HMXHellion is Senior Writer/Producer at Harmonix. She is really out of her league with this essay and really only started writing it because Joan Jett seems to be ignoring her marriage proposals so far. Her favorite pick-up line is "Oh I'm sorry, did you drop that IGDA Membership card? No? Oh, well then, it must be MY IGDA Membership card."
Like many of you (okay, ALL of you) I started a band in the hopes that it would ultimately lead to bath-time make-outs with ridiculously attractive people. As it turns out, I overestimated the power of musicianship. Playing guitar does not instantly cancel out the following things:
- Loudly taking credit for one's own malodorous flatulence
- Eating chicken wings while wearing a USB headset and long underwear shouting, "Dude, what the hell, I'm low on mana!"
- Insisting that the concept of regular bathing is "merely a tool of the patriarchy"
- Singing "None of Your Business" by Salt-N-Pepa at top volume whenever the urge strikes
No, playing in a band ALONE does not suffice – after all, I see bands all the time and I only attempt to dry hump the guitar player, like, 65% of the time. It struck me there can be a very fine line between "Is that chick single? Because I just cast her as the lead character in the film Hellion's Late-Night Pillow Fight and Car Wash Extravaganza" and "I have decided to remove my own eyeballs with this shoehorn rather than watch that dude make any more horrible guitar solo faces."(1). And that fine line between hot and not has very little to do with looks.
The truth is that a musician's sex appeal does not come from his/her appearance alone; in fact, in many cases, a rock star is wildly sexy despite being less attractive than a ketchup and gelfite fish sandwich when you're hungover. I spent a lot of time today thinking about this fact and realized something: super hot rockstars have superpowers – superpowers that you, as an aspiring rock star and budding lothario, should be aware of and attempt to emulate. To help illustrate these mighty powers, I bring you:
TheHellion's Personal Top 10 List of Wicked Foxy Musicians That She Would Mercilessly Slaughter a Helpess Duckling to Play Seven Seconds in Heaven With and Their Corresponding Superpowers
Author's Note: This list is highly subjective. I am not the authority on attractiveness, which should be clear to anyone who has witnessed the garishness of my shoe collection. Please feel free to write your own suggestions in the comments section, along with some insight into the superpowers of your own rock star crushes.
Joan Jett - Superpower: eye contact
Joan Jett has magical powers. There is no getting around this fact. If any of you have ever seen Joan in concert, back me up on this: you cannot see Joan Jett live in concert without leaving the show ENTIRELY CONVINCED that she was checking you out big time. I am AWARE of the fact that this is a nearly universal phenomenon… and I STILL leave shows thinking, "Well, in most cases it isn't true, but she really is checking me out."
The trick here, as far as I can tell, is to look at the audience a lot, directly in the eyes. Try to think about something you really like (in my case, Fluffernutters) and then look at individual audience members with "smiling eyes," as if the two of you have shared many a night snuggled up on the couch watching reruns of Webster. If you can't see the audience due to the lights, fake it.
Jimmy Page - Superpower: brute skill
Jimmy Page is just really, really, really good at guitar. Like, underpants-suddenly-shooting-through-the-bottom-of-your-pants-of-their-own-accord good at guitar.
Joe Perry in 1978 when he had the white streak in his hair - Superpower: microphone sharing
To get gangsta on you for a minute, Joe Perry make a b**** weak in the knees, straight up. To be fair, in Joe Perry's case, he really is just that good looking. My coworker Jyllian recently told me a story which I like to refer to as "The Hottest Thing You Could Be Buying at Walgreens." On a routine trip to the drugstore, Jyllian, among the hallowed aisles of Walgreens, stumbled upon an impossibly good-looking person with lightning bolts of sexiness shooting off of him at all angles. Realizing that she was in Walgreens with Joe Perry, she decided to follow him around and see what he was purchasing. The answer? A large bottle of baby oil. And that's it.
However, having spent a great deal of time thinking about 1975 Joe Perry, I believe I have uncovered the deeper mystery of his attractiveness: mic sharing. Mic sharing is wicked hot. If you've ever shared a mic with someone, you know that the experience is strangely intense. That intensity is palpable to the audience. Also, it kinda looks like you might start making out at any second.
Brody Dalle - Superpower: personal style
Brody Dalle can work an outfit. She is so ridiculously cool that I'm worried that LoWreck will yell at me for including "her girlfriend" in this list. It's really important to follow Brody's lead and work out your own personal style. Even if your "thing" is wearing hats made of bubble wrap and pajama bottoms, you can work it, child. Be yourself. And if "yourself" is super boring, get a stylist.
Jon Bon Jovi - Superpower: monogamy
Having grown up in Jersey, it should come as a shock to no one that I had something of a fondness for Jon Bon Jovi. I actually had a LIFE-SIZE poster of Jon Bon on my wall, sporting his fabulously crunchy '80s hair, lavender stretch pants, and enough scarves to tart up an orca whale (2). But the true power of JoBoJo lies not in his lavender stretch pants, but in his 18-year marriage to his high school sweetheart Dorothea. Yeah, I know her name. To be fair, Jon Bon is a singer, not a guitar player, so he has a slight advantage in terms of not-being-a-total-douche. But still, it's pretty hot.
Short of actually remaining monogamous, the trick here is to give off the "bad boy with a heart of gold" vibe. This seems to be accomplished with warm smiles and songs about how your parents are always trying to prevent you from having backseat adventures.
Iggy Pop - Superpower: violent mirth
Iggy Pop is like a terrifying child. He appears totally out of control, in a way that seems mostly harmless, but is still kind of scary. Every time I watch old Stooges footage, I have a vaguely maternal reaction: "No, Iggy! No, PUT THE PEANUT BUTTER DOWN. Ohhh, dear. IGGY! NO!!! THAT'S BROKEN GLASS!" There's just something hot about that.
Some ways to emulate the master without having to go to the hospital (hopefully): run around a lot, jump off of monitors, and make crazy eyes. Chicks dig crazy eyes.
Keith Richards in 1967 - Superpower: danger
I don't even wanna hear it – Keef is the man. I don't have anything against Mick Jagger (3), he just does not have the inherent goosebump-raising dangerousness of Keith Richards.
Given that we all know how Keith got his reputation, I don't recommend trying to force this approach. Some possible alternatives to serving jail time include: lying about having served jail time, taking advantage of an accidental nosebleed to get blood on a shirt and then wear it onstage, paying the bouncer to throw you out of the club in a hostile manner at the end of your set, or just sneering a lot.
Prince - Superpower: outrageous and unflappable confidence
Prince is the patron saint of not-conventionally-attractive people everywhere. The man wears ruffled shirts and is, like, as tall as six cotton swaps stacked on top of a grapefruit. But my goodness, that man thinks he is hotter than a tray of Bagel Bites fresh from the oven. And you know what? It totally works.
Although no one could possibly be as confident as Prince, the trick here is to simply believe in yourself as hard as you can. Whenever anyone says anything bad about you, know that they are jealous. When you walk into a room, try to feel sorry for all the people there who now have to suffer stoically in the shadow of your awesomeness – if they seem to be having a fine time despite your presence, remember to think "Good for them, they are really hiding it well."
Sebastian Bach in 1991 - Superpower: awwwwh shmoopy sad puppy
Okay, before all you young'uns get all up-in-arms, this was before that unfortunate tee-shirt incident and WAY before he had that creepy role on Gilmore Girls. Ladies over 30, back me up here: Sebastian Bach back in the day? Yes – all the kickass over-30 ladies are clawing at their faces right now thinking about the "I Remember You" video.
The power of young Sebastian Bach was legendary – he was the only member of that early '90s hair metal flock whose love ballads sounded genuine, and not like he was trying to lock it down with some broad as a result of being diagnosed with incurable snake herpes. The trick here is "sad eyes and pouty mouf." If you can't quite pull this off, remember that Sebastian's ability seems to have been aided by truly excellent eyeliner application and high-quality lip gloss.
David Bowie - Superpower: extraterrestrial?
One important thing to keep in mind about the phenomenon that is Bowie is that on the planet where he and Iman come from, they aren't even considered that good-looking. That is why they decided to come here in the first place.
A lot has been said about Bowie's shape-shifting abilities and androgynous appeal – again, these qualities are very common on Planet PA-CHOW and cannot be easily emulated by Earthlings. If I were you, I'd stick to 1-9 on the list – those are way more attainable goals.
Hopefully you've learned something useful about how to ratchet up your desirability, or at the very least got to spend a few minutes quietly singing "I Remember You" to yourself.(4). When you're a wildly successful international sex symbol, remember who it was that helped you get to the top – unless I can curb the spontaneous Salt-N-Pepa renditions, I'll probably still be available.
1) My bandmates and I have a theory that you can tell how someone would be in the proverbial sleeping bag by how they look playing guitar. Keep that in mind the next time you do that horrible grimace thing while soloing.
2) We had an old handyman working around the house a lot, who we called "Uncle Carl" – he was a grizzled old potato, not a big talker. One day he looked at the JBJ poster and made a comment I will always remember: "Boy would be good lookin' if he'd clean himself up a bit."
3) Although I would like to. Shazam.
4) Yes, that's a euphemism.