After Guy Garvey danced with a streaker during Elbow's Downs Festival gig, we take a moment to remember the noble naked people that have invaded stages past...
It’s customary, when faced with an unexpected naked person on stage with you, to run for the wings screaming for your emergency taser. But, as Guy Garvey proved when he took the time to have a little dance with a streaker at the Downs Festival in Bristol at the weekend, they’re just misunderstood souls who need a little love and attention in their lives. So let’s honour those brave and chilly dreamers for whom clothes are a mere hindrance to musical appreciation, and want nothing more than the world to rock out in peace to the rhythm of their bouncing danglies. Naked streakers of rock, we salute you.
Elastica, Glastonbury, 1995
Glastonbury-goers in 1995 would have been forgiven for thinking the Green Fields were staging a coup on the main stages when a naked hairy man ran on while Elastica were playing ‘Vaseline’ and started bouncing around behind the band. It turned out the man was one Anthony Glenn who would later form a band called The Hours and, to nobody’s surprise, he was off his gnarly nuts on drugs. “I’d taken an astronomical sum of drugs that would kill most elephants,” he said. “Any regrets? I wish, perhaps, my cock hadn’t been so shrivelled.”
MTV VMAs, Belfast, 2011
Trust us, it’s not that easy to get onto the stage at a major award ceremony with no clothes on – bouncers have been trained to develop a keen eye for that sort of thing. So of course the naked man who appeared onstage at the MTV VMAs in Belfast in 2011 and started chatting up Heroes actress Hayden Panattiere as she was about to present the Best Song award to Lady Gaga was a plant. “It was all pre-arranged,” said actor David Monahan. “It was the writers who came up with the idea of having a streaker as part of a skit. They were looking for an actor, and because I’d talked about going for a casting for Game Of Thrones naked, my name was mentioned.”
Keys ‘N Krates, Florida, 2015
Canadian electronic act Keys ‘N Krates got Elastica’d at a show in Tampa, Florida in 2015, when a girlfriend of one of the club’s promoters by the name of Christina Platt jumped onstage in the nip, scuttled under the decks and tried to get a piggy back from the act, mid-mix. Motive: unknown.
Kings Of Leon, Birmingham, 2013
Okay, so naked LG Arena crowdsurfer Jimmy Dorris – whom Kings Of Leon affectionately dubbed Birmingham Sausage Man – didn’t actually make it onto the stage, but he went one better. He made it backstage by invitation of the band for the second night of the stint, where he put his antics down to “drink fuelled madness”. “I saw myself on the screen and thought shit, I am definitely getting banned from here,” he Tweeted. “Next day I am backstage??”
Eurovision, Ukraine, 2017
Good clean family fun? Not this year’s Eurovision final in Ukraine, when a bespectacled man wrapped in an Australian flag leapt onstage during a performance by the previous year’s winner Jamala and mooned an audience of millions, presumably catastrophically mis-remembering Bucks Fizz’s classic ‘skirt-pull’ from the early 80s.
Jim Morrison, Florida, 1969
Many acts have streaked their own gigs – Iggy Pop, Nick Oliveri, The Dandy Warhols, Rage Against The Machine, Flea times a million – but few have managed to get arrested for it. Step forward (and put it away, man) Jim Morrison, who was sentence to a jail term for allegedly exposing himself and masturbating onstage while screaming obscenities in Florida in 1969. A split second of time from which The Fat White Family have drawn an entire career.