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How Van got head start on fame game

By Jane Graham

Published 25/03/2013

Pictured out shopping with wife Nicole Appleton this week, Liam Gallagher proved that, despite being in his forties now, he still possesses preternatural coolness.

 The Daily Mail had a go at him for pulling a "grumpy face" at paparazzi, but bearing in mind he's previously punched them, his grumpy face suggests he was in a good mood. More to the point, he looked great. He still has it. As does his brother. And most of "it" comes from his hair.

Ex-Smiths legend Johnny Marr is touring the country as I write, greeted by evangelical fans like a Mod Almighty every time he gets onstage. His mop top still wholly intact, he too looks like a rock star whom time has not withered. Like Samson, most of his power comes from those thick tufts of hair over his ears, the shaggy fullness around his head, the upstanding shafts peaking his summit, and the unkempt tussocks spilling over his collar.

Hair is not a requirement for credibility in all male roles. If one were, say, going undercover to make a Sky series on gangs, a shaven head might be of benefit. But when it comes to rock 'n' roll, a good haircut and lots of hair is essential. The Rolling Stones would have called a halt in 1980 if Mick or Keith had started to shed. Dylan's Never-ending tour would have ended long ago. It's lucky for Van Morrison he was an uncool, thin-haired little chubster from the start – memories of a young hip Van could have cut his career short by decades.

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