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Bob Dylan’s 49th Beard

Despite the popularity of the WIlco song, I must say that I am completely dismayed at the return of the beard.

I weathered the neatly-trimmed goatees and soul patches of the early 2000s without too much fuss, but I just can’t keep silent any longer.

As I wander around this world, mutton chops, chin curtains and full-on neck beards greet me everywhere I go.

At first I thought it was just a trend of the young and foolish––a college fling with facial hair, perhaps.

But now that every band and musician (and writer) seems to have one, I have to say it loud and proud:


Don’t all these silly bands know that they don’t look cool? They look like the DOOBIE BROTHERS. I mean, c’mon!

Actually, I take that back. After viewing some 1974 tour photos of the band at DOOBFAN.COM (and Doobfan, I am not, I just wanted to find some good beard pix), I’d have to say that the Doobies’ hair actually looks BETTER than some of what I’m seeing in real life in 2007.

I never in a million years thought that handlebar moustaches and Santa-esque chin curls would ever enter into the lexicon of cool again (I say “again,” because, apparently the Beatles thought  that beards were cool for a short time during a brief lapse of judgement in the late-60s and early 70s).

And it’s not just me. I’m open-minded. I’m pro-change. For heaven’s sake, I just won some sort of award for a fashion book I wrote.

At least I know I’m not the only one who can’t stand beards.

Apparently Dave Grohl’s wife told reporters back in September that even though she dislikes his facial hair, it virtually groupie-proofs the former Nirvana rocker.

Dave told “[My beard] is like a spray that you put on your face to make sure women stay away from you. My wife loves it.”

And a recent BBC poll found that only 9% of women think beards are sexy. So if facial hair isn’t helping anyone’s libido, guys must be growing those gnarly things to impress other men.

I guess guys have to have something to one-up eachother with. I mean, women have shoes and being a size 0 and botox, none of which really impress men, right?

OK, back to the point …

And you might be thinking, “But isn’t rock ‘n’ roll supposed to be about being messy, not conforming to society’s expectations (facial hair included)?”

It’s not about the mess. I love me some messy fros and tousled locks, but beards?! Uuggh…

In fact, I can’t think of a single fashionable musician who’s ever had a beard, except in a momentary lapse of reason.

Have you ever seen Mick Jagger with a beard?

Bruce Springsteen?

Bob Dylan?

What about true style icons such as Bryan Ferry?

Uuh, OK, so maybe I don’t have much of a point … it seems almost everyone has had a beard. Wait, has Bowie had a beard?

Anyway …

November (which was national beard month, by the way) is over, and I have an edict for all male musicians who’ve capitulated to this unsanitary trend: SHAVE ‘EM!! You will be greatly rewarded by the women in your life!


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