Everything Else

keith moon

 

The destructive, wildman drummer is something of a played out trope in rock and roll at this point, but it had to originate somewhere. And anyone currently fitting that mold can in some way be traced to the periodically bearded Keith Moon, who basically invented the stereotype starting in the early sixties.

As the powerhouse drummer for The Who, Moon was bombastic in every sense of the word, an impressive feat for a band who had two cults of personality in Roger Daltry and former beard of the day Pete Townshend out in front, not to mention the virtuosity of John Entwistle. Moon and the rest of the band became known for destroying their instruments at the end of performances, and he took it the further by planting explosives in his bass drum. This propensity for destruction seemed perfectly emblematic not only for his technically proficient yet rambunctious style of drumming, but also for his personal life, where Moon’s rampaging alcoholism could not be stopped. And in 1978, at age 32, he died of an overdose of pills and booze.

In his absence he’s left a string of imitators both behind and away from the kit for going on 40 years, but to this point no one has been able to surpass the original in either arena. And it’s unlikely anyone ever will.

Everything Else

stanley kubrick

As arguably the greatest filmmaker of the 20th century, or of any timeframe since the medium’s inception, the bearded Stanley Kubrick could turn just about any style of film into a masterpiece. Whether it was the minimalist science fiction of 2001: A Space Odyssey, the horror of both A Clockwork Orange and The Shining, the period pieces of Barry Lyndon and Spartacus, or the black comedy of Dr. Strangelove and Full Metal Jacket, every piece of his directorial work stands uniquely on its own while still maintaining his signature craftsmanship. Kubrick famously framed every single shot so that any single frame of celluloid even when taken out of context could stand on its own as a visual statement. But when strung together both within a film and over a career, those single frames add up to a legendary body of work.

 

Everything Else

bryan_cranston

While known primarily early in his career for comedic roles such as Dr. Tim Watley on Seinfeld (who converted to Judaism just for the jokes), or patriarch to the mayhem on Malcolm In The Middle as the simpleton Hal, the off-screen bearded Bryan Cranston will forever be remembered as Breaking Bad‘s Walter White. With four straight Emmy victories portraying the high school teacher-turned-drug kingpin, Cranston transformed himself both within the role from desperate family man to irredeemable sociopath, but also from an affable “oh, THAT guy” character actor to one of the most dynamic actors on either the small or the big screen. And if there is any kind of lesson to be learned from Cranston’s portrayal of Walter White, it’s that decisive and ruthless action must be taken to both preserve and claim what is rightfully yours.