Dressing as your favorite (dead) rock icon

By Araz Havan

Courtesy of Mastersword94/deviantART

Dressing as a musician is something you must do for at least one Halloween during your college experience. It’s a great way to pretend to be someone more famous, more talented and richer than you will ever be in your life, if only for a night.

In some cases, the best rock stars are deceased, which is sad for the music world but beneficial to their reputations – and to your costume. To play your favorite rocker that may no longer be kicking it on stage, put on some zombie makeup and the perfect outfit to reanimate an iconic crooner.
Kurt Cobain
Kurt Cobain is one of the most enduring deceased musician costumes. Since Cobain is synonymous with the grunge ideal, you can pull off the look with your best ripped jeans and plaid flannel shirt. The look is even better if you have long hair you can tuck around your ears and a faded green sweater with some holes in it. Bonus points for a Courtney Love hanger-on.
Lou Reed
Lou Reed’s recent passing is truly unfortunate, but has placed him back in the public eye, making this the perfect time to use your costume to commemorate the man behind The Velvet Underground. Do Mr. Reed justice by getting a bad night’s sleep, going crazy with the bed head, and wearing some big, cool shades. Reed typically kept his outfits simple, so a black shirt with a black jacket should do the trick.
Amy Winehouse
Classic crazy: with her thick winged eyeliner and huge beehive up-do, Miss Winehouse has a look that is easy to imitate. Perfecting the makeup exactly isn’t necessary, and it might even work to your advantage if the eyeliner is a little smudged and the up-do is finished with plenty of hairs out of place. For best results, make it look like you didn’t put more than five seconds of effort into either feature. Put on a white tank top and get some temporary pin-up arm tattoos to complete the look.
Freddie Mercury
Who doesn’t love rocking a fake mustache? If you’re lucky enough to grow one yourself, you are doing a disservice to your Halloween experience if you don’t dress up as Freddie Mercury of Queen. This front man is known for his outrageous, flamboyant image, so go the eccentric route with whatever you decide to wear, but be sure to slick back your hair with oil – and, if I forgot to mention, have a mustache. This is the key element. Whether you buy one, use a marker or borrow a friend’s makeup, you cannot forego the mustache, or else you’ll just be dressed up as some weird 70s guy.
If you have red leather pants – or leather pants of any color, really – you are ready to hit the town. If not, make sure you wear something that shows off your chest hair (real or fake) and spend the night singing “Bohemian Rhapsody” like you wrote it yourself.
Janis Joplin
Janis Joplin is the perfect costume for anyone with untamable hair: you won’t have to brush it or style it in any way, and if you’d like, you can put a bandana over your hair or thread some beads and string in it as well. Go bare on the makeup, don some large rounded shades, stack five pounds of bracelets on your wrists and wear a flowing top with some casual bottoms. Joplin wasn’t a high maintenance girl, but she had some funky and iconic outfits during her time, so do your best to recreate the Woodstock vibe she captured so well. If you’re feeling gutsy, a bottle of Jack Daniels is the perfect finishing touch.
Legendary singers, both alive and dead, are always recognizable and almost always easy to recreate in costume on a budget. If you’re still stuck for ideas and you aren’t inspired by any of the musicians listed above, you’ll just have to throw on a sheet, poke two holes for eyes, say you’re the ghost of your imagination and call it a day.
Araz Havan can be reached at [email protected]