Top Ten Most Famous Hats in Music History

Subscribers to guitar magazines are probably those most excited about Slash coming to town August 29 at Hard Rock Live. But a close second would be hat aficionados.

Slash might still be a household name for his blistering guitar playing with Guns N' Roses alone, and while his trademark hair, sunglasses, and tough sounding name probably have something to do with his continued fame, it is undoubtedly that black top hat which makes him an icon. In his honor we present the ten most famous hats in music.

See also: Slash Keeps Rock and Roll Alive at Hard Rock Live on August 29

10. The Edge

Does this U2 guitarist have anything under his signature skull cap? Any hair, any flesh? Who knows?! No one's ever seen him with it off. Not his own wife, not even his own mother.

9. Jimi Hendrix

The great guitarist was known to wear a sombrero that was sort of a precursor to Slash's. The purple haze bandana around the hat gives it more of a swinging sixties vibe. For your convenience, the Hendrix estate sells versions of that hat at their official online store for $27.99.

8. Rick Nielsen

The Cheap Trick guitarist found a way to stick out from the glut of 1970's guitar players with a flipped brim, old school baseball cap. His bowties and googly eyes probably helped make him distinct, but as the band continues to tour playing "Dream Police" and "Surrender," the eyes and wardrobe are more subdued. It is the cap that remains.

7. Jay Kay

The Jamiroquai singer was never seen with a bare head when his British band shot to fame in the nineties, but even as his band sunk back to anonymity, his head gear continued to have notoriety. There is even a Facebook page honoring his hats. Many of the hats were designed by his mother including the one on his head in the silhouette that serves as the band's logo making him look like a dead ringer for Bullwinkle the Moose.

6. Lemmy

The Motörhead and Hawkwind bassist's hat of choice is a mish-mash of two of the most manly professions a little boy could dream of. It is the shape and size of a cowboy's hat and it's black and it has the skull of a pirate on it.

5. Lady Gaga

Hers is more of a lifetime tribute award to her eclectic collection than for any specific brand of headwear. From a turtle to a telephone, anything inspires hats for this pop star.

4. Pharrell Williams

Williams might be the most successful recording artist of the century having produced everyone from Britney Spears to Jay Z to Snoop Dogg's "Drop It Like It's Hot," appearing on Daft Punk's "Get Lucky" and Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines." But it wasn't until he appeared on the Grammys with that puffy brown concoction taken from an Arby's sign on his head to perform "Happy" that your Grandmother knew who he was.

3. Hank Williams

A thousand names of country singers could be placed on this list for their cowboy hats, hell, even Madonna brought this type of chapeau to gay clubs worldwide in 2000, but for this listicle, we'll go with the long departed singer of "Your Cheatin' Heart." His son and grandson who carry his name also rarely walk on stage (or a Monday Night Football intro) without bearing a cowboy hat.

2. LL Cool J

Before he starred on a lame CBS TV series, LL Cool J was one of the baddest old school rappers around. Whether he was rhyming about "Going Back to Cali" or how "Mama Said Knock You Out," he was always wearing a Kangol bucket hat and all was right in the world.

1. Slash

Every hat worth a damn has a story and the former Guns N' Roses guitarist's top hat is no exception. Slash told the Huffington Post that he shoplifted his first hat at an LA store called Retail Slut looking for an accessory to give him flair. The hat still seemed a little plain so he tied a belt around it and the Sunset Strip was never the same.

Slash with Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators, 8 p.m., August 29, at Hard Rock Live, One Seminole Way, Hollywood. Tickets cost $54 plus fees. Call 954-797-5531, or visit

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David Rolland is a freelance writer for New Times Broward-Palm Beach and Miami New Times. His novel, The End of the Century, published by Jitney Books, is available at many fine booksellers.
Contact: David Rolland