Guitar World picks the worst dressed axmen in the history of rock and roll!
Keith Richards’ scarves and skull ring, Jimmy Page’s dragon-embroidered silk pj’s, Slash’s top hat—all are great examples of how signature apparel can transform an excellent guitarist into a rock icon. But when does a trademark look cross the line into the absurd or criminally distasteful? All too often, it seems, all too often. Check out our choices for the Top 10 offenders below, and don't miss the telling photo gallery at the bottom of the page. By Robert Cherry
10) George Lynch
These days, the former Dokken guitarist totally looks the part of guitar guru and all-purpose rock ’n’ roller. But in the Eighties, the spandex, hairspray, lip gloss, dangly earrings, and tangle of gold chains made him hair metal’s answer to Mr. T.
Of course, hair-metallers could easily dominate this entire list (C.C. DeVille, anyone?), but the Scorpions merit special mention, if only because every guitarist who played with the band was sartorially challenged. Roth’s Hendrix worship carried over into a penchant for headbands, feathered hats, and man tights, while Matthias Jabs and the Michael and Rudolph Schenker favored stripy spandex and their own strategically ripped concert tees. Does the U.S. have an extradition agreement with Germany so we can try these offenses?
8) Kurt Cobain
In 1991, the so-called “year that punk broke,” everyone—even Vogue models—dressed like lumberjacks. Oversized flannels and threadbare jeans over thermal underwear might have looked quasi-not-sucky on male alt-rock fans, but on women? Thanks, Kurt, thanks a lot.
7) Dave Navarro
With all the sessions he plays, you’d think this guy could afford a shirt by now.
6) Ace Frehley
Space Ace was the original masked guitarist, and he’ll always have a place in our hearts. So, can we still blame him for all the makeup-sporting pretenders who followed in his gin-fueled slipstream? Yes, we can.
5) Wes Borland
Now, we could blame Space Ace for Borland’s decision to don lurid face paint in the ’90s. But the truth is, he was probably just embarrassed to be seen with Fred Durst.
4) Angus Young
One day you’re a young man amusing your mates in an Aussie pub by dressing like a school boy. Next thing you know you’re 50 and still putting on those damned shorts. Even Kiss had an unmasked period (before they mercifully reapplied the makeup), but not Angus! He’ll continue to beat this joke into the ground until they pull the plug on AC/DC.
Oh, boy. As if his freakish height and prodigious talent weren’t enough to attract attention, this guitar virtuoso decided to sport a kabuki mask and modified KFC bucket. But then, according to his press bio, he was raised by chickens and may or may not be a robot. So it all makes perfect sense.
2) Ted Nugent
One word: loincloth. In the Seventies, the Nuge was not only one of the worst-dressed rockers, he was also one of the least dressed. All the better, one imagines, to perform the wango tango.
1) Gary Shider
If you think the Nuge had a crappy sense of style, get a load of Gary Shider. The Funkadelic guitarist chucked the loincloth and raised the roof off the sucka with a far more practical choice: a cloth diaper. It’s best not to imagine the ways in which such an outfit proves useful during three-hour funk jams.