The Ten Most Iconic Crotches in Rock History

Robert Plant, Axl Rose, David Lee Roth — did your favorite crotch make the cut?
By Erin Bradley

Elvis Presley could carry a tune, but it was his pelvis that made him famous. Looking for the heart of rock and roll? Start in the groin region. Whether pouring their hips into leather pants or gyrating their scantily-clad torsos in bondage gear, rock legends have long made a focal point of their nether regions. I investigated the phenomenon in my new book, Every Rose Has Its Thorn: The Rock ‘n’ Roll Field Guide to Guys, and I've distilled this list of ten VIP packages that hold a very special place in rock history.

1) David Lee Roth

The Ten Most Iconic Crotches in Rock History - David Lee Roth

If your average crotch is a sensible gray sedan, Roth's is a tricked-out yellow Ferrari. Never has a male member been so accessorized... or so athletic. Whether posing for pin-up mags in assless chaps or jumping spread-eagle off trampolines, Roth's lower body is fifty-percent West Texas pageant girl, fifty-percent coked-up peacock. The result? One-hundred percent pure magnificence.

2) Madonna

The Ten Most Iconic Crotches in Rock History - Madonna

Most of us grew up with Madonna's crotch. It's as American as McDonald's apple pie or tech support from India. We've seen it all — in everything from leotards to peek-a-boo skirts to gold lamé Gaultier onesies. Is it time for Madge to give it a rest? Why don't you spend that much time getting in shape and then see if you're not tempted to flaunt your nethers up and down every available street?

3) Elvis 

The Ten Most Iconic Crotches in Rock History - Elvis Presley

It's the crotch that launched a million fans and an equal number of tacky collector plates. Elvis swiveled his lower half with such aplomb that Florida lawmakers threatened to arrest him for indecency. Note that he performed fully clothed, singing lyrics like, "I wanna be your teddy bear." Racy!

4) Prince

The Ten Most Iconic Crotches in Rock History - Prince

Whether he's strutting around in bikini underwear or using his guitar as a makeshift phallic prop in front of a Super Bowl audience of millions, this pocket-sized sex symbol has never had a problem when it comes to below-the-belt self-esteem. His crotch looks better in lingerie than most women's.

5) Robert Plant 

The Ten Most Iconic Crotches in Rock History - Robert Plant

Loopy songs about hobbits aside, Plant's contribution to the jean-boner genre ranks among rock's most notable achievements. Witness the taut interplay of denim and flesh, the bold belt, the undone shirt casually thrown about the shoulders, all of it carefully choreographed to draw attention to that one vital organ: "What, this old thing?"

6) Lady Gaga

The Ten Most Iconic Crotches in Rock History - Lady Gaga

Poor Lady Gaga and her gaga. Not since Rod Stewart's belly full of protein shake have asinine rumors run this wild and free. What's going on under there? Is she male? Female? Some type of mystery meat? Here's hoping the rumors continue their slow fade so we can get back to the business of loving or hating her music, respectively.

7) Axl Rose

The Ten Most Iconic Crotches in Rock History - Axl Rose

Dear Axl's Crotch,

It seems like only yesterday that you caught our eye in the Welcome to the Jungle video. Hypnotic, you were. Like a cobra in a pair of leather pants. And even though cobras can't really wear pants, we think you know what we mean. White bicycle-shorts phase be damned — a lower torso like that means never having to say you're sorry.

8) Courtney Love

The Ten Most Iconic Crotches in Rock History - Courtney Love

Long before celebrity upskirts came into vogue, Love was doing her own take. With torn-up granny panties, bruised upper thighs, and freewheelin' pubic hair, the look was anything but mainstream-ready. Nice girls are taught to "keep their legs closed" and "sit like a lady." Courtney's crotch seems to say, "Fuck off, I'm a rockstar, and you can't make me."

9) Steven Tyler

The Ten Most Iconic Crotches in Rock History - Steven Tyler

Music fashions come and go. (Remember when Dr. Dre looked like an extra on Star Trek?) Tyler's dick-hugger jumpsuits, many of them handmade by his ex-wife, have been a pelvic trademark since the early '70s. You could argue that, at sixty-two, Tyler is getting a little old to be showing off his package. Maybe so, but some dangly bits deserve our respect. You don't throw a cover over the Mona Lisa.

10) Michael Jackson

The Ten Most Iconic Crotches in Rock History - Michael Jackson

Yeah, we know. But to not write about the man who made the crotch-grab a de rigueur dance move feels strangely revisionist. All we're saying is, everyone from five to fifty can do at least part of the Thriller dance some thirty years after the album's release. Not since the invention of the bikini wax has someone so altered the course of pop-culture crotch history.

Erin Bradley writes Nerve.com's own advice column, Miss Information. Her new book, Every Rose Has Its Thorn: The Rock 'n' Roll Field Guide to Guys, is available at www.rockoutwithyourbookout.com.

Commentarium (77 Comments)

Jul 28 10 - 7:28am
royce

what, no david bowie? the man has an entire fake religion centered around his crotch.

Mar 23 11 - 5:12pm
strangeone

This was my thought! I was just lookin' through, and I got to Michael Jackson, saying to myself, "Bowie'll be next," and...nothing!

Jul 28 10 - 8:57am
Schwabadab

@Royce: I second that. Ahem,... The Labyrinth?

Mar 22 11 - 8:21pm
Liccy

Seriously, some would think that movie is too racy for kids because of the David Bowie bulge!

Jul 28 10 - 9:38am
:)

Awesome! I love it!

Jul 28 10 - 9:46am
bealzebub

Great list, but I agree with the Bowie comments.

Jul 28 10 - 9:46am
johnnyB

Jimi !?!?!?!? :O

Jul 28 10 - 10:14am
cc

peaches :(

Jul 28 10 - 11:26am
muddyholly

iggy! morrison! lux interior! their crotches could barely be contained

Jul 28 10 - 11:34am
steve

come on. no sticky fingers?

Jul 28 10 - 12:46pm
Flynn

Sticky fingers is an album cover. Album covers can't sweat, move, or thrust themselves at you on stage. It's a great crotch, but it's not...erm...alive.

Jul 28 10 - 12:49pm
AngelaB

Where is Jim Morrison!!!!!

Jul 28 10 - 12:51pm
PeterSmith

Also, the crotch on the cover of Sticky Fingers doesn't belong to a rocker. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sticky_Fingers

Jul 28 10 - 2:02pm
Phritz

Don't forget Bowie's space-cod in Man Who Fell to Earth either and Jim Morrison's concha-tastic leather package is an Icon.

Jul 28 10 - 2:06pm
Tommy Lee

What about Tommy Lee?

Jul 28 10 - 2:08pm
malpa

WHERE IS BOWIE COCK BULGE?

Jul 28 10 - 2:10pm
redsox

LOL @ tommy lee asking about tommy lee

Jul 28 10 - 4:00pm
SL

Yes, WHAT ABOUT DAVID BOWIE?! Have you seen Labyrinth? That thing should have been at number one.

Also, Jim Morrison was pretty memorable.

Jul 28 10 - 4:01pm
MW

I agree about Peaches, but this list is only ten spots long, and is pretty friggin hilarious as is. Nice to know someone is putting thought into the big issues of the day -- thank you MISS BRADLEY.

Jul 28 10 - 5:27pm
Creamy

Written by someone who has a very narrow knowledge of music.

Jul 28 10 - 5:48pm
@creamy

How can you tell that the writer's knowledge of music is narrow? The adjective she's writing about is "iconic." It's not "the ten most underappreciated crotches in rock history."

Jul 28 10 - 5:50pm
Penne

Jim Morrision is definitely top 3. Bowie top 5. But loved the list.

Jul 28 10 - 6:01pm
Flynn

Creamy can go sit on a Pitchfork. Or, you know, write for it.

Jul 28 10 - 10:53pm
lbj

MR. Steele of Type O Negative deserves a spot on this list. The band may not be an icon but that thing was legendary

Jul 29 10 - 1:49am
boo

this list doesnt exist without jim morrison

Jul 29 10 - 1:53am
Tommy Lee

Mine is big.

Jul 29 10 - 2:17am
Reuter

expand the list to fifteen, add peaches, bowie, cameo, iggy pop, and some obscure punk asshole who got sucked off on stage, or alice cooper for all i care about one friggin spot to get the rest of these much deserved places.

Jul 29 10 - 5:02am
LaLah

Jim Morrison was leather pants! He was arrested for his (debatable) crotch showing exploits. And no Mr Stardust...com'on people!

Jul 29 10 - 8:44am
Trisha

It's missing the most iconic rock crotch of all time, David Bowie! No other crotch has its own religion.

Jul 29 10 - 9:13am
Davey Mac

Who really gives a shit?

Jul 29 10 - 10:14am
Whole Lotta Love

Adam Lambert should be right up there - the so-called glambulge features prominently in his current Glam Nation tour. And yeah, where's Bowie & Iggy?

Jul 29 10 - 10:34am
Oldfart

This list is a joke. The top three should be Jimi Hendrix, Mick Jagger and Jim Morrison, in that order. None of them is even on the stupid list. Fail.

Jul 29 10 - 10:59am
Lisa B

What about Fee Waybill??

Jul 29 10 - 11:54am
Flynn

Hendrix is dick, not crotch. Jagger is lips. Morrison is a cheap rockstar by-product.

Jul 29 10 - 12:00pm
Ali

This is so good. I'm crying. it's so damn good.

Jul 29 10 - 4:52pm
Larz

WTF - stay away from ALL of them crotches!

Jul 29 10 - 5:54pm
Karen

Where's Lord Lambert? Have you SEEN that thing?

Jul 30 10 - 1:14am
vinesh

I think Freddie Mercury was the pimp of cock flaunting.

Jul 30 10 - 2:25am
heather

what about cher?

Jul 30 10 - 3:18am
rebecca

Bowie, Freddie Mercury, & Tommy Lee NEED to be on here!!!!

Jul 30 10 - 3:21am
Mary Frank

I agree about David Bowie (Labrinth anyone??), Freddie Mercury (watch old live aid clips) and Tommy Lee in anything 1980's...strange for them to be left off! Also, remember Samantha Fox? She though was only a hit for a short time back in the day!

Jul 30 10 - 11:23pm
Shannon

List is incomplete with out David Bowie's AREA!!

Jul 31 10 - 9:34am
Lucky Pierre

Where is Messy Stench on this list?

Jul 31 10 - 2:38pm
el guapo

what no Tom Jones?

Aug 01 10 - 2:55am
wherebowie

where bowie? That man's dick has at least 7 pages on facebook. Top THAT Courtney Love

Aug 01 10 - 6:55am
what

Gaga and Madonna are rock now? I call bullshit.

Aug 01 10 - 7:26pm
snm

BOWIE.

Aug 03 10 - 2:18am
Booyah

List was freakin' great. Honestly, Love Bowie's music but his crotch wouldn't have scored among my top ten. Morrison's definitely wouldn't have.

But Derek Small's zucchini enhance "Power Zone" from Spinal Tap might have replaced courtney or tyler for me...

Aug 03 10 - 10:35am
dtnyc

What about the dude from Cameo with the red cockpiece...word up!

Aug 04 10 - 9:11am
Wft ftw

I didnt know people were so passionate about the crotch

Aug 04 10 - 12:34pm
Flynn

Word up, indeed! love cameo

Aug 05 10 - 10:26am
TFT

Oldfart is correct. At one point Hendrix used to tie a scarf around his crotch because he would "emit" at the climax of his concerts. We were there....

Aug 05 10 - 3:24pm
Murdoc

Billy..Idol..?

Aug 05 10 - 6:47pm
Bon Scott

Bon Scott should be on the list. He's penis was begging to escape those tight jeans...

Aug 07 10 - 4:10pm
Mary

David Bowie is not here. ): This makes me sad..
You remind me of the bulge! :D

Aug 08 10 - 8:14am
Nick

David Bowie!! How could he NOT be on this list? Get rid of the 15-minutes of fame Lady Gaga, the totally irrelevant David Lee Roth, and Courtney Love (???), and start this list over!

Aug 10 10 - 11:44am
Sofie

Ha! No David Bowie?
Jeez, you should see him in 'Labyrinth'!

Aug 16 10 - 5:44pm
Princess

Agree with the Bowie comments, though my own favourite "performance" belongs to Jim Thirlwell: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nLZ-OZnPpk

Aug 23 10 - 6:17am
Bea

Agreed. this list is geviously bad. Bowie, Mercury, Morrison, Hendrix- all should have been on this list. However, people suggesting Adam Lambert need to go back to their fantasy lands in which he MIGHT ever be "rock history".

Sep 03 10 - 9:49pm
Another Old Fart:

How about any member of Loverboy? Look at album covers. Always tight leather with a sock stuffed down the front.

Sep 03 10 - 9:50pm
Another Old Fart:

How about any member of Loverboy. Always tight leather with socks stuffed down the front. Look at their album covers.

Sep 03 10 - 10:51pm
Johnny Cook

This whole thing is just disgusting. Totally tasteless and vulgar. Why not defecate on stage? Is that the next provocation? Where will this sort of behavior end?

Sep 03 10 - 11:44pm
Calista

Yo, why in the WORLD isn't Michael Jackson at #1??

Sep 04 10 - 1:03am
Tim C

THEY FORGOT LARRY BLACKMON FROM CAMEO
"WORD UP"

Sep 20 10 - 5:29pm
M

Erin, every time I see the title, I think it says "Ironic Crotches".

Next article?

Sep 23 10 - 12:47am
ZZ

ITA with Plant, but what about Ian Anderson From Jethro Tull, he certainly flaunted it. We need a Top 20, really.

Jul 05 12 - 2:26am
tftommy

Ditto on Ian Anderson, saw him many times in concert. The man has a package like a mule!

Sep 23 10 - 10:16am
jessicarae

What about the zippered crotch on the Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers album? (An Andy Warhol photo of Corey Grant Tippin, then a Factory kid, today a CT-based photo stylist and antique dealer.)

Sep 24 10 - 3:58pm
Lolita

Lux Interior!

Oct 28 10 - 9:27pm
Robyn Graves

Get Lady Gaga off the fuckin list. These are the crotches of Rock history, not shitty pop music history.

Dec 20 10 - 10:28pm
Terrell

MJ should of been #1 ?!

Jan 14 11 - 12:41pm
cheesehead

Adam Lambert!

Feb 04 11 - 9:30pm
RockNRollRocketQueen

erm, wheres Vince Neil?
his crotch in leather pants does it every time!

Jun 27 11 - 11:57pm
Jacey

How is Bowie left off?

Jul 19 11 - 5:01pm
Nat

Where's Freddie Mercury??????????????????????????????

Oct 07 11 - 11:42pm
Lia

Uh,,, its obvious Michael Jackson should be there... he did the crotch grab , you could have left the ''yeah, we know'' comment out of this. He should have been higher in ranks.

Nov 08 11 - 10:38pm
lowlthr

what about sebastian bach he was always showing it off thats all he wanted to do was show off his cock & that he never had underwear!!