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Rock & Roll hair history

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Killed_by_Death, Nov 25, 2017.

  1. Checking out a PBS presentation of Ron Howard's Beatles movie & the press were asking them about their hair. I thought that was odd, because their hair was no longer than mine was as a pre-teen.

    Heck, I think Paul's hair might actually be longer now than it was then.

    Anyway, it started me thinking about when & who started the long-hair revolution that seemed to cling to Rock & Roll.

    Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath (all kind of late to the hair party)

    MC5, Alice Cooper, Steppenwolf

    Who was it?
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  2. fretter


    May 24, 2012
    In the early 60s, hair over the ears and collar was not socially acceptable, is what I heard. I don't know whether the Beatles where the first, but they were popular enough for everybody to notice. Around Halloween, I was watching a horror movie from the 50s, and there was a guy with hippy hair in it.
  3. Ah, the beatniks probably had the hair before Rock & Rollers.
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  4. knumbskull


    Jul 28, 2007
  5. Oddly

    Oddly Unofficial TalkBass Cartographer! Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2014
    Dublin, Ireland.
    If the press then were anything like as superficial, petty and ignorant as they are now I'm not surprised all they could find to talk about was their hair.
    I do find all the old interviews with the Beatles and Stones hilarious to watch.
    I think their obvious lack of respect for their 'elders and betters' was a huge part in their popularity.
  6. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    What @fretter said matches what I always heard from my folks about the 50s and early 60s. But I believe it was also common to refer to classical musicians as "long hairs" then, less as a fashion statement but on the stereotype that their music obsession distracted them from grooming properly.

    Fun fact; in the Middle Ages men's hair shifted every couple of centuries, between short cropped and clean haven or long locks and facial hair. EVERY time the fashion changed, someone would complain that the new style was effeminate.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2017
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  7. Fat Freddy

    Fat Freddy Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2016
    Albany NY
    Well...Jerry Lee had a bit of a mop....

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  8. mrb327


    Mar 6, 2013
    Nobody Knows
    Little Richard had a mop
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  9. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Big Dogs Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    I was 4 years old when the Beatles were on Ed Sullivan, and I remember thinking "how can they see with all that hair?" They were very far out of the mainstream at that time, even though their hair (at that time) was truly tame compared to what was the norm a couple of years later.
    That's not to say that nobody else had long hair in 1965. But the Beatles weren't "anybody" - they were The Beatles.
  10. GregC

    GregC Johnny and Joe Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2007
    Very ‘80s.
  11. higain617


    Sep 12, 2013
    Viking hairstyles FTW.
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  12. Frampton

    Frampton Supporting Member

    Oct 9, 2010
  13. tenor.
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  14. I was 10 when the Beatles were on Ed Sullivan. I had a crew cut like every other boy my age and after the Beatles did Ed Sullivan we all grew our hair out.

    This is what the "long hair" rock and roll musicians looked like before the Beatles:
  15. As mentioned above, Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard wore their hair quite long. But it was fairly well groomed when they began their performance. The more they rocked the more of a mess it became. I was 11 years old when then Beatles came on the scene and, as I remember it, that was the point in time when old(er) folks started complaining about that "damned long hair." I don't know if they were influenced by others in England or Europe, but I would venture to say that they were the ones responsible for starting the fad in the States.
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  16. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    The beatniks generally wore their hair short. Longer than the crew cuts and flattops of the era. But still far shorter for the most part than the Beatles.
  17. MI0003830912.?partner=allrovi.
  18. StatesideRambler


    Jul 1, 2015
    Beatniks did wear their hair short and it was usually unconventionally cut.

    AndyPanda's picture post illustrates very well what was considered "juvenile delinquent hair" by most adults of my acquaintance in the late fifties/early sixties. When the Beatles first came to the U.S. in February 1964 their hair length far outweighed their music for press and parent attention. By the convention of the time their hair was extremely long and combing it down over the forehead was an affront to decency. By the end of that year half of high school boys were tugging at the hair above their ears to try to make it reach the tops of their ears. Of course if it did reach they were sent home from school with instructions to return the next day with their hair "properly" trimmed. It was an anal-retentive age. Soon, though, pretty much every store with a novelty counter was selling mop top "wigs" which swept the land.

    Those were the days!
  19. The Rage

    The Rage

    Nov 12, 2013
    I know this is way later, but after reading the title of the thread I can't stop not to think about it:

    Mr.Ace likes this.
  20. 253full-maynard-g.-krebs.
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