Miley Cyrus has announced that she and frequent collaborators the Flaming Lips will perform a full concert completely naked. Maybe that will get your own Dead Petz barking, maybe not.
While the show promises some innovations—including requiring audience members to also bare all and the presence of “white stuff that looks like milk”—Miley and the Flamers are actually drawing from a rich history of rockers who have paraded out their private parts on stage.
From performance art to protest to plain old intoxicated exposure—and not counting “wardrobe malfunctions” on the order of Lenny Kravitz’s sudden meat-peek last summer—here are a dirty dozen naked rock stories. Click the links below with discretion—some are most rockingly not safe for work.
Wendy O. Williams
As the she-devil front-beast of the punk-metal Plasmatics, Wendy O. Williams performed as nude as legally possible whenever and wherever her sensory overload New York wrecking crew stormed a stage.
Wendy’s unclothed antics often spilled over into other public appearances, and she came by the practice honestly. Prior to the Plasmatics, Wendy featured at various Times Square peep shows, developing a remarkable muscle control trick in which she could launch ping pong balls from a very particular part of her anatomy (the act is forever immortalized on film in the adults-only 1981 opus, Candy Goes to Hollywood).
Rock’s most notorious indecent exposure arrest occurred on September 20, 1969, when Doors shaman Jim Morrison reportedly uncaged the Lizard King from his leather pants on stage in Miami, Florida.
Morrison denied any such dirty doings, but the next day an irate Miami Herald reported: “Many of the nearly twelve thousand youths said they found the bearded singer’s exhibition disgusting. Included in the audience were hundreds of unescorted junior and senior high school girls. Morrison appeared to masturbate in full view of the audience, screamed obscenities, and exposed himself.”
The Doors maintain that no such photographic evidence exists, but the case remained open when Morrison died on July 3, 1971.
Jefferson Airplane’s outspoken psychedelic diva occasionally also got out of her top in concert. One famous photo depicts Grace in concert licking a lollipop while popping out her left breast and inviting endless bawdy wisecracks about an “all-day sucker” for decades to come (okay, consider that pun intended, too).
As the freaktastic forefather of shock rock, Iggy Pop has been bursting out of whatever little clothing he sports on stage from his 1960s debut with the Stooges right on up, most likely, to whenever he last gigged.
Sightings of Iggy’s iguana in concert as numerous as the shards of glass from the smashed peanut butter jars he used to roll around in. On occasion, fans even hop up on stage and strip down to join him.
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Even before the Red Hot Chili Pepper’s broke big musically with their signature punky-freaky wig-out alt-metal slamborees, the band was infamous—or should that be “skinfamous”?—for their very particular (lack of) stage attire.
The first few RHCP lineups performed in a uniform consisting of “socks on c-cks,” and that is exactly what it sounds like. The band covered their genitals with dangling tube socks, and tore it up.
Rage Against the Machine
Ever the political provocateurs, in 1993, Rage Against the Machine used the Lollapalooza tour’s Philadelphia stop to utterly bare their feelings—and everything else—in a protest against censorship in general, and Tipper Gore’s Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC) in particular.
Rather than play a set, singer Zack de la Rocha, guitar ace Tom Morello, bass player Tim Commerford, and drummer Brad Wilk, stood on stage naked. Duct tape covered their mouths and the letters P-M-R-C were painted in bold relief on their chests.
One of Jane’s Addiction’s most famous album titles slyly declares, Nothing’s Shocking. Whatever irony that may contain, when it comes to the fact that Jane’s cosmic alt-metal kingpin Perry Farrell has frequently sung and strutted for admirers in his altogether… well, yeah, that’s really nothing shocking.
German industrial savages Rammstein have featured hardcore penetration in their own music videos and their multimedia blitzkrieg stage shows often incorporate naked bodies of every stripe, including those of the band members.
In fact, nudity is such a Rammstein trademark, that the group sells an officially licensed poster of themselves playing in Das Buff.
Punk rock’s most ferocious pervert, belligerent miscreant, and all-time champion literal sh-t tosser, GG Allin barfed out his signature brand of assault-in-rock form while naked way more often than he ever even tried anything while wearing clothes.
The essential 1993 documentary Hated: GG Allin and the Murder Junkies chronicles GG’s whole sordid saga with hilarious and horrifying aplomb.
It’s worth noting that for all of Allin’s vile, insane shenanigans, he’s got to be admired for constantly revealing, and even reveling in, the fact that he remains among the least endowed males ever photographed.
Stacia from Hawkwind
Volcanically voluptuous stage siren Stacia did not play any instruments (at least not in the musical sense) for pioneering ’70s UK space-rock overlords Hawkwind. Nonetheless, her wild nude dancing and eye-poppingly beyond-Russ-Meyer-curvaceous physique proved as crucial to the group’s live shows as their consciousness-expanding interdimensional sonic explorations, mind-bending psychedelic light projections, and astronomical booze bill for one-time bass player Lemmy Kilmister.
Ta-Dah the Sh-t Lady from Butthole Surfers
Texas psych-punk skunk-metal terror tornadoes the Butthole Surfers proved to be so much more than a mere band during their 1980s heyday.
While the group itself was a full-blown freak collective, the misfits, crackpots, nutjobs, geniuses, and anti-social visionaries their live shows attracted embraced the music and its players as though each show provided all involved with a place that felt like home—which it did.
Among the throngs to hurl herself toward Butthole nirvana was a performance artist and reported Times Square peep show professional (a la Wendy O. Williams) named Kathleen Lynch who reinvented herself as Ta-Dah the Sh-t Lady.
Ta-Dah leapt on stage with the Buttholes once, stripped nude, and erupted into a disturbingly unhinged dance. It proved to be a perfect fit. For the next few years, Ta-Dah traveled as a member of the Buttholes’ live troupe. Her main instrument, of course, was her naked body—and she could get all kinds of sounds (among other by-products) out of it.