May 182020

Brief combover era.

We’ve covered Rock’s Questionable Hats. We’ve covered headbands, a headwear-related device that has sometimes been suspected as being employed to manage a receding hairline. However, I searched the archives and couldn’t find a full-on survey of hats in rock ‘n roll. I’m sure it’s in there.

As cool as Marcello Mastroianni in 8½.

As I dug further into my research, I learned that someone already HAS told the story of Bobby Elliot’s role in bringing hats into rock ‘n roll. So, to give credit where credit is due, I think it’s best that you visit this piece, from The Future Is Past blog. It even captures the shocking, “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother”-period employment of a wig. Thankfully, Bobby came back to his stylistic senses and re-embraced rock’s finest collection of hats.

Not everyone can pull off the backward jeff cap.

Poke around the web – or better yet, watch the excellent, no-nonsense Hollies documentary, Look Through Any Window, on Amazon Prime – and you’ll even see Bobby pull off the extremely difficult rock beret, complete with a silk scarf or ascot. The guy is dripping in style.

Even in 1983, in when fashion atrocities like cap sleeves overtook this reunited version of the band, Bobby Elliot is well ahead of the curve. You can see him bashing away back there on his kit with a stylishly shaved head, years before the Michaels – Jordan and Stipe – made this Look trendy. And before I leave you, make sure you appreciate that the man is not only a fashion pioneer but a fantastic drummer!


  9 Responses to “Rock’s Unfulfilled Fashion Ideas: Bobby Elliot and the Baldness Covering Hat”

  1. You read my mind, Mr Mod! I watched the documentary last night and noticed that he lost the hat and went with a wig. I was actually surprise he went to the hat early on!

    Either way he is an excellent drummer!

  2. diskojoe

    That’s the same exact documentary that I picked up around 10 years ago. It’s pretty great & Bobby Elliot is a great drummer, hats or no hats.

    Two other 60s drummers who were also pretty good are Dino Danelli of the Rascals & Mike Hugg of Manfred Mann.

    I’m nearly 58 & my mother nags me to cut my hair all the time.

    Finally, Mick Avory isn’t a half bad drummer 😀

  3. Dino ans Mike Hugg are both great. Another pretty good/great drummer is “Johnny B” from Mitch Rider and the Detroit Wheels!

  4. Elliott had the luck to be sitting behind Allan Clarke, who had disturbingly bad hair. He probably sat back there thinking, “It’s gone, but it could’ve been worse.”

  5. BigSteve

    Bobby Elliott’s hair started to disappear at an alarmingly early age. He was only 25 or 26 when he felt the need to cover his vanishing hairline. Hair used to be so important. It was considered a political/cultural statement. Thank god buzzing or shaving your head became a thing you could do when you got older and couldn’t be bothered with pretending anymore.

    Some people still let themselves be slaves to Rock music as a youth movement. It’s only been a few years ago that Paul Simon finally let people see his head in its natural state. I saw a clip of the reunited Flamin’ Groovies recently, and Cyril Jordan was wearing a full-head wig. It was appalling.

  6. cherguevara

    A story I shouldn’t post on the internet: A friend of mine was working on a reunion project for a famous duo, we’ll call them G & S. The duo’s performance was filmed and that seemed to be the end of their participation, only a manager would show up to check on my friend’s progress with the work of turning the footage into a finished product. Until the one day a bald stranger appeared with the manager and remained a stranger, no introductions were made. The stranger began opining on the work, pointing at S on the screen, “that guy, he sounds and looks pretty good, but that guy,” moving his finger over to G, “that guy needs a little help. Let’s see what we can do for him.” Many more comments of the same ilk were expressed, my friend worked to accommodate the stranger, unsure as to what exactly was happening. Eventually, the stranger excused himself for the restroom and my friend immediately turned to the manager. “Who is that? What is this?!”
    The manager says, “What?! That’s G!!”
    “Wait, what? That’s G?! What about his hair? Where’s his hair?”
    “It’s a WIG!!”
    “A wig? How? He has a receding hairline. He has a wig with a receding hairline?”
    “Yes! That makes it more REALISTIC!” he hissed to imply that the explanations were done and it was time to STFU. G returned to the room and the work continued.

  7. Happiness Stan

    CG, anecdote of the week, without question, I feel I should go home now. Oh wait…

    Neil Innes was bald from a very young age and never appeared on stage without a hat or obvious wig. I’ve been considering putting together a piece on the great man for the Hall’s appreciation, (probably once all the teenage girls who have moved into our home have finished their university exams when hopefully it’ll be a bit less histrionic).

  8. Thank you, Cher! So good to know that about this mysterious Mr G.

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