A Flock of Seagulls at Grand Central Miami May 11

A Flock of Seagulls is remembered for two things. Some people fondly recall the Liverpool quartet for its 1982 single and accompanying MTV megahit video, "I Ran (So Far Away)," as well as a steady string of other hazy, early-'80s Duran Duran-isms. But to the average North American pop music consumer, this iconic New Wave crew can be metonymically reduced to one cartoonish element: the completely ridiculous, big-ass hair.

What is it about the Seagulls' coifs that has obsessed pop-culture commentary to this day? Why has the band become the definitive reference point for any and all overblown pop hairstyles (i.e., "Dude looks like a member of A Flock of Seagulls")? Hadn't punk already desensitized the masses to ridiculous dos?

It isn't entirely fair, though, to conflate the Mohawks and liberty spikes of the '77 generation with the teased poofs of Thatcher-era pop. Radio-ready New Wave, as epitomized by the Flock, was a high-fructose sweetening of punk's stomp, rhythm, and snarls. So fittingly enough, the way musicians idiosyncratically styled their hair became much less threatening and much more, uh, poofy.

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Matt Preira