I am not a slave to fashion. One one look at me would tell you that.
But there was a time I tried to be trendyish.
Long hair. Loons. Tie-dyed t-shirts, that kind of thing.
I even came back from London in 1972 wearing green platform shoes.
My first Sunday back, I went to Mass in Mount Merrion and stood at the back. I soon noticed that almost everyone else standing against the back wall was leaning forward slightly to grab a glimpse of the shoes.
I was, briefly, a fashion leader!
Long hair was easy. All you had to do was not cut it.
Now? For God’s sake some of them look like they’ve taken a day off work just to get the hair right.
Mick Flannery, at one of his Olympia gigs, spoke of hipsters with “six f**kin’ hair-cuts at the same time.”
Hair cuts don’t bother me now. The last strand vanished many years ago.
And to be honest, fashion doesn’t bother me much either though my wife would prefer if it did.
Actually, my nickname in the scouts many years ago was Scrufín. This was, however, as a result of my brother being nicknamed Scruff due to the untidy state of his uniform from week to week. Nicknames, back then, were often earned in that way.
I had a classmate whose surname was McCormack and whose elder brother was, therefore, known as Corky. My classmate was given the moniker Stopper. And it stuck.
Back to hair.
I would, if I was Minister for Justice, immediately ban man-buns. I certainly don’t think they should be permitted on the rugby field.
And I think normally laid back hippies would have been outraged by the sight of some of today’s haircuts.
As for this shaving the side of the head business, I really don’t get it, though it seems to be tolerated on the rugby field. Indeed, some rugby players even have fully tattooed arms which would be a red card offence in my book.
And what about England prop Joe Marler. There he is with a Mohican. He’s 29 for God’s sake. And not exactly George Clooney in the looks department.
Of course, there’s an upside for some. Like hairdressers.
Back in the 70s barbers probably thought they’d all be out of business – and then of course someone invented skinheads and they were in the money again with their number one blades.
It’s all behind me now, not that it was ever actually in front.
But I do feel sorry for men and boys who have to spend a small fortune getting those “six f**kin’ hair-cuts at the same time” when all we had to do was let it grow.
And it looked better, it really did.
And the music was better too.
(P.S. I think I actually would have earned the Scrufín nickname without my brother’s scruffiness.)