In a recent comment Townsman alexmagic, always one of the Hall’s finest conceptualists/commentators if not the Main Stage trailblazer we all know he could be (we’ll chalk it up to humility), hinted at his desire to discuss a Once and For All topic that developed from a “weird haircut experience,” in which, as he puts it:
…someone was playing a Stones collection that only had late-period songs on it…
The Once and For All topic is this: Reissues, remixes and live songs excluded, what is the best Rolling Stones single from 1984 on? It is crucial that we settle this issue, which has been implied on numerous rock discussion blogs through the years but not once tackled head on!
The broader, possibly more telling topic that needs to be discussed, however, is that of the rock-themed weird haircut experience. I’m sure I’m not the only one curious to know the details of The Magic Man’s rock-themed weird haircut experience, and because I’ve had two of my own rock-themed weird haircut experiences I know alexmagic is not alone in having such an experience. It’s likely you’ve had one too. These experiences usually aren’t discussed in polite circles, so FUCK YOU – let’s drop all pretense of being polite and come clean. I’m sure we’ll find the trading of our experiences extremely healing. Then we can go back to watching what we say at the dinner table.
I know I’ve recounted one if not both of my rock-themed weird haircut experiences before. One was from my young teen years, circa 1977, involving the grooming of my then-feathered ‘do in a “unisex” hair salon that was decked out in shag carpets, love beads, velvet, and ferns and owned by a seemingly gay, bearded guy in skin-tight designer jeans whose raspy voice would eventually be stolen by Harvey Fierstein who, to my constant surprise, talked sotto voce to the other stylist about nothing but how much coke he snorted and how many women he banged the night before. Oh, the rock-themed aspect of that story had to do with his great taste in ’70s soul music, always playing either Philadelphia’s legendary soul station, WDAS, or the latest album by Teddy Pendergrass, Millie Jackson, or some other heavy-breathing soul singer of the time. Haircuts at that place were a real education!
In 1984, of all years, I used to get my hair cut at a shop in little shop in Center City Philadelphia with a neon sign with “new wave” lettering (the place may have even been called “New Wave,” come to think of it). The woman who cut my hair was a tall, red-headed goth girl with her hair teased out about as long as her legs. I don’t think I’d ever had a conversation with a hot goth girl before. This woman was smokin’ – very educational in her own right! All the while, as my heart’s pounding while she’s working on my kind of neo-’60s ‘do, music from that Adrian Sherwood scene is playing in the background. The stuff’s pretty cool, especially when I had the good fortune to get high prior to my appointment. Further in the background, at the corner near the front of the shop, stood the shop’s owner, with a shaved head, silver-opaque horn-rimmed glasses, and wearing a grey Nehru suit. The character Dr. Evil did not yet exist, so I was reminded of a more severe version of Frippertronics-era Robert Fripp. I’m pretty sure he was the woman’s boyfriend/master. Here I was high, horny, and digging this weird music with Evil Fripp in the corner, watching his woman’s every move, making sure our small talk got no further than I’d hoped it might get me. I would never get my kicks from dangerous sex acts, but if I did that scene had the makings of the perfect dangerous erotic adventure.
Anyhow, to tie this back to the Once and For All issue, the woman and I never had the opportunity to discuss our favorite Rolling Stones song from 1984 forward, but had we met up in 1989, I believe, I would have agreed with misterioso and said “Mixed Emotions,” from Steel Wheels.
All right, alexmagic, why don’t you help open the healing floodgates on the repressed rock haircut issue. Thanks!