The following piece was submitted by Townsman E. Pluribus Gergely with funding and research support provided by RTH Labs.
I’m writing to apologize for not writing a single response to your recent Husker Du Main Stage posting. It was beautifully executed. That said, Husker Du never did a thing for me. Despite the fact that I’ve never heard a single thing they’ve ever done, I just know they have to be bad based on the fact that they’re from Minneapolis, Minnesota and their look is not to my liking. Anybody that collectively looks like that has to suck.
Speaking of Look, I stumbled across something a few days ago that made my hair stand on end. On the evening of July 4th, me, the ball and chain, and the brats headed over to our friends’ house to check out the neighborhood fireworks from their porch. Fireworks never did anything for me nor did they ever do a damn thing for my buddy, so we went inside his house and watched TV while the women gossiped and kept an eye on the brats. Whilst getting tanked, we stumbled upon Festival, a documentary of the ’64-’65 Newport Folk Festivals, on the Ovation channel (gotta love cable!). Lo and behold, there’s Donovan. Right, Donovan, no big deal. But as the camera drew closer, it was readily apparent that he was wearing an earring.
My father liked the sound of his voice more than anything in the world. And he also loved monologuing at the dinner table. His favorite themes were table manners. the difference between northern and southern Germans, subhumans who major in Education, and the earring, not “earrings” mind you, but the earring: “No self respecting man should ever wear any jewelry whatsoever, no ifs, ands, or buts. And an earring worn by a man is the worst of all offenses. Absolutely and positvely a sign of weakness.”
You know I’m married, right? Well now you know why I don’t wear a wedding ring. You hear that kind of shit on a routine basis for 20 some years, you figure you might catch AIDS from wearing a wrist watch. You can’t imagine what was going through my mind when Hrundi showed up at my house with a faux early Beatles/Stones Speidel bracelet.
Granted, it’s thoroughly insane, but I can’t get rid of it. I also can’t get rid of the fact that I find myself more or less in line with his train of thought when I analyze those that chose to go the earring route:
- Donovan: Here’s a guy who was clearly not going to make it as a D+ Dylan. Wearing the cap, doing the harmonica holder thing, the unkempt hair…none of that was working. He hit bottom and went for the earring. Interestingly enough, that went first when Mickie Most helped him reinvent himself as Britain’s first flower power rep. Most also knew that the earring was a sign of weakness, something most girls/women couldn’t relate to, even when it was jiggling from a freak.
- Keith: 1967 is turning out to be a really bad year. Shades of the awfulness began in 1966 with the recording of Between the Buttons, an LP that had a lot of odds and ends that didn’t really amount to anything. That turd is followed up with yet another stinker, Satanic Majesties, which is nothing more than a D+ Pepper. It’s also a first for the Stones. Peers are laughing at them. Best therapeutic move? Take as many drugs as possible and head to Morrocco to forget about everything. It was around this same time that Keith’s Look changed drastically. Again, in a moment of weakness, when Keith thought it was all over, he made a last-ditch effort to turn himself into New Gypsy Earring Dangling Keef. And God bless his heart because the sheer coolness of that dangling shark tooth provided me with some much needed skepticism when it came to dear old dad’s “truths.”
- Alan Clarke: 1969, The Hollies release “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother.” Massive. Makes the Top 10 everywhere, including places like the Isle of Malta. The band celebrates the victory by Hershey squirting for three years. No hits, no drugs, the money is gone, and worst of all, Clarke can’t get laid. Hard to believe, but in his heyday, the homely little fire hydrant supposedly nailed more women that Gene Simmons and Bill Wyman combined, including a 1964 Marianne Faithful. When one goes from that to rubber gloves. Vaseline, and gigs at Dorney Park, things are very weak indeed. Hence, Clarke’s hoop and godawful curly perm. Granted, the look was mildly influential, but some things really are objectively nauseating:
Trinities always have some sort of indefinable power, and I think my trinity of examples clearly illustrates why the pierced lobe serves as a warning signal to others of one’s own psychological black hole. You think about all that and get back to me.
P.S. If you have any info about that whole right–left ear/gay–not gay thing, I’d really appreciate it.