Rock Dudes in Makeup

01/13/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Shawn Amos blues preacher | content junkie | doughnut lover

In my early performing days, I played gigs under the pseudonym Whitey McFearsun. I painted my face blue, wore crimson lipstick, and strung on some tight silver latex pants. It was like an Al Jolson-meets-Marc Bolan kind of thing. In my mind, I was a negro David Bowie. In reality, I was just another nameless Sunset Strip, pay-to-play dude in the '90s who was looking for some major label miracle that never came. One day I'll find the photos and publish a book.

What is it about grown men who want to wear makeup? Year after year, we see a new crop of musicians who do their best to look tough in lipstick and makeup. Maybe it's a cry for help, an admission of their strong feminine side, or the realization that they don't look so good any other way. Whatever the reason, makeup is as rock 'n' roll as a Marshall stack.

Just in time for the holiday parties, here are my favorite she-men of rock. Maybe I'll go as Ziggy Stardust. Or Whitey McFearsun.

I've always dug how his look crosses Ethel Merman with a Vikings linebacker. What he lacks in grace he compensates with eye shadow.

The Dolls were the forefathers of glam. You never knew if they were going to kiss you or punch you. More than likely, they'd do both. Their '73 single "Personality Crisis" says it all.

2008-12-13-getback798523601228765727_thumb.jpgDAVID BOWIE
Bowie is hands down the King/Queen of Androgyny. From his early Davy Jones days to the Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust, the Thin White Duke, and whatever those '80s parachute pants were supposed to be about, he's never been afraid to wear a bit a blush, and, most of the time, a lot more.

Stuart Leslie Goddard gets an honorable mention for bringing the whole Dances with Wolves thing into rock dude makeup.

The prodigal son of rock makeup dudes, Manson took Bowie's mismatched pupils, Siouxsie Sioux's lips, and the flames from every American Graffiti hot rod to create his signature style.

They're a little bit Kabuki, a little bit mime, and whole lotta metal glam. Plus, they get extra credit for being the only rock act to keep doing the makeup thing into their sixties (assuming Gene Simmons is still wearing it on his 60th birthday next year).

See more guys who dig painting their faces in our Rock Dudes In Makeup FlipBook.