Today, Mark "Bez" Berry from the Happy Mondays turns 46, which is a feat unto itself, considering the amount of drugs that his band did in their heyday. Bez was the band's dancer until their breakup in 1993, when he joined Black Grape with Shaun Ryder. Today he is a British media personality, and apparently likes to fight men and women, namely his girlfriend just last year.
Bez is a part of a unique group in modern music: the band mascot. Some of them sing back-up, some play an instrument, like a triangle, most dress sharp, and they all have a way of distracting an audience from what could otherwise be a very boring live show. In the case of Public Enemy's own S1Ws, they were there to scare all the white folks.
Take Hawkwind's Stacia, whose busty, nude, painted presence probably brought the band a larger fanbase that they would have had with just Lemmy Kilmister on bass. She still looks pretty good in 2011, appearing in Lemmy's biographical documentary, with her raven hair replaced with a rich, aged mane of gray.
Rocks Off made a quick list of some of the best mascots who are very much a part of the band, unlike Devo's Booji Boy, who was at the band's March Warehouse Live gig, or the Ramones' Pinhead, who were both played by either a band member or a roadie.
Bez, Happy Mondays:
Ben Carr, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones:
Beau Beau Butler, Avail:
Jerome, The Time:
S1W, Public Enemy:
Baba Oje, Arrested Development:
Jarobi White, A Tribe Called Quest:
Joe C, Kid Rock (RIP):
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Salmenstra Hymen, GWAR: