Dude Looks Like a Lady: A Look Back at Rockers in Drag
Here in San Francisco, seeing a man dressed as a woman is about as shocking someone wearing orange and black inside AT&T Park. There are few cities on earth with the quantity and quality of drag queens as S.F., and for that, we are proud. Donning make-up and a dress doesn't always come so naturally to men in the rest of the world, so we're particularly fond of it when rock stars take the plunge. Here are five classic videos in which rockers embraced their feminine sides.
"In Bloom," Nirvana
Seeing Kurt Cobain in a dress became perfectly expected after a while, but the first time he did it for a massive audience was in the video for "In Bloom." Up front, the clip made a mockery of both Nirvana's newfound mainstream success and the pop hysteria that comes with getting famous. Then, around the 2:30 mark, things take a turn for chaotic, and images start to emerge of the band wrecking the set while wearing dainty summer dresses. We're particularly fond of Dave Grohl's little black floral number.
"Everlong," Foo Fighters
Grohl's next band didn't shy away from femming it up, either. When Foo Fighters released "Everlong" in 1997, it came with a trippy video in which drummer Taylor Hawkins dresses like a woman for almost the entire thing. Here we see him as a punk rock chick, a ditsy high school girl and even wearing an old lady night gown. Shortly after the release, Hawkins told OC Weekly: "They decided if one of the guys in the band was going to do it, I'd make the prettiest girl." This assumption was later proved accurate by Grohl in drag in the "Learn to Fly" video.
"I Want to Break Free," Queen
Queen drummer Roger Taylor is such a pretty schoolgirl in this groundbreaking 1984 video for "I Want to Break Free" that he makes Taylor Hawkins in "Everlong" look positively butch. The sight of the quartet in drag was applauded in the band's native U.K. but the video was promptly banned by MTV in the U.S. -- which is even more hilarious than the sight of Freddy Mercury vacuuming in a leather skirt.
"The Dope Show," Marilyn Manson
People got so weirded out by Marilyn Manson's lady-bodysuit in the video for "Dope Show," rumors started that he'd had actual breast implant surgery. (He hadn't, of course -- because that level of commitment would've been literally insane.) Sure, he's playing an androgynous alien here, rather than an actual woman, but Manson's fake boobies are some of the finest we've ever seen on a dude.
Possibly taking a lesson from Queen's earlier experience, the video for U2's "One" was entirely re-shot for an American audience. The version we got was shiny and boring and far too focused on Bono's face. The video that Europe got involved the entire band in drag, thereby revealing to us that no one in U2 makes for a particularly attractive lady. They definitely get an A for effort though.