Top-10 of photo-disasters
// 9 июля 2011 // Articles
For today's research we tried to collect Brian Molko's 10 worst photos, that could be included into the show "You're not gonna be Paris Hilton's new BFF". From the very beginning we'd like to state that poor photos from official photo shoots and shows were not taken into consideration, because that's an extremely rich source of photo-disasters. Mostly Molko's backstage, autograph-session and unofficial events' photos were selected to our treasure box.
1. A tough guy
I guess this picture is destined to collect all the awards in such nominations through the years, but still it remains my personal favourite due to its composition and content. Many of us every now and then sin by drooling... I mean, looking at young Molko's photos, where he's all so exquisitely made-up, with the points of his black hair slightly touching his shoulders. Our hearts sink when he takes his earlocks away from his face in such a touching manner and glances at us with his eyes wide open and his eyelashes so fluffy, that a shadow from them lays upon his cheeks... We attentively watch his fingers with black-varnished nails gracefully wrap around microphone, guitar or cigarette... whatever he does, he's doing it in such a graceful, perhaps, a bit nervous, but totally his manner. So nancy, so fragile! Oh, how many scribblers were drooling over his touching, a bit unhealthy beauty in useless attempts to describe it... The scenery could be different, but the details remain the same — Molko-bob, black nail varnish, long eyelashes, full lips... and Molko began to seem some kind of ephemeral creature from another world; even his voice is too unique and too catchy to be true. And that's why I love such photos — they take us back to a real Molko. And maybe even not to Molko, but to real life. To those tough street guys, for example. This is our Brian — so near to our heart, so understandable to Russian soul. There's a jacket that looks like an old lady's textile masterpiece, and a knitted cap that looks like a condom, and a cigarette butt to make an image of a tough street guy complete. It is not some kind of a homo-elfish creature, here you can see that this Brian (or Boris, as we, Russians, sometimes call him) would be ok with supporting a local football team and sipping beer with his dudes. Would you call him a foreign star at this picture? No, it's our local tough street guy.
2. A rock star.
One of the most precious photos ever, vividly reflecting all the hardships of rock star's life. Thin hair sticked together in such a messy way as if Brian had spent the previous night gently holding a bottle. Even huge stylish sunglasses don't cover the meaningless of his look that reveals his condition of being absolutely out of skull. And now he has to sit in some kind of a beer promo tent and sign the autographs in exchange for beer lids. Though it's hard to say what exhausted Brian more: an endless queue of beer-lovers crowding around in search for an autograph or yesterday's hard beer party in naval style, that hadn't left Brian any chances neither to change nor to recover. Who knows, perhaps, he had been celebrating Navy day surrounded by quite a company of young sailors dressed in white uniform. The only thing that is missing about Brian in his slightly stretched striped vest, with a scarf carelessly thrown around his neck (which really looks more like a floor cloth that had been used to scrub deck — the colour is suitable for this, so Brian could easily confuse things in darkness) and a cigarette falling out of his mouth is an anchor and mermaid tattoo on his arm. One can almost foresee the cigarette fall out of his mouth, after what Brian, wiping the dribbling saliva away, hiccups and drawls: "Pipe all...all...hands on deck!". Don't you think he has been partying... I mean sailing for too long?
3.Since that day we had two years to go, but the whole Lithuania still remembers Molko's show
In 2007 this picture already won the competition of the most impressive photos, and indeed, it's hard to pass over it. Here he is, our star. An idol! Prince, isn't he? No, it's a princess! Well, such a photo could be placed on the cover of the book titled: "They drink, smoke, use drugs and eat insects, too". Of course, there is a version that Molko made himself look so unpresentable and repulsive on purpose, so that fans wouldn't bother him asking for an autograph for too long. And if Molko, using his lively mimicry in this way, hoped to safe himself from photos with fans, then I think that he got it wrong...because looking at this swollen, wasted, unshaven face you understand that Molko is loved not for his sweet appearance, but for a true talent. So he has no need to worry that someone listens to his music only due to a shallow appentence for the lead singer... noooo, Molko is not that case. Somewhere in the back of his mind Molko probably understood this fact even in his youth when he wrote the lyrics "you love the song, but not the singer"... he could see it clearly in the mirror, and maybe it's not a coincidence, that he brought this song back to the set-list during Meds tour just to remind us once again — no, his appearance is not the key to Placebo's success. To be more exact, the appearance has played its role due to its... peculiarity. But the talent was the most important thing.
Once my informatics teacher told me that I shouldn't take pictures of my class teacher from below, well, it's all about her double-chin, etc... Looking at this picture, if I were the photographer, I would destroy all the negatives, and wouldn't even come close to such an idol, unless the photographer is prone to a specific (and probably, a painful) scientific interest in investigation of human's transformation to greenfly.
I'm sorry, but this noxious insect suits perfectly to describe the photo... and it shouldn't sound offensive because greenfly isn't like some maggot or slug, there's something so... domestic about greenfly, because it is associated with apple trees, country-houses, etc. Molko here is also green, domesctic, with greasy hair, snotty, pimply, with his lips bitten, and he somehow doesn't make a grade as a boy of your dreams, but such men usually wear boxers that look like parachutes and perfectly suit the interior of a communal flat with carpets on the walls and cockroaches coming out from alchy-neighbours.
5. "Hello, my name is Brian Molko and I'm an alcoholic".
I'm not sure whether Paris Hilton held any alchy-competitions for the participants during her casting for a new BFF, but Molko would definitely fail this test. Because at those pictures where Brian is drunk, he does look like he's dead drunk. Moreover, his not-so-proportional features become even more deformed. The most interesting thing happens to his eyes, that swim to the different parts of this world and lose all the signs of the intellect. They look just like the eyes of a herring that had been lying on the sea bottom for 5 years. And you can almost see as he, with his glassy eyes, is reeling to a new victim trying to look licentiously hot and sexy. His glass is empty, the waiters don't fill it anymore, he even looked under the tables and stools for more, and now he is left with the only hope of finding someone whose glass is still full. So as soon as Brian sees an appropriate candidacy, the famous charming smile appears on his lips, though in such drunk condition it looks like he's going to vomit. Then he slowly comes up from one side, snuggling himself up to his victim, and speaks hoarsely because of the hangover: "BABY!" flirtatiously blinking at her with one eye because the second doesn't close anymore. For a fraction of a second the victim is paralysed. Molko sharply grabs the glass, drinks it to the dregs, his right eye switches off, so the last victim will have to find a manager or at least anyone who will agree to bring this drunk body to bed. However, in the youth all these sins on Brian's face seemed something funny and quite acceptable because, in spite of being absolutely wasted, he looked beautiful in his own way in this image of a drunk licentious rock-star. But the older he gets the worse the consequences of those lavish libations become.
Everyone remembers a fable about the syphilis that Molko supposedly had in his youth, and who knows, maybe the consequences of the illness are still present — just look at his face here. I wouldn't be jealous of a person whom Brian approached with this grimace of an old ghoul. Feels like Molko is about to cling to somebody's sleeve just like an evil polecat screaming something like: "Ooohhh you've stolen my toner and now I look like a rat!!". In the past he would have demanded on returning his black eyeliner that he used to hide pimps (wetting it with saliva beforehand), but then he was told about the existence of magic toner...and since that day Brian understood that he was nothing without it. And you believe him... that's why the most malicious saboteurs hide his toner in the first place... and palette knife in the second to make a joke of the star. When he got older, he bought a trowel -he's got a lot of make-up to do!
7. A baddie
The camera artfully imprinted the universal sorrow and motherly gentleness combined with the nausea, that are reflected in the face of our favourite Midge. This is a very controversial photo because it is unclear what Brian is about to do: to give us a brilliant impromptu with bald rhymes like "forever-ever" or to vomit a substance consisting of herrings, chips and beer right on bigfoot who stretched his furry manicured paws to Brian. On the other hand, the medieval cloak hints at the great torments and self-sacrifice of this modern Giordano Bruno who is ready to surrender to bigfoot's paws in token of his devotion to the fans (whoever they are) and for literally nominal price. To be honest, Molko here is inimitable and unique: with all your wish you (well, and Brian himself) can never make-up your eyes so differently and squint them so specifically, pluck your eyebrows so differently and curve them this way, and show how your head turns into body omitting neck so smoothly and elegantly that it creates a lot of zoological associations in my mind, for example, a term "cephalothorax" that is used when talking about arthropoda (they also use a term "abdomen", but unfortunately, it's out of picture). But still I abandon myself to the idea that the main reason why the photo is so uncommon and memorable is the quantity of alcohol that Midge had drunk — evidently, he's a few moments away from having the alcohol pour from his ears and nose, mixing with the tears falling down from Brian's eyes, who already put up with the perspective of spoiling his fan's furs.
8. A sick one.
A fur seal. I'd rather say a baby fur seal — he's so pitiful here. But he definitely inhabits the seas, because his beautiful eyes are swimming away. They are irrepressibly swimming out of his face — evidently, they decided to travel the world: cross the oceans, break the ices of Antarctica, cover the kilometres of Volga and fall into Caspian Sea. The left eye is still hanging around, but the right one has already rushed into the distance to the bright tomorrow, it is flowing down gracefully and beautifully like the clocks on the Salvador Dali's pictures. It's flowing down tragically and airily, its right part is slowly drowning like the stern of sinking Titanic, at the same time trying to catch the eyebrow with it instead of an oar. Brian's face is glamourously shining in the floodlights, while he's sweating in the silent fight for the right to possess his own eyes. According to the other point of view, his face is just wet with his own tears. He understands that his right eye can't be persuaded to stay and he is likely to devote the next tear-jerking song to it, something like:
Never thought you'd make me perspire.
Never thought I'd do you the same.
My sweet left eye
Now you're the one...
There are cut-throat debates about the plot of the photo. If you pay attention to the haircut and the length of Molko's hair (almost a crop), the remains of the intellect on his face (from weak to temperate), cold bare walls, then you can suggest that this is a blurry image of a doctor's shoulder on the foreground that hides Brian's feeble body. Brian is probably standing barefooted in a white nightie, and our poor Midge is in a mental hospital (it is well known that they've been insistently sending him VIP-invitations from there for a long time). Or, perhaps, he's at a maternity hospital — with those stars nothing is the way it's supposed to be.
9. A seaman, or a local bar's star.
The whole world is in our hands,
We are the stars of the continents,
We have defeated decisively
Those other competitors
We've come to you just for an hour,
Privet! Bonjoir! Hello!
So fall in love with us right now -
You are in luck today.
He's a Staaar. He's arrived to our backwoods from the long voyage, from the hot countries ("Have you been to Tahiti?") and that's why he's cold in here. He put on a foreign T-shirt and two jackets — the first to keep him warm, the second — to look colourful. He hasn't got accustomed to dry land yet, so he waddles around hitting at the tables at the local bar. He knows that he's sexy, he knows that he's desired, and even his high temple and grey hair and pimples beaming here and there gift him with unique charm. His unshaven double-chin and red lop-ears bring some brutality to the picture. His ears are connected not only with a string in his skull, but with a shining smile as well. This is the smile of a winner, who is able to charm a lady ("Hey you, peasant girl, want some big, but innocent love? Come to the hayloft tonight!"). He's quite at home here, but people treat him with respect. And bet he's going to bring fire to those red hair, which a local dairymaid is so proud of, with his cigarette, and she won't even make a sound of protest. Cause he's a staaar, and a staaar can do anything.
He's smiling, he knows that in half an hour he will be stroking his belly, having enough of herring and milk, and saying: "Tahiti, Tahiti, we are quite well fed here, thank you!". And he'll be handing out a foreign bubble-gums to admiring farmers, and in ten more minutes he'll occupy a local wooden closet, where he'll spend the rest of the day and the whole night, making the female half of the village extremely sad.
10. Tough guys are hanging around the walls.
The most mysterious Brian Molko's photo anyway. The photographer is still at a loss how it could happen that when he simply wanted to take a picture of this wall, because he enjoyed its colour, a short guy in a second-hand T-shirt, "Adidas" trousers (supposedly "Chanel" flip-flops are out of picture) and with a Red Bull in his hand appeared there. It must be that Red Bull really gives you wiiiings, but no one knows where this Midge flew from. He just appeared before the photographer's face, glanced mysteriously from under the beaming forehead, moved his feelers and said: "Got some cigarettes? Or chips?". Having made sure that both are out of question, he disappeared just as quickly as he appeared leaving us only with this picture and two dirty footprints left.
Written by New Model
Translated by Ally