Thursday, December 01, 2005

Advanced or Overt: Billy Gibbons and White-Guy Dreadlocks

Advanced or Overt: White-Guy Dreadlocks

Here's a great description of Billy Gibbons from the New Yorker: "Gibbons drinks beer through a straw, to keep the suds from getting in his beard, a double-barrelled two-footer that, along with a pair of Ray-Bans and an African cap that resembles a full head of stubby dreadlocks, leaves little room for evidence of a face. " For those of you who don't remember, Gibbons and ZZ Top are part of a very select group, the Advanced Blues Musicians who, rather than wearing dark sunglasses and having long hair in the back*, wear dark sunglasses and have long hair on the front. At first I misread the article and thought that Gibbons actually had dreadlocks (white-guy dreads are extremely Overt), which had me flummoxed. Of course, if he were to have dreads, it would make perfect sense: Just as it would be Advanced for Lou Reed to sport a green mohawk (the most Overt punk haircut), it would be Advanced for Gibbons to have the usually very Overt dreads. The general rule is that when an Advanced artist embraces something Overt, it is an Advanced move.

* The official Advanced look is a black leather jacket, dark sunglasses, and an unironic mullet, the longer and bushier in the back the better. This look was perfected by Lou Reed in the 80s.

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