Introduction: Clowns? Rock music? There's a connection here, and Billy Florio explores it in his ongoing series of what's wrong with the music industry.
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Article by: Billy Florio
I look at music over the past 30 years, and I notice something...there are an overwhelming amount of rockers that paint their faces in make up, and wear wacky clothes. Now it's one thing if they're doing their best impression of Mimi from The Drew Carey Show, but it's completely another when these rockers think that it's cool, and even worse when they think that they're scaring us.
Since Little Richard in the '50's, we've had male rock stars covering themselves in make up. A lot of them do it because it's part of their character, or they do it to try and be as controversial as possible, (In Little Richard's case though, he was gay). There was a huge wave of it in the early '70's when "Glam Rockers" like David Bowie and Slade came on the scene. Most people, when they see a man in make up, and he's not in the cast of Braveheart, they assume he must be gay. (In Bowie's case, he claimed he was gay, and then recanted it later). But surprisingly most of these bands were strait. One band tried to push the gender limits past the others. The New York Dolls, lead by Buster Poindexter himself, (David Johansson), actually went up on stage wearing women's clothing. (While now this doesn't seem unusual as you see people like STP's Scott Weiland doing it all the time, but back then this was controversial). Makeup became an essential in the Glam Rock movement. One MAN then took it another step further. After throwing a live chicken off stage to his death, Alice Cooper donned face makeup that seemed very similar to a clown, or monster, and put on stage shows that featured snakes, electric chairs and Alice getting decapitated (Something I'm sure some people would love to see happen). The next band to do this tried to play themselves off as superheroes (and Marvel even gave them their own comic book...what the hell?). KISS made being outrageous a normal thing. Their stage shows went so far to include Gene Simmons breathing fire out of his mouth (that statement might be redundant). But by the late '70's and the heyday of punk, people just didn't care anymore about these Glam stars, and Kiss lost the make up within a few years.
Now it was the '80's, and you would think that the days of guys wearing dresses and putting on eyeliner would be over. Well.... not quite. Hair metal sprang up with bands like Motley Crue, Quiet Riot, Ratt, and Winger. These pretty boys, like their glam predecessors tried to push the limits of gender. Then came Poison. They wore so much makeup, Phyllis Diller would be jealous. Poison was the quintessential hair band, and they had the Aquanet to prove it. After Poison we though they couldn't go any further...but we were wrong. Twisted Sister, (who actually came out before Poison, but it sounds better like this), Followed in the foot steps of their idols, The New York Dolls, and wore women's clothes, and makeup, and could have been mistaken for really ugly women at first glance. These guys looked like they belonged in the Rocky Horror Picture show, I really like their songs though. Now hopefully you'd think we've gone as far as we can, but we were wrong again when GWAR came out of the sewer. (I really think they came from the sewer). These no-hit wonders again pushed the limits, and were once arrested in North Carolina for indecent exposure, (Which is nothing new for drunk rock stars not wearing clothes, but these guys were wearing clothes...just very...um...poorly placed ones.) Their music sucked too. Thank God for Pearl Jam and Nirvana, which came out around the same time as them to bring good music and some conservatism to makeup use. (Though Nirvana did wear dresses in their video for "In Bloom").
Now we would all hope that with grunge, male femininity would be put to an end, and there would be no more of these guys wearing women's clothes and makeup just to make us puzzled. Nope, instead we got a bunch of wakos trying to scare us by wearing makeup. Marilyn Manson and his/its awful music came about mid '90's and truly made me yearn for the days of such "More sensible" bands like Sweet and the Dolls. Little Brian Warner is one of the people I would like to send into space, and not bring him back. The weird part is, his makeup seems to have a striking resemblance to Michael Jackson's. After Manson, another awful band of shock rockers emerged and tried to scare us. The Insane Clown Posse made me answer Gary Lewis and the Playboys question: "Everybody loves a clown, so why don't you?", with an irritated "because they're ruining rock!" The last things that rock ever needed were these psychos. Do they think that they're scary? Why pick a clown then? Do you think anyone was scared at Tim Curry in IT? You don't need this makeup to scare people...Barbara Streisand scares me and she's not even trying to be scary, (just irritating). What ever happened to the days of people like Ozzy Osbourne and Metallica? Now they were scary...and had good music. They were shock rockers...and they didn't look like girls. Now shock rockers look more like pro-wrestlers than musicians...what the hell?
You know what?...hopefully we've exceeded the limit all we can, and there will not be anymore of these bozos. Maybe music can get by for once on quality rather than looks...oh I guess I'm too late...it seems Justin Timberlake and the backstreet boys are making new albums (now that scares me!!!!!). At least if your gunna wear makeup, make good music, like the earlier ones: Bowie, the Dolls, Little Richard, and Twisted Sister. At least I could tolerate glam and hair bands cause I liked their songs...but Marilyn Manson...C'mon...I wish that guys was in Alice Coopers guillotine instead!
I'm still waiting for Twisted Sister's comeback!! YEAH GUYS!!!
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The next article is: "A Lot Country And A Little Bit Of Rock & Roll"
The last article was: "Autumns Fallen"
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