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Music's Most Flamboyant Flamingos

Posted Feb 25th 2013, 11:14 by Penguin Pete

It's easy to spot the glam-rock peacock in the crowd: Who's wearing the feather boa? While many rock stars live an extravagant lifestyle and the female divas certainly put the glitz and glamor over the top, there is a certain breed of male performing artist who goes for the rhinestones and animal prints just a little too much for good taste.

Which is not to point fingers and ridicule, here. Heck, if you're pulling down eight figures a concert, you might as well enjoy it, right? And also not to single anybody out for being gay - some flamboyant male artists are straight or at least bi; many gay artists don't go in for the flash and glamor any more than the rest of the batch. But the flamboyant flamingos of rock do seem to make a preference for being androgynous at least, simply because that's just one more artistic statement to make.

No, no, we're here to salute them! These are the fabulous people who let you know the party has started as soon as they walk in the door. The world needs them, too.

 

Counter-example: George Michael

Just to show that openly-gay != flamboyant flamingo, we present The George. Openly out of the closet, but stubbornly anti-glam. A little hairspray and lots of black, but still, a Rhinestone Factor of zero.

 

Elton John

Damned near blows everybody else out of this category. Legendary for his glitzy styles over the years, and notorious for having, of all things, a shopping addiction. And then there's the stars... and the sequins... and the colors... and the glasses, glasses, GLASSES!

 

David Bowie

The personification of androgyny. Though he's toned it down a lot in recent years, he'll never live down his various incarnations over the decades when he always kept us guessing. The makeup, the Ziggy Stardust phase, and the Goblin King phase. Bowie took whatever was over-the-top for the current decade and make it his trademark.

 

Freddie Mercury

While he was usually quite content to go butch, he certainly had his moments. If anything, even Mercury at his most conservative looked like he was sorry to have missed out on that Village People thing. But who cares, it's sweaty sequin time!

 

Prince

The Prince of Pout, the Purple Primrose, the Pink Satin Pompadour - you can never be as over-the-top in describing him as he can in getting dressed in the morning. Scowly single-handedly kept the animal print and Victorian revival markets alive during the '80s. His boots alone could have their own documentary. You could paint every house on the block with the eye-shadow he's worn. When he changed his name to a symbol, even the symbol was androgynous and ornamental!

 

David Lee Roth

Sure, you know he's the biggest ham on the planet, but you're used to thinking of him as butch. But then you stop and think about it... leather chaps is metal - leather chaps with the metal studs is glam. Day-glo surfer gear in the '80s is metal - still doing it now is glam. And then there's the angel wings. Just look at that pout! He's saying "Aren't I beautiful?"

 

Boy George

Funny, he's the first person everybody thinks of for flamboyant, and yet when you stack him up against the others on this list, he's really not that gaga after all. Meh, some eye-shadow and lipstick, sure, and enough feathers to make a nest for the Spruce Goose, but after that he's actually not even that androgynous.

 

Liberace

What, you forgot all about him? Honey, he started this whole flamboyant thing in the first place! And he's never been matched. Nobody has had more glitter, more fur, more clothes than the King of Camp. There's a museum in Las Vegas devoted to his wardrobe - suck it, Elton! And check this out: How many of us could appear onstage with a Muppet and still have more feathers?

Honorable mention: Marilyn Manson makes the top page photo, and yet he's more goth than glam. He's going for "scary," not "pretty." See the difference now?

 

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