Jacob Zinn :: journalist + photographer

Top 5 Cock Rock Frontmen

Posted in Classic Rock, Music, Top 5 by Jacob Zinn on September 27, 2011

It was the early ’70s. The hippie counter-culture was on its way out and all that was left to do was popularize cock rock for the next several decades.

The name of the genre refers to the bulge in the tight pants of rockstars–a bulge responsible for the bedding of plethoras of groupies. A prominent resurgence three decades ago saw peace, love and music make way for sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll; women walked this way for Steven Tyler and teachers were hot for David Lee Roth.

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While cock rock climaxed in the ’80s, this list looks at the forefathers of the genre, the ground-breaking lyricists who made in-your-face, pelvis-thrusting crotch shots not only mainstream, but the norm.

5. Paul Stanley of KISS

Stanley can be credited with bringing cock rock moves to the oversexed genres of glam rock and hair metal. KISS had always worn tight leather pants, but as the frontman, Stanley was the only member to use it to his advantage. Gene Simmons might’ve had the tongue, but Stanley had the balls… to flash his cod-pieced Love Gun to the crowd.

4. Roger Daltry of The Who

There perhaps is no better a display of cock rock than The Who’s 4:00 a.m. performance from Woodstock ’69. Daltry shakes his wild locks during parts of “My Generation” and “Pinball Wizard”, with low angles complementing his protrusion. Whether it’s real or not, groupies of the time might or might not say they won’t get fooled again.

3. Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones

Arguably the first to introduce the moves, Jagger is a prominent sex symbol of the time, known for shuffling his hips during songs like “Honky Tonk Woman”. With allegedly countless love-children, Jagger proved that these moves work, creating a legion of followers who want the same pants as those on the cover of Sticky Fingers.

2. Jim Morrison of The Doors

The Doors’ music may not have been as sexual as their peers, but Morrison’s onstage performances left little to the imagination of fire-lighting gypsies. While Morrison wasn’t as controversial as Oliver Stone made him out to be in the 1991 biopic, The Doors, he was certainly one of the earliest rockers to use the moves, which surely got him more than a few L.A. women.

1. Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin

Anyone who’s seen the 1976 concert film The Song Remains the Same has witnessed one of the originators in all his long-haired, bare-chested, blue-denim bell-bottom jeaned glory. Plant made every woman in Madison Square Garden sweat and groove with the sway of his hips, putting them in a hypnotic trance. His two-sizes-too-small britches that emphasized his trouser snake made him an icon for cock rock, one that both men and women looked up to (figuratively and literally).

Honourable Mentions

  • Steven Tyler of Aerosmith
  • David Lee Roth of Van Halen
  • Vince Neil of Mötley Crüe
  • Bret Michaels of Poison
  • Sebastian Bach of Skid Row


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