This topic is long overdue, and for that I apologize. Still, I feel compelled to expose the fact that some butt-rock front men just can’t look cool with only a microphone. The easiest way to avoid looking like the dork is to have additional talents, such as being able to play the guitar. Metallica front man, James Hetfield, never looked like a turd, nor did Dave Mustaine of Megadeth. Paul Stanley, while looking lame at a variety of different times for a variety of different reasons, always had the guitar as a cruch (even if he was playing rhythm most of the time).
But what if you couldn’t play the guitar? In that case, you would have to count on being really damn cool. Ozzy Osbourne for example. He’ll be getting his robe stuck in his wheel chair before he stops looking like the lord of the stage. Or take Axel Rose (before he went nuts). Way too cool to be mocked and his snake-like dance moves drove the point home. If you can’t be Axel cool, you have to be so appealing that the ladies don’t notice twirling the mic stand is your only talent and the guys can’t risk making fun of you for fear of being outcast by the ladies. Case in point, Vince Neil, John Bon Jovi and Bret Michaels. When chicks dig you that much, the guys have to fall in line or they’re going home alone. If you’re ugly, then you better rely on theatrics. Dee Snyder understood this one all too well. As soon as the guitar solo hits, you better be chomping on a giant bone or swinging a switch blade in a choreographed knife fight, otherwise, you’ll just be standing around in make up. If make-up isn’t your style, you better look to props. Ask Rob Halford as he’s rolling across the stage on a motorcycle. If Halford’s approach is a bit subtle for you, take a lesson from Ronnie James Dio. Pull out a broad sword and battle the dragon until you cut out his Sacred Heart.
So, with all these examples of how to look cool with only a microphone in your arsenal… what can go wrong? Plenty, I assure you. Let’s start with Don Dokken. That guy couldn’t look cool if he single-handedly took down every last dream warrior. Or there is Joey Tempest of Europe, who can’t even keep an imaginary tune playing air guitar on a microphone wire. Jani Lane of Warrant could have been just a subtle dumb ass, but then he decided to compensate by adding in synchronized dance moves… which sealed his fate as a super dumb ass.
To summarize, if you are starting out as a vocalist in a buttrock band, I encourage you to learn from what you’ve just read. Be sure that you are able to eloquently withstand a lengthy guitar solo without bringing your career to a screeching halt. Also, be sure to let your guitarists come over and sing into your microphone now and then… it just might buy you a couple rounds of fingering his fret board during a power chord… and that my friend, may just get you through.