Jim Martin, Faith No More
Gene Shalit is the world’s ugliest film critic, also vying for one of the world’s most unsightly images a pair of eyes could stand without quite liquefying. Jim Martin, around the time we saw him in the “Epic” video, is even uglier, though he owes a heavy debt to whatever Gene decided to do with his hair (both facial and on the head) that didn’t involve a brush, comb, razor, or even chimp-like grooming habits. Jim was like a zany hippy who didn’t care about the fashionable or the presentable, but he became genuinely scary at a time when bands like Faith No More tried to change the metal landscape. That Jim left the band after their next album is instructive, and proves that the metal world can tolerate the weird — Mike Patton, in spades — but not the disturbingly unattractive.
Nicko McBrain, Iron Maiden
Even his name is ugly, and I never did learn what happened to the poor drummer’s nose, but I’d like to think it was smashed in by the now forgotten Clive Burr after being informed that the Piece of Mind recording sessions would not require his services. In every video by the legendary British metal gods, he always appeared to be a fevered little imp; so oblivious to his own physical deformities that he couldn’t help but smile for cheering crowds. And yet, despite his infectious grin, he’s a nightmare to behold, perhaps the only clue we’ll ever have as to what inspired Derek Riggs’ most famous creation. The Maiden video 12 Wasted Years says otherwise, but I’d prefer to believe in the cruel in-joke.
King Diamond, Mercyful Fate/King Diamond
No middle-age man with a worthwhile mug continues to wear pounds of make-up, so his ugliness, while not as obvious as others, is still rightfully assumed. And surely the top hats, capes, and endless strings of Satanic jewelry don’t help his cause one bit. I was a big fan of the Abigail and Them albums back in my youth, but his attire always seemed like overkill to me, as if the macabre lyrics and hellfire imagery weren’t enough to establish his devilish credentials. More than anything, though, he’s on any respectable list of ugly rockers because no one can imagine him being brought to orgasm by a woman — at least not a live one, anyway.
Ian Hill, Judas Priest
Ian Hill was, from the very first time I saw him, a creepy, pederast uncle — the guy who would come to Thanksgiving drunk off his ass, likely shirtless, screaming about “that cunt you call Aunt Judy” and promising to make everyone’s world a living hell. He always remained in the background — at a 1991 concert I attended he appeared to be literally nailed to the stage in a far corner — and only recently did I conclude that it was Rob Halford’s vanity that wouldn’t allow him more face time. Hill always appears pissed off, balding, and on the edge of a bender, likely because he never realized that metal maniacs don’t sport porn king moustaches. He’s giving us a goatee these days, but now that he’s old, fat, and likely suffering from congestive heart failure, it’s more sad than infuriating.
Mick Mars, Motley Crue
Being a fan of both Three’s Company and Motley Crue in the early 80s, I couldn’t help but wonder if Mars was deliberately channeling Joyce DeWitt during those years. Or, like Vinnie Vincent, trying to approximate Joan Jett in male form. The Crue was a notorious magnet for pussy, but only Mars can be imagined sitting in the tour bus by his lonesome with tears welling in his mascara-enveloped eyes. Awful, never-quite-metal hair, thin as a fucking scarecrow, and so pale and emaciated that he never quite seemed alive, even in the midst of a spectacularly mediocre solo. Plus, from certain angles, he looked like an old woman. If chicks went for Tommy’s cock, or Vince’s pretty boy allure, or Nikki’s aura of danger, surely the babes reluctantly drifted over to Mick’s corner of the hotel suite only to poke his arm with a stick to make sure he hadn’t stopped breathing.
Billy Milano, S.O.D./M.O.D.
Befitting a man who grunted and howled about clubbing seals and his hatred of immigrants, Billy Milano is enormous, moose-like, unclean, and foul to the touch. He’s a man you’d expect to consume a rib-eye on stage, but only after railing for twenty, cookie crumb-spewing minutes about the alleged hilarity of starvation in Africa. That he’s still alive at this late date is at least the 623,000th piece of evidence proving we inhabit a godless universe, but we can have a last laugh knowing that his song “No Glove No Love” was not spoken out of experience. Or was it? Enormously mangy racists don’t get laid, even during decades where cocaine ensured even the least among us would taste the forbidden fruit, do they? Depending on the picture — and I’ve seen dozens – Milano could easily be the world’s ugliest individual — period — not just a laughable specimen from the rock world. Here’s one bloated wreck of a man crying out for a cold slab.
Lemmy Kilmister, Motorhead
We all know the warts, the filthy jean jackets, and the greasy hair that last saw a showerhead when “Ace of Spades” was still spinning on record players, but the defiantly loveable Lemmy slips to #4 because it is a confirmed fact that he’s bedded hundreds of dames over his long career. Perhaps thousands. Plus, he’s good-looking for an Englishman. When one realizes what intercourse with such a man as Lemmy would have to entail — and even granting that he’s quick, efficient, and a little selfless — men everywhere can stand tall knowing that no one among them will ever sink to so disastrous a state of low self-esteem. It also proves that women are so seduced by fame — even fame among low-lifes and scoundrels — that they would allow a man with less allure than your average auto mechanic to probe their genitalia with musty abandon. A man whose very appearance confirms that Robert Shaw did in fact consume himself and vomit upon a freshly minted corpse, thereby bringing it to life, has seen more pussy than you ever will. Fellas, the fight for women’s rights is over.
Steve Grimmett, Grim Reaper
Back in high school when my close friend and I could only dream of dates and sexual exploration, one of us (ahem) landed a chick who could have substituted for Steve Grimmett on his day off without anyone missing a beat. Had I been speaking of Poison or any number of glam bands, this might not have been so bad, but as Grim Reaper’s front man was an even fatter, more unkempt version of Meatloaf, that infamous date those many years ago is still a difficult pill to swallow. For my, uh… my friend. Grimmett is a mystery to many, but for all those in the know, his pounds of bushy hair, bloated, sweat-filled face, and mountainous physique will never be forgotten. His “See You in Hell” was a classic anthem, but even the most unfortunate creature among us will never know Steve’s own special version of the underworld. Yes, you’re a virgin, and awkward, and pathetic, but you’ll never, ever be Mr. Grimmett.
Udo Dirkschneider, Accept/Udo
The pudgy, stout little German has survived a heart attack on stage and years of undeserved obscurity, but no amount of sympathy will ever grant him a face that can be viewed for more than three uninterrupted seconds. This is one fucker who would surely fell the Kraken. I’d say he hasn’t aged well, but he always seemed on the far side of 60 to me, even when he had the strength to ride a wrecking ball in one of his videos. With a voice like shredded glass blasted from a cannon, his vocals fit the crime, but by insisting on tacky fatigues and all known forms of sleeveless, he never acquired the masculine power we’d expect from a heavy metal hero. Interestingly, he’s the ugliest man ever to flirt with homoerotic imagery in the rock arena.
Vinnie Vincent, Kiss/Vinnie Vincent Invasion
If you have any doubts about Vinnie taking the top spot from more obvious choices like Lemmy and Herr Udo, check out 1983’s “Lick it Up” video for final confirmation. Or better yet, try to sit through the 1986 vanity project “Boyz are Gonna Rock”, which is quite possibly the most unintentionally hilarious rock video ever produced. In either case, the 5’7″ axe-man struts and puffs out his chest like a giant among mortals, which always makes the decidedly ugly that much worse to face. I’ve seen him look like a chick, an Asian, an Italian, and even a zombified Joan Jett, but never, ever a man who could show a female a good time. Napoleonic complexes don’t come any more obnoxious and to this day, I can’t look at him without thinking about that first time he appeared sans make-up, menacing the world with that vile smirk. And Jesus Fucking Piss, can we even begin to measure how Herculean a task it is to be the ugliest member of Kiss? Bonus!!! Vinnie, Fucking Live!!!