Now, I live in Seattle and Queensryche is pretty much from Seattle, so the only things making it weird are 1) I wouldn’t have known it was him without the photo and 2) I saw this haircut in real life. And if you think it looks wacky in the photo, imagine seeing it outside a Bank of America on Monday night.
Before I go any further, please keep in mind that, according to multiple accounts, Geoff Tate is a real prick who has alienated his former band, spit on multiple audience members and has an entire “Controversy” section on his Wikipedia page (along with another photo of that haircut). So while I would have been happy to dump on the guy regardless, don’t feel too bad for the man who my friend said looks like Sesame Street’s Bert at a funeral.
Anyway, I had this whole thing written about Johnny Rotten, contrasting his look during the Filthy Lucre tour to this photo, but hell, Johnny Rotten was 40 on that tour. I don’t need to defend that. Geoff Tate is fucking 56. I checked and a literal grandfather is sporting that look. I know he dressed crazy back in the 80s (seriously, click the link), but he was still young and that was the unfortunate style at the time. But he grew up and looked like a normal rock dude for a good twenty years. When he shaved his head and sprouted a devil beard it was a little rough, but it seemed like a final hurrah. Now this? I don’t even have anything to say about the other members of the band, even the dark elf on the left. Though there’s a ridiculous amount of ridiculous people in this photo, they’re all overshadowed by the prog-muppet up front.
Listen, I’m here to critique a band photo, not Queensryche or their music, but just so we’re straight, I think pretty much everything they’ve ever done is dumb bullshit. And the Operation: Mindcrime album which, according to Wikipedia, is “a concept album and a rock opera, its story following a recovering drug addict who becomes disillusioned with the corrupt society of his time and reluctantly becomes involved with a revolutionary group as an assassin of political leaders” is incredibly dumb bullshit. That Queensryche and Geoff Tate decided before they split to do an Operation: Mindcrime fucking TWO takes it to a bullshit plane of existence few musicians have ever dared to attain. But let’s try to explain Tate’s appearance through the prism of this evolution.
Though Operation: Mindcrime references days past, with a new record coming out called The Key -- the first of a concept album trilogy -- he is clearly looking for a rebirth. Look how he dressed early on, and you can see he now wants to shed his old skin and pave a new path with a fresh band. We all know how important aesthetics are and he is clearly trying to completely disconnect from who he once was.
Tate himself may be on the way to unlocking his true station in life and will have no need for any of these trifles, the first step being the release of the new holy shit, look at this record cover.
Geoff Tate, go fuck yourself.