Not a member? Sign up now
The Ten Most Iconic Butts of Rock
Bruce Springsteen, Freddie Mercury, Tina Turner and other legendary asses.
By Lindsay Cutler
Everyone has a feature or two they pride themselves on: long legs, broad shoulders, or an ample chest. Often, these features are bestowed on us by a good and loving god. However, there's one part of the body that requires work — one part of the body that acts as the tentpole on which all other body parts are raised, "Yes, things don't just come this way," the ass seems to say. In other words, great asses aren't born. They are made. These are ten of the most legendary.
A little bit of guilt comes with pointing out how great Bruce Springsteen's butt was/continues to be. You would never point to some blue-collar Joe in your modest port community — a union man, let's say — and laugh, "Boy, that guy really fills out his Lee's." (That would be weird, and gross, and frankly, not of the times.) But if record executives didn't want Americans to fall in love with Bruce Springsteen's ass, they shouldn't have put it in front of the flag. It's practically your civic responsibility to care about The Boss's butt, or at the very least, to question what civic responsibility means. (Isn't that what 2002's The Rising was all about?) Bruce Springsteen: cool butt, true patriot.
In the past few decades, Rod Stewart has become a bit of a joke. But before he starting churning out performance after performance of "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?" for any casino audience that would have him, he was a rock star. Really. Okay, well maybe not a star. But, he was a member of The Kinks before they were The Kinks, in the original Jeff Beck Group, and rumor has it that Jimmy Page originally wanted Stewart as lead singer of Led Zeppelin. Thankfully, history righted itself, and Robert Plant became the rock idol of ages while Rod Stewart continues to thrill strange, unknowable women while wearing pants too tight for his age. Out of respect, we'll remember the ass that was.
Everyone has their own natural gait; some people lead with their chest, some people lead with their chins. Freddie Mercury led with his ass. He once said, "I'm so powerful on stage that I seem to have created a monster." If by "monster," he meant, "preternatural sex god," then I'd have to agree. He's widely regarded as one of the best live performers in history, with that magical combination of voice, body, and a deep conviction in every word he sang. He also had the butt of a champion.
One needn't look further than 1960s suburban, working-class England to find the kind of ass-worship urbanites could only imagine. It was here that the future Depeche Mode frontman got his start. He was a rebellious teen who spent his time defacing public property, stealing cars, and later, piercing the flap of skin between his scrotum and ass (a piercing that’s called “the geisha." But you knew that). And then, he turned to music. Now, Gahan channels his insurgent spirit through one key physical mantra: shaking his butt parts. Yes, approximately eighty percent of his live performances are spent with his back turned to the audience, wiggling his ass. For fans of British new wave, that butt holds a totemic power.
If this were a list of "Butts With the Widest Musical Range" or "Butts We Would Pay to See in Concert," Shakira probably wouldn't top our list. However, this is a list of Most Iconic Butts, and Shakira has a most iconic butt. When she made her U.S. debut with "Wherever, Whenever" in 2001, American audiences couldn't believe that any woman was capable of moving quite like that. Today, she is still working her signature hip-roll/butt-jut with just as much enthusiasm, though much less novelty. She was the face of 2010's official World Cup tribute "Wakka Wakka" and she continues to record albums in both English and Spanish. Whether you regard her commercial success as some sinister form of ass globalization, or a roadsign signaling greater butt-acceptance ahead, one thing is for certain: that ass is a commodity.