10 Greatest Punk Rock Mascots
Iron Maiden have Eddie. Megadeth have been in business with a guy named Vic Rattlehead since the ’80s. Anthrax? They roll with the Not Man. But heavy metal isn’t the only genre packed with its own cast of comic book-worthy mascots. Ever since the first wave of punk shook up the music world in the mid-’70s, the scene has given us some of the most iconic mascots this side of Tony the Tiger. To pay tribute to these illustrated antiheroes, Noisecreep has put together a list of the 10 Greatest Punk Rock Mascots.
First appearing on the cover of their 1979 ‘Horror Business’ single, the Misfits’ instantly recognizable skull logo was inspired by the titular character in ‘The Crimson Ghost,’ a 1946 film serial. The Misfits’ visual take on the Crimson Ghost would not only turned into the band’s mascot and help them sell millions of dollars in merchandise items, it also became one of the most popular tattoo designs of the last 30 years and a perfect way to kick off our 10 Greatest Punk Rock Mascots list.
Pinhead is the most disturbing looking (and that’s saying a lot) mascot on our list. With ears pointer than Dr. Spock’s, and a cone head, it’s no surprise the Ramones were inspired to write the song after seeing a movie about sideshow performers from 1932 called ‘Freaks.’ Here’s a bit of fun trivia for you: Both Madonna and Blondie’s Deborah Harry have joined the Ramones onstage in the Pinhead costume on separate occasions.
It’s fitting that Social Distortion — a band that plays a badass mix of punk, rockabilly and cowpunk – is visually represented by a skeleton holding a cigarette and a martini glass. Known as “Skelly” by fans of the SoCal group, the skeletal hero was originally drawn by Mackie “Mac” Osborne, wife of Melvins‘ Buzz Osborne. Skelly was introduced to the world via the cover of Social Distortion’s 1983 debut album, ‘Mommy’s Little Monster.’
How popular is Green Day’s Drunk Bunny mascot? The furry alcoholic has over 27K followers on Facebook; even topping some of the bands we cover here on Noisecreep. With x-ed-out eyes, pink fur and a beer always firmly planted in his paws, Drunk Bunny has been known to appear at Green Day shows, always getting a hero’s welcome from the crowd. Sadly, he doesn’t do kids parties.
Boy on Fire
Not only do they have one of the coolest punk logos with their “cross buster” symbol, Bad Religion also claim “Boy on Fire,” the next entry in our 10 Greatest Punk Rock Mascots list. Designed by Jerry Mahoney, the burning boy first appeared on Bad Religion’s seminal 1988 album, ‘Suffer.’ NOFX paid tribute (albeit with a touch of humor) to the Boy and the ‘Suffer’ artwork on their ‘Surfer’ EP in 2001.
If a dude in the middle of a skank move, wearing ripped jeans, spiked bracelets, motorcycle boots and a chain around his waist doesn’t scream “f— you” to you, then we’re not sure what will. The dancing mascot belongs to Circle Jerks, one of the most influential groups of the first wave of American hardcore punk. Even though he never graced any of their album covers, the Skanking Man and Circle Jerks go together like Jack Daniels and Coke.
We’re not sure if his creation was inspired by the ‘Ghost Rider’ comics or not, but the Offspring’s Fire Skull mascot entered the world on the cover to their 2000 ‘Conspiracy of One’ LP. The band slapped the image on tons of merchandise from that point on, and after a short time away, he reappeared on the cover to their ‘Cruising California (Bumpin’ in My Trunk)’ single in 2012.
Inspired by their bespectacled frontman, Milo Aukerman, the Descendents’ Milo mascot can be seen on everything from the group’s album covers to t-shirts, coffee mugs and everything in between. The original drawing was based on a series of comic strips and posters depicting Aukerman as the high school nerd drawn by his friend, Roger Deuerlein. Aukerman works as a research biochemist when he’s not on tour with the Descendents (and still wears glasses).
Rancid’s mascot is a liberty-spiked punker screaming into an old-fashioned microphone. Nicknamed “Mohawk,” he resembles Rancid singer/guitarists Tim Armstrong and Lars Frederiksen back in the mid-‘90s, around the time that the band’s ‘…And Out Come the Wolves’ album helped make the Cali punks unlikely magazine cover stars. So what about the mascot’s missing teeth? That was probably also modeled after Tim and Lars. You gotta love that!
Stop signs, park benches, sidewalks … you’ve seen D.R.I.’s Running Man stenciled on just about everything. But did you know the story behind the group’s trusty sidekick? “It was actually an art school project — the project was to design a logo for a company,” said original D.R.I. drummer Eric Brecht on the group’s official website. “The company was our record label Dirty Rotten Records, but we just absorbed it as our bands logo.”