Jan 232014

Hand over the, uh, belt.

Hand over the, uh, belt.

You know the rules for the Battle Royale: this is not a “Last Man Standing” affair, where the goal is to list as many of something as possible; no, in the Battle Royale, your job is to find the indisputable pinnacle — or, in this case, the nadir — of a particular category.

Here, we seek the absolute worst artist or band promo shot — one that is or was an undeniably awful choice for the intended “promotional” purpose. Only major or mid-tier-label recording artists need apply; I don’t want to see links to sites that collect bad promo shots from neighborhood goth or death metal bands, as humorous as those may be. Neither do I want to see album covers (sorry, Orleans!). No silly candids or stage shots. I want promo pictures, or photos clearly posed and taken for media outlets/rock magazines.

I’m starting things off with a tantalizing glimpse of hair metal B-listers Pretty Boy Floyd. Can you beat that?

As we say ’round these parts: hand over the belt!

I look forward to your responses.



  66 Responses to “Battle Royale: The Worst Band Promo Shot Ever”

  1. 2000 Man

    That’s gonna be tough to beat. Here’s some hippies to look at while you wait.


  2. hrrundivbakshi

    I can smell the patchouli from here!

  3. That image needs to be in our rotating banner – the hippies, not those hair farmers in their thong overalls!

  4. 2000 Man

    How about Whitesnake? Now we know, their underpants all match.


  5. As I try (so far, vainly!) to find a contender worthy to even step a toe in the ring against Pretty Boy Floyd, I came across this GOOD publicity photo, for fIREHOSE. At least I get a kick out of it:


  6. Sorry to keep skirting around the Battle, but I’ve never felt so ready to cry UNCLE! Meanwhile, here’s another goofy promo shot that actually amuses me:


  7. This one’s worth climbing into the ring over, if only to get its ass kicked by Pretty Boy Floyd!

  8. hrrundivbakshi

    Dude, that’s Def Leppard!

  9. hrrundivbakshi

    Indeed, excellent!

  10. hrrundivbakshi

    That earned a rare and actual LOL from me to you. Diggin’ the general ‘tude of that shot immensely. Geddy’s mullet is particularly charming.

  11. 2000 Man

    That’s what I thought, but the website says it’s Whitesnake, and I’m not arguing with metal experts.

    Besides, they’re all still wearing the same underpants.

  12. hrrundivbakshi

    Wait a minute: what’s the deal with the guy in the doofus shades in the back there? Looks like a full-on photo-bomb to me. Dude is probably the sandwich delivery guy.

  13. hrrundivbakshi

    I’d forgotten about this doozy, but I still think PBF is in the lead.


  14. 2000 Man

    Jefferson Starship, Sold Out! This can’t actually be a band that sells tickets to anything, can it?


  15. Boney M has delivered some fine promo photos over the years (eg, http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/multimedia/archive/00096/BoneyM4_96466c.jpg), but this Zardoz-inspired group shot is worthy of consideration:


    This one, on the other hand, just terrifies me:


  16. Bronzed Nordic God

    I’m surprised this classic Manowar one hasn’t made a showing yet.


  17. The Jefferson Whatever crew has a long history of bad group shots.

    The flare lens dropped acid!

    This shot is a physical representation of the band’s notorious caterwauling approach to “harmony”:


    Here they are in their Ian Dury & the Blockheads phase:


  18. HVB, we need a ruling! The crowd is going wild.

  19. Thank god for dry ice!

  20. s/b “stoopid” Damned vernacular.

  21. hrrundivbakshi

    Ay-yi-yi! That last Boney M shot… is it a work of genius, or…?

  22. hrrundivbakshi

    In the words of George Takei: oh, myyyyy. There’s an almost super-human struggle going on in the ring between this guy, Manowar, and PBF. Positively titanic!

  23. misterioso

    Oh my God!

  24. misterioso

    One thing’s for sure: as a genre, hair metal takes this prize. (That Styx shot being a notable exception!) I went looking for a particularly ludicrous Stryper image, but, frankly, they are all more or less equally ridiculous but not quite in your face enough. (As it happens, I just find Stryper as a concept to be especially funny.)

    Anyway, since as I recall one of my first postings here in the hall dealt with the Vinnie Vincent Invasion, I give you:

    But maybe better still: http://kissasylum.com/Archives/News/2010/03/images/20100328-02RockBIG.jpg

  25. misterioso

    They don’t sell tickets but they did sell out.

  26. misterioso

    Styx, my goodness, what riches! There’s no end to it.


    Someone please help me find a better version of this one:


  27. 2000 Man

    Metal is an embarrassment of riches in the image department. I know one or two guys my age (early 50’s) that still love metal, and while there’s a few bands I still can play once in awhile, that’s got to be one of the toughest things to admit to liking when you’re an adult. It’s like going out to lunch with your boss and ordering a mikshake and a piece of cake instead of food. Or telling everyone you thought Grown Ups 2 is one of the funniest movies ever made. It’s just weird.

  28. 2000 Man

    WASP. I’ve got one of their albums, and it’s got a couple good songs on it.


    In case you were wondering, this is a poster.


  29. BigSteve

    The onstage shot of WASP is pretty amazing.

  30. BigSteve



    Even their names say metal. Especially Terrence.

  31. hrrundivbakshi

    BigSteve, that Pantera shot is indeed a contender. Well done!

  32. cliff sovinsanity

    The “other” Canadian power trio…


    The sweat makes you want to buy it.

  33. diskojoe

    I would have entered the last Beach Boys promo photo w/Dennis circa 1982, but I couldn’t find a copy on the net. I do remember that it was in Brian Wilson’s autobiography Wouldn’t it Be Nice.

  34. I see your ridiculous photo and raise you one ridiculous name.

    Bubble Puppy

  35. hrrundivbakshi

    I have seen and been repelled by that shot. Brian looks like he hasn’t washed his hair in months, and Dennis looks like his face was inflated at the end of an exhaust pipe.

  36. That’s an album cover shot, and it’s spectacular!

  37. hrrundivbakshi

    No it’s much worse than that one.

  38. 2000 Man

    My brother in law thinks Hot Smoke and Sassafrass is one fo the greatest records EVER. He likes Led Zeppelin, too.

  39. That is a really bad shot. Dennis looks like he wants no part of the “pit crew” look.

    Poor Carl looks like he swallowed two spare tires in that jumpsuit.

  40. BigSteve

    It’s very rare to see Mike Love without a hat.

  41. I just bought it a couple of weeks ago and like it too. Of course, I also like Zeppelin. Your brother is good people!

  42. There is a rag that circulates in Central Pennsylvania called PA Musician, It may be the mecca for the worst band promo shots ever.

  43. Isn’t this supposed to end with a winner? I just put a High Five on the Styx boxing shot since Tommy Shaw has this look of dread that he is in for an ass whoopin’.

  44. misterioso

    I think Dennis DeYoung took him apart with his famous right hook.

  45. ladymisskirroyale

    I like her dress 🙂

  46. ladymisskirroyale

    Amazing, but oh so photoshopped.

  47. I agree, but the conga player seems to prefer her armpit.

  48. cherguevara

    Here’s one I found, an album cover for a band called “Brainstorm.”


  49. cherguevara

    Oh, no album covers… fine….

  50. cherguevara

    Trying for a better entry, here is latter-day “A Flock of Seagulls.”


  51. That would win Most Depressing Band Promo Shot Ever hands down. Poor singer guy had to loose his plumage! That’s him wearing the baseball cap of shame, right? I’m not a proponent of rugs, plugs, and any other hair replacement technologies, but in this case I would have made an exception.

  52. cherguevara

    I know it’s depressing, yet somehow, the more I look at it, the more funny it gets.

  53. HVB, who is holding the, uh, belt?

Lost Password?

twitter facebook youtube