Sep 082014

A most unexpected beard.

A most unexpected beard.

I apologize for being pretty much out of the loop of late. I’ve been extremely busy with work stuff, and I’ve been honing some other creative pursuits in what little free time that’s been available. I do hope to catch up soon. Meanwhile, how about the above image, which existed only in my mind’s eye, since reading about The Buzzcocks‘ recent Philadelphia show last Friday. I didn’t make it out to the show for reasons I both regret and stand behind, but reports that Pete Shelley was sporting a “full mountain man beard,” as a friend put it, stuck with me until just now, when I went searching on Google for an image to verify this most unexpected beard.

Even seeing Pete Shelley in a beard, I can’t fathom it. I’m not sure than any musician has suddenly appeared bearded and shocked me more. A beard does not fit the music of The Buzzcocks at all, does it? Is there anything in their music to support the band’s leader wearing a full-on mountain man beard? Not that I can think of.

Please help me identify facets of the music of The Buzzcocks that might explain the appearance of this most unexpected beard. I’ve placed my prediction for Townsman BigSteve‘s response in a sealed envelope, but I will chuckle nonetheless when he delivers. I want to know what other fans of The Buzzcocks and/or beards make of this union.

As a follow-up question, which artist’s sudden development of a beard most challenged your view of the order of the universe?

I look forward to your thoughts.


  18 Responses to “A Most Unexpected Beard”

  1. diskojoe

    I don’t know what to say about your 1st question, but I can answer your 2nd one w/this:

  2. Yeah, that was a shocking beard, when it hit the scene, but at least the music that Costello began producing followed suit. Can you imagine Shelley pulling on latent pub rock roots?

  3. cherguevara

    Not a beard, but I was a bit surprised by Neil Finn sporting a ‘stache a few years back:

    I know Macca has spoken of his late 60’s, early 70’s beard as a bit of a means to hide, in a way. I could see growing a beard as a way to rebel against expectations, a funny rebellion, but when you’re a rocker, how many forms of rebellion are there?

  4. Steve Winwood’s muttonchops. A beard doesn’t require any effort; in fact it requires a lack of effort. Winwood’s sideburns are intentional, even if they arguably are more appropriate for some of his music than Shelley’s beard.

  5. I agree that prior to Shelley’s beard, the Jagger beard (grown for a film role, I believe) was one of rock’s most unexpected beards. At least the Stones played a lot of beard-worthy music.

  6. True, regarding the surprise of Winwood’s ‘chops, but as you allude to, it’s almost more surpising that he never grew them in the heyday of the extremely ‘chops-worthy Traffic.

  7. “if your sex mechanic’s rough you’re more than ready.”

    Beard Approved!

    Yes, I have fallen in love with someone I shouldn’t have fallen in love with and Pete is looking more and more like my dates.

  8. diskojoe

    This happened several years before I got into the Kinks, but it’s weird to see Dave Davies w/a beard:

    Stop the presses!, Is that big brother Ray w/one too?:

  9. misterioso

    If you’d given me a million years I would not have guessed that was Pete Shelley.

  10. diskojoe

    You’re right, Mr. Mod, that beard was for his title role in Ned Kelly, a movie that I actually saw in bits & pieces on a old movie channel that I have on my cable. It was rather interesting to see him in a western.

  11. BigSteve

    All men have beards. Only the shavers are in denial.

    (Is that close enough, Mod?)

  12. Nick Cave’s Questionable Beard of Wonder was incongruous with his post-punk heartthrob image.

    Ditto for Cave’s Grinderman pornstache, though at least it suits that band’s raging expression of post-prime masculinity.

  13. Mick filled it out a little fuller about a decade later


  14. Yes, I win! Thank you for that excellent reminder.

  15. 2000 Man

    No one would ever confuse whatever grows out of my face if I don’t shave with a beard!

  16. ladymisskirroyale

    Clearly, your continuous thoughts about the beard were foreshadowed by: “What do I get…no sleep at night.”

    As for Pete, he was hoping the audience was thinking:
    “And it seems so real, I can see it
    And it seems so real, I can feel it
    And it seems so real, I can taste it
    And it seems so real, I can hear it
    So why can’t I touch (shave) it?”

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