Flashbacks: July 28, 2006

The Boston Phoenix has been covering the trends and events that shape our times since 1966.
By EDITIORIAL  |  July 26, 2006

Total Request haircut | 5 years ago | July 27, 2001 | Andrew Weiner documented his quest to get a haircut like Carson Daly.
“Reviewing the results of my experiment, I now see that I made at least two crucial errors. The first was choosing a hair salon based on its name. I picked a place I’ll call Omni Styles. The name evoked modernity, versatility, competence. What it meant was, We’ll cut anybody’s hair … the exact same way.

“My second blunder was not bringing a photo.…

“One of the things writers must believe is that the right words exist to describe any object. Apparently this isn’t true of haircuts, at least not as administered by Rhea, the sixty-something hairdresser who met me at the counter. When I told her my plan, she expertly feigned comprehension and went to the magazine rack to produce an issue of Star. Smiling broadly, she pointed to a picture of an orange-suited young man with a crew cut: ‘Like him, right?’ Wrong. ‘Him’ was Timothy McVeigh.

“Before I could think once, let alone twice, about what was happening, Rhea had me shampooed, conditioned, and all but strapped into her chair. She started out well enough, assuring me that ‘a new look is a new you.’ But then she informed me that my birthmark hides a secret message from God, and complained that hairdressers don’t get enough media attention. Right after she told me how she’s had to ‘fire’ long-time customers who didn’t know their place, she told me I had so much hair I was going to have to pay the women’s price.

“By the time we were finished, I knew that the situation was well out of my control. I smelled like a Jolly Rancher, and could hardly bring myself to look in the mirror. When I did, I wasn’t sure about what I saw. Did I look like Carson Daly? Sort of. Did I also look like a well-groomed otter? Again, sort of. Did I look anything like my fantasy doppelganger self? Not really — I just looked 14 all over again.”

Tour de force | 10 years ago | July 26, 1996 | Carly Carioli looked forward to the Warped Tour.
“At a time when ticket prices are limited only by the extent of a promoter’s greed and bookings are stacked together according to profit margins, the second annual Vans Warped Tour … is an anomaly. On its inaugural run last summer, the skate-punk music and sports festival actually lost money, and this year the promoters are just hoping to break even. But more important, the festival’s organizers captured a slice of rock-and-roll utopia, a place where for a day everyone from musicians to athletes to audience seemed to set aside their attitudes and differences.

“Only a handful of bands playing this year have any wide name recognition; for every Fishbone, Pennywise, Rocket from the Crypt, and NOFX, there’s a Blink-182, Red 5, Sexpod, or Sensefield just breaking out. But the Warped Tour transcends the sum of its parts — everyone who went to last year’s show in Northampton came away talking about the intangibles, the stark contrast between Lollapalooza’s tense and clunky authoritarian stratification and Warped’s laid-back, egalitarian vibe.”

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