- Entertainment and Media»
The Sex in Rock and Roll
There is no question that it was Elvis that brought sex into a new music during the fifties. Never had this been done so overtly before. The previous teen idol had been "old Blue eyes", Frank Sinatra in the forties. Then, teens were tame as was the singer. The music was also quite different. Still, Sinatra drove thousands of teens crazy with his voice and look across the world. He had his own sex appeal then, for that era, modest by what was only a decade away.
Elvis embodied sex. His look, his eyes, his lips, his longer hair and sideburns. He rebelled using a guitar mostly as a prop. The music rocked teens in the fifties that white America had a problem with being rooted in black blues and country. Elvis' gyrations, even once or twice, sent teen girls into a frenzy. It was all about sex. For teen girls, his voice spoke "sex" to them. His early songs were in minor key many times that for some teen girls created psychological sex reactions. His hair got messed up as he performed and swiveled his hips, again, a polite way of be sensual sexy. As a performer, he lived his music in the early years. He was erotic in a humdrum American bland landscape. His clothes rebelled at times. God, no wonder guys emulated him and women just dreamed of having sex with him and tried to tear his clothes off.
By 1959, he was becoming stale and his sexual appeal had worn off to some extent as others took over the role for a bit. Not known at this time were the next generation of rock and rollers. These teens emulated Elvis and his records but would have their own sex appeal: John, Paul George and Ringo, eventually known as The Beatles.
Their sex appeal developed at the Cavern Club in Liverpool but like Elvis, it was innate. The club packed mostly teen girls from 1961-62. Like Elvis, they had real magnetic sexual energy in their music, their voices, angst. Like Elvis, they all appealed to certain teens, for different reasons, each with distinct personalities. But, by far, it was Paul McCartney, they nearly all teen girls fell prey to. He was smooth sexy, black hair, the kissable lips, the droopy round eyes, that caused the identical thing Elvis experienced. The difference was Paul did not gyrate his sex, he just stood their looking cute sexy. On the other hand, John did not spew out sex appeal, not really. His attraction was the rebel aura and his edgy, rough voice spoke from his angst as kid and teen. His voice, unlike Paul's, penetrated like a penis into everyone's heart. Paul's voice smoothed John's edginess. It was a perfect union personality-wise and vocal-wise. Much of the Beatles sex appeal to teens, guys and girls, was the long hair, longer than Elvis and combed forward with bangs. It is a style that remains today.
The Beatles, of course, caused such chaos wherever they went on a scale much larger than their teen idol-Elvis. It even baffled them and drove them crazy. While you could hear Elvis sing at his performances, this was not the case with The Beatles, even though everything was amplified. Even being in such a sea of screaming and pandemonium was an experience one never forgets or is able to explain to those not around or not living at the time. The chaos created one to join in.
The Rolling Stones were the flip side to the Beatles, the bad boy element, but talent-wise and respect-wise, the Stones were never a match to them. The Beatles were always one step ahead. Mick Jagger was explicit with his sexuality, even though, his face and voice did not project it as Elvis or The Beatles did. He would actually have a boner in tight pants to entice teen girls.
As rock entered the 70's, the sex element was simply overt and explicit and since then, it has remained basically that way. Michael Jackson knew what Elvis and The Beatles had in sex appeal and embodied it in his concerts with his hip gyrations and smooth moonwalks. So, taking lessons from the past, he employed them and adapted them for 80's concerts that had the same result on teen girls-chaos, screaming on a Beatle-like scale. MJ did not always have that appeal, he developed it and learned from history.
Since MJ, there really as not been a star on the same level, causing massive panic and screams. On the flip side, there has never been a woman that caused that similar panic frenzy in men. I guess men simply can control their sex libido in check, which seems to the the opposite of what we are told.