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New Wave Artists As Time Goes By

Billy Idol As Leather Face

This blogger and DJ collected an impressive number of current photos of 80s rockers as they look today. Taken as a whole, it’s a pretty cool assortment of photos and a look at how the New Wavers have physically fared the passing years.

 All of the photos are interesting, but some are particularly striking. Debbie Harry, right at the top of the websites line-up, is not just “looking good for her age;” she is looking positively stunning for a woman of ANY age. Holly Johnson looks like a (very handsome) corporate banker. Toni Basil still looks absolutely adorable. Simon LeBon is almost unrecognizable, not because he’s aged, but because, with his abundant facial hair, he looks like he’s auditioning to play Wyatt Earp. Adam Ant looks like he’s taken a role on Sons of Anarchy with his biker jacket and grizzly sideburns (though the eyeglasses are very stylish).

 There’s a lot of variability to the photos, so in a way they are not comparable depictions of the artists today. Many are publicity shots taken at events; some are candids; some are taken from live performances. Most of the artists have put away the heavy makeup and Aqua Net of the 80s and let their more natural selves shine through (though not all: Martha Davis, Marc Almond, Anabella Lwin, Chrissie Hynde, Peter Murphy, and Siouxie Sioux are still sporting plenty of eyeliner).

 Perhaps the most fascinating thing I took away from these photos was how almost none of the artists have had “work” done (as in, plastic surgery). This sets them apart from many of their 80s celebrity contemporaries, particularly former pop stars. This is admirable, letting nature take its course and acknowledging beauty in all its forms. The most glaring exception to this, of course, is Peter Burns of Dead or Alive, but that’s a process that’s been going on for many years. But oh my goodness, those lips look fit to explode.

 I did find it a little sad that DJ Rio felt the need to identify some of the artists by their most highly charted songs. Do we really need to be told that A-Ha did “Take On Me” or that Madness did “One Step Beyond?” Some of his little commentaries were amusing, however, such as pointing out that Richard Butler was not Gary Oldman and that Depeche Mode was the Rolling Stones of the New Wave world.

 Time goes by, but the ability to age gracefully is an enduring treasure.

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