Style Notes: The Beatles
The Beatles were pioneers – of both modern music and facial hair styling. In the first of two articles, David Glover reveals the depth of their influence
The Beatles are probably the greatest band of all time – we all know that. But the strength of their influence on popular culture is less well known. Never before, or since, have four men inspired the direction of men’s style so strongly.
In fact, the Fab Four revolutionized grooming for men. Until the mid-60s men were traditionally clean-shaven. However, as The Beatles evolved from wearing their mop tops and suits to the Edwardian fashions favored by the British psychedelic movement of 1967, all four Beatles grew facial hair during what became know as the Sargent Pepper sessions.
From then until the band officially broke up in 1970, at least one member of the band wore some form of beard or moustache.
The first band member to start growing facial hair was George Harrison who arrived in India in September 1966 with the beginnings of a moustache that he fleshed out into a full beard in time for the Strawberry Fields Forever single in January 1967. Being the most eager of the Beatles to quit touring and shed the mop top image, he grew a beard just as soon as he could, determined to make a new life for himself.
The others soon followed suit. By August 1967, all four members were wearing moustaches. Paul McCartney and Ringo Star grew chevron shapes (think Jude Law, Robert Downey Jr.), while John Lennon grew the ‘pipes’ for a horseshoe shape and George a full ‘van dyke’ shape - not dissimilar to the one worn by David Beckham on a recent visit to the White House. Though considered by some as part of a counter-culture revolution at the time, nowadays you will find guys styled like this on the streets of Williamsburg, Shoreditch or Schoeneberg at any time.
Each look can be achieved by starting with a fuller beard like George (a few weeks growth keeping the neck and cheeks clean) then removing the whiskers on the chin and around the jawline to create a horseshoe shape moustache like John.
Further removing the sides of the ‘mo’ and leaving a soul patch under the center of the lip will give you the Ringo edge, while further shaping around the mouth and upper lip will leave you with a classic ‘chevron’ shape like Johns’.Check back next week for the next installment