Male underwear

- Briefs were introduced in the 1930's and soon became popular, but never replaced the older shorts. Elvis is here wearing briefs during medical examination for military service in 1958, while a fellow recruit is has chosen for shorts. In rock music little difference is made between composing and performing artists. Zappa did both. Elvis belongs to the latter category, but a lot of people aren't aware of all Elvis songs being either covers or written for him. Besides the music Elvis' many fans worship his image as the sympathetic and energetic rocker with the embracing voice. Zappa made fun of the overweight Elvis of the seventies in "Elvis has left the building" from "Broadway the hard way".





- A frequent returning aspect in Zappa's publicity pictures is exaggeration or the use of items out of context, like the oven glove on the "Them or us" cover. The picture of him sitting on the toilet wondering "why can't they leave me alone" has become the best known. Here he's overdoing the tendency of briefs becoming ever more tiny during the era of the so called sexual revolution. This publicity aspect, as well as the provocative lyrics, were cultivated as a hall-mark of Zappa's image. It helped in drawing attention to albums that couldn't be commercially succesful. If you look beyond all this Zappa comes out quite regular. Whereas Zappa favoured sexual freedom, he had nothing to do with the extremities that are common in rock music. He cared for a stable family life and disapproved of the use of hard drugs. Politically he considered himself a moderate conservative.





- Another example of such exaggeration is the wearing of extreme tight pants on the "Zoot allures" and "Zappa in New York" album covers, making his genitals clearly visible and almost painful to look at. Let's just hope these pants stretch.
Stretchable cotton for underwear was succesfully introduced by Sloggi in the seventies for women. In 1991 this firm decided to do the same for men, referring to them as Sloggi for men. The number of lines and the large scale advertising by Sloggi and it's competitors has taken out the production of underwear from anonimity to a fashionable business, with the logos clearly visible on the material.

Photos: Life magazine, FZ publicity, Zoot allures album cover