Example: Cheap Trick.
I love Cheap Trick, but there's no denying that you always had two shooting for the hotness factor and two shooting for the quirky factor, and that's okay. Once, the divine watertiger interviewed them, and she was crushed to find (1) Tom Petersson not in attendance, and (2) Robin Zander hiding an ooky cold sore behind a bandanna (shades of Spinal Tap!). Neilsen's always been smart and thoughtful (loved him in The Big One--"You just wrote a Yardbirds song!") but not, you know, hot.
I don't really know how I feel about this proposal, I have to say. I mean, I guess when I myself was a teenage girl, the hotness factor had something to do with my early choices, but not in any determinant fashion. Anyone who owned The Clash couldn't have been making too many decisions based on hotness.
I will confess to longstanding (and, in some cases, ongoing) crushiness for my childhood idols. But hot was never enough. I had a Sean Cassidy poster, for example, but I never had a Sean Cassidy record. (And I certainly never saw him in concert, **coughDeepToejcough**) The Knack, yes. Shoes, yes. Even the Cars (though the hotness factor begins to stretch at this point. Does anyone want to stand up for Benjamin Orr?) And, er, Wayne Gretzky, but that was somewhat uncharacteristic of me (this was before sports stars generally had posters, pre-Michael Jordan, and my Gretzky posters were actually ads for various kinds of hockey equipment, and ordered from the back of Hockey News). In any case, like The Great One, it was never enough for me for a boy to be cute.
So here's my question: I guess if you can swing it, it's a good thing to be talented and attractive, to "make the girls swoon." But is it really necessary?
And a related question: how sexist is it to assume that women will only listen to a band with good-looking members? Maybe not at all, but I dunno. Maybe it's the weather making me cranky, since I'm generally willing to credit libido with a fair amount of power.