Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Business in the Front, Party in the Back

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After reading Lance’s recent blog posting about the Afro, I have decided to put wine talk aside for a moment and pay homage to the other most disastrous hairstyle trend of the last 40 years….the Mullet. And especially since Jerry from the staff finally cut his off this year, I felt that it might be time to look at the mullet in review.

For those readers who are unfamiliar with the term “mullet”, I guarantee you are familiar with the haircut. Peaking in popularity in the late 1980’s, and worn mostly by American and European men, it is that unmistakable look wherein the hair on top of the head is either short or short-ish, but the hair in back runs longer, often past the shoulders. It is this set of characteristics that differentiates the mullet from just “long hair”, which, for the most part, is one length.

I think the best way to commemorate the mullet is by not just expressing the various forms it has appeared in, but to specifically cite the celebs who have been pivotal in popularizing the ‘do. And since no fossil evidence supports the notion that primitive man invented the mullet, I’ll start instead with the emergence of the mullet in the common era, in turn-of-the-70s Americana. Partridge Family heartthrob David Cassidy grew perhaps the first modern mullet, before Gen-X was even born:




In a quick and responsive move, Florence Henderson immediately invented the FeMullet:



I’ll call those last two the Adam and Eve of the mullet. I always imagined their secret spawn was a Ziggy Stardust-period David Bowie, everyone’s favorite androgynous genius:



The 1980’s saw the mullet evolve considerably, manifesting itself within various offshoots. The Guido, the chain restaurant waiter, the country rocker, the aging 1960’s pop star, and even the straight-shooter devised his own type of mullet as a clever guise to contrast his personality type. For instance, who could forget the first time we heard Michael Bolton belting out his brand of blue-eyed soul, only to discover that he was a chisel-faced dude with a blond wavy mullet and diamond earring?:



In sports, the game of soccer became an international exhibit for multiple incarnations of the mullet into the 1990’s, and even in the present. But we have Andre Agassi to single-handedly thank for liberating the conservative look of tennis with his playful man-mane:



A favorite mullet derivative that should not go unacknowledged is the “Skullet”. This is a mullet worn by a balding guy who appears to be unaware of his folic deficit. Drummer Phil Collins may have been the first famous guy with the audacity to rock a skullet, but I could be wrong:



The world of wine can even claim a few mullets. There’s Jerry from the Suburban staff, and of course there’s his look-alike, California winemaker Jim Clendenen, whom for years has brazenly sported the Real McCoy, accessorized by a well-manicured goatee:



There’s even an obscure local wine salesman with a skeleton in his closet:



And yes, mullet enthusiasts…..I am well aware that there are a hundred additional mullet preparations and a thousand other mulleted famous people. But when a blog entry tops 500 words, it’s time to wrap it up. You’ve had your fun. Now cut off your mullets and get back to work! -Michael Koehler
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