Rock out to The Mullet!


It seems like almost every Father’s Day, people talk about “dad rock” as if they grew up wearing tweed sports coats with suede elbow patches while listening to Steely Dan. But come on, dads. Let’s be honest. A lot of you were really wearing Oakley Blades and Hypercolor tank tops while driving to the mall in a Trans-Am with the Top Gun soundtrack in your tape player. You were probably en route to having your mullet frosted at Supercuts.

I know. I was there.

Don’t worry, I’m not here to judge you. I’m here to help. Why? Because you’ve been cheated out of honest nostalgia. Here at Pandora, we don’t believe in guilty pleasures, even if you still listen to what we affectionately call “mullet rock.”

Over the years, there has been some discussion as to just what constitutes mullet rock. Some city folk believe it’s ’80s metal. Others of more pastoral upbringings may say it’s southern rock or classic country-pop. These are fair guesstimates. After all, let’s not forget the teased mullets of Helix, or that Billy Ray Cyrus has a tune called “I Want My Mullet Back”, a song he released 12 years after he “flew the flap” on the cover of 1994’s Storm in the Heartland.

But this playlist is dedicated to the kind of mullet rock to which today’s dads can relate. During the ‘80s, these mullet-donning, cul-de-sac-dwelling future dads listened to a lot of what’s also called “power rock,” the little brother to the power ballad. For example, Foreigner’s “Waiting for a Girl Like You” is a power ballad. The more upbeat and anthemic “Juke Box Hero” is power rock. Similarly, Journey’s “Open Arms” is a very powerful power ballad. But their fist-pumping 1980 hit “Any Way You Want It” is power rock. A power rock song is sometimes just a really fast power ballad, and the line dividing the two is often blurry.

That’s why our 2018 Father’s Day playlist, The Mullet, includes mellow power rock songs like “Cry Little Sister” from the 1987 soundtrack to the film The Lost Boys. Sure, it’s a bit slower than, say, Night Ranger’s “Don’t Tell Me You Love Me,” but consider this: most of the vampires in The Lost Boys had mullets. What is it with vampires and mullets? Even Eddie Murphy had one in Vampire in Brooklyn.

No matter what you call your neck warmer — your “Kentucky waterfall,” “Mississippi mud flap,” “beaver tail” or “Canadian passport” — we’ve got you covered. Let your freak flap fly! Turn up your stereo and have a happy Father’s Day!

Rock & Americana Curator

I’m a little bit country and I’m a little bit rock ’n’ roll. My first concert was Howard Jones at the Henry J. Kaiser convention center in Oakland. I sing for Hot Lunch and Sweet Chariot. I also enjoy skating pools and riding old choppers.