had a career that extended well beyond the 80s but was a massive star during that decade, with his film and soundtrack album of the same name, Purple Rain, released in 1984. His fans enjoyed his mysterious and flamboyant persona and music until his shocking death of an accidental overdose in 2016.

8. Steve Perry

Steve Perry
Image Credit: Joe Mabel/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 4.0.

Steve Perry was called “The Voice” as Journey's lead singer and frontman from 1977 to 1987 and 1995 to 1998. The band soared to the top with hits like “Open Arms,” “Don't Stop Believin',” and “Wheel in the Sky.” Perry embarked on a successful solo career after leaving the band for good in 1998 but appeared with Journey for their 2017 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

9. Eddie Van Halen

Eddie Van Halen
Image Credit: Abby Gillardi/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 2.0.

The co-founder of the band Van Halen, Eddie Van Halen, passed away in 2020 from a stroke and multiple additional medical conditions. After battling cancer for almost two decades, Van Halen was surrounded by his loved ones when he lost his fight at age 65. While his life was cut short, he managed to amass a $100 million fortune throughout his successful career. 

10. Mick Jagger

Mick Jagger
Image Credit: Ben Houdijk/Shutterstock.

The longtime Rolling Stones frontman, Mick Jagger, just can't stop rolling. The band went on a 2022 summer tour, “Sixty,” celebrating 60 years together. Mick Jagger and bandmates Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood (drummer Charlie Watts died in 2021) put on shows throughout Europe. At 80, Jagger seems to stay young by getting out and keeping his 2.5 million Instagram followers in the loop with his escapades.

11. Bono

Bono today
Image Credit: U.S. Department of State from United States/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain.

The Irish philanthropist and lead vocalist of the band U2 keeps himself busy with the various charitable organizations and foundations he founded, acting and producing movies. Yet, he still spends time with his A-list celeb friends, politicians, family, and bandmates. The band has a limited concert series in Las Vegas in 2023.

12. Axl Rose

Axl Rose
Image Credit: A.PAES/Shutterstock.

Famous as the lead singer of Guns N' Roses, Axl Rose likely never expected his band to get back together after they split. Instead, Rose, whose real name is William Bruce Rose, Jr., reunited with bandmates in 2016 to headline Coachella. They began touring again in 2020 and released new music in 2021.