Feb 092013

Bob Dylan's Jewfro.

Bob Dylan’s Jewfro.

Bob Dylan. Did the Jewfro first enter rock through Bob Dylan? Photos of Dylan from his ’60s prime love to play with the halo effect afforded by those high-piled curls. I’m not sure if Dylan’s Jewfro will be determined as rock’s greatest white Afro, but it merits consideration for both its groundbreaking nature and the way its halo effect added to this visionary’s musical message.



Art Garfunkel. A lot of pride went into Art Garfunkel’s prematurely receding Jewfro, known as the Garfro. It said to the world, “Sure, I’m the ‘other’ guy in Simon & Garfunkel. Sure, I’m losing my hair. But what I’ve got left is fantastic and I’m letting it all hang out the way God planned it!”



Mike Bloomfield. Dylan further opened the doors to rock’s celebration of the Jewfro (and related ‘fros of white musicians of Mediterranean descent) by hiring sideman Mike Bloomfield. The talented, troubled guitarist put an unusual spin on his People’s ‘fro, shaping it into an Elvis-like pompadour. Like his guitar playing it was something else.

Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell. The White Afro exploded with the appearance of Jimi Hendrix Experience rhythm section Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell’s empathetic perms. Were these rock’s first male perms? So votes for one or the other do not cancel each other out we are letting them compete as a tag team.

Sib Hashian's Armenianfro.

Sib Hashian’s Armenianfro.

Sib Hashian. Boston drummer Sib Hashian has to be the favorite in this race. In a faceless corporate rock band, his Armenianfro made a lasting impression. Rumor has it that Hashian consulted with Billy Preston’s ‘fro during a rough stretch with conditioning in 1981.

Rob Tyner's MCfro (center).

Rob Tyner’s MCfro (center).

Rob Tyner. Rob Tyner’s patented, perfectly rounded MCfro kicked out the jams, motherfuckers! That thing is as tight as the head on an SM58.



Jeff Lynne. In its heyday, ELO leader Jeff Lynne’s Lynnefro was as consistently maintained and stylish as his productions. After the Experience let their perms grow out, the British Isles were not well known for their contributions to the White Afro. Lynne did his part to represent.

Leo Sayer will not be denied consideration.

Leo Sayer will not be denied consideration.

Leo Sayer. One Brit who will NOT be denied consideration in this discussion is Leo Sayer.

Henley's sensitive asshole beard-perm combo.

Henley’s sensitive asshole beard-perm combo.

Don Henley. I hate the guy, but I have to give props to Henley’s ’70s-era sensitive asshole beard-perm combo. It really spoke to what it meant to be a white guy who thought he could pull off an Afro. He edges out the similarly coiffed Lindsey Buckingham from the same period.

It's Magic!

It’s Magic!

Magic Dick. For most of his career, I would argue that J. Geils Band harmonicast Magic Dick’s lack of attention to the underside of his mane disqualified him from consideration. I did find this one image of him with a shapely White Afro, so rather than face a high-minded protest by major Dick fan HVB, I’m letting him compete.

Others worthy of consideration. It’s highly possible that I have forgotten some key White Afros in rock history, so write-in candidates will be allowed. For instance, this image of prime Neal Schon is so awesome it’s watermarked with all kinds of copyright information. Vote “Other” in the poll and make your case in the Comments section. Before making a write-in vote, however, be sure to check the “NOT ELIGIBLE” list…after the jump!

What is rock's greatest White Afro?

  • Sib Hashian (22%, 8 Votes)
  • Magic Dick (19%, 7 Votes)
  • Rob Tyner (19%, 7 Votes)
  • Bob Dylan (8%, 3 Votes)
  • Leo Sayer (8%, 3 Votes)
  • Other (whose name I will add to the Comments) (8%, 3 Votes)
  • Art Garfunkel (5%, 2 Votes)
  • Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell (5%, 2 Votes)
  • Jeff Lynne (3%, 1 Votes)
  • Mike Bloomfield (3%, 1 Votes)
  • Don Henley (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 37

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NOT ELIGIBLE (after the jump): 


  23 Responses to “Once and For All: What’s the Greatest White Afro in Rock?”

  1. machinery

    Ok, he was behind the mixing board, but surely this has got to be a contender:

    Phil Spector in later years:


  2. Sadly, I’ve read that’s a wig. Like Mick Taylor’s wig, too much is riding at stake to allow it in this discussion. Always a joy to see, however.

  3. This is always a tough category for me.

    I can discard a few right off the bat: Dylan was a pioneer but didn’t really have the volume or the shape necessary to get a medal here. Garfunkel’s receding hairline makes him far too “Bozo” to make it to the finals. Leo Sayers? Give me a break…

    It really comes down to Sib and Rob Tyner for me. Si’bs might have been more consistently “more”, but Rob’s is pretty gigantic and beautifully formed by anyone’s standards and he beat Sib to it by half a decade.

    I don’t know that they could have beaten Tyner or Sib or Magic Dick, but I’m surprised that the guys in At The Drive In didn’t make the finals: http://userserve-ak.last.fm/serve/_/69052/At+the+DriveIn.jpg

  4. Suburban kid

    I’ll vote for the Experience’s ground-breaking britfros, with a special mention for Mike D of the Beastie Boys’ latter day jewfro.

  5. Suburban kid

    Good point about Garfunkel and Sayers’ clownfros.

  6. At the risk of sounding racist, aren’t those guys Hispanic? When filling out forms for “race,” isn’t Hispanic its own category? I know it quickly gets stupid, but that’s why I drew the line on them and other great Hispanic ‘fros in Rock.

  7. Suburban kid

    I’m not sure if this is still the case, but not too long ago, on government forms including questions about race and ethnicity, those who identified as Hispanic were then asked if they were white Hispanic or black Hispanic.

  8. When else, in the Hall of Rock, are you ever going to get a chance to vote for Leo Sayers so..I gotta go with Leo!

  9. What about Manassas-era Chris Hillman? I think this should qualify so I voted “other.”

    This is photo is part of an important in-depth study of his hair:

  10. Wow, a tremendous oversight on my part. Plus, he gets bonus points for having a blond ‘fro.

  11. jeangray

    Hey! All this Tom Petty talk, got me thanking of Mike Campbell: http://www.rickresource.com/stt-research/mike8836012.jpg

    I think that he & Brian May must be related!

  12. Bronzed Nordic God

    As I said in the original suggestion, Sib should be a lock for this one, but I’m tempted to write in Neal Schon.


  13. trigmogigmo

    And maybe the other Experience guy, drummer Mitch Mitchell. I can never tell them apart from the white’fro pictures of the band.


  14. bostonhistorian

    Good God, it’s like he has a poodle’s hindquarters draped over his head.

  15. With the poodle and the fourteen pounds of manly jewelry, if he didn’t lose the shirt he’d probly a tipped over…

  16. If there is an ensemble cast award for ‘Greatest Cumulative White Afro by a Band or Group’ the Grand Funk Railroad has to be considered a front runner. If Mark Farner had got with the program and donned the Clapton Farewell look, it could be a no contest.

    Both Mel Schacher and Don Brewer sported the hirstute rock bonnet.

    If you consider MC5 Rob Tyner’s perfect coif, Detroit pretty much leads in the regionals…

  17. So it is written, so let it be done!

  18. Glorious evidence. I vote Schon for the sheer tightness and bounce



  19. Schon may steal this thing as a write-in candidate yet. Check out his ‘fro in this performance; it’s like a mushroom cloud.


  20. diskojoe

    Chris Hillman was naturally curly, but he had to straighten his hair out when the Byrds started, but when hairstyles got to be freaky in ’67, he let it all hang out, as it were.

  21. I think “hate” is a very strong word for someone you don’t know, but if you dislike Don Henley’s/Eagles music that’s your opinion. I personally think Don’s Afro suited him well as it wasn’t too overpowering but complimented his good features. Jeff Lynne on the other hand, his Afro is a trademark and was constantly changing, yet always an Afro. He was dedicated to it that’s for sure! Don and Jeff have my votes!

  22. To really get an appropriate evaluation of Dylan’s groundbreaking jewfro, it should be judged at it’s pinnacle, which I believe is his Blonde on Blonde era poof, also as sported in the 66′ tour photos. I’m not saying it’s the winner by or even his best hair, (Which I think is the less fussy Bringin’ It All Back Home era do.) but it does reflect his best entry under the criteria.


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