Five Musicians who look like Librarians

There’s a stereotype in popular music of youth and charisma, but not everyone fits the mould. Here are five very talented individuals whose personal style choices are more suited to the public library than to the pop charts.

Lisa Loeb

I’ve never heard anything else that Loeb’s released, but ‘Stay (I Missed You)’ from 1994’s Reality Bites soundtrack was a sweetly delivered hit that holds up well. Listening to it with fresh ears, the most striking thing is how Loeb’s girlish vocals and vulnerable/accusatory lyrics sound like a dry run for Taylor Swift’s chart topping hits.

Jerry Garcia

The bearded, bespectacled lead guitarist of The Grateful Dead was a key figure in the 1960s counter-culture, even while looking like a college professor or librarian.

Nadia Reid

New Zealand singer-songwriter Nadia Reid is a supremely talented singer-songwriter with a distinct artistic voice. Her second album, Preservation, was ranked by Mojo as the second-best album of 2017.

Buddy Holly

Perhaps the greatest waste of potential in pop music, Holly cranked out a series of effortless sounding hits in the late 1950s, before perishing in a plane crash on 3 February 1959 (“the day the music died”).

Judee Sill

Sill’s sadly brief musical career was enigmatic, making music filled with religious imagery, and inspired by Bach, that was at odds with her personal turmoil.

Did I leave anyone off who would fit into the staff at this musically gifted library? Let me know below.


    • I did toy with the idea of Rivers Cuomo – my thought process was that Buddy Holly did that look first, and people like Elvis Costello and Rivers Cuomo were along in his wake. Some of the other guys look worthy of consideration though.

  1. Jerry Garcia? Not in my local library.
    Judee Sill? As long as you didn’t know what she was up to at home.
    My vote goes to Jarvis Cocker, who not only looks like a 1970s student-turned-librarian, but is in my view vastly overrated. The sub-Squeeze hit Common People makes me cringe.
    But Al Stewart, now there’s a lyricist and if you’ve ever heard him talk, his voice was just made to tell you to keep quiet – in fact he did just that when people were talking during a small gig in Portsmouth in 1972.

    • I totally see Jarvis Cocker as a librarian, especially now. And Al Stewart doesn’t really have a librarian look, but he definitely has a penchant for historical epics – I need to hear more than the Year of the Cat album.

  2. Does everybody know Al Stewart’s “Roads to Moscow?” It deals with the German invasion of Russia in WWII. Pretty heavy stuff for a pop song. Only one I can think of that name checks General Guderian.

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