Freddie Mercury, at Live Aid, Wembley Stadium, 1985
The package, the parcel, the meat house, the fruit basket, the lunchbox, or just plain old junk - call it what you will but the bulging male crotch has a long and noble history in popular music. From the banned-from-the-waist-down wiggling hips of Elvis Presley, to the King of Pop’s trademark grab-and-yelp, all the way up to the nut-busting, skin-tight jeans of the Kings of Leon, VPL (Visible Penis Line) has taken root as a firm fixture right at the very heart of rock’n’roll culture. Generations of hormonal girls (and even some boys) have long stared at glossy posters hanging above moistened teenage bedsheets, and sighed longingly at the thought of what mysterious pleasures lay behind the zippered fly.
Before the internet, before the iPhone, before sex tapes and the widespread consumption of free pornography, a well defined package (visible only through a thin layer of pant material) could be the making or breaking of a wannabe pop Adonis. The times may have moved on, but the crotch still holds a magnetic attraction to music fans. With that in mind, here is a selection of some of the finest packages that rock and pop have had to offer over the last half century:
One of the reasons Elvis was banned from the waist down.
The legendarily large donged Jimi Hendrix.
Jim Morrison, godfather of the modern rock packet.
Robert Plant took it a step further than Morrisson.
Roger Daltrey’s package was well known. Here The Who share some of the spotlight.
Bruce Springsteen showing you who is boss.
John, Yoko and Andy engage in a 3way crotch grab. But who is groping Yoko’s boob?
Frank Zappa from the Zoot Allures LP sleeve, enlarged here.
Sting. In the future every package will look like this.
David Bowie in Labyrinth - surely not suitable for kids?
80s glam rock saw an explosion of appendages - such as that of Van Halen’s David Lee Roth.
Not to be outdone, it’s Eddie Van Halen, unfortunately giving it some “moose knuckle”, apparently the male equivalent of “camel toe” (thanks Jason’s Robot).
Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden wearing special crotch armour.
Rob Halford of Judas Priest knows how to work the camera.
Axl Rose is an anagram of “oral sex”.
Black Flag’s Henry Rollins, the antidote to 80s cock rock excess.
Beastie Boys’ Ad Rock, seen here during their “giant inflatable penis” phase.
LL Cool J‘s early live shows were a hypnotic feast of dong swinging.
This is more easily represented in a clip than a picture.
Marky Mark‘s junk has had its own lucrative career.
Thinking outside the box, Red Hot Chilli Peppers swapped pants for socks.
Prince. This man, the myth, the legend.
According to Keith Richards Mick Jagger has a small penis (but large testicles).
Judging by this, I would say he is right.
(Thanks to the WOW Report)
Iggy Pop killed some of the mystique by wearing see through trousers.
However, we do things differently these days, as typified by Kanye West.
Is the noble art of the male pop package dead and buried?
As with all of society’s ills, I blame Fred Durst.
However, Lady Gaga has ushered in a new, equal opportunities age.
And Kings Of Leon keep the home fires burning. Erm…
Thanks to commenter Rev Velveteen for bringing Jack White to our attention.
But, egads, how could I possibly have forgotten Die Antwoord?!
As a parting shot, is this not the greatest song about the lunchbox ever recorded?
Iggy & The Stooges - Cock In My Pocket (Live in Sao Paolo, 2009)
Thanks to Paul Gallagher and Marc Campbell for additional material.