John Lennon's Toppermost?
Updated: Oct 7, 2020
I think about The Beatles rather a lot. Too much. Probably. I think about them more than I listen to them these days. Not that I escape the music - it's playing in my head all the time. Any Time At All. Damn.
As I skirt deliciously into middle age, I find myself pondering the minutiae of Beatle trivia, on the endless search for revelation, for further understanding to enhance my limitless enjoyment. Even just a teensy little bit.
So, recently, on my quest, I got to thinking: what was peak barnet Lennon? John had the most changeable hair of all the most recognisably hairy popsters of all time. Yet, every incarnation was/is iconic in its own right. There's only one way to settle this.
The Hamburg Slick. With fairings like a '56 Cadillac that reveal surprisingly tiny lug-holes. All the better for hearing Stuart Sutcliffe's bass, which party explains its lack of longevity. Just a slight toward hint of the later peaks to come. 4/10
The Cavern Trouser Snake. Framing a plate faced Lennon, the CTS is the embryonic proto-peak coif. The ground-stone of greatness to come. As good a Beatle bob I've ever managed and therefore earning a generous 6/10
The Tussauds. If an infinite amount of monkeys were given an infinite amount of time with an infinite amount of candles, they would still fail to produce anything approaching the vagina sealing wax Pierre-Cardin monstrosity on offer here. This image was the global face of Beatlemania. That they made it to 1964 is testament to the brilliance of the music. I Wanna Hold Your Comb. 2/10
The Furious Lesbian. We're finally approaching Peak Beatle Barnet Lennon. The fist truly iconic cut. Like a post-coitus Vicky McClure. The sides and back are ridiculously bushy, the top lustrously bodied with tobacco and Dexedrine. Fringe is thick, full and eyebrow adjacent. Unattainable but the elite few. A mid-period peak. 10/10.
The Brian Wilson. Frankly, it's gotten out of hand. Side puffs hiding pre-rolled spliffs and photographers wives. Fringe now occupying a terrifying 2% of the gross Sq. Incheage. Mimi's nightmare. 5/10
The Haunting of Pepper Pot Hill. He's unwell. He's gaunt. He hasn't slept in 8 years and his friends are worried. His wife's scared and she's losing him. He's done a billion trips before breakfast and just changed the face of popular culture singing like a ghost watching a car crash. He looks AMAZING. 9/10
Oh No. Iconic. Greasy. Languid. Lugubrious. Looks like it stinks. Immediately redefines what a rock and roll haircut can achieve. Ugly and beautiful. Tiny, tiny eyes and a parting revealing his third. Plateauing at an unattainably high level. 9/10.
Christ, you know it ain't greasy. Honestly, I struggle to look at this face/head combo without focusing on the outline of his trouser Beatle in this velvet trouser taste explosion. Like a bail of hay on a hot day, he looks like he's on the verge of bursting into flames. Norwegian wouldn't. 6/10.
The Tangerine Bins. Imagine not being a Beatle, whilst trying to replicate what it's like to be a Beatle without sounding like a Beatle and avoiding The Beatles. Except George. And Ringo. It's easy if you try. The beginning of the end of the follicular golden age. There will be highlights from here, but there is the spectre of Charles Hawtry to come. 7/10.
The Jolly Auschwitz. Delighted to shed the weight of his Sansom-esque coiffure, Lennon pulled his three gold teeth and admitted himself into the Stateside prison camp that will offer a son, and ultimately a mentalist narcissists bullet. Still, looks pretty cool on that Instant Karma TOTP appearance though. 7/10.
The Denver. A plane crash. 2/10.
Oh, Hello! It's The Green Card. The happiest moment of his life, thus making him instantly less bitter, less angry and isolated and therefore, less cool. Now he's me and who wants that? Not my John. 1/10.
So there we have it.
I think we've covered off the best, though there is plenty of rest I have yet to tackle. The Furious Lesbian takes today's prize, but what's your favourite? Have you ever taken a picture of him into a barbers and said 'I'll have this'? Let's hear it.