Would The Beatles have been just as successful if they all sported crew cuts? Would Nirvana be just as popular if they had all worn suits? Would The Supremes have attained stardom if they wore blue jeans and T -shirts instead of elegant gowns? Ever wonder about this? I do, and it leads me to a bunch of speculation about how much IMAGE can play a part of an original OR cover groups’ success….
In the 50’s and 60’s most musical groups were uniformed, at least to a degree. Then in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s it became more hip for everyone to be “individualized” and having “no image” actually became “their image”. Lots of performers wore basically the same attire as their audience, and many still do to this day. That’s ok, but I miss the days when bands LOOKED like bands. Way back in my first teen band my mom dyed all of our shirts vibrant peacock blue, and people remembered us for it!
I’m a big believer in being somewhat controversial, doing things differently, and being unique. What if you saw a heavy metal band wearing Bermuda shorts and beach attire, or a country group dressed in black leather and chains, or an R&B group decked out in cowboy hats and western shirts, or a punk band in tuxedos? You get the idea. Would the audience REMEMBER this? Would they think this was just a gimmick? Maybe, but gimmicks work, and as long as the MUSIC is great, which should always come FIRST anyway, it could be plus for any band.
Or, how about going completely in the opposite direction, and EACH band member could dress entirely differently from one another? Or, every member could wear the same COLOR but in different styles and pieces of clothing. The ideas are endless. Dare to be different and the audience will dig it.
Now let’s go really crazy. What if a white guy did a tribute to James Brown, or an all black group performed Beach Boys or Eagles hits? Three white female singers doing The Supremes? Fifty year old guys doing a set of BTS? Would audiences think it was a joke? Maybe at first, but if performed well, I think they would be floored! With more bands finally going back to work, UNIQUENESS could be the name of the game now more than ever.
Do you think I’m nuts?