When the well for costume creativity dries up, turn to the gift that keeps on giving: Rock and roll. That's right, our favorite artists have not only written the soundtracks to our lives, they have also been screaming to be immortalized in the annals of Halloween history. Whether the trend has been big hair, flannel, or bell bottom jeans, the music world hasn't ceased to be a consistent generator of possible costumes ideas.
The problem is that, as unique as some of the trademark looks are, they could be considered fairly mundane when compared with a few eye-catching musical acts. After all, in 1987 every band and his sister were stocking up on Aqua Net, making a Bret Michaels costume (whether circa I Want Action or today's Rock Of Love) a bit of a yawner. You'll evoke a laugh or two, but let's face it. If you're going to dress up for Halloween, jaws must drop. Friends should fall to your feet. And if vomiting occurs at the sight of your costume? You just earned bonus points, my friend.
To aid in your Halloween preparations or offer suggestions for next year's grand event, we at Ultimate-Guitar.com decided to compile a list of costume ideas that celebrate the most gifted musicians (or at least the attention-seeking entertainers) in rock and/or metal. More importantly, we'll direct you to the places that will help you attain these looks and make you the king or queen of Halloween.
Few artists have struck such a nerve with parents and censorship proponents, making Marilyn Manson an ideal candidate for a Halloween costume. The question is: Which era of Manson should be recreated on Halloween? While his standard makeup and costumes always make for a compelling stage show, they might seem a bit commonplace among the bloody axe murderers wandering the streets on All Hallows' Eve. That's why the Mechanical Animals era (think Manson in a bizarre, androgynous bodysuit) is the one that has the best potential to creep people out or at least raise eyebrows.
To complete your very own Dope Show, you might as well start out with standard Manson makeup or check out various costume shops for a custom mask. Rather than his usual jet-black locks, the controversial singer sported fiery red mane for a change. Most of the red wigs in the stores won't be a mirror image style-wise of the hair seen on the Mechanical Animals' album cover, but a little gel should work like a charm. The most challenging aspect will be emulating that hermaphrodite-meets-Barbie body of his. If you want to go all-out, there are body cast makers who specialize in such projects, but be prepared to pay a pretty penny. The cheaper and easier route would be a body suit, under which you could strategically place the proper bosom and/or crotch essentials. If you're goal is to make people feel uncomfortable, consider this one mission accomplished.
Dethklok's Dr. Rockzo
As the most contemporary entry on our costume list, the animated, cocaine-loving, clown-for-hire Dr. Rockzo is a sure-fire crowd pleaser for the Adult Swim viewers. Of course, before you even attempt to put this outfit together, be sure you can recreate with perfect Axl-Rose-tinged tone his trademark phase, I do cocaine! Once that eloquent statement is perfected, there are a few essential items to gather.
Find a lime green or canary yellow dance/wrestling unitard, preferably canary yellow or lime green, a matted, tangled blue wig and captain's hat, and you'll be ready for the final step: a whole bunch of scary clown makeup. Powdered sugar, mirror, and razor are optional.
While the members of Gwar might not always hear the words critically acclaimed in front of their name, visually they are a thing of gruesome perfection. We've selected ringleader Oderus Urungus as our focal point, and luckily there are individuals out there who have recognized his It Halloween factor. Masks are available on a few websites out there, with Ebay usually producing the needed goods.
Besides the other all-purpose warrior garb, which you can purchase at a variety of costume shops, you'll need some grotesque-looking extremities. If you're feeling like an FX master and would like to create your own custom Gwar monster hands, there are recipes out on the Internet that can guide you through the process. One gentleman named Wesley Scoggins has produced an amazing how-to journal on his website Indy Mogul, but we can tell you ahead of time that you'll need to put latex gloves, spirit gum, and liquid latex on your shopping list. Craft time!
Behemoth, King Diamond, Cradle of Filth
It's all about the face with these classic metal bands. Truth be told, you just need to have a steady hand and the right makeup. While any old ghoulish faint paint will suffice, super-fans might want to go all-out.
According to the website Rate My Corpse Paint (there's something for everyone out there in webland), the boys in Behemoth prefer only the best: Kryolan Supracolor Cream Makeup.
This top-of-the-line stage makeup isn't available at your local Target or Walmart and an online order will be required, so put that one in the memory bank for Halloween 2010.
Iron Maiden's Eddie
Out of all the possible metal costumes, this one might be the most satisfying to come across at a Halloween party. The Maiden mascot is the personification of metal in many ways, and thankfully some very talented latex mask artists realize the brilliance that is Edward the Great.
Once again, Ebay sellers out there do carry Eddie's latex mask, but completing the costume will depend on which Maiden album and/or song is your favorite. If you love Killers, a white wig, white t-shirt, and bloody hammer should suffice. Is The Troopers your song of choice? Get yourself a British flag, red military jacket, and you're good to go. There's an Eddie for every mood.
Thanks to Gene Simmons' keen mind for business, you can now purchase virtually any KISS-related costume you can fathom. For the best quality and priciest of the bunch, head on over to www.kisscostumes.com. A replica of Simmons' Demon costume will bleed you of $499.99, but it is a fairly cool-looking outfit that includes a vest with attached wings, studs galore, and spiked gloves.
Of course, what's a KISS costume without boots? That small addition will set you back $189.99 extra. It may pay to just go as Ace Frehley's Spaceman, which runs about $310.00 less than the Demon. That Gene thinks mighty highly of himself, doesn't he?
Rivaling KISS for retail store space is Slipknot, which now seems to have a stronghold on the Halloween mask market these days. If you do happen to be a fan of the Des Moines-based metal band and have a monstrous posse at your disposal to account for each band member, go for a shopping spree on their official website. The Slipknot masks run from $25 to $60, but the good news is that you won't need to spend a whole lot more money to complete the ensemble.
A black worker's outfit (or even just black shirt and jeans) should tie things up quite nicely. While all of the masks are pretty eerie, the number-one head turner has to be Craig Jones' spiked wonder. And let's hope those spikes are dull some assembly is required.
Just for a little scandal, let's mention Slipknot's rival, Mushroomhead. The masks with the Mushroomhead themes are a little harder to come by, unless you're on the miraculous Ebay. The auction site had several masks available, but the sales tag topping out at around $150.00. The steep pricing makes sense, however, as the Slipknot masks were designed by FX artist David House Greathouse.
As the main man behind Motorhead, Lemmy's unforgettable physical appearance as iconic as they get and he doesn't even need any freaking makeup to make the magic happen. If you do parade around on Halloween as Lemmy, however, you will have to put a little work into it. Obviously, you're going to need a few moles, with the signature one placed strategically on the lower left-hand side of the face.
A variety of retail holiday stores carry the necessary sets, with Cinema Secrets 3 Woochie Prosthetic Stage Warts a viable option. A cowboy hat with silver adorning cross is recommended, with mutton chops and brown wig to complete the masterpiece.
Don't be afraid to coordinate current events with your costume idea. What's more newsworthy than an injured Steven Tyler? The Aerosmith frontman has made a habit of injuring himself during concerts over the past year, and while it's somewhat serious business, it also makes for great Halloween entertainment. Feel free to grab yourself a scarf, tights pants, tank top, and preferably a pair of oversized lips.
These are obviously all elements that could befit a Steve Tyler costume from 1975-onward, so for an added touch it's imperative to 1) cover yourself in Band-Aids/gauze and 2) get yourself crutches or a wheelchair. Bonus points are awarded if you can find a friend to dress up like a pissed-off Joe Perry and wheel you around.
Ronnie James Dio
As one of the only men in metal whose credibility cannot be tarnished after singing about dragons, Ronnie James Dio is one metal icon who deserves to be revered via Halloween costume. The man has a lengthy history in music, but we've selected one particularly special moment in his career: the Holy Diver video.
Creativity is encouraged for this costume, but be sure to have a cape consisting of faux animal pelts, wrist armor, a badass sword, and a tousled mane of curly black hair. If people still don't know who you are, don't be afraid to walk on your knees for the proper height proportions. Forgive me, Ronnie.
Article by Amy Kelly Ultimate-Guitar.Com 2009