It seems to me that musical history is made up of fragments of indelible images, good and bad, that inform each person's experience. Then there are the swatches of tunes that grab you by the heart strings or the throat, making you a fan for life. But it's those moving pictures that you first remember, at least in my case.
Growing up, I remember seeing Iggy Pop crawling over that crowd at the Cincinnati Pop Festival in 1970, clad in jeans and those silver gloves, smearing peanut butter on himself. I probably saw it on MTV in the '80s. That was my image of the Stooges and Iggy for the first decade of my life. It stuck with me. That's the Iggy I know, even though today he is the consistency of shoe leather.
What's cool about some of these files, is that they act as shorthand for the artist. Elvis Presley was that hip swivel. The Beatles were locked in together, attached at the brain. And Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant? He's always been that open shirt and a haughty flip of the head.
For this first post of iconic rock GIFs, I stuck with the first pioneers of the genre, the ones that lead the way for the rest of the pack, and also some of the first and loudest bands to prowl the Earth. Subsequent blogs will of course cover punk, metal, hip-hop, and pop.
Johnny Cash introduces himself.
Chuck Berry shows off his b-boy stance.
Bob Dylan, you don't know where that finger has been.
Jimi Hendrix is a human fire hazard.
Janis Joplin is sick of your shit.
Jim Morrison, the unknown soldier.
Elvis Presley inflames the world.
Little Richard scaring the chirrens.
Freddie Mercury as a fancy fascist dictator.
Pete and Keith in the pocket.
Robert Plant is a golden god.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.