A lot of people don’t believe me when I say I didn’t have internet until college. I was born in 1980, and raised by a single mother who didn’t have time or money for Prodigy or AOL or whatever nonsense people used in 1993.
Another thing is like most goth chicks, all of my teen rock star crushes were kind of anachronistic. I grew up in the era of Eddie Vedder and Kurt Cobain and I just didn’t find grunge to be appealing. The careers of most of my teen crushes had already peaked in the mid eighties, but since the only photos I had of them were from LPs and the occasional Spin Magazine (if they had a comeback record), they existed in this sort of liminal space between reality and immortality. It wasn’t until I was adult that I understood that celebrities were actually normal people who happened to be really famous, not perfect ageless vampire demigods. Again, the internet has changed a lot. I recently found myself wondering what happened to Sisters of Mercy frontman Andrew Eldritch (see below) and the results were not pretty. We all get old. But goths tend to age worse than everyone else.
Thus began my masochistic “where are they now?” project.
David Bowie clearly has a painting in the attic and a deal with the devil because he looks really good for a man of 66, seems like a funny, kind person, and is still making ok music. He was my #1 crush as a teenager, and I stand by that to this day.
Morrissey was never not a handsome dude but dare I say he’s actually gotten sexier with age? Maybe it’s because he actually started having sex after years of celibacy? He is quite dapper at 54, and still releasing solid music.
Like her contemporary Robert Smith, Siouxsie Sioux has refused to give up the garish lipstick and eyeliner at 56, but somehow it’s working for her. Maybe not in the way she wants it to, but she’s got this sort of Real Housewives of New Jersey mediterranean MILF thing that is kind of hot. She looks like she smokes menthols, works at a high end cosmetics counter, and would be great fun as the matron of honor at a Bachelorette party. I mean that as a compliment!!!
DAVE VANIAN (THE DAMNED)
I’ll be damned (hahah) if 56 year old David Vanian hasn’t taken his ghoul rock persona to the old man level, morphing from eyeliner-wearing stud, to a creepy Vincent Price shtick which, while not really sexy, is actually kind of a good direction for him. Even if the mustache is kind of gross.
ANDREW ELDRITCH (SISTERS OF MERCY)
Once upon a time, Andrew Eldritch was the alpha male of gothic sex. Unlike his eyeliner wearing peers, he was actually sort of masculine in a way that was still androgynous enough to appeal to goth chicks. At 54, he’s still touring with Sisters of Mercy (despite not having released ANY new material since 1993) and his look has gotten really, really bad. How he transformed from gothic sex god to middle aged football broseph is beyond me, and some things just can’t be unseen. (I still have to give him props for recording a demo of Dolly Parton’s Jolene in 1981, though).
ROBERT SMITH (THE CURE)
My 54-year-old birthday twin Robert Smith has not aged well. Actually he’d probably be ok looking if he wasn’t still trying to do the big hair and messy makeup, a look that is only flattering on the young. Let this be a cautionary tale about not updating your look from time to time.
PETE BURNS (DEAD OR ALIVE)
Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate some good plastic surgery….But Pete Burns is just a poor man’s Genesis P. Orridge as far as I’m concerned.
66-year-old Iggy Pop is my other birthday twin (April 21st, holla!) He looks more and more like a piece of beef jerky every day, yet that will never diminish his sex appeal to me. Maybe it’s because he recorded duets with Ke$ha and Peaches, because he’s still a gender bending feminist who likes to wear dresses, maybe it’s because he told Terry Gross of NPR that he stays fit by “Swimming, doing Tai-Chi, and having lots of sex.” LOVE THIS MAN.
Who were your adolescent crushes, and where are they now? Rap at me in the comments.