Five Great Moments In Indecent Exposure
Recently, Florida's lame-duck governor Charlie Crist has said he's considering pardoning Jim Morrison for his 1969 indecent exposure charge, stemming from The Doors' notorious Miami concert in which a drunken Lizard King swore numerous times and proceeded to whip it out onstage. Of course, Morrison died in 1971, so the pardon would come almost 40 years posthumously, so it seems like kind of an empty gesture.
Besides, we have to imagine that if Morrison were still around today he'd have some choice words to offer Crist and his home state. After all, isn't it way more rock and roll to have something like that remain on your record rather than having it expunged? And doesn't this reek of the kind of revisionism politicians are known for, looking to clear the good name of their states against any perceived black marks?
Morrison may have been among the first of the rock stars to expose himself, but he certainly wasn't the last. Here are five more notable examples of musicians gettin' nekkid in public.
5. Erykah Badu Protests "Groupthink" With Individual Nudity: For the filming of her 2010 video "Window Seat," Erykah Badu and her film crew decided on a guerilla-style, one-take shot in Badu's hometown of Dallas. She walked along stripping off her clothes, finally ending up completely naked in Dealey Plaza, where President John F. Kennedy was assassinated 47 years ago this coming Monday. At that point, Badu mimed getting shot at the precise location where Kennedy's shooting occurred, and blue CGI blood was later added in pouring from her head, forming the words "groupthink" on the concrete.
It's not all that surprising that some people considered this inappropriate, particularly some of the passersby who were shocked and chagrined that Badu would dare reveal her shameful, sinful body in front of their children - children, as you know, do not develop sex organs until their 18th birthday. As soon as the director called "cut," the filmmakers and Badu all hauled ass on out of there before the cops showed up.
The Verdict: Badu received plenty of almost-free publicity for the song and her album, which cost her a mere $500 fine and six months' probation for "disorderly conduct" for disturbing the status quo of the day along Dealey Plaza. Didn't exactly prove her point wrong, did we?
4. Matt and Kim Streak Times Square: Erykah Badu herself said she received inspiration for her "Window Seat" stunt from lovable indie twee-pop duo Matt & Kim's video for their song "Lessons Learned," in which the pair walk to Times Square, strip naked, and gaze up into the sky while everyone around them snaps pictures with their camera phones.
Police - supposedly real police officers unaffiliated with the filming - show up and attempt to subdue the pair before Matt & Kim break free and make a run for it... and Kim gets creamed by a bus. We're not sure how much of the folklore surrounding the video we can trust, however: Did the director really get the cops to let them go by claiming to have a permit to film a mayonnaise commercial in that location? Were they really naked under those censoriffic blurs? Only Matt & Kim, and everyone else who was there that day, know for sure.
The Verdict: Like we said: mayonnaise commercial. No charges filed.
3. Guy From Eve 6 Apparently Needs a Shave: In 2003, shortly before the release of a new album, Eve 6 frontman Max Collins wandered around a Moon Township, Pa., hotel naked as a jaybird. He was seen walking the halls, sitting at the lounge piano, and riding the elevator completely bare-assed.
Hilariously, he approached the hotel's front desk while nude and asked if they had any shaving cream; a little later, he was seen walking around with shaving cream obscuring his crotch (poorly). When the police inevitably came for him, he cooperated fully and asked if they'd heard of his band.
The Verdict: Arrested for indecent exposure, later charged with two counts of disorderly conduct, to which he pleaded guilty and paid a $514 fine, presumably swallowing his pride and choking on the rind.
2. Billie Joe Armstrong: "Hello, Wisconsin!": Way back in 1996, Green Day was playing a gig in Milwaukee when frontman Billie Joe Armstrong decided it would be apropos to pull down his pants and moon the audience. The Milwaukee police didn't go in for the pop-punk veteran's hijinks and detained him after the show, carting him down to the police station.
Apparently it's well-known among hardcore Green Day fans that Billie Joe only takes his pants off during mediocre shows, so in addition to a goofy gesture, the act was also meant to reflect his opinion of the audience at Milwaukee's Mecca Auditorium.
The Verdict: Billie Joe was cited and paid what was either a fine or bail (maybe both; who the hell knows, it's Milwaukee) and let go. Evidently it wasn't a "real arrest," as Armstrong cooperated, shelled out the cash and didn't contest the citation. He remained largely out of trouble until 2003, when he was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol.
1. John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Two Naked Virgins: John Lennon and Yoko Ono once spent the night together towards the beginning of their relationship. Not all that unusual, except before consummating said relationship, they made an album full of tape loops, sound effects, ambient conversations and of course Ono's trademark howler monkey vocalizations. The album, titled Unfinished Music Vol. 1: Two Virgins may have gone largely unnoticed as another bizarre experimental piece from the mind that gave us "Revolution 9," were it not for the fact that John and Yoko appeared buck naked on the cover.
In decidedly non-glamorous, unflattering black and white photography, a full-body frontal shot graced the album's front cover, and a shot from behind was, fittingly, on the back. Keep in mind, The Beatles were still very much an active band at this time, and this was only four freaking years after "I Want to Hold Your Hand."
The Verdict: Several thousand copies of the album were confiscated by the authorities, and several thousand more were pulled from record store shelves by the store employees. Eventually, the FBI decided that the album art did not constitute illegal pornography, brown bags were used to cover the nudity in record stores and everybody settled down about it.
Lennon remarked on the controversy by speculating that people seemed angered more by the fact that he and Ono looked so dumpy and hairy than by the fact that they were naked.