The importance of hair

May 14, 2009

Hair is really important. My hair, your hair, anybody’s hair. Pop stars’ hair. Especially pop stars’ hair. The role of good hair in pop has been underestimated.

I’m a hair neurotic. It started young. I think it’s because my first ‘proper’ hairstyle – a fashionable 70’s middle parting – coincided with me getting my first girlfriend. That was it – hair cut equaled girls. 

Then punk happened and hair became even more of an obsession. Tragically my hair was crap for punk – thick and wavy. So it had to be cropped really short and lathered in Vaseline to get it to spike (this was pre-products – wax was something candles were made of). 

I had plenty of follicular role models. Sid was the first – another hair neuro who used to get his spike by drying it in the oven. Paul Simenon from the Clash too. Poor Strummer & Jones – they may had written the songs but they had really BAD hair.

Call me shallow, but if a band didn’t have at least one member with a good haircut then forget it. I loved SLF for the tunes, but it’s a good job the bass player has a good barnet as the rest of the band had hair like my dad.

Punk morphed into post-punk and haircuts became a signifier of cool. Phil Oakey led the way. I tried growing the long fringe but it just got too curly and I’d have gotten the shit kicked out of me – this was Barnsley not cosmopolitan Sheffield.

Luckily the Bunnymen came along. Mac’s hair was post punk perfection. I tried but never quite managed to match it (apparently he spent hours drying it by hanging his head upside down over the edge of the bed). 

Suddenly there were so many iconic haircuts. Kirk Brandon; Brian Setzer – if you wanted to go down that road; Steve Rawlings from The Danse Society – Barnsley’s finest; Morressey (then and now). And the Factory look. ACR’s Simon Topping was ahead of the game: short at the back – very short- and longer on top. Barney soon followed and that was it. Best band in the world, best haircut in the world. I had a ‘Barney’ for about ten years – well no-one’s original – even Elvis copied Tony Curtis.

Today I’m just glad I’ve still got hair. But the hair envy doesn’t go away. I recently saw Twilight with my daughters and the actor in that has great hair. Really great hair

The good:

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The bad:

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and the what the f*** is that

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