Saturday, March 27, 2010

Hirsute Semiotics

What is the meaning of a man's facial hair? Or the length of the hair on his head? In rock, it can make all the difference. In the 80s, for example, all I had to do was shave almost all my hair off, and punks would yell praise from their cars, while one van full of metal heads in Glendale, California yelled "Punk sucks!" and flipped me the spike-wristbanded bird. (Little did they know that, at that time, I was totally on board with Metallica and, for that matter, metal-ish hardcore Dr. Know and Battalion of Saints). I did feel a little tribal pride at that moment, I admit. But what two bands could have more iconic haircuts than the ever-transmogrifying Black Flag and the Beatles? (OK, Bowie could.)

A timeline that never ceases to give me a smile:

Someone should make such a timeline for these dudes:

NOTE: Now that I think about it, it probably wasn't Metallica but Motörhead that I was digging at the time, circa '83.

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