Big hair? Check. Leather pants? Check. A dollop of male mascara? Oh yeah. It's the '80s all over again for American Idol
alum Constantine Maroulis, who stars in Broadway's surprise hit Rock of Ages
, a salute to hair bands including Poison, Guns N' Roses and Journey. Maroulis, 33, talked with Mary Green about the music that made him wanna rock.
FAVORITE BAND GROWING UP
I'm from New Jersey, so Bon Jovi was my hero. They came out so strong with the great songwriting and rock-star personas! I still love "Runaway" the best. It was on their first demo tape.
Rick Springfield, and 'Til Tuesday opened. I was 10 or 12.
West Side Story
was very influential for me. George Chakiris [Bernardo in the film] is Greek and sort of looks like my brother. That was a big deal to us. When you're Greek, that's what you do: You point out the other Greeks. And he won the Oscar!
MUSIC THAT REMINDS YOU OF YOUR FIRST DATE
Hall and Oates. In the early '80s, everyone had birthday parties at the roller rink. I'd ask a girl to skate with me, and those songs would be on the radio.
YOUR FAVORITE ARTISTS NOW
Kings of Leon, Lady Gaga, classic stuff like Jane's Addiction. I just saw Shiny Toy Guns—sick band.
WHAT YOU LISTEN TO BEFORE GOING ONSTAGE
Not music. Usually the pregame show to the Yankees.