Hunks,Style Icons: Male »Little Richard

The King and Queen of Rock and Roll

Sure, now Little Richard is a goofball in commercials but, think on it, back when he exploded on the scene he was down right, out if sight, daring!

He was funny, omnisexual, and untamed. He let loose with unsuppressed screams and his hair! Oh my, his hair! Coiffed doesn’t even begin.

His influence is huge, most famous musicians name him as their gateway to rock and roll (Prince, Michael Jackson, James Brown etc).

Plus, (surprise, surprise) what a total babe he used to be. Right?

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Posted on December 9, 2011

Hunks »Michael Monroe

Original Hair Band Boy

Hanoi Rocks’ Michael Monroe was such a beauty queen! My goodness.

He and his band are credited with creating the Los Angeles hair band “look”, at least that’s what I found on wikipedia when I woke up wondering who the first hair band was. (Don’t you wake up with similar queries?)

I have to say, and no disrespect to Mr. Monroe, but like most, maybe even all hair bands, I am far more interested in the style than the music. It’s always surprisingly lite and wussy.

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Posted on November 18, 2011

Style Icons: Female »Poly Styrene

Original Riot Grrl

No front woman before or since has quite been like Poly Styrene.

Round faced and wide eyed, she looked about twelve years old when she was shouting up yours as the face of the Xray Spex (who I am getting acquainted with thanks to Spotify) one of the most influential punk bands of the 1970s.

Sporting braces and a smile she was a rebel among rebels. Her performances were lively and punctuated by neon outfits, hard hats, and wild mini dresses.

Styrene, whose real name was Marianne Joan Elliott-Said sadly passed away earlier this year but undoubtedly influenced countless young girls in her lifetime and beyond.

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Posted on October 20, 2011

Hunks »Stu Sutcliffe

The Fifth Beatle

He’s known as the fifth Beatle and in lamer circles as the guy Stephen Dorff played but have you taken a good look and seen what a total doll Stu Sutcliffe was?

He was way more styling than his friends and looks decades ahead of his time.

Seriously, he could have taken over The Smiths and even Morrissey would be swooning.

While he gave up the life of Beatle fame for love and art, we never got a chance to see what would become of him. He collapsed and died at age 22 of a brain aneurysm.

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Posted on October 5, 2011

Hunks »Joe Jack Talcum

Dead Milkman

Nerdy yet punk rock, scrawny but cool – these Dead Milkmen I had seen on Mtv were very unlike the boys I knew in Colorado Springs and I wanted to find them.. which I eventually did in abundance later at art school.

Lead singer Joe Jack Talcum, aka Butterfly Fairweather, aka Jasper Thread, aka Joseph Genaro and his brand of dork punk could explode on the scene today, fitting in easily with the hip young things. But these men were ahead of their times, making squares scratch their heads way back in 1988.

1988, I was ten, and the moment he giggled in the Punk Rock Girl video my life long love for arty nerds had begun.

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Posted on September 5, 2011

Style Icons: Male »The Cars

New Wave Icons

Not only are The Cars dynamic performers who blew my young mind with their wild videos and catchy songs, but, man! these guys could dress.

No outlandish men’s jacket ever found a better home than resting on their tall rock star shoulders. (Seriously, have you seen so many good but weird jackets in one place?) Fearless, they donned pleather, satin, leopard print, and suspenders.

On a side note, I amazes me that these guys were younger than I am now when their hot first album was released. Everywhere I look, there are signs that I am getting older…

 

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Posted on August 24, 2011

Hunks »Glenn Gould

Celebrated Pianist

Glenn Gould was a rare talent and his life and unusual personality are fascinating (see 32 Short Films About Glenn Gould if you haven’t!) but I guess it just eluded me somehow that he was also such an incredibly stylish cutie.

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Posted on August 24, 2011

Albums,Style Icons: Female »Comme à la Radio and Brigitte Fontaine

by Brigitte Fontaine (1969)

The strange and beautiful album Comme à la Radio by Brigitte Fontaine is like a marvelous magical mash up of some of my favorite things:

Take the sultry french vocals of Francois Hardy, add the discord of Morricone‘s jazzier scores, throw in the baritone tones of Nico at her most avant-garde and toss in the bizarre moodiness of Amon Duul II and you’ve got one album I simply cant resist getting excited about.

That such an interesting talent is not more well known is both a surprise and a fact that makes me happy with the world. If someone as cool and amazing as Fontaine was unknown to me, just imagine how many more gems are out there for my discovering.

This is another find I have my Pandora app to thank for. Le Goudron, one of the albums most universally listenable and fantastic tracks came on during a Quick Mix and I was beside myself.
Fontaine herself is fascinating. Not only was she a major figure in the French underground art scene of the 70’s, she’s relevant and active today incorporating electronic sounds into her music and collaborating with such artists as Sonic Youth, Jarvis Cocker and Grace Jones.

I might just be in love.

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Posted on August 19, 2011

Style Icons: Female »Ann and Nancy Wilson

aka Heart

You have to give credit to any woman that breaks into the rock and rolls scene even if you may not like their music (thinking Sheryl Crow, etc).

But Heart, sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson, whose music I adore (the first chords of Magic Man and Barracuda always give me chills) are particularly marvelous. Sure, they are beautiful, but they made their way as chicks who could really play and sing.

Style wise, they always stayed true to the deacde’s trends, yet remained always themselves: tough and scrappy while remaining feminine and just slightly vunerable. Satin jumpsuits, leather fitted jackets, blue eyeshadow, feather chokers, big hair and corsets – these girls could rock anything they wanted to.

Oh and those feathered bangs! Seriously, going through all these old photos of them, makes one want to book an appointment for that dated cut stat. (Honestly, I need you all to either tell me this is a great idea or talk me out of it before it’s too late.)

Plus, they win bonus awesome points for telling Sarah Palin to shove it when she tried to use Barracuda during her campaign :

“Sarah Palin’s views and values in NO WAY represent us as American women. We ask that our song ‘Barracuda’ no longer be used to promote her image. The song ‘Barracuda’ was written in the late 70s as a scathing rant against the soulless, corporate nature of the music business, particularly for women. (The ‘barracuda’ represented the business.) While Heart did not and would not authorize the use of their song at the RNC, there’s irony in Republican strategists’ choice to make use of it there.”

Click here for the rest of Ann and Nancy Wilson

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Posted on July 30, 2011

Style Icons: Male »Clarence Clemons

E Street Sax Man

I was very sad to hear of Clarence Clemons’ passing. Known as The Big Man, he was a philanthropist, a father, and an amazing entertainer.

Most notably he was the saxophonist for The E Street Band, and it’s rare that I’ll say saxophone makes things better, but Clarence could.

As one of the few of my generation that counts herself a (non-ironic) Springsteen fan, I was lucky enough to see him perform live. It was sweet. Clemons was vibrant.

He will be missed.

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Posted on June 20, 2011

Style Icons: Male »Gary Numan

Iconic Electronic Rocker

Half grumpy nerd, half stoic rock star, Gary Numan makes one unusual celebrity.

With double breasted suits, pleather jumpers, and later snow white hair he classifies as a style icon of the traditional sense, and hints of his style can be seen in The Talking Heads, Devo, and even Eddie Murphy (rent Delirious if you don’t believe me).

But he is most notably an inventive pioneer whose catchy electronica from another planet infinitely inspired the music landscape.

I am a big fan and in some strange moods only Telekon will do.

Nowadays, he looks better than some aging rock stars but seems to have thrown away the android Gary for a new Gary that screams like Trent Reznor by way of Leland Palmer.

He still tours (look out for dates this year) and a few years back performed the entire Replicas album live, which would have been super awesome to see.

Other awesome things about Numan? Well, he cameoed in the Mighty Boosh, he is openly atheist, he was diagnosed with Aspergers and proves that success is possible with the disorder, and he married a fan club member (giving hope to fans everywhere that the same could happen to them one day).

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Posted on June 9, 2011

Hunks »Sam Beam

Singer, Songwriter, Babe

Sam Beam, aka Iron and Wine, looks like my husband spliced with Zach Galifinakis with a voice like the summer breeze. Truly hunky indeed.

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Posted on June 4, 2011

Style Icons: Male »Sylvester

Queen of Disco

Even today many celebrities are afraid to live out and proud. That Sylvester was dressing in drag and flaunting the title of Queen of Disco in a far less tolerant era is amazing and admirable.

He’s probably best known for his hit “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)” but I found out more about him as a one time member of the off the wall fabulous performance group The Cockettes.

Beginning his career as a costume designer, he knew about style From head to toe and he made everything – from bangles to flapper dresses his own.

He sadly died of complications from AIDS during the early years of the epidemic. A documentary based on his life is in the works.

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Posted on May 31, 2011

Hunks »Shel Silverstein

Poet, Illustrator, Musician, Generally Awesome Guy

Shel Silverstein was a big part of my childhood, probably like many of you. I grew up reading his books and once was so haunted by one of his cassettes that I brought it to my mom crying asking her to hide it from me since, even though it terrified me, I couldn’t stop listening to it.

A talented artist, wit and musician, you can also see he was a first rate babe. Can’t you just envision him teaching a class in old school butchering or being one of the only men that wouldn’t look lame holding a guitar down on the Williamsburg waterfront? Straight up heart melter, the kind that even dudes can get psyched about (just look at the joy in Dustin Hoffman’s face just to be hanging out with him).

He sadly passed away a little over a decade ago and suffered several tragedies in his own life including the early death of a wife and daughter. He gave the world much joy though with his quirky, awesome books.

 

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Posted on May 24, 2011

Style Icons: Female »Joni Mitchell

Folk Super Star

It’s taken a while for me to have my Joni Mitchell “moment”. Van was just days old and California was the first song we listened to together, awwww.

While the waify talent recently took some flack for shit talking Bob Dylan and Madonna (neither of whom have never said a bad word about anyone I am sure) her long haired, huge smiling, easy summer breeze style is as refreshing as her older age words are vitriolic.

Plus, one has to respect the admiration her music earned among rock and roll’s male dominated royalty without ever changing herself to fit conventions. Everyone from Prince to Madonna, Led Zeppelin to Morrissey, Bjork to Sonic Youth site her as inspiration.

And if I could guarantee it wouldn’t freak out my baby (I’ve read that drastic hair style changes can be alarming) I’d cut me some Joni Mitchell bangs.

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Posted on April 29, 2011

Style Icons: Female »Juliette Lewis

Indie Star and Rocker

Juliette Lewis is one of those are current celebrities that can just get away with anything in my book. Shady business like blue hair, drug addiction, Scientology, and even corn rows abound with her – but I still love the lady, just love her! Any movie is better with her in it and any movie could be improved by a cameo.

Aside from an long film resume that features duds (Starsky & Hutch, The Other Sister) as well as gems (Whip It!, Natural Born Killers, Hysterical Blindness) she is the lead singer of the band Juliette and the Licks where she demands the stage, screaming and Mick Jagger swaggering around while wearing latex panties and kooky head wear.

I could have sworn I made this rock star and original quirky indie icon a style icon, but while linking my last entry I was shocked to not find hide or hair of the entry. Well, now I can make up for the omission.

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Posted on April 18, 2011

Hunks »David Ruffin

Mr. Temptation

David Ruffin lent his scruffy yet smooth voice to some of The Temptations best loved hits like My Girl and Ain’t Too Proud To Beg. His solo career was less commercially successful but still yielded some top ten hits like My Whole World Ended.

With a megawatt smile, kind eyes, heavy black spectacles and nerdy good looks he was uniquely, stylishly handsome and stunningly modern (doesn’t the third photo below look like a brand new album?).

But as we learn about so many famous people we admire, the facade hid a much darker reality. He was plagued by drug addiction which eventually took his life and a huge ego that ended his relationship with The Temptations on a sour note.

Click here for the rest of David Ruffin

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Posted on March 30, 2011