Twenty Years Later: How Have My Teen Idols Aged?

A lot of people don’t believe me when I say I didn’t have internet until college. I was born in 1980, and raised by a single mother who didn’t have time or money for Prodigy or AOL or whatever nonsense people used in 1993.

Another thing is like most goth chicks, all of my teen rock star crushes were kind of anachronistic. I grew up in the era of Eddie Vedder and Kurt Cobain and I just didn’t find grunge to be appealing. The careers of most of my teen crushes had already peaked in the mid eighties, but since the only photos I had of them were from LPs and the occasional Spin Magazine (if they had a comeback record), they existed in this sort of liminal space between reality and immortality. It wasn’t until I was adult that I understood that celebrities were actually normal people who happened to be really famous, not perfect ageless vampire demigods. Again, the internet has changed a lot. I recently found myself wondering what happened to Sisters of Mercy frontman Andrew Eldritch (see below) and the results were not pretty. We all get old. But goths tend to age worse than everyone else.

Thus began my masochistic “where are they now?” project.


David Bowie clearly has a painting in the attic and a deal with the devil because he looks really good for a man of 66, seems like a funny, kind person, and is still making ok music. He was my #1 crush as a teenager, and I stand by that to this day.


Morrissey was never not a handsome dude but dare I say he’s actually gotten sexier with age? Maybe it’s because he actually started having sex after years of celibacy? He is quite dapper at 54, and still releasing solid music.


Like her contemporary Robert Smith, Siouxsie Sioux has refused to give up the garish lipstick and eyeliner at 56, but somehow it’s working for her. Maybe not in the way she wants it to, but she’s got this sort of Real Housewives of New Jersey mediterranean MILF thing that is kind of hot. She looks like she smokes menthols, works at a high end cosmetics counter, and would be great fun as the matron of honor at a Bachelorette party. I mean that as a compliment!!!


I’ll be damned (hahah) if 56 year old David Vanian  hasn’t taken his ghoul rock persona to the old man level, morphing from eyeliner-wearing stud, to a creepy Vincent Price shtick which, while not really sexy, is actually kind of a good direction for him. Even if the mustache is kind of gross.


Once upon a time, Andrew Eldritch was the alpha male of gothic sex. Unlike his eyeliner wearing peers, he was actually sort of masculine in a way that was still androgynous enough to appeal to goth chicks. At 54, he’s still touring with Sisters of Mercy (despite not having released ANY new material since 1993) and his look has gotten really, really bad. How he transformed from gothic sex god to middle aged football broseph is beyond me, and some things just can’t be unseen. (I still have to give him props for recording a demo of Dolly Parton’s Jolene in 1981, though).


My 54-year-old birthday twin Robert Smith has not aged well. Actually he’d probably be ok looking if he wasn’t still trying to do the big hair and messy makeup, a look that is only flattering on the young. Let this be a cautionary tale about not updating your look from time to time.


Once upon a time, Pete Burns was pretty in a delightfully absurd way. At 53, he is just….Madam.

Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate some good plastic surgery….But Pete Burns is just a poor man’s Genesis P. Orridge as far as I’m concerned.


Doing it right.




66-year-old Iggy Pop is my other birthday twin (April 21st, holla!) He looks more and more like a piece of beef jerky every day, yet that will never diminish his sex appeal to me. Maybe it’s because he recorded duets with Ke$ha and Peaches, because he’s still a gender bending feminist who likes to wear dresses, maybe it’s because he told Terry Gross of NPR that he stays fit by “Swimming, doing Tai-Chi, and having lots of sex.” LOVE THIS MAN.

Who were your adolescent crushes, and where are they now? Rap at me in the comments.



  1. I enjoyed walking down memory lane with this article, and you hit them all on the head. Morrissey has gotten hotter, and Iggy Pop keeps doin’ the things that a 5’1″ man can do (i.e. being awesome.) I suspect Sting will remain hot as long as he keeps doing his yoga. Just don’t make me listen to him play music or talk, really. He still has a sexy voice, I just don’t want to listen to the words. Good thing he’s got Trudy.

  2. Christian Oliver was hot back in the day (circa Baby-Sitters Club the Movie) – now he just looks like a washed up Robinson Caruso. ugh. And well thanks to American Idol we can see what a hot mess Steven Tyler looks like. BonJovi? WAY better with age 🙂 And to throw it all the way back – Garth Brooks – yeah, what was I thinking?

  3. If I told you how i ended up here you would think I was just making it up. I swear.But Since I am here and well, I read a few of your entries..I am not sure if you are still in Indiana or what. Buuuut I can tell you if you are close (at all) to Detroit on November 30th there is a concert of tribute bands. One of my very best friends (who also has a PhD in social work) is the raddest drummer in the most awesome Siouxie cover band ever and they will be playing with a pretty decent Smiths cover band.

    I had to tell you. I think you would die of happiness and squeeling. PT is Siouxie and the Banshees and PH is The Jesus and Mary Chain

    Alternalive and MotorCityBlog present: Thanksgiving Is Murder: The Smiths United w/ Playground Twist & Psycho Honey

    Peace love and all that can fit in a hand bag!


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  6. The Cure is honestly one of my fav bands of all time but Robert Smith does look like an old cat lady at this point.

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