17 February 2013

Top Nine: Best Beards in Rock!

Beards come and go, but the nine groups listed below have done their part to make sure the beard is more than just an accessory. We've heard from the Lepsches, but I get the last word? Is it definitive? Read their posts below and decide.

Yonder Mountain String Band

Somehow YMSB missed the Mumford/'New Banjo Revival,' which is a shame, because Yonder brings it. Hard. They are as much at home with John Hartford and Ralph Stanley as they are with The Misfits and Pink Floyd. And if you don't know who Ralph Stanley is, you should be ashamed to call yourself a music fan.

Band of Horses 

SGs AND Les Pauls? They ain't playing. They are more Seventies than Mr. Neil Young himself.  For BoH, the beard ain't a phase, it's a way of life. I bet they drive Chevy Novas, too. 

The Civil Wars

Any time 50% of the band has a beard, you're in legit territory.  And covering The Jackson Five? Well that's just showing off. (Civil Wars--get your shit together and make some more music!!)

Foo Fighters

Dave Grohl is facial hair x2. Even though he didn't rock the beard in Nirvana, Kurt did. So having Cobain as a stubble mentor is like having The Dalai Lama as your personal therapist. (Dave is rocking the mini-beard here.)

 Middle Brother

Flannels, beards and thumb picks! It's a hipster trifecta, and I don't even care. (Is that a red Solo cup?) They rock so hard, they require members from three different bands (Dawes, Delta Spirit, Deer Tick) just to make music. They are the hipster Beatles, and I love them.

Bob Marley 

Beards were (literally) his religion. So don't come at me with your white dreads, telling me about how you're Rasta because you like to burn one because this man lived it. He took bullets for his faith. And he died because he wouldn't cut any of that lovely hair.

Bruce Springsteen

The Boss didn;t always rock facial hair. But when he did, he owned it. From 70 to 83 he carried the beard torch. Beard + knit hat + leather jacket = hipster savior. Throw in a gold earring, and you're seeing God. 

The Allman Brothers

When At Fillmore East was recorded, the Allman Brothers were batting 1000%. Duane Allman--facial hair. Gregg Allman--facial hair. Dicky Betts--facial hair.  Berry Oakley--facial hair. Butch Trucks--facial hair. Jai Johanny "Jaimoe" Johanson--facial hair. Don't believe me? Take a look.

To top it all off, At Fillmore East, is ranked #49 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of all Time. My boys weren't playing. They lived it. The fact that two of the band's members died in motorcycle accidents (a year apart and three blocks apart) tells you these fools were for real. They are so far removed from bearded hipster shit, that bearded hipsters don't even know to look to The Allman Brothers for guidance. I mean, we don't look AT the sun when we want light, do we?    

The Beatles

Were the Fab Four known for their beards? No.
Were they the first? No.
Did they do it better than anybody else, before or after? Most definitely.

When The Beatles reinvented themselves, they did so in a big way. They were the forerunners of the beard. They invented retreating (India) and reemerging with a whole new look. Post Sgt. Pepper they owned the look. Zeppelin, The Who and the rest just copied. Check out "Something" to see what I mean. Paul, George and Ringo rocked beards. For some reason, John didn't (and we all know how he could pull off a beard) but he was rocking a cape (that matched Yoko's) so he gets points for that. 


  1. Dude how could you leave out Jerry Garcia's beard?

  2. Scott Lepsch included Mr. Garcia in his post below, so I figured I'd share the wealth. (Jerry is #1 on many of my lists!)