Apr 092010

Despite the fact that I’ve loved The Outsiders‘ “Time Won’t Let Me” since I was a kid, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a photo of the band before today, let alone a clip on YouTube of the band in action. I can’t say I ever sought one, but now I know why images of the band aren’t flooding the web and showing up unexpected when I’m searching for topics like cool bands from the 1960s.

Prior to the 1980s, when bad hair suddenly was in style, has any band collectively sported worse hairdos than The Outsiders? In rock ‘n roll terms, there’s something wrong about every hairdo in that band.

The lead singer’s ‘do is obviously the inspiration for sports journalist/inspirational memoirist Mitch Albom‘s mannequin’s feathered rug Look.

The guitarist who first appears at the 16-second mark has the least-objectionable hair in the band. His hair simply grants him the anonymity of whichever rhythm section member of The Undertones whose name you most frequently forget.

What the hell is the guitarist who first appears at the 22-second mark aiming for? This is what I’d imagine Ray Liotta‘s character in Hannibal would like like if you tried to stick a wig over his leveled-off head.

At the 28-second mark we’re introduced to my favorite failed hairdo in The Outsiders, that of the bassist. You can be assured that the day actor Michael J. Pollard decided he should never grow a pompadour was the day he saw The Outsiders on whatever show broadcast this performance.

The producer of this television performance knew what he or she was doing by making the audience wait until a minute into the song to show a close-up of the most puzzling of all the hairdos in The Outsiders. It’s bad enough that the drummer has the beefy, bemused visage of Buddy Hackett, but he tops it off with the broken-bowl haircut of Jerry Lewis’ Nutty Professor.

The Supreme Court of Rock will hear no arguments as to why the makers of this brilliant single were not better known for their efforts.


  6 Responses to “I Dig Your Wig: The Outsiders Collectively Sport the Worst Hair in Rock Prior to the 1980s”

  1. BigSteve

    This band was ahead of its time. The bassist invented Flock of Seagulls hair, and the guitarist in the back invented emo hair.

    Here’s what the singer looks like now:


    Apparently he’s also the guy who sang Precious & Few by Climax.

  2. Everyone of his CDs has “Time Won’t Let Me” and “Precious and Few.” ALL of them…

    The site calls him “The Voice,” but I prefer to call him “The Hair.”

    Why is it the bassist had to be the one with the most offensive ‘do? His motto: “Don’t rock the ‘do, keep the ‘do rockin…”


  3. Mr. Moderator

    Ah, THAT guy! I forgot he was the lead singer in The Outsiders too. He may have hit songs with 2 or 3 other faceless bands too. He’s the original Paul Carrack.

    TB, when a person’s hair is that frizzy there’s no point in trying to comb it into some fancy style. It’s like he’s trying to do a James Brown-style process without going through the process. It’s a valiant effort but no matter how much hair the bassist has piled up the work that goes into defying nature makes it seems like he’s working a combover.

    The coolest thing I learned about The Outsiders is that this song and a lot of other garage and power pop records from the Cleveland area were recorded by the father of the father-and-son team who ran Suma Studios and recorded all my favorite Pere Ubu albums. I think early Raspberries recordings may have been something else the dad (something like Paul Hamman?) engineered.

  4. Ah, THAT guy! I forgot he was the lead singer in The Outsiders too. He may have hit songs with 2 or 3 other faceless bands too. He’s the original Paul Carrack.

    More like the American Tony Burrows!

  5. alexmagic

    Great call on the Mitch Albom comparison. First thing that came to mind when I saw the still frame from the video, before even scrolling down to see you’d made the connection.

    Check out the panicked expression and comical swallow by the relatively best-haired guitarist at around the 1:05 mark. With the vantage point he has in that eight foot tall high chair they’ve forced him to sit in – no doubt the rest of the band hated him for his normal hair – I think he’s finally realized what the rest of the band has on their heads.

    The guy in the back’s hair kind of makes him a little intimidating. It looks like it either might slight off and reveal, as you suggest, an exposed brain or that it’s some kind of alien crab thing that’s perched up there, ready to pounce.

    So does anybody not like “Time Won’t Let Me”? I’d be surprised if there was a dissenter. Reminds me that a Once And For All on “What’s the best song on the Nuggets box?” might be interesting. I could see The Outsiders as a Cinderella band pulling some upsets, unless the unearthing of this video hurts them.

  6. mockcarr

    Is the bass player a young Donald Trump?

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