Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Skeptics' Fashion Sense

One of the things I learned during my extensive interviews with Ol' Hole Heels (OHH) was how much time and effort he put into cultivating a look for the boys. He told me that when he first discovered them, he was taken aback by their the lack of style. He felt they were completely out of touch with the day's fashion. In fact, he realized they were completely out of touch with fashion in general. That was his first impression, but he suspected with comprehensive lessons and a few field trips, he'd whip them into shape. But first, he needed to convince them they needed a manager and his guidance was needed. After just one meeting, the boys unanimously agreed OHH's expert management skills, connections to the music industry (that's another story), and just plain worldly experience were invaluable. By the end of 1984, OHH was their manager.

OHH said that the boys were a mess. He felt several months were needed to make a decent transformation, however, problems occurred early on, and it wasn't long before the boys didn't want his help. Though they appreciated the groundwork he had laid, they soon began ignoring his suggestions. OHH was only able to supply one comprehensive session on issues, such as clothing, accessories, hair styles, and make-up, before they explained that they really didn't need any further help in those areas. They told OHH that it was his musical skills that was most needed, so he really didn't have to worry about their look.

OHH explained to me that he understood them wanting to break out on their own, to reveal their individuality ans sens of style, but since they were so new to the scene, there were pitfalls and nuances that needed someone like him, who had amassed such a skill-set, to help them pull it off. He tried getting this across to them, explaining for instance that he was equipped to quickly assess the situation, such as what was more appropriate wear, how to look, and most importantly, how to act while performing at each venue. But the boys were adamant. They began ignoring his advice. This frustrated OHH, as he knew their inexperience was far greater than their enthusiasm. Even to this day, OHH acknowledges they have definitely made progress, but it was, and has been, an uphill battle. He's still convinced that they need refining.

In the documentary, I was going to include a segment about the band's fashion and style, but during an early progress screening of the film, an argument broke out among them. Since the fashion issues were still too sensitive, and in essence not necessary for the story, it was determined to discontinue further filming of this topic. Subsequently, the following short clip was removed from the film. It reveals some of OHH"s frustration about the boy's desire to do their own thing, despite many flaws he tried to explain still existed.

In this next clip we hear from Andy (another deleted scene), as he describes the band's fashion sense. It should be noted that OHH was not mentioned, but a future shot with the band members was planned and would have included their acknowledgement of OHH's expertise and influence on fashion and a host of other topics.

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