Friday, 17 July 2015

Number One With A Mullet!

Any regular visitors to this blog will know that I'm strangely drawn to facial frippery. Give me an LP with a gatefold sleeve stuffed with handlebar moustaches and mutton chops and I'll play you an album by men whose don't-give-a-monkey's attitude translates into sonic nirvana. Or, if the attitude gets lost in translation and the music's shit, we can at least have a giggle at some funny photos. But hey, let's not forget that other heroically leftfield fashion statement - one that's all too rare in 2015 - the magnificent mullet. Occasionally, I dig out an LP featuring a mullet sufferer to remind myself that this particular disability needn't be an obstacle to making some damn fine music. Other times I just point and laugh, depends how the mood takes me. And yes, I know 'mullet' doesn't rhyme with 'bullet', but that's artistic licence for you!

Without further hairdo, I mean ado, our first ambassadors of 'business-in-the-front, party-at-the-back'-chic are two of Sammy Hagar's sidekicks, Gary Pihl and Bill Church. Clearly their hairdresser was having a buy-one-get-one-free promotion that the guys just couldn't pass up. Some couples have matching tattoos, others plump for his-and-his barnet modification. I bet they complete each other's sentences too. Bless!

In all likelihood they were aiming for Ziggy Stardust. They landed closer to Linda McCartney territory. Whatever their inspiration, what is astounding is that the boys sported these mullets way back in 1980 and may well be responsible for popularising a look that defined a decade. Blame them, celebrate their vision - whichever way you see it - but credit where it's due, these guys were the fountainhead. Without them Billy Ray Cyrus would have looked like one of Jethro Tull's roadies.

The Pihl and Church mullets can be found on the rear sleeve of Hagar's Danger Zone LP: my fave by the Red Rocker by some distance. I picked it up on pre-recorded tape back in '81 and played that thing to death. I particularly enjoyed the menacing pulse of The Iceman featuring Journey's Steve Perry on backing vocals. See what you think. If it doesn't grab you immediately, you might want to mullet over.