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In April of 1970, Canadian journeymen Guess Who combined faded denim and straight-ahead guitar rock with the shaggy hairstyles of the departing Beatles to herald the birth of the constellation Mustache Rock. Enormous belt buckles, long hair, maybe a white guy with an Afro -- these and, of course, a range of fabulous mustache styles were the aesthetic signifiers that united the stars of this small but significant constellation. But Mustache Rock was more than just a look -- it was the sound of a lifestyle. Led in spirit by the likes of Grand Funk Railroad early on, the purveyors of Mustache Rock provided a slow but steady drip of guitar-driven hard rock that stood in stark contrast to the sounds emanating from places like the constellations Lite & White. The most powerful band in this constellation, The Eagles, is also the most popular American pop group of all time, and though they pushed Mustache Rock in a significantly softer direction beginning in 1975, it is nonetheless estimated that between 1970 and 1977, more beer was consumed to the sound of Mustache Rock than to the sounds of the stars in the constellations Lite & White and Disco Ball combined. Well into the 1980s, when some former Mustache Rockers like Don Henley had forsaken their scrappy look and sound for something significantly less kick-ass, the late-arriving Boston resurrected this dormant constellation, and the apparently time-traveling Will To Power extended its renaissance and brought the ghosts of rock gods Lynyrd Skynyrd and Peter Frampton into the popstrological firmament with their medley of Freebird and Baby I Love Your Way.

Say what you want about Mustache Rock, but it was a constellation that loved to party, and therein may lie a central problem for those who fall under the influence, so to speak, of the stars in this grouping. When the supply of excitement is high, all is well, but relationships involving Mustache Rockers all too often end when the initial high of romantic (or platonic) infatuation wears off.

2004 All rights reserved. "Popstrology" is a trademark of Ian Van Tuyl.

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