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Old 08-17-2019, 06:02 AM
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Has there been a more successful band of "dorks" than Toto?


I cant deny their musicianship.

But good lord, on "Hold the Line" the lead singer looks like Ron Jeremy, and on "Africa" and "Roseanna" the band looks like a glorified cast from "Revenge of the Nerds".

Im hard pressed to think of a "nerdier" or "dorkier" band than Toto.

I know some are going to say Weezer but they at least intended for the "nerd" look.
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Old 08-17-2019, 06:25 AM
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Well, it's peak 1980 or so, I'll give you that.

Toto is what happens when some pretty good musicians come together as professionals to make an album. Kind of like the Eagles or Boston. There's not a lot of flash or charisma but, because most of them were session musicians before they hit, they were enormous professionals working in music.

It's kind of like the Garfield comic. It's someone who knows what they're doing setting out to write some hit songs and make a living at it. There's nothing wrong with that. Not at all. But it lacks a lot of the 'rock star' myth so many people seem to expect.
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Old 08-17-2019, 06:37 AM
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I take it you've never seen this:

Do the Freddie
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Old 08-17-2019, 07:23 AM
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REM
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Old 08-17-2019, 07:46 AM
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'... the band looks like a glorified cast from "Revenge of the Nerds"'

Devo
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Old 08-17-2019, 08:20 AM
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Really seems like DEVO wins this without any real competition.
Whip It
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Old 08-17-2019, 08:28 AM
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Other contenders for runner-up:
The Buggles
They may be Giants
Weezer
  #8  
Old 08-17-2019, 09:16 AM
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Mike Flowers Pops - Light my fire
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ecbcw-APMoE

Wonderwall
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTfZshkNZRw
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Old 08-17-2019, 09:38 AM
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Both members of Steely Dan look like accountants and for the most part always have.
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Old 08-17-2019, 09:51 AM
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I agree with the mentions of Devo and They Might Be Giants -- though, to be fair, both bands intentionally cultivated a vibe (weird in the case of Devo, nerdy in the case of TMBG) in their look and their music.

For a successful band that was unintentionally / unironically dorky, I nominate Rush.
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Old 08-17-2019, 09:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by russian heel View Post
But good lord, on "Hold the Line" the lead singer looks like Ron Jeremy, and on "Africa" and "Roseanna" the band looks like a glorified cast from "Revenge of the Nerds".
FWIW, I'll point out that, in 1978, when they recorded "Hold the Line" (and, when they presumably recorded the video you're referring to), singer Bobby Kimball and guitarist Steve Lukather were both only 21 years old. They were babies!
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Old 08-17-2019, 10:01 AM
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One last nominee -- not as successful as Toto or Devo or Weezer, but he did have several top 40 hits:

Donnie Iris

He totally had the pencil-necked geek vibe down.

Last edited by kenobi 65; 08-17-2019 at 10:02 AM.
  #13  
Old 08-17-2019, 11:19 AM
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Kraftwerk
Sonic Youth
  #14  
Old 08-17-2019, 11:26 AM
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...and on "Africa"... the band looks like a glorified cast from "Revenge of the Nerds".
I just watched the music video. Yea, nerdy. But the thing I noticed most was the globe of the Earth spinning backwards.
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Old 08-17-2019, 12:10 PM
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'... the band looks like a glorified cast from "Revenge of the Nerds"'

Devo
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Originally Posted by What Exit? View Post
Really seems like DEVO wins this without any real competition.
Whip It
You sure about that?

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Originally Posted by Crafter_Man View Post
Kraftwerk
Kraftwerk
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Old 08-17-2019, 12:38 PM
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You sure about that?



Kraftwerk
I forgot about them (probably on purpose). I wonder if Art of Noise was successful enough to qualify for consideration.

Another one, Laurie Anderson had a dorky phase in the early to mid 80s.
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Old 08-17-2019, 12:51 PM
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The Proclaimers.
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Old 08-17-2019, 12:59 PM
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Frank Black (from The Pixies) solo stuff is really nerdy.

And of course Weird Al is 1000% nerd.
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Old 08-17-2019, 01:11 PM
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Probably disqualified because of his complete lack of succes at the time of the initial recordings of his music in the 70’s, and the questionable nature (and extent) of the success of the re-releases, but unsurpassed in dorkiness: Mark Gormley. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=87nkJquHnAU A man whom pop-history inexplicably and unjustly overlooked, and who represents greatness in a non-traditional way. Please note that his demeanor, presentation, dress and power-stance is entirely un-affected and not meant ironically in any way. This is genuine.

Last edited by Isosleepy; 08-17-2019 at 01:14 PM.
  #20  
Old 08-17-2019, 02:33 PM
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Matthew Wilder. Not nearly as successful as Toto, but a heck of a lot dorkier.

Break My Stride

The Kid's American

The thing about being cool: if it's obvious that you're trying, you're not succeeding.

Last edited by mbh; 08-17-2019 at 02:37 PM.
  #21  
Old 08-17-2019, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by kenobi 65 View Post
One last nominee -- not as successful as Toto or Devo or Weezer, but he did have several top 40 hits:

Donnie Iris

He totally had the pencil-necked geek vibe down.
At the time, I remember thinking "Well, he nabbed the award for top dork from Leo Sayer!"
  #22  
Old 08-17-2019, 03:18 PM
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I take it you've never seen this:

Do the Freddie
Please tell me the 60s weren't really like that!!! It was just a bad dream due to advanced age, right?
  #23  
Old 08-17-2019, 03:44 PM
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The Talking Heads
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Old 08-17-2019, 03:46 PM
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Boston was what happens when MIT engineers try to figure out interesting ways to create and mix rock music.
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Old 08-17-2019, 04:04 PM
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Both members of Steely Dan look like accountants and for the most part always have.
Donald Fagen does not look like an accountant, he was the "cool" half of Steely Dan. The late Walter Becker did look like a dork 100% though. Not really an "accountant", more of a Dungeons and Dragons programmer type.

Last edited by Lamoral; 08-17-2019 at 04:05 PM.
  #26  
Old 08-17-2019, 09:36 PM
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Buddy Holly
https://www.google.com/search?q=budd...w=1920&bih=938
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Old 08-17-2019, 10:33 PM
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REM
My favorite R.E.M. as dorks story is this: The first time they performed in Chicago, they had some uninvited backstage guests, the Chicago Plaster Casters. Their services were refused, and Peter Buck put it this way: "I don't know what to say to people like that. I mean, I'm sure they're very nice girls and everything....."

  #28  
Old 08-18-2019, 12:51 AM
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I agree with the mentions of Devo and They Might Be Giants -- though, to be fair, both bands intentionally cultivated a vibe . . .
By the 1980s, "dorkiness" was clearly cultivated in general, so most of the bands listed in this thread shouldn't really count, should they?
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Old 08-18-2019, 03:19 AM
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Let me try to bring a modern contender: The Mountain Goats.

The one band whose managers look cooler than them.
  #30  
Old 08-18-2019, 06:35 AM
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Pretty weak, if you're going to include Buddy Holly for his dorky glasses, that was pretty common for glasses at the time. The BC style glasses were pretty common at the time. Hell, the Navy was still using that style frame through the 80s.
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Old 08-18-2019, 07:07 AM
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I always thought The Bare Naked Ladies were pretty dorky, without necessarily trying to be dorky.
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Old 08-18-2019, 07:12 AM
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Billy Joel. I mean, I love the guy, but he's always been a big ole dork.
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Old 08-18-2019, 08:23 AM
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Bluegrass musicians can always be counted on to be pretty dorky. As successful as Toto? No, never, of course. I mean, it's bluegrass. But dorky? For sure.

Billy Strings

I guess there's a bit of a hipster vibe there too, but the line between hipster and dork is a very blurry line indeed.

Molly Tuttle

Adorable dork, which is a look in and of itself, but dorky nonetheless.

Last edited by Saintly Loser; 08-18-2019 at 08:27 AM.
  #34  
Old 08-18-2019, 08:24 AM
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Probably disqualified because of his complete lack of succes at the time of the initial recordings of his music in the 70ís, and the questionable nature (and extent) of the success of the re-releases, but unsurpassed in dorkiness: Mark Gormley. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=87nkJquHnAU A man whom pop-history inexplicably and unjustly overlooked, and who represents greatness in a non-traditional way. Please note that his demeanor, presentation, dress and power-stance is entirely un-affected and not meant ironically in any way. This is genuine.
What the....
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Old 08-18-2019, 10:13 AM
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IMHO it doesn't get 90-pound-weakling-with-glasses-and-dorky-haircut-dorkier than The Korgis (a killer song, too).
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Old 08-18-2019, 11:11 AM
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Probably disqualified because of his complete lack of succes at the time of the initial recordings of his music in the 70ís, and the questionable nature (and extent) of the success of the re-releases, but unsurpassed in dorkiness: Mark Gormley. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=87nkJquHnAU A man whom pop-history inexplicably and unjustly overlooked, and who represents greatness in a non-traditional way. Please note that his demeanor, presentation, dress and power-stance is entirely un-affected and not meant ironically in any way. This is genuine.
I... did not expect that.
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Old 08-18-2019, 12:33 PM
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Probably disqualified because of his complete lack of succes at the time of the initial recordings of his music in the 70ís, and the questionable nature (and extent) of the success of the re-releases, but unsurpassed in dorkiness: Mark Gormley. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=87nkJquHnAU A man whom pop-history inexplicably and unjustly overlooked, and who represents greatness in a non-traditional way. Please note that his demeanor, presentation, dress and power-stance is entirely un-affected and not meant ironically in any way. This is genuine.
I...

I have achieved complete illumination after watching this video. My mind encompasses the Universe and I am one with the immanent quiddity of transcendent deities.

This is beyond awesome.
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Old 08-18-2019, 02:06 PM
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Mark Gormley was clearly robbed out of a Grammy, what with the mom jeans, the softness of voice, barley moving mouth, and va-va-va-voom lady, posing in that way that only she knew how to pose.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Toxylon View Post
IMHO it doesn't get 90-pound-weakling-with-glasses-and-dorky-haircut-dorkier than The Korgis (a killer song, too).
Buddy playing violin that sounds like a kazoo treated through a synthesizer while surrounded by cats has probably been my highlight of the past couple months.
Definitely shoulda had some lounging around my drum kit back in the day.



The Thamesmen

Five Neat Guys

Happy Kyne and the Mirthmakers

Tony Roletti

Terry Jacks

Robert John

Eric Carmen
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Old 08-18-2019, 02:51 PM
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The Thamesmen's drummer died in a bizarre gardening accident. This actually happened to Toto's drummer (insecticide poisoning) and almost happened to R.E.M.'s drummer (Rocky Mountain spotted fever, probably contracted when he cleared some brush on his acreage).

How about the ultimate rock dork, Christopher Cross? (And they say appearance only matters if you're female. )
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Old 08-18-2019, 02:59 PM
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Steely Dan. Great musicians, but they looked like IT specialists.
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Old 08-18-2019, 03:39 PM
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HALF of them did.

Donald Fagen is weird looking, even slightly menacing, but I don't think you can credibly accuse him of not looking cool.

Walter Becker did, indeed, look like the polar opposite of cool, from the first years of Dan all the way to the end.
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Old 08-18-2019, 04:16 PM
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I...

I have achieved complete illumination after watching this video. My mind encompasses the Universe and I am one with the immanent quiddity of transcendent deities.

This is beyond awesome.
My work here is done.
  #43  
Old 08-18-2019, 06:49 PM
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The Decemberists look like dorks. Pretty sure XTC are dorks.
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Old 08-18-2019, 07:54 PM
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IMHO it doesn't get 90-pound-weakling-with-glasses-and-dorky-haircut-dorkier than The Korgis (a killer song, too).

While we're at it, British prog rock Stackridge (Davis and Warren later founded The Korgis) looked dorky too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Isosleepy View Post
Probably disqualified because of his complete lack of succes at the time of the initial recordings of his music in the 70ís, and the questionable nature (and extent) of the success of the re-releases, but unsurpassed in dorkiness: Mark Gormley. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=87nkJquHnAU A man whom pop-history inexplicably and unjustly overlooked, and who represents greatness in a non-traditional way. Please note that his demeanor, presentation, dress and power-stance is entirely un-affected and not meant ironically in any way. This is genuine.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for this.
  #45  
Old 08-18-2019, 08:23 PM
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I'm not sure if they count since they're well known mostly because of their awfulness and the story behind them, but The Shaggs.

https://youtu.be/XR9d4ESlpHY
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Old 08-19-2019, 02:15 AM
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Kraftwerk
*Ding!* *Ding!* *Ding!*

On the less successful side, I cannot think of a dorkier-looking band then The Pastels, the lead singer of which often wears an actual anorak!

Last edited by MrDibble; 08-19-2019 at 02:19 AM.
  #47  
Old 08-19-2019, 02:52 AM
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Hombres G were pretty dorky, dorky enough to be surprised by encountering Crocodile Girls (their name for groupies, and also one of their songs). They also sold enough records on both sides of the Atlantic to be called "the Spanish Beatles". Their lyrics often were of the "and this is while being sober" variety.

Last edited by Nava; 08-19-2019 at 02:53 AM.
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Old 08-19-2019, 02:54 AM
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I remember reading in a music rag in the early 80s about Elvis Costello the "hippest computer geek you'll ever see "
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Old 08-19-2019, 07:14 AM
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I remember reading in a music rag in the early 80s about Elvis Costello the "hippest computer geek you'll ever see "
Yeah, but he doesn't count, because he was trying to look dorky.
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Old 08-19-2019, 07:37 AM
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Adorable dork, which is a look in and of itself, but dorky nonetheless.
The word you are looking for is "adorkable"
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