Vintage Musicians #1: Ugliest Bands Ever

Once upon a time, before MTV, it was pretty common to have no idea what your favorite band looked like. This is almost incomprehensible to the younger generations who are often more familiar with a band's image than their actual music.
Think about it. A lot of bands had album artwork rather than their ugly mugs on the cover. Musicians like Kansas, Yes, Meatloaf, Boston, Chicago, and Styx adorned their records with paintings, not band photos. Also, you primarily heard the artists on the radio, not on the TV. For instance, I heard all of The Little River Band's hits and had absolutely no idea what they actually looked like.

Christopher Cross is often cited as the last of the butt ugly musicians. After him, MTV took over and it became about the image rather than simply the music. You can basically divide music up into two periods: B.C. and A.D. (Before Cross and After Duran).

With so many butt ugly bands before Christopher Cross (B.C.), who can decide who's the ugliest? Lynyrd Skynyrd were no glamour boys, to be sure. But the hillbilly look was their shtick, so that rules them out. Meatloaf wasn't exactly easy on the eyes, but just being morbidly obese doesn't make you the ugliest ever.

Quiet Riot, Queen and Twisted Sister were some ugly SOB's, but they had at least one decent looking dude in the band, so that rules them out. I've looked at some other "ugliest band" lists on the Internet, and left a bit dissatisfied - most use current photos of the musicians and that's simply not fair. I get it, Alice Cooper is insanely ugly, but he's also pushing seventy years old.

So, who tops my personal list as the ugliest band in history? Although The Association are pretty damn ugly (at top of post), I think the winner would have to be Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show. Ta-da!


  1. Wowee that is certainly the worst picture of Meatloaf I have ever seen! Great post!

  2. Peruse through a Dr. Hook photo gallery for a few minutes and even Meatloaf starts to look clean and handsome.

  3. AnonymousJuly 11, 2008

    Back in those days... long long ago... performers could look ugly and have bad teeth and lack six pack abs and still have a career in music. Now "the look" is so tangled up with the music that it has become ridiculous. I can hardly think of an unattractive performer these days.

    Thinking back I cannot recall an entire band that looked as bad as the Medicine Show clan there, but I recall a few people: Ginger Baker of Cream, the Doors (not Jim of course), Johnny and Edgar Winter, Steve Howe from Yes... etc. But what these guys lacked in looks they made up for in rock and roll attitude and talent.

  4. AnonymousJuly 23, 2008

    I can't believe you don't have Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention on this page. ;D

    Dr. Hook looks the way I thought a band like that would sound.

    Remember a group called Doug 'n' the Slugs? Their big hit was "Making It Work (Takes A Little Longer)" and the average age of the band...uh...members made it obvious what they were referring to. They had a lot of airplay but MTV stopped 'em dead.

    Ditto Chris Cross, whom one could say was the anti-John Gilbert: Great voice, mediocre face.

  5. My vote goes to the Scorpions

  6. Looks like it's been a few years, but here goes:
    Slade: awesome glam rock band, but uglier than home-made shit...
    Steely Dan: only two full-time members, but what a pair of mugs...they look better now than they did in the 1970's!

  7. AnonymousMay 25, 2015

    I found this band poster back in the early 90's. Thought I'd post it here for all to enjoy.