England has produced a lot of really great bands. Among them: Mötorhead and Girlschool, who joined forces back in 1980 on a short-lived supergroup called Head Girl. They only released an EP, St. Valentine's Day Massacre, which featured a cover of Johnny Kidd & The Pirates' 1959 classic “Please Don’t Touch.” But in just one performance of that song, they taught us a lot about looking cool.
BIG HAIR, DON’T CARE
Kelly Johnson (the late frontwoman of Girlschool, R.I.P.) had the best hair in rock ’n’ roll—period. Look at that mop! A screen grab really doesn’t do her justice because that thing was so powerful and sexy it orgasmed every time she shook her head. A million, precious lady orgasms roared from her skull and into the crowd. If Kelly Johnson taught us anything, it was about how to play guitar like a god damn professional but if her hair taught us something it was definitely: “big hair, don’t care.” I doubt Kelly made her hair look like that. It was all natural. She was blessed with the perfect, bouncing 70s wave (not all of us are so lucky), but it looks so good on Kelly because she owns that motherfucker. Style is 100 percent confidence.
SUNGLASSES ON STAGE
There’s only two functional reasons that a musician would wear sunglasses on stage. Firstly, during an outdoor show at a festival or a child’s birthday party (you got to start somewhere). In order to focus on your job (and be able to actually see the settings on your fancy boy chromatic tuner), you need sunglasses. The second reason would be that you are high. If a musician is playing indoors and they are wearing sunglasses it is fair to assume that they are some kind of fucked up and the shades are a way to deal with it. Maybe there are weird retina disorders I don’t know about where red stage lights in your eyes will burn a hole into your brain and cause you to go color blind, but for the 99 percent of the rest of us, we’re just high. Take a lesson from Mötorhead and hide those speed eyes with some sunglasses.
COORDINATE HAIR COLORS WITH STAGE POSITIONS
Even if you are in a hard ass rock band, it is extremely important to follow the same rules of coordination that synchronized swimmers and jazz dance troops do when blasting a big televised performance. Why? Because unison is beautiful. Duh! In a dance troop (and as a child, I was involved in many), you position dancers to match up height and body build to create a streamlined effect when you are jazzin’ out as one. Mötorhead and Girlschool must have been ballerinas in their past lives because they went one step further as to match up the hair colors of the band members to their positioned microphones. That’s unintentional Martha Stewart detailing right there.
SOMETIMES IT’S OKAY TO WEAR YOUR OWN BAND SHIRT
There are only three musicians who look cool wearing their own band shirts: Kim Deal (Breeders shirt only), Jon Spencer (Pussy Galore shirts only) and any member of Mötorhead or Girlschool wearing a “Headgirl” shirt. Kelly is so cool she did it on the record.
WEAR YOUR BULLET BELT LOW, LOW, LOW WHEN YOU ACCESSORIZE WITH LEATHER
Guys like Lemmy have to wear low rise pants so that when it’s time to get a quick pre-show suck off they can whip down and pull it out in under two seconds. Low rise black jeans mean that you got to wear your bullet belt super low, on the hips, like a sexy teenage girl circa 2002. The band also employs this tactic. Also, the low bullet belt helps balance your guitar or bass while you’re showboating for the crowd.
DRESS LIKE A GANG, BE A GANG
Remember that episode of "It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia" when Frank and his old doo-wop group from the 50s “The Yellow Jackets” reunite to try to frighten the potential new buyers away from Patty’s Pub? Okay, maybe not but basically, they show up all wearing the same outfit (leather jackets, duh) and start singing songs on the street. When the rest of Patty’s Pub employees tell Frank he’s an idiot because the singing is not intimidating, he insists that all gangs sing. Frank is right. Headgirl are a coordinated group of bad ass motherfuckers ready to sing their song then get some action. Why is it when Lemmy, Kelly & Co. do it it looks sooooo much cooler?
Mish Way always looks cool onstage with her band White Lung. She's on Twitter - @myszkaway.
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