Then and Now: Long Live Rock Stars


We would never openly admit it but there was a time when we thought rock stars were gods and seeing them was pure heaven. We listened to their music, mimicked how they dressed, and tried to emulate the image they projected. Admittedly, they were the hottest beings on earth then, but that was a long time ago. Ever wondered how they look like nowadays?

Some musicians look just slightly different from how they looked decades ago, while a few don’t look like anything they did in their heyday. From grunge to punk rock and heavy metal to glam, here are photos of rock gods and goddesses back then and quite recently. Take a walk down memory lane and bite of present day reality after the jump.

Joan Jett

If you love rock ‘n roll, then you must love person who made the proclamation iconic. After The Runaways disbanded in 1979, Joan Jett sought a solo career and one of her early projects was to record three songs with with Steve Jones and Paul Cook of the Sex Pistols. One of these was an initial version of Arrows’ "I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll,” but it was only when she re-recorded it in 1991 with her new band, The Blackhearts, that the song became such a hit, occupying the Billboard 100 number one spot for seven weeks.

Joan Jett’s love for rock ‘n roll is everlasting. It has fueled her through two bands, a solo career, recording projects, and live performances. And her love continues, as seen in the photo taken this year at the Bottle Rock Festival.

Joan Jett with The Runaways, during her Blackhearts days, and at this year’s Bottle Rock Festival. Photos via OC Weekly, New York Times, and Spin

Guns N’ Roses

From “Welcome to the Jungle” and “Sweet Child o’ Mine,” to “Patience,” “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door,” “November Rain,” and the remake of “Since I Don’t Have You” later on, Axl Rose , Slash, Izzy Stradlin, Duff McKagan, and Steven Adler—-collectively known as Guns N’ Roses—-made a mark as one of the best-selling bands of all time with their own brand of metal-infused classic/hard rock. Lead guitarist Slash’s trademark look and Axl Rose’s bandanna and cycling shorts combo made them the most memorable members of the band and the object of many women’s fantasies.

Slash has since embarked on a solo career, still wearing that top hat of his. Die-hard fans will be happy to know that Axl has gone on tour with a new lineup quite recently, although he looks a bit different now.

Guns N’ Roses more than 20 years ago; Axl Rose and Slash today. Photos via Billboard, Lebmetal and AceShowbiz


Admit it, Beck’s first single “Loser” made it to your playlist, and was one of the catchiest (and to some, relatable) tunes in the ’90s. There you have it, a photo of Beck in 1994 during his ‘Loser’ days and a snapshot of him after 11 studio albums, taken just last year. Not much has changed; the hat and sunnies are still there.

Beck in 1994 and 2012. Photos via OC Weekly


Who could ever forget Kurt Cobain’s ladylove Courtney and her band, Hole? Hole’s popularity was most likely influenced by the fact that its vocalist was the wife of Nirvana’s now dearly missed front man, but you’ll have to admit, the band did capture your attention with the single “Doll Parts” and later on with the album “Celebrity Skin.” Hole disbanded in 1999, reunited in 2009, and just last year, Love announced that she will resume performing with her band Courtney.

Hole in the grunge era and Courney Love performing at SXSW in 2010. Photos via OC Weekly

No Doubt

Another female-fronted band? No Doubt was formed as early as the mid-80s with a male vocalist, but it was only with the release of their third album Tragic Kingdom, with Gwen Stefani as the main voice, that the band reached mainstream success.

With their ska roots still resonating in varying degrees despite their constantly evolving sound, No Doubt has released six studio albums in the span of two decades. The band has been in hiatus a couple of times and vocalist Gwen Stefani has engaged in solo projects throughout the years. She’s no longer the midriff-baring idol teenage girls used to imitate, but is even more stunning and stylish as ever. The rest of the pack look pretty much the same.

No Doubt in the ‘90s and during last year’s AMAs. Photos via OC Weekly and VH1

We know this list is incomplete so tell us, who was your favorite rock icon? Any idea what they’re up to these days? Share your love for rock ’n roll in the comments section below.

Information for this article were sourced from OC Weekly and Wikipedia

written by jillytanrad on 2013-11-28 #rock-stars #lifestyle #music

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