Musicians Got Bling

Design Idea B17T Bracelet
by Dan Day, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and BeadsĀ®

This is an offshoot of another article that talks about expanding your jewelry-making audience by marketing to men. Here we'll show examples of male rock musicians who demonstrate that wearing jewelry is not only okay, it's cool; so cool that many men take their fashion cues from famous rockers.

Rock musicians have passed along a lot of stage moves from one generation of performer to the next: leaping, sliding and crowd-surfing to name a few. And boots, leather and scarves have become part of the time-honored rocker attire. Over the years, wearing jewelry has been carried on rather fitfully by rockers, although with some using it quite effectively. Here's a brief, selective survey of jewelry-adorned male rockers and some suggestions on how you can use their inspiration to market to men.

The jewelry-adorned rocker lineage begins with Little Richard--given his flamboyant image, it was quite natural to see one of the kings of rock 'n roll adorned with rings, chokers and pendants. While playing in his backing band before he was famous, Jimi Hendrix was fired for actually upstaging Little Richard. Jimi must have picked up some stylistic flourishes from Richard because he often sported necklaces and pendants in all his psychedelic glory.
Musicians Got Bling

Musicians Got Bling Greatly influenced by Hendrix--musically and visually--Stevie Ray Vaughan also favored various combinations rings, necklaces and pendants, a bracelet and earring or two, and because he was a Texan, the occasional bolo tie. His trademark flat brim high-roller crown cowboy hat was often decorated with large cabochons, shells or, sometimes, even a boa.

Given that the guitar style of John Mayer is heavily influenced by both Jimi and Stevie, you'd think he would be next in line in this fashion family tree, but no, instead of fully embracing a bejeweled presentation like those two guitar gods, a web search turned up one measly image of him wearing a rather low-key blue-beaded necklace. However, his seeming non-preference for jewelry (and that of other men like him) actually represents an opportunity for a shrewd marketer. More on that coming up.

As a contrast to Mr. Mayer, Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry often likes to accent an open-to-the-waist shirt with a pendant while lead singer Steven Tyler could always be counted on to wear a wide variety of rings, pendants and necklaces to augment his omnipresent scarves with a boa tossed on every now and then. And Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones, a musician who influenced both Joe and Steven, is known for his skull ring, making him a potent ring role model. For more great ideas for emulating the rebellious rocker style, visit the article Outlaw Jewelry-Making Trend.

You'd think androgynous glam rockers of the '70s such as David Bowie, Marc Bolan, the Alice Cooper group and the New York Dolls would be big jewelry buffs, but the evidence indicates not so much besides a stray pendant or necklace, although there is picture of Bolan wearing a somewhat ornate choker. Although he may not have worked with them on stage, Edgar Winter wears a couple of very flashy bib necklaces on the covers of a couple of his CDs. Heavy metal rockers of course favor studs and chains.
Musicians Got Bling

Musicians Got Bling Let's check out other musicians such as drummers and bass players who may not generate the excitement of singers and guitarists but still have lots of followers. Bass players such as Stray Cats' Lee Rocker or Thin Lizzy front man Phil Lynott would often augment leather or animal prints with a large pendant necklace and maybe an earring. Drummers are usually stuck in the back, but one blingfastic drummer that comes to mind is bad boy Tommy Lee who wears earrings and necklaces to enhance his prodigious amount of tattoos. The Crusader Jewelry-Making Trend provides more ideas for colors and materials that rockers or rock fans will approve of.

However, a survey of rockers recently topping the charts reveals a surprising dearth of jewelry fashion, be it Maroon 5, Neon Trees or Goyte. However all three members of Train can be seen wearing pendants. As mentioned before regarding John Mayer and others, one should look upon these musicians and their fans as a field with rich soil ready to be planted with the seeds of inspiration. Perhaps it never seriously occurred to them there are many suitable jewelry choices beyond pendants. As a designer and marketer you can use the role models presented here to make your case to the musicians, their family and friends in your extended community. You'll have ample opportunity to see your jewelry designs add flash and flair to highly visible and influential musicians and those who wish to be like them.

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