I never really got the whole groupie thing. Well, let me qualify…I understand people being into musicians. After all, they are creative and often super talented which are definitely attractive qualities. And people tend to look good up onstage underneath those stage lights. But I’ve never understood the concept of sleeping with someone just because they’re famous. What’s the point in that? I mean, if you’re gonna hook up with someone who’s not famous it would be someone you like or admire or at least have good chemistry with, right? So why should your standards be different simply because the person is famous?
And yet we all have our celebrity crushes. The musicians I have found myself particularly drawn to over the years have all shared similar qualities – creative talent, unique personal style, a proclivity for iconic sartorial statements, and something undefinable that makes me want to keep watching and listening.
Here are my top 10 musician crushes:
10. Michelle Phillips
You guys, I could look at pictures of Michelle Phillips all day long. She was just so, SO beautiful. She also had pretty amazing style — at least, everything she wore looked great, maybe because she was so gorgeous that she could pull anything off. I am also fascinated by the effect she had on the men around her. John Phillips, Denny Doherty, Dennis Hopper (with whom she had a whirlwind 8-day marriage) to name a few…they were all captivated by her. As someone who’s essentially been a goody-goody for most of her life, I’ve always been somewhat in awe of women who inspire such fits of passion with their alluringly wanton ways.
9. Eddie Vedder
I came to my crush on Eddie Vedder later in life. At the height of grunge and all its trappings he didn’t really do much for me to be honest with you. It wasn’t until I saw “Sung Song Blue,” a documentary about Neil Diamond tribute band Lightning & Thunder, that I really started swooning over Eddie. If you haven’t seen this movie go out and rent it immediately and you will see what I mean. I am now a Vedder fan for life. Eddie I LU.
8. Debbie Harry
For as long as I can remember I have had a huge girl-crush on Debbie Harry. When she was in her prime, man, I tell you, nobody looked cooler than she did. She was a wonderful combination of sex kitten and awesomely cool new-wave rocker, and totally held her own with all of the guys in the late-70s/early 80s post-punk New York scene. Plus she had some of the best stage ensembles ever.
7. Billie Joe Armstrong
Despite his slacker-delinquent punk persona (especially in the band’s early days), Billie Joe is actually one of the smartest men in rock & roll. I was always a fan of Green Day, but American Idiot really bumped up my admiration for them by about 10 billion points. Beneath Billie Joe’s goofy, immature & fun-loving demeanour lies a seriously talented, intensely focused, and socially conscious soul.
6. Gwen Stefani
I love Gwen. From her cartoon-character fashion stylings to her poppy, sugary musical sensibilities, she is one seriously awesome chick. She is way beyond over-the-top, and so unique. Whether in regards to her role within No Doubt, her solo career, her fashion line, or her collaborations with other artists, she approaches everything as a major production, with no detail left unattended.
5. Nikki Sixx
I’ve talked extensively about my crush on Nikki Sixx here and here. Not only is he the heart and soul of Motley Crue, his other creative endeavours (writing, photography) reveal a thoughtful and introspective character. At the same time, he totally knows how to rock out and have a good time (without drugs & alcohol, to boot).
4. Jack White
Unique and compelling looks coupled with unique and compelling talent. An irresistible combination. Playful, articulate, quirky and almost alarmingly proficient. Where did this guy even come from? No matter. He’s here, and we are all better off for it.
3. David Gilmour
Amazing guitar player? Check. Excellent songwriter? Check. Insanely hot? CHECK. I mean look at this guy. Plus he co-wrote and co-sang “Comfortably Numb”, obviously one of the best songs of all time.
2. Jimmy Page
Ah, Jimmy. Depraved heroin addict. Seducer of underage girls. Alleged Satan worshipper. Epitome of rockstar excess. None of this matters. You will always have my heart.
1. Paul Simonon
Was he the best musician ever? Maybe not. But he went to art school (which I am obsessed with), and he wore the raddest clothes in the world, and basically shaped The Clash’s visual style, and he was the goddam coolest looking dude I have ever laid eyes on. LOVE x 1 MILLION 4EVER.
Bob Dylan – the greatest writer of the 20th century, bar none.
Sinead O’Connor – clearly insane, but so beautiful. And that voice!
Dallas Good – sometimes dresses like a Southern Baptist bible salesman. One of the best Canadian musicians working today.
Mike Dirnt – I love Green Day, and I have a soft spot for bass players. Obviously I am totally into Mike Dirnt.
Stephen Malkmus – is there a more deadpan person alive than Stephen Malkmus? I think not. He is such a weird dude. Try to imagine what the landscape inside his brain must look like…I feel like it’d be all fun-house mirrors and M.C. Escher-style stairways to nowhere. One of my favourite lines of all time comes from the Pavement documentary, ‘Slow Century’. Their first drummer, discussing the epically weird front man, utters: “man…that Malkmus idiot is a songwriting genius”. Well said.
Well, that’s my list. Obviously beauty is in the eye of the beholder though. Who makes your Top 10?