If you expect to make the big time in the music biz, the only absolute requirement is raw musical talent. Haha, no -- that can totally be faked. What you really need, however, is a gimmick. Flavor Flav has his huge clocks, John Lennon had his trademark spectacles, each member of Nickelback is actually two shaved monkeys standing on top of each other in wigs and torn jeans, and so on.
But while we tend to think of these things as carefully crafted pieces of the jigsaw puzzle that is a superstar's public image, the fact of the matter is that sometimes an iconic trademark came about less by design and more by necessity. For example ...
Slash's Top Hat And Hair Is To Ward Off Stage Fright
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Slash's style hasn't really changed much in the last 30 years, because why the fuck would you change perfection? Just one look at the leather pants, curtain of curly hair, sunglasses, top hat, and positively perilous cigarette, and you know you're about to have your eardrums punctured and made sweet, sweet love to by a vintage Les Paul.
But have you ever noticed how Slash's signature look comes with the added benefit of completely covering his face? Hell, for the first three years of Guns N' Roses' existence, no one was really sure if Slash was human or some kind of sentient Chia Pet.
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You water it with heroin to make it grow.
And It's Actually Because:
Even though he grew up around famous people (his mother was a costume designer), Slash was surprisingly anxious about appearing in front of a crowd. That's obviously a pretty monumental hurdle for anyone who aspires to have "Rock God" printed on his business cards, so Slash needed a way to get past this crippling anxiety. And that's where the top hat comes in.
The reason you rarely see Slash without the hat is because it's his way of blocking out his stage fright. Whenever you see him onstage with the hat down low and his bushy coiffure covering the part of his face that the hat can't manage, odds are he's not doing it to look cool -- he's doing it so he doesn't have to see you. (Yes, you specifically.)
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