Hair today, gone tomorrow
Sure, Paul McCartney can still sing at age 70, but have you taken a good look at his hair? During the concert to benefit victims of Sandy, and a few nights later on "Saturday Night Live," McCartney's locks were positively mesmerizing.
Madison Square Garden's gentle breezes made Sir Paul look like he and his hair were at a photo shoot for "Vogue." As a BBF (balding Beatles fan), I was torn between adoration and raging jealousy.
Most of us who attended the 1965 Shea Stadium concert are now gray and lucky to have any hair at all. Paul's mop, on the other hand, doesn't appear to have changed a bit.
And what about Mick Jagger? He bounded across the stage with his shoulder length hair looking thick and lustrous (a terrific hair word, but only for those who have plenty of it). Of course, Jagger's just 69.
I've seen famous folks with bad hairpieces, obvious dye jobs, and telltale transplants. But if Paul and Mick have had work done, it's mighty hard to tell. This is where the jealousy comes in. Many of us would take a second mortgage on our homes if we thought there was a foolproof way to add back realistic-looking hair.
As soon as the concert ended I Googled. Sure enough, the ever-vigilant British tabloids had more versions of the story than Alan Brady had toupees on the "Dick Van Dyke Show."
A headline last year in the Daily Mail asked, "Had a little Help! Sir Paul?" The report said McCartney had been "sporting a much thicker hairdo of late, reminiscent of his luscious lock worn while in The Beatles." A spokesman for Paul told the paper that speculation about hair weaves was "total rubbish" (a fine British term for things that are false or, on the other hand, might be true).
The Daily Mirror dug deep into the follicles of British scalp trends under the headline, "The bald truth behind celebrity hair transplants." Seems quite a few Brits invest in dramatic and expensive hair jobs. But the Mirror had no dirt on the state of McCartney's or Jagger's heads.
There was, however, a detailed analysis of Jagger's health habits in the Daily Mail, disclosing that Sir Mick is particularly fond of La Prairie's caviar skin cream from Switzerland, and the miraculous Creme de la Mer, which sells for $1,900 per pot (a proper British term for a 16.5-ounce jar).
Jagger's regime is also said to involve "lashings of hair dye" by an in-home technician, the result of Mick's "having exhaustively researched hair colouring and its application."
Well, now we're getting somewhere. At least there's evidence -- if that's what you call the work of a British tabloid -- that Jagger's getting some help up top. Both he and Paul seem to have auburn highlights that really must come from a bottle or pot.
Paul's voice is thinning with age, while his hair remains frozen in time. Wouldn't it be nice if science could flip that around?
By the end of the Sandy concert I decided I was more of a Billy Joel fan than I had realized. Joel, a mere 63, has gained a few pounds and lost most of his hair -- and what remains on his dome is appropriately gray. He also refrains from bouncing around the stage (leaving us to wonder if he even can). He's a real New Yorker, a survivor in the manner of Billy Crystal and Matt Lauer, who also make do with pretty much whatever hair they have at the moment.
Oh, who am I kidding? These three guys probably look at Paul and double over in envy. (I'm sure they'd prefer to comb over in envy, if they had enough hair to do it.)
Peter Funt is a writer and speaker and can be reached at www.CandidCamera.com.
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