Mulletfest 2018
February 27, 2018 9:58 AM   Subscribe

The 'mullet' consists of short hair on the front and sides, and long hair on the back. A festival has concluded in Kurri Kurri, Australia.

Mulletfest is the brainchild of hotel publican Laura Johnson, from Kurri Kurri in the New South Wales Hunter Valley ... the event took place at and around the Chelmsford Hotel ... oh look a rival mullet from a winter Olympian from New Zealand ... in 'you couldn't make it up' news, A Bloke Named Shag Who Hasn’t Had A Haircut Since 1986 Won Best Mullet At Mulletfest Yesterday ... MulletFest allows journalists and sub-editors free rein to pun away at the titles of stories ... Shane "Warney" Warne, Australia's last great cricketer, had a mullet but after its removal started dating Liz Hurley so guess that's a point against having a mullet ... AskMeFi: "Right now he's got a bit of a Tom Selleck-esque mullet going on, plus wisps of hair that hang over his ears." ... Billy Ray Cyrus had a mullet ... speaking of whom, here are three other music stars who had Le Mullete ... Previously: Trent Reznor with a mullet ... but where did the mullet come from? Well then: "The term “mullet-head” has been used as a way to call somebody stupid since at least the mid-19th Century. In fact, American humorist Mark Twain used it in 1885’s Huckleberry Finn, in which Tom Sawyer called his aunt and uncle “confiding and mullet-headed.”" But skip forward to modern times and we find that: "Popularly described as "business in the front, party in the back," I had no knowledge, until today, that the Beastie Boys coined the word "mullet" in 1994. The Beastie Boys. The seminal hip hop group (rest in peace, MCA) that shaped so much of what I love and respect about music also came up with a word that is widely used to this day, and are even credited for it in the Oxford English Dictionary. Mind blown." ... mind blown indeed! ... some celebrity mullets ... here are some Beastie Boy lyrics: Mullet head, don't touch the back - Cut the sides, don't touch the back - Cut the sides, don't touch the back - Cut the sides and don't touch the back ... As mentioned by no less than the Oxford English Dictionary: "The OED defines mullet as ‘A hairstyle, worn esp. by men, in which the hair is cut short at the front and sides, and left long at the back.’ It was certainly popularized, if not coined, by the hip-hop group the Beastie Boys, whose song ‘Mullet Head’ is the first known use of the term" ... AskMeFi: "I basically have a mullet, and this shall not stand" ... @parkinsbrea: "They have bundy and coke on tap, AC/DC plays every 10mins and footy shorts are formal wear. I’ve found my spiritual home at #MulletFest" ... here is sex god, pilot and tight trouser wearer John Travolta in 1983; ladies (and gentlemen) of a particular demographic, you may now scream ... oh back on track here are more pictures from MulletFest 2018 ... Previously: Hell toupee ... an example of mullets in academic research: "The brownish hair, still stippled with red and blue, stands back at the top from a slightly receding hairline and falls behind the ear in a 'mullet' hair-style" ... and here is a video interview about MulletFest with someone sporting an extreme mullet and ridiculous shades ... "In fact it’s interesting because there’s actually a lot of care and pride that goes into these hairstyles..." ... "He celebrated the win by leading the band, the Stunned Mullets, in a rendition of Dirty Deeds by AC/DC." ... "in fact I liked it a bit more pre-haircut in terms of overall length, but it really needed some reining in and de-mulletting and so what do you do." ... Wikipedia says: "The mullet has also experienced a revival within American sports. After winning back-to-back Stanley Cups, Phil Kessel was spotted in Pittsburgh Penguins training camp in September 2017 bringing the mullet back to its native roots of Pittsburgh Hockey. Similarly, Oklahoma State head football coach Mike Gundy wore a mullet starting in early 2017; the popularity of his mullet supposedly earned Oklahoma State millions of dollars in marketing revenue. In addition, from 2010 to 2015, Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks popularized the "playoff mullet," an alternative to the traditional NHL playoff beard." ... voiceover actor Pat Sharp ... but how does the mullet stack up against other haircuts of the 1980s? ... some mullets at a model train show in New Zealand ... AskMeFi: "She gave me a variation on the picture that I can only describe as a shag/mullet." ... How to Grow a Mullet ... have you been assigned to write an essay about mullets and dating but you have been too busy styling your hair to write it and it's due tomorrow? you can buy a pre-written one (buyer beware, quality and legality are of issue) ... “We’ve got folks here that have been sporting their mullet haircut for over 60 years.
posted by Wordshore (45 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
 
Yay! That was a long 24 hrs! ;D
posted by Celsius1414 at 10:04 AM on February 27 [7 favorites]


If you rotate that giant paragraph to the right 90 degrees it looks exactly like the back of my head circa 1991.
posted by bondcliff at 10:06 AM on February 27 [6 favorites]


*faints*
posted by cooker girl at 10:10 AM on February 27 [2 favorites]


Some of those Aussie competition photos seem more like long undercuts rather than a mullet per se. Or perhaps I don't know where the undercut ends and the mullet begins.
posted by GuyZero at 10:11 AM on February 27 [2 favorites]


And I am shocked that it took Australians to hold a festival for this most Canadian of haircuts.

Doug, Gordie, get going on organizing a real mullet festival!
posted by GuyZero at 10:12 AM on February 27 [3 favorites]


I was thinking "how long will it take to find someone that looks like they could have played in Bayer Uerdingen in the late 80s", and well, there's a blonde guy with a moustache right under the headline. Couldn't ask for better.

(he's no Mike Werner, 'to)
posted by lmfsilva at 10:18 AM on February 27 [1 favorite]


Vandals: I Got an Ape Drape (youtube)
posted by xiix at 10:21 AM on February 27 [2 favorites]


Suddenly remembered being jealous of Limahl, because the girls in my class swooned at every mention or picture or video of him, and would not give the time of day to a farmer's boy like me.

(the best comment after the video is "Man, that poodle can play a mean bass")
posted by Wordshore at 10:25 AM on February 27


"Mullets are distinguished by [...] the absence of a lateral line organ. They feed on detritus, and most species have unusually muscular stomachs and a complex pharynx to help in digestion."

"Maximum length about 90 cm. Travel in schools and feed on fine algae, diatoms, and detritus of bottom sediments."
posted by biogeo at 10:26 AM on February 27 [2 favorites]


Billy Ray Cyrus had a mullet .

So did Nick Cave!
posted by thelonius at 10:28 AM on February 27 [2 favorites]


I call bullshit on the modern hipster "mullet."
Real mullets aren't worn stylishly or ironically because real mullets look like absolute dog shit.
posted by Atom Eyes at 10:28 AM on February 27 [7 favorites]


Suddenly remembered being jealous of Limahl

I was always partial to the drummer.
posted by cooker girl at 10:37 AM on February 27 [2 favorites]


Business in the front. Party in the back.
posted by Beholder at 10:40 AM on February 27 [4 favorites]


“I dunno what to say, I’m fuckin’ pissed,” he tells the crowd. “Rock on! Fuck you! Fuck youse all!”

I genuinely feel a little homesick now. Sigh.
posted by sektah at 10:41 AM on February 27 [2 favorites]


Is mulletsgalore.com still operating? I'm afraid to google and find out. I kind of just want to live in this moment where it both exists and also does not. I have many fond memories of that site from when I was in high school.

The 'Mullöt Cat' paradox.
posted by Fizz at 10:47 AM on February 27 [2 favorites]


Ctrl-F "Bono" = 0/0

I'm disappointed with this thread.
posted by philip-random at 10:49 AM on February 27 [2 favorites]




Ctrl-F "Bono" = 0/0

In the links he has a whole academic paper devoted to His Royal Bononess. A steady download/readership from the university repository.
posted by Wordshore at 10:55 AM on February 27 [2 favorites]


Weslwy Willis weighs in
posted by thelonius at 10:58 AM on February 27 [2 favorites]


Starts filling out forms to move to Australia.
posted by theora55 at 11:12 AM on February 27 [1 favorite]


In the early-mid 80's all the guys in the office had regular short hair but no sideburns. I didn't realize at the time it was a modified mullet. They should have gone big or gone home.
posted by serena15221 at 11:32 AM on February 27 [2 favorites]


Yay! That was a long 24 hrs! ;D

Especially considering how short it looked from the front, and on top.
posted by ambrosen at 12:21 PM on February 27 [4 favorites]


Barber: How about a 'business in the front, party in the back' kinda haircut?
Customer: Hmmm.. I'll have to "mullet" over..
posted by Bartonius at 12:47 PM on February 27 [1 favorite]


Customer: Hmmm.. I'll have to "mullet" over..
posted by Wordshore at 12:50 PM on February 27


Fizz: Is mulletsgalore.com still operating? I'm afraid to google and find out. I kind of just want to live in this moment where it both exists and also does not. I have many fond memories of that site from when I was in high school.

Sadly, no. The homepage is still there, but the site has been switched off. So all the glorious photos of mullets spied in the wild, and the colourful captions, are no longer available for perusal. (If you can't tell, I have fond memories of the that site dating back to ... 2000 or so, I'd say?)
posted by myotahapea at 12:51 PM on February 27 [2 favorites]


(Apologies if I've destroyed the Schrödinger's Mullet paradox for you.)
posted by myotahapea at 12:53 PM on February 27 [2 favorites]




When I was a kid in the mid-90s, my best friend (from age 8 to like 18?) had this cool uncle, and I remember him telling us what a mullet was: "up front, it's business as usual... but it's a PARRRTAYY in the back!!" My friend and I thought that was hilarious, and his uncle was cool and funny and stuff, but like, only people like him had mullets, obviously.

It wasn't until many years later that I realized everyone around us had mullets. His cool uncle definitely had one, but also his mom, his dad, the cool kids at school definitely had rattails, and... well, my friend and I are still in touch, and a few years ago his mom posted some pictures of us as kids. And holy shit. My friend had the biggest mullet I've ever seen. And I totally never knew, because I think I always assumed "mullet" meant something more extreme than what I was seeing. But honestly, I don't know how much more extreme it could be than my friend's super curly mullet that went over his shoulders. Me, I just had long, greasy hair that I kept in a pony-T.

Anyway, mullets make me think of good times.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 1:23 PM on February 27 [1 favorite]


We used to call that style the Bundesliga, or the Jagr, depending on which sport you disliked more. Fun times.
posted by Laotic at 1:49 PM on February 27 [1 favorite]


Suddenly remembered being jealous of Limahl, because the girls in my class swooned at every mention or picture or video of him, and would not give the time of day to a farmer's boy like me.

Why didn’t you just approach them yourself rather than waiting passively for their attention?

*awaits obvious Kajagoogoo punchline*
posted by Sys Rq at 1:56 PM on February 27 [1 favorite]


I give you Daryl Hall. Now that guy had a hell of a mullet ca. 1985.

As gorgeous as Bowie's hair was throughout his life (I'm amazed at how awesome it stayed through all the things it went through, what with the perms and chemicals and bleaching and dyeing and chemo), his 1987 mullet was ill-advised. Didn't suit him one bit, I feel. Is the Labyrinth Jareth wig a mullet, technically? Because it's also quite ugly. Sorry, Jim Henson's team!
posted by droplet at 1:57 PM on February 27 [2 favorites]


Just a week ago I had a mullet surgically removed after over a year without a professional haircut (what was 'short' in the front was mostly due to long-term hair loss). Still my hair remains at about the same length it was BEFORE my previous professional haircut; the cutter was meticulous in making sure I wasn't over-cut and earned himself an above-average tip. But my greatest mullet-related faux pas occurred when I 'inherited' a cockatiel, and was informed that he was particularly fond of Millet Spray. After months of saying "here you go, some millet for your mullet" to the bird I was notified that the hair-like feathers atop the 'tiel's head were much more like a mohawk than a mullet.
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:28 PM on February 27 [1 favorite]


It's funny looking back and seeing how truly ubiquitous the haircut was. At the time, it was basically invisible since nearly everyone wore a variation of it and had done so for so long. Its invisibility was certainly helped as well that it was so common it had no name. You just went and got a haircut, and if you didn't specify something like "crewcut," it was what you ended up with by default.

Since it fell out of fashion in the early 90s we haven't seen such a blatantly asymmetrical style really take off, and I suspect that's partly the reason it's aged so poorly compared to previous haircut styles on men. Mine went in the late 80s when I grew my hair out long enough for a ponytail. By 91 it was shaved or some variant of short, and has been that way ever since, which seems to be the case for most men.
posted by los pantalones del muerte at 2:56 PM on February 27 [1 favorite]


OED? The best definition for mullet is from Chamber's: "a hairstyle that is short at the front, long at the back, and ridiculous all round."
posted by transient at 3:31 PM on February 27 [3 favorites]


My earlier discovery of the demise of mulletsgalore.com got me thinking about the subject ... and it turns out that while that site is gone, for those who want to explore the depths and breadths of possibility inherent in the mullet, MulletJunky is the site for you. (I think the best bit would be the references to non-mullet-wearers as 'coldnecks'.)
posted by myotahapea at 3:35 PM on February 27 [1 favorite]


In the 80's we didn't know the word "mullet." We had another one: "schlong cut." Short in the front, long in the back, schlong.
posted by zardoz at 3:41 PM on February 27 [1 favorite]


Maybe you didn't know the word "mullet" in the 80's but believe me, some of us did.
posted by GuyZero at 3:46 PM on February 27 [1 favorite]


You say that, Guy Zero, and I myself would swear you were right, if not for the fact that, despite being surrounded by mullets for many years — Edmonton! — I distinctly recall my first encounter with the name for the hairstyle, which was in the very Grand Royal magazine the OED cites, around ‘95 or ‘96. I also remember subsequently having to explain to people what a mullet was.

It’s probably no coincidence that, with rare exception, the mullet unequivocally died in the mid-nineties. That said, almost nobody outside of Japan had ever actually *heard* “Mullethead,” which in any case is one of those Beasties back-to-their-hardcore-roots tracks where all the vocals are yelled quickly and indecipherably distorted.

Incidentally, Grand Royal magazine was awesome. I have been hoping for some sort of hardcover reprint since it bellied up, but that’s probably never gonna happen.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:21 PM on February 27 [2 favorites]


(I think we always called it Hockey Hair before that.)
posted by Sys Rq at 5:30 PM on February 27 [6 favorites]


(I think we always called it Hockey Hair before that.)

Truth. Male Adolescents in the 1970's wanted the full Led Zep mane, but compromised with mom.
posted by ovvl at 6:23 PM on February 27 [1 favorite]


Oh mullets are awesome if they're the result of grooming and not just greasy signals of neglect.

(I can't wait for the rats tail post. Boys at my high school punched in the faces of anyone who snipped their rats tail off)
posted by honey-barbara at 6:46 AM on February 28 [1 favorite]


(I think we always called it Hockey Hair before that.)

We called it hockey hair too, and being a dumb kid not that into fashion in 1986 I thought to grow legitimate long hair, you just let the back grow out.

However, I really don't believe that a Beastie Boys filler track with barely intelligible lyrics created/legitimized the name of 'mullet' either (the singles everyone knew from that album were Sabotage and Sure Shot) as the first time I heard that track as filler on the Clueless soundtrack I already knew what was about. But I can't remember any official-type earlier either. So I declare that a bit of weird history.

The great mullet die-off was around 1990-1995 as well - when all the hard rock guys cut their hair. Metallica did it in 1996 maybe? They were behind the curve. Here's a Bon Jovi retrospective. But they weren't the only ones.

I think they did it in response to rap (most of the famous rappers had really short hair) and long hair immediately became even more feminine and rock 'macho posing' was bested by rap 'macho posing'. But that's just a theory.
posted by The_Vegetables at 7:08 AM on February 28 [2 favorites]


The great mullet die-off...

David Attenborough is already working on a nature documentary, the content of which will be spectacular but will sadden the BBC viewing audience.
posted by Wordshore at 7:17 AM on February 28


The German word for mullet is "Vokuhila", which sounds terribly exotic, but is just short for "vorne kurz, hinten lang" ("short in front, long in back").
posted by jeudi at 10:28 AM on February 28 [2 favorites]


In Swedish it’s “hockeyfrilla” (hockey haircut), which just makes perfect sense.
posted by AxelT at 4:00 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


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