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:


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!


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!

The Brothers Gallagher
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 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.

7 Ladies Men Who Rock(ed) Facial Hair

When you were growing your first beard there was probably someone — maybe a parent or even a friend — who tried to tell you to shave for the sake of your love life. They may have told you that women don’t like facial hair, or that you look more handsome clean shaven. But the fact is that you’ll always be more attractive when you have confidence and individuality, and if facial hair helps you get there, shut those people out and be yourself.

Now, we’re not going to tell you that this or that facial hair style is going to get you anything in life. But take a look at these seven faces as Valentine’s Day approaches and think about all of that bad advice. Facial hair never stood in the way of anything, least of all love, charisma, and sexual attraction.


Errol Flynn

You’ve heard the expression “in like Flynn?” It’s as dirty as you think it is, because Flynn — well — he put it in. Everywhere. And all it took was that tiny little strip of the shortest mustache this side of Prince (who could be on this list, come to think of it). That little mustache gave him an air of sophistication, but it doesn’t work for everybody.


Tony Stark

We know he’s not real, but he’s one character who really gets around. Like Bruce Wayne without the pretense to morality, he’s a playboy with some vices, and everybody seems to love him for it. The truth is, what people love is Robert Downey Jr.’s charisma funneled through the character, which comes across as roguish charm.

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 06: Lapo Elkann speaks with members of the media in the paddock during previews ahead of the Brazilian Formula One Grand Prix at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 6, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

Lapo Elkann

Never heard of him? Well, plenty of women have. He’s a style icon in Italy who came into the playboy lifestyle the old-fashioned way: he was born rich. From banking to sports cars, his family set him up for the sweetest life. As easy as it may be to hate him, he can pull off a Steve McQueen vibe better than most.


Wilt Chamberlain

Known as Wilt the Stilt for his height, he preferred the nickname The Big Dipper, and that he was. He claims to have dipped into 20,000 women over the course of his career, which is about how many points he scored in his first six years in the NBA.


Genghis Khan

The famed warlord of the 12th–13th centuries built the world’s largest empire, and apparently still managed to find the time for extracurricular activities often enough that 1 in 200 men living today is a direct descendant. Who can compete with that kind of longevity?


David Beckham

Soccer star and perpetual sexiest man candidate in various women’s publications, David Beckham has been married for almost 19 years, but there have been rumors, and given his popularity with the ladies, it’s safe to say he could give the other guys on the list a run for their money if he wanted to.

Russell Brand arrives at the MTV Movie Awards in Universal City, Calif., on Sunday, June 6, 2010. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Russell Brand

The British comic has a reputation as a ladies man, and has left a lot of people wondering how a scrawny, scruffy, almost effeminate guy can have the effect he does. But let’s face it: rock stars have walked that line for ages, and they always say ladies love a sense of humor.

So forget that bad advice, and define your own style. Be your own kind of man, and people will respond. Do what you want with your facial hair. Just make sure you treat it right. Like we always say: Don’t shave it. Maintain it.

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.

Birthday Beards and ‘Staches

We don’t know if there’s something special about December, 9 but there are a lot of beard-related birthdays today. Here are some of our favorites.


Emmett Kelly (1898–1979) may just have been wearing makeup, but his famous circus clown had one iconic (fake) beard.


World B. Free turns 63 today. Born Lloyd B. Free, he was also known as the “Prince of Midair” and “All-World.” This muscular guard, known for his incredible vertical leap and 360 dunks, played for 6 teams in his career and made the all-star team in 1980. Today he works as director of player development for the 76ers. His facial hair has run the gamut from all out 70s craziness to pencil thin ‘staches.


Dick Butkus turns 73 today. People first saw his mustache on the gridiron (off and on) for 9 years when he played for the Chicago Bears, making the Pro Bowl his first 8 years. After that his mustache was seen all over TV and in movies, every from The Longest Yard with fellow mustache-icon Burt Reynolds to Magnum P.I. with fellow mustache-icon Tom Selleck.


Redd Foxx (1922–1991) made his way from playing washboard in a band to putting out legendary comedy albums and starring in the awesome 70s sitcom Sanford and Son. Fun trivia: he once worked with Malcolm X, who called him the “funniest dishwasher on this earth.” He was known as “Chicago Red” and Malcolm was known as “Detroit Red.”


Dalton Trumbo (1905–76) was a novelist and arguably the top Hollywood screenwriter of his time. He was also one of the “Hollywood Ten,” a group blacklisted during the McCarthy era when they banded together and refused to testify before Congress. But Trumbo continued to write major Hollywood films by giving the official credit to other writers until Kirck Douglass publicly announced that Trumbo wrote Spartacus.


Deacon Jones (1938–2013), owner of yet another classic mustache, was known as “the Secretary of Defense.” He is a Hall of Famer and was the leader of the famed Fearsome Foursome in LA. He made the Pro Bowl in 8 of his 14 seasons in the NFL. He went on to do some acting on class 70s shows like the Brady Bunch and the Odd Couple, and founded a charity for inner city kids.


John Malkovich turns 62 today. The famed actor has won or been nominated for numerous awards and has done work on stage, television, and mostly famously in film. He doesn’t always wear a beard, but he seems to more and more these days, which we like to see. Maybe the weirdest thing about him is that he did a movie called Being John Malkovich where, naturally, he played (a fictionalized version of) himself.


Michael Dorn turns 63 today. What more do you need to say than that this is the guy who played Commander Worf on Star Trek: the Next Generation? The only Klingon serving in Starfleet, he could be just as lethal with phasers or a bat’leth. Fun trivia: Worf appeared on more episodes of Star Trek TV shows than any other character (he appeared on both TNG and Deep Space 9).