Metallica's James Hetfield gets stopped at the airport for sporting a "Taliban" styled beard and immediately you think, well, the last bunch of Metallica albums haven't been very good, but that hardly seems reason to accuse him of joining Al Qaeda. Besides, he isn't even one of the beard-wearing pros.
Beards, however, do signify deep meaningful changes within the person wearing one. Besides hiding the double chin, they express a philosophy of life that is very different from our shaven friends.
Jim Morrison: Without it, he looked like a Greek God and woman went nuts. Who would want to live under such scrutiny? Who wouldn't wake up one day and say, "Nuts, I'm growing a beard and I'm going to get FAT!"? We all need goals in our life. Achieving them makes us strong. Unless we die young, like Jim. Then reverse that axiom about "What doesn't kill us makes us stronger" and change it to "What kills us, well, kills us." Bummer, dude.
My Morning Jacket: Just when you thought young people had no sense of tradition, My Morning Jacket come along and sport so many beards you can't tell them apart. First, you think, it must be to weather those Vermont winters, then you find out they're not from Vermont. They're just doing this to confuse the heck out of you. And it's working!
Cat Stevens: I know Cat long ago joined Islam. But could the first inkling he had towards this way of life been the power of the beard? In the early '70s when he was making music that made all the young girls swoon, he was considered quite fetching in his sensitive beard. Just like how eyeglasses make people look 20 percent smarter than they actually are, beards make guys look 30 percent more sensitive then they actually are. So when you say you don't want to cuddle but would rather watch sports, it somehow seems as if you're doing for their benefit.
Eels: OK, now this guy takes the cake. He used to look all smart and nerdy with his face cleanly scrubbed and his intellectual glasses on. Then all of a sudden overnight he sports this massive '70s styled beard and these ambervision shades that make him look like the Unabomber. If he sold a lot of records, he could almost get away with this. But imagine being stopped at the airport and explaining that you're a musician and then having to tell everyone in security who you are. They don't own any of your records, so obviously you're lying. You're not Billy Joel. Why are you flying? Impersonating a musician? That's 30 years to life right there.
- James Hetfield