Famous (or Infamous) Thanks to Facial Hair, #1: Joel Gion

In 2004 the documentary Dig! was released to near universal praise and accolades.  Filmed over a period of some 8 years stretching from the ’90s to the early aughts , Dig! chronicles the success of the band, The Dandy Warhols, juxtaposed with the relative failures of the more avant-garde but self-destructive group, the Brian Jonestown Massacre.

While the film focuses a lot on Anton Newcombe, the lead singer of the Brian Jonestown Massacre (an enfant terrible who directed the band’s musical vision but also was at the heart of their repeated failures to make it big), the camera and the viewer often found themselves drawn to a certain tambourine player, Joel Gion.

Joel Gion and his awesome sideburns

Gion’s trademark: a variety of big sunglasses and even bigger mutton chops.  Watching the film, you get the sense that Joel is a pretty sharp guy, and he has some great reactions and lines when dealing with Anton’s various freak outs.

But you also realize the reason you can’t take your eyes off him is because of the chops.  There is little doubt that his facial hair was likely the reason he had the tambourine gig in the first place, and the director and producers of the doc must have felt the magnetism of those chops as well because they put this relative background player on the forefront of the damn special edition DVD!  Two different editions, in fact. There he is up top on the cover of the “Remix Edition,” and here he is on the 2-Disc Special Edition:

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Joel continues to treat his Sampson-like facial hair carefully because after all these years he is still rocking the the glasses, tambourine, and sideburns!

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If you’re a background guy in your band and want to upstage the front man consider this method for growing chops like a rock god.

How to Grow Chops Like a Rock God

With the recent passing of Mr. Motörhead himself, Lemmy Kilmister, we got to thinking the world could use some more mutton chops and other beard and ‘burns styles of the past. If you’re thinking about trying one of these styles for yourself, we have some advice. Not the paint-by-numbers kind. Just some good, sensible advice on how to get started, how to work your way to your own look, and how to keep it looking right once you find it.

Step 1: Prepare the Canvas

This work of art starts with a beard. You’re going to want to grow this one out for about two weeks. It may not be very long, but sometimes a little stubble is all you need to get this look going.

Why grow it out? Why not just grow the ‘burns and shave the rest of your face? Because the full beard is like a blank canvas. It’s something you work with and shape as you figure out just how you want your chops to look, and what works best with your face.

Commit to a shape too early, and you not only risk settling on the wrong look, but you may end up with less natural lines. To assist the growing out period, use any of our Bluebeards Original Savers to ease the itch and soften your stubble.

Neil Young
Neil Young knows that rust never sleeps, and mutton chops will never die.

Step 2: Shape the Chops

Now it’s time to grab your razor and sculpt your chops.  Go big at first, by which we mean shave less than you think you should. The more you shave, the smaller your chops, and the fewer your options for adjusting the look. But have fun with it, and remember: facial hair will grow back, so do what you want!

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Definitely Maybe sideburns on those raucous Gallagher boys.

Step 3:  Maintain the Chops

You can start to grow these bad boys out as thick or as stubbly and you like.  You are going to want to keep them clean and moisturized so use our Beard Washes and Beard Conditioners to keep them feeling good and looking good, whether you end up keeping the full chops look or opt to maintain a nice set of sideburns.

Prince
Prince keeps it as tight as his rhythm section.

We’d love to see what you do with your chops, so hit us up on Facebook and let us have a look.

One Small Leap: It’s Time to Put a Beard on the Moon

Well, it’s a leap year, and that magical day is on our minds. That extra day that Julius Caesar cooked up over 2,000 years to straighten out a broken calendar. That weird day that let’s a handful of people tell you every four years they’re only 6 years old. But then “leap” made us think of Neil Armstrong’s famous words, and we wondered why we’ve never seen an astronaut with a beard.

Currently the only facial hair we could find at NASA was mostly on administrators, and there we find a whole lot of mustache and no beard. And don’t get us wrong. Mustaches are cool. But it’s time to represent the people, and the people are increasingly more bearded.

In fact, the only current U.S. astronaut we could find with facial hair is Daniel C. Burbank, who’s been an astronaut for 20 years.

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Captain Burbank still rockin’ the ‘stache 20 years on.

Captain Burbank is pretty awesome, which may explain the mustache. He was a search and rescue pilot with the Coast Guard, professor of Engineering at the Academy, and has actually been to space, which is more than your facial has ever done. So give him his due.

But adding insult to the injury of so little facial hair in NASA, Administrator Bolden is now clean shaven, when he rocked a classic ‘stache for years.

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Administrator Bolden in hairier times.

It’s time to catch up, NASA. Lego’s already got you beat with a new mini-figure that not only sports facial hair but a full beard.

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So get your act together! Take a leap. It’s time to put a beard on the moon.

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It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s one hell of a beard!

What if superheroes had facial hair? What would it say about their characters, or maybe better what would their characters say through their beards? You can give us your own idea, but we’ll start you off with three.

SUPERMAN

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The Man of Steel — or if Shaq were giving out the nicknames, “the Big Boy Scout” — is wholesome and humble and full of optimism despite all the horrible stuff he’s been through. He’d probably defer to his beard, open doors for it, and even somehow weaponize it if it could be used to save the world. But whatever the case, his beard would be pretty damn fantastic, and nothing short of a kryptonite razor could remove it from his face.

THE FLASH

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In the irony department we’ve got Flash. It’s hard to stand next to Super Man and seem impressive, but this cat is super fast. So fast, that he’d probably get a little frustrated when he realized his hair follicles don’t operate under the same rules as his legs and he has wait just as long at the average guy to get his beard where he wants it to go. Hang in there, buddy. It’ll happen.

BATMAN

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We know Batman as the Dark Knight, a brilliant detective known for his wiles and fisticuffs rather than superhuman powers. And he is only human, after all. Let’s face it: he’s a rich kid with money to spare, and he might actually enjoy hanging out with the hipsters in Williamsburg, designing cute logos for their artisinal brands (crafted with love!), and perfecting a handlebar mustache. How could a mustachioed Batman ever keep his town safe AND his identity secret unless he sticks to the streets of Mustache Central?

So those are ours. What have you got?

And while you’re mulling it over, now’s a good time to be the hero your beard deserves and grab some Wonder Beard Intensive Repair.

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So long, Grizzly Adams

If you’ve got a beard chances are someone has called you Grizzly Adams at least once. The character personified a kind of rugged manliness that connected with with the wild without any tough guy posturing. This was a dude whose best friend was a grizzly bear. It doesn’t get tougher than that.

Dan Haggerty, who was most famous for playing Grizzly Adams, passed away on 15 January, 2016, after a long and adventurous life.

Aside from his most famous role, here are some amazing facts from Haggerty’s life.

He originally studied to be a priest before taking a job training animals for Hollywood

He worked as a stunt man but got his first character role as a bodybuilder in Muscle Beach Party

He built the motorcycles used in Easy Rider 

He got the role of Grizzly Adams when a producer saw him chase a tiger across a frozen lake

He once did time for selling cocaine to undercover cops

He made it through a coma after a bad motorcycle accident and went on kicking another 25 years.

So long, Grizzly Adams, wherever you are.