Is It OK for Rockers to Wear Shorts Onstage?
Angus Young of AC/DC performing in shorts
Creative Commons / Matt Becker
It's a well-known fact that L.A. Weekly music writers are consistently at the forefront of global fashion. The evidence speaks for itself: Ben Westhoff was the first guy in his high school to wear sneakers with a suit, Shea Serrano was born wearing shutter-shade sunglasses, and Jason Roche owns a laundered shirt. We know our sartorial stuff, gosh darn it.
So when local band Highland Hawks requested our help settling the most pressing style question of our generation, they knew they were accessing decades of expertise and vestiary savvy. They asked us point blank, "Is it OK for rockers to wear shorts on stage?"
We thought long. We thought hard. Is it? Is it really? We crunched numbers. We did maths. We ran data. We conferred with scientists, philosophers, anthropologists, rockologists, scenesters, fashionistas, and even lowly commoners. We locked ourselves in the cavernous L.A. Weekly Fashion Library for days, debating, crying, banging our heads against walls. And then, after so many sleepless nights, it happened: We figured it out.
Fuck no! Jesus. Are you goddamned crazy? Shorts are for little kids, man. That's like asking if it's OK to eat glue or shit yourself in public. Are you a trained ape with an organ-grinder? Sheesh. Get it together. Unless you're AC/DC's Angus Young (and you're probably not), you may never ever ever wear shorts on stage in rock and roll. Ever.
Need that spelled out? Here. Here's a helpful flowchart:
Paul T. Bradley
While waiting patiently for our answer, Highland Hawks' guitarist Jason Walston desperately tweeted-out to some fellow musicians. It seems like, with few exceptions, we are all in agreement.
Wilco keyboardist Mikael Jorgensen:
Old 97s' Rhett Miller:
Squirrel Nut Zippers founder Tom Maxwell:
Phew. Glad we got that brain-buster settled and no one got hurt.