Sep 142012

Ever get hassled for your rock-length hair? I’m curious to know if anyone ever got hassled for a reverse rock hair length, such as the first generation of punks getting haircuts in the era when long hair became the norm. Did you have a rock-hair advocate?

My Mom was ahead of the curve in the Dry Look movement of the early 1970s, when regular guys first followed the flowing hair fashions established by rock ‘n rollers and assorted mods and hippies in the 1960s. She was right there alongside Carol Brady in supporting workingmen’s rights to grow their hair to a well-conditioned groovy length. She saw that my hair was kept at least as long as the Rubber Soul-era Beatles. Among all the snobbish attitudes my Mom inspired in me and that I still call on in times of trouble, perhaps none matched her attitudes toward hair.

His Father’s Mustache. Mr. James. These are the names of the first “hair salons” that my Mom took me to after countless arguments with traditional barbers through my preschool years. There were two barber friends in the family, in particular, who wanted to get a hold of my hair, Elmer and Pat the Barber (he was never referred to simply as “Pat”).

Elmer, one of my grandfather’s oldest friends, a kindly Italian uncle figure with a ready laugh, would call me over. “Let me see that hair, Jimmy,” he’d say in his gentle voice, as he ran his fingers through it. Then his tone shifted a bit. “Why don’t you tell your mother to let me give you a real boy’s haircut.”

“Pat the Barber,” just as friendly a presence in my grandparents’ neighborhood and the father of boy I’d crawl through dirty factory lots with in the summertime, used to give me the same pitch. I’m a boy, I’m a boy, and my Mom could admit it.

Sep 092012

Our new best friends over at Touchstone Books (a Division of Simon & Schuster) have given us three copies of the new Freddie Mercury biography. More information about the book is below the fold. To win a brand new copy of your very own simply comment with a link to an image of a music-related personality that rocks the cop ‘stache as well as or better than the late great Freddie Mercury. It’s just that easy.


Here are some real cop ‘staches for guidance.

For what it’s worth, according to the pros over at Mustache Summer.

The Police Departments in Los Angeles and elsewhere have a Dress Code for their officers, which details how an officer is to present himself. One of the areas covered is facial hair, which is only allowed in the form of a mustache, and cannot extend below the corner of the mouth. If a police officer wants to grow whiskers, he must grow a ‘stache. That mustachio’d cop on the corner may be burning for a goatee or a Soul Patch, but departmental regulations help keep him from making a horrible mistake.

Also, to ensure complete objectivity in judging, we have enlisted a celebrity to make the calls. Our guest judge is…


XTC: The Haircuts

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Aug 202012

Andy Partridge himself brought this video to my attention today, via his Twitter account. (Yes, I agree; it’s a little confusing that the former frontman of XTC uses a Twitter account called “xtcfans.”) I actually remember watching this as a RealPlayer file when it came out around 1999. Anyway, it’s one of the more unique entries of the Apple Venus media blitz. See if you can detect any evidence of the looming Partridge and Moudling split. Enjoy!

May 042012

This one goes to zero!

Rock Town Hall has a long and honored tradition of rock video analysis, with Townspeople often incorporating the distinctive technique of commenting on videos with the sound off. In honor of alexmagic‘s legendary analysis of a video of Tom Jones performing with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, we are instituting a new feature, Sound Off!

The way a Sound Off! thread works is simple:

  • A video is posted for us to view with the sound off.
  • We comment on what we’re seeing with the sound off.
  • We most likely share in the sense of wonder that there’s much to learn about music with the sound off.

You will be entrusted to view the following video with the sound off. If we could disable the video’s sound we would, but something tells me the copyright holder of the video might object to that. Trust us, for the purposes of this thread the sound will get in the way. Beside, you may be viewing this at work, in which case coworkers will only be distbured by your giggles; you won’t have to worry about the artist’s music leaking into their cube.

After the jump, why don’t you turn the sound off and watch the following video!

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May 022012

Can you find a more comprehensively bad collection of All-Star Hairdos? I bet you can. There may be few hideous cuts in this relatively tasteful late-’80s jam, granted, but the regrets do pile up as cultural and racial boundaries are wiped clean.

Feb 132012

Choose one.

It’s been a few years now, hasn’t it, since Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl added a full-on beard to his Look, and his band’s popularity has only continued to soar. Nevertheless, watching the GRAMMYS last night I remembered an unwritten rule I meant to write down about 10 years ago, while watching another band led by a thickly bearded singer who also wore glasses. I’m going to write it down now, and I urge lead singers the world over to consider this:

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