For another, frontman and frontwoman don’t conveniently abbreviate the way chairman and chairwoman, do at least to my ears. For example: Yeah Yeah Yeahs front Karen O. Sound okay to you? It might be something that could eventually catch on if people heard it enough. (I suppose the traditionalists balked and still may balk at chair being used to name the person in charge, but it’s fairly common now. Change won, once again.) Besides, front, in hipper circles has negative connotations — to front, “to assume false or disingenuous appearances.”
The obvious solution to the problem, as I see it, would just be to call the band leader something else. Like band leader, if that term didn’t call to mind the likes of Glenn Miller and other honchos of jazz, blues, or R&B musical groups instead of out-and-out rockers and rockeresses. And nothing else seems like a good enough replacement. (From the Bean’s list of possible synonyms: top popster, band boss, honcho of hipness, top cat, big wig, ringleader, number one, and mike-meister.
I did some searching online to see if anyone else has attempted to solve this problem or even considered it. Didn’t find anything of interest. So now I’m putting this up here, to see if any of my readers has any ideas — or, barring that, and Googlers down the line who may be searching can at least see that they’re not the only ones to ponder the verbal implications of what rock stars have in their pants.
Blog posts about non-verbal implications of what rock stars have in their pants are, of course, plentiful.