The Savage Animal 02.27.13: Top 10 Facial Hairs of Rock
Awards were won too! I saw more than half of the big Oscar nominated movies this year. I had no desire to watch any musical or critically acclaimed foreign film. I just can’t get into musicals and it seems that any foreign film that gets nominated is depressing and long. There are plenty of bad ass and good foreign movies, but if they don’t make you sad and sleepy they’re not “important enough”. Whatever, nerds. Of what I saw of 2012, I thought Argo was the best movie. Thankfully it won the Best Picture. Daniel Day-Lewis was the best actor and the best supporting actor was Christoph Waltz. This stuff was obvious. Other films were great and other actors rocked the screen, but these three statues should have been engraved months ago.
I didn’t expect it, but Jennifer Lawrence won Best Actress for Silver Linings Playbook. That’s pretty awesome. I was never really sold on her. I hadn’t seen Hunger Games and Winters Bone never made it into my DVD player. I saw her on SNL, but I’ve not really had to encounter her. I heard all of this hype and praise for her though. Then I saw Silver Linings Playbook and it all made sense. She’s a great young actress. I’m happy she won. She deserved it. I was also kind of surprised about Ang Lee winning Best Director for Life of Pi. I didn’t see it, but that movie looked beautiful in the trailers and clips. I expected Speilberg to take it for Lincoln though. That was a damn epic movie and the visual feel and Daniel Day-Lewis was the main reason for that. The biggest bullshit was Brave winning. I didn’t see it, but why would I have to? It looks exactly like every Disney cartoon that comes out. I’m sure it’s quality, but Wreck-It-Ralph should have won. Dammit!
Overall it was a pretty decent show. The musical numbers were okay, the host was unfairly hated on, there were surprises, obvious picks, cool moments, and it didn’t feel as tedious to watch. Most movie nerds are half-excited going in and by the end of the first hour it’s dreadful. Not so much this year…
Whisker Wrockers! Rock stars have always had an “image”. They’re larger than life, they have a certain style, and they’re as visual a celebrity as anyone. Even when a musician attempts to not have an “image” they still do. Case in point was Nirvana’s anti-establishment/normal Seattle guy look became a fashion trend for everyone. The indie rockers all have the same “hipster” uniform despite claiming there is no preconceived intentions. I’m calling bullshit. It takes just as long to clean your hipster frame glasses, get your hair looking like a 1950’s pseudo-“greaser”, and getting that perfect crease in your back pocket hanker chief takes JUST AS FUCKING LONG as putting on some eye liner, glitter, and fishnets. It’s just the nature of the beast. If you’re a celebrity, your image matters. The way Justin Bieber looks is just as intentional as how The Black Keys look. I’m not even going to touch the fact that one of the two subjects in that comparison is talent as fuck and the other is Justin Bieber. Of course, I’m on the side of The Black Keys, but I’m also a white hetro male in his late 20’s. It’s what I relate to. The same as how a younger person would relate more to Bieber. The point here is that image matters.
One aspect of one’s “image” is the facial hair. Over the years we’ve seen some very famous facial hair hit the scene in the form of musical celebrity. Mustaches, goatees, and beards… oh my! When I say beards I don’t mean Kanye West’s beard… Kim Kardashian. But we can talk about the Hitler/Michael Jordan stache, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin’s goatee, and Opie’s beard from “Sons of Anarchy” is outstanding.
But in music oddly enough there aren’t as many as you’d think in music. But the ones that DO stand out REALLY stand out. There are many ways to judge one’s facial hair. It’s all subjective and no one is wrong and no one is right (except me!). The criteria I’m going with is overall popularity, how important it is to one’s identity, uniqueness, and trendsetting.
I’m sure I’ll miss some obvious ones and some obscure ones that I may not have been exposed to. Oh well. By now you’ve read the title of this column and already have one or two famous facial-haired musicians on your mind. Let’s compare notes…
10.| ::::[ Bob "The Bear" Hite
:::Band] Canned Heat
:::Facial Hair]Crazy Beard!
I need to listen to Canned Heat. I’ve heard a little and dug it, but even a non-fan can’t deny that Bob “The Bear” Hite’s massive Wildman beard is the shit. This larger-than-life blues-rock singer was a big mountain of a main who wore his chest-length beard with pride. It’s just a really impressive beard…
9.| ::::[ Jerry Garcia
:::Band] The Grateful Dead
:::Facial Hair]Santa Beard
Jerry Garcia is like the hippy Santa. The beard is big and full, but not too intimidating or off-putting. It’s like a cloud of weed smoke that took solid form in the shape of a beard. Jerry passed away, but he’s not going to be forgotten. The image of this guy is a big beard, some sunglasses, and a content and knowing smile. Plus, he and I have the same birth day! That’s bonus points for sure.
8.| ::::[ Neil Peart
:::Facial Hair]Handle-Bar Mustache
Neil Peart’s mustache from the 2112 era was kick ass. It was the 70’s and a lot of people had big mustaches in rock, but not many were on the level as Peart’s upper lip warmer. Despite drumming behind a million piece kit and on the same stage as his fellow RUSH members, I’m fairly certain the people in the back of the arena could STILL see those whiskers. Hell, I’m pretty sure I there is still sightings in some of the more wooded areas of Canada.
7.| ::::[ David Crosby
:::Band] Crosby, Stills, & Nash / Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young / Solo
:::Facial Hair]Walrus Stache
David Crosby’s mustache has had more drugs stuck in it than Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan could dream of doing. Yeah, I know that’s a lot but we’re also talking about David Crosby here. He’s a great singer and songwriter. Woodstock 69 would not have been the same without him. As cool as he is, his mustache is a BIG part of who he is. His big mustache stands out so much that he blames it for his lack of acting success. He’s just too recognizable. Melissa Ethridge even enlisted him for his sperm for artificial insemination. So there is a good chance these whisker jeans are going to be passed on. Let’s hope!
6.| ::::[ Scott Ian
:::Facial Hair]Long Ass Chin Hair
True story: Scott Ian’s beard has its own facebook page with nearly one thousand likes. Scott Ian’s long ass chin hair is iconic. He didn’t always have it. You can find older videos where you can see a clean shaved Scott Ian rocking out, but why would you want to. The chin hair has been copied by others over time, but no one pulls it off like Ian. He should insure that shit.
5.| ::::[ "Dimebag" Darrell
:::Facial Hair]Crazy Pinkish-Red Caveman Beard
How could I not include Dimebag’s pinkish red beard? In metal, it’s not uncommon for people to rock cool facial hair but it faded away for a while. Enter Dimebag and his caveman look! He was one of the greatest metal guitar players of all time. We can’t deny that at all. But he was more than that. He seemed like a cool as hell person, funny, and just a good guy. But also, he had a crazy pinkish caveman beard and no one could say shit about it. That’s metal.
4.| ::::[ Derek Smalls
:::Band] Spinal Tap
:::Facial Hair]Mutton Beard
Yes, this is a parody character for a parody band. Spinal Tap is an old mockumentary that needs to be seen by anyone who has ever even looked at a guitar. It mocks and satirizes the older rock bands, their artistic ideas, touring, groupies, and the little things. I’m sure most of it is just as relevant today. It’s often heralded as being so great because well… it IS so great. It was so popular that Spinal Tap has pretty much become a real band. Derek Smalls is a main part of that. With his mutton beard, he looks the part. It looks similar to about a dozen 70’s rockers, but still stands on its own two sideburns. Sometimes a joke can be funny AND bad ass.
3.| ::::[ Freddie Mercury
:::Facial Hair]Caterpillar Stach
Freddie Mercury still stands as one of the biggest and best voices in the history of rock and roll. His life was cut short, but the music Queen put out will last forever. Freddie’s voice was amazing, but he was just as much a showman. His most famous “look” was when he rocked his stache. It was a big thick caterpillar kind of mustache that just dominated his face. I’ve often found myself mocking those with this kind of mustache with a snarky mumble of “Okay Freddie Mercury”. I’m a jerk to them, but never towards Freddie. It’s not something that just anyone could pull off.
2.| ::::[ Lemmy Kilmister
:::Facial Hair] Mutton Chop Beard
Like the old “Airheads” adage goes, “Who’s better? Lemmy or God?” Lemmy Kilmister is one bad ass mofo. This is like the Derek Small’s mutton beard, but this is real. Lemmy is one of metal’s true icons and well respected by anyone who knows anything. One of the many cool things about him is his facial hair. He sports bad ass mutton chops that connect via mustache. He looks like a biker pirate from the Wild West that just woke up from a black out bender. It’s part chop, part stache, part beard, and all metal. By the way, it was a trick question…. “Lemmy is God!”
1.| ::::[ ZZ Top
:::Band] ZZ Top (Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill, but ironically… NOT Frank Beard)
:::Facial Hair]Chest-Length Beards
Sure it’s a “tie”, but this one is obvious. There might be better groomed, more colorful, or more contemporary forms of rock star facial hair out there, but two of the three members of ZZ Top got it right. Famous for their chest length beards, Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill own the facial hair game. The only member in the band without the iconic beard is actually named Frank Beard. I always thought that was a cool little trivia fact. Since the late 70’s, these guys have rocked these massive beards. These beards are so famous that they were once offered a million bucks to take them off, but declined. This was in the 80’s. Imagine the inflation! These are literally multi-million dollar beards.
Who do YOU think has/had the best facial hair in rock?
Quentin Tarantino makes great movies. He’s not my favorite writer, director, or filmmaker, but the dude has his own vision and sticks to it. The results of this insanity has given us some of the best films of the past twenty five or so years. Who can argue with the impact of a “Pulp Fiction”, the crude glory of “Inglourious Basterds”, or the bad-assness of “Kill Bill”. Of course there are the other projects in between and they too are at least on the level of “well, that was better than just about everything.” Even a bad Quentin Tarantino movie is better than most. Say what you want about his “controversial” content and attitude, but you’re at least saying something. His movies make people react and that’s all you can ask for as an artist like Tarantino. I’m not here to kiss ass though. Like I said, he’s not my favorite or anything. I’d love to see him do something more in the lines of a “True Romance” again or even make a movie with no guns or violence at all just to see if he could. I don’t think he could, but at this point I don’t care. His latest movie has all of the “buzz worthy” ingredients. It’s a throwback, it’s about a controversial time, there is backlash over the content and language, it’s got great actors, and it’s being eaten up by the award giving suits. This is the big façade of it all. All of that stuff is true, but Django Unchained is more than that. This movie has a heart and soul. You’re not given the task to decide who to cheer for. Logic and good taste makes it clear that you want to see the good guys succeed and the bad guys get theirs. It’s set in the slavery days. Jamie Foxx, Django, is a slave who is freed by a traveling bounty hunter played amazingly by Christoph Waltz. The German bounty hunter takes Django all around the west to kill bad people, make money, and form a really cool team. The end game is always to free Django’s wife and get revenge on the shitty slave owning southern pukes. Does it work out in the end? I won’t say. I’ll let you sit down with this two plus hour movie and take the journey yourself. All I can do is highly recommend that journey. I’m not a Jamie Foxx fan, but he won me over with a very strong showing as Django. The real stand out of the movie is Christoph Waltz. He was a great bad guy in “Inglourious Basterds”, but here he gets to play a great good guy. His reaction to the vile treatment of the slaves and his outlook on justice is pretty much how I assume all of us modern 2013 people would react as well. Things DO get uncomfortable, but what should anyone expect? It’s not supposed to make light of slavery. It shows its darkest side while providing an uplifting narrative. Samuel L. Jackson’s performance as an old and overly loyal slave is both amazing and disgusting at the same time. He should have gotten more award love for it. Others show up too. Don Johnson, Michael Parks, James Remar, Walton Goggins, Jonah Hill, Bruce Dern, and plenty more. They show up, do their thing, and then they’re gone. I understand there is too much going on to feature all of these people, but it felt like some people were just there so we can say “Look! It’s them!” Then you want to see something of substance, but we just got a lot of empty cameos. The main bad guy is the wife’s slave owner played by Leonardo DiCaprio. He does great with it, but it doesn’t feel like he’s present enough. He’s just there, going through the evil motions. I just wasn’t feeling his character much. The unevenness of DiCaprio’s slave owner and the empty cameos didn’t hurt this movie too much. It’s still clearly one of the best movies of the year and deserves all the praise it gets. I’ve only seen “Inglourious Basterds” once and haven’t done anything to see it again. I will for sure watch “Django Unchained” again… soon. If you haven’t seen it, you only have yourself to blame for missing out. See it! See it now! A-
I don’t need to get into the history and the story too much. Chris Benoit was a professional wrestler who was respected and loved by tons of people. He was considered one of the best performers of his time and put on many great matches and gave wrestling fans many great moments. He was a multiple time Champion and had accolades that are Hall of Fame worthy for sure.
Then he went crazy. He killed his young child, his wife, and then himself. The point is a man went crazy and innocent people were killed. The way people see it as “A WRESTLER went crazy and innocent people were killed”. This makes WRESTLING a victim as well. People associate the incident with wrestling. The WWE is a WRESTLING business. So they had to react to this. They basically blacklisted Benoit. His name was removed from everything and his clips were never shown. The time frame he was most successful is now full of holes due to him being scratched from history.
I don’t care if you loved his series with Booker T, his WrestleMania title win, or his tag matches with Kurt Angle. This means nothing. It’s entertainment. Chris Benoit DID NOT WIN ANYTHING. He was a performer. He didn’t really win any titles or anything. His character was written to win a title. His performance was great in this role, but it’s not like he had to overcome foes or faced any serious unwanted danger. He was an athletic improv actor who was good at his job. His career was impressive, but his “accomplishments” are bullshit. The idea of him being “Hall of Fame” worthy is bullshit. He did more harm to wrestling than anyone in modern times. The black eye he left on wrestling and the world in general in much much MUCH bigger than some bullshit U.S. Title win over “M.V.P.”
So in reality for Chris Benoit’s career to ever be worthy and acceptable for “Hall of Fame status” something much much MUCH worse would have to happen to overshadow it. That’s the only way. It’s a “worst case scenario” I’d prefer not to consider…
It would probably involve Pandas though.
“THE GREAT GATSBY”
“The Great Gatsby” starring Leonardo DiCaprio is almost certainly going to be a great movie. I can’t imagine it not being at least a really fun movie. Leo brings the ruckus when it comes to doing bad ass period or bio pictures. Here he’s in one of the biggest stories in modern literature. He plays Nick Carraway and goes through the crazy journey of the “good life”. He chases the “American dream” until he encounters the party-guy millionaire Jay Gatsby. Hilarity, drama, and intrigue ensue. Leonardo DiCaprio is not alone. Tobey Maguire, Joel Edgerton, Isla Fisher, Carey Mulligan, and a slew of other familiar and talented faces are around in this movie. This might not be a movie that I’ll run to the theatre to check out, but I’d have no problem catching this on cable down the line.