march 2019

Kings of bling: Our columnist and the late Porter Wagoner, who pioneered spangly Western-themed stage wear designed by the famed tailor Nudie Cohn, who originated the look in 1947.

Consider the power of positive dressing.

Given that our demographic is comprised entirely of musicians, I'll speak bluntly. We are the nerd herd. At times, we may pass for normal, but we know in our heart of hearts that we are weirdos. Beginning around seventh grade, our abnormalities may have led to rejection by our classmates. But with time and contemplation, we've learned that our weirdness is our golden unicorn superpower—and that many of the straights love us for our eccentricities, rather than in spite of them.

I bring this up, because I've seen some disheartening normalcy with the way performers look of late. Being a musician gives us license to let our freak flag fly. Like our beloved patron saint Steven Tyler said, we should be “wearing out things that nobody wears." So why is it that the majority of modern performers gave up stage clothes?

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