Doesn't Anyone Get Naked Anymore? In Houston, Yes

Bad Moon Rising: 10th Grade Cutie's Rex prefers to play al fresco.

The natural inheritor of the Jack-Onz's contribution to the world of nudity and mayhem is Houston's own 10th Grade Cutie. Few local bands in Houston can claim the same reputation as the punk gurus, but by his own admission, Rex Nabours III hasn't played a show fully clothed in years, often rocking out in nothing but a pair of boots.

This minimizes the cleanup of blood, feces, sweat and other things at the end of the night, enabling Rex to easily feel fresh as a daisy once the hum of the amplifiers ceases. Nabours denies any artistic pretensions are behind his sexual expression, claiming to simply enjoy being able to get away with it.

"Prolonged adolescence is a recurring theme of American pop culture that will probably never go away," he says.

The Sporatics and Clockpole are some more of Houston's musical nudists, taking the opportunity to shed their clothes whenever it feels ridiculous enough.

"I'm a photographer," says Joe Ortiz of Clockpole. "I've shot friends either fully nude or near-nude. To me, it's not a big deal but I do understand that there is something about a naked person, male or female, that gets a reaction from people. That said, there is a difference in seeing a photo of someone with no clothes on and in seeing a person in a public place with no clothes on."

Though often shocking, such behavior is usually seems as harmless fun, innocent in a dirty kind of way. But it can still lead to people reacting violently. During a Breast Cancer Benefit Concert at Galveston's Crazy Oaks, Ortiz was beaten by four bikers who considered his behavior disrespectful.

Nikki Machacek
Sorry, we have no idea how Clockpole got its name.

The Born Liars also experienced some severe retaliation for playing in their birthday suits at Trash Bar in Humble on May 8. As one observer reported, the band got "nekkid and amorously gay onstage" during the show. This prompted outraged patrons to cave in the roof of the drummer's car, slash two tires and break off the side mirrors.

Nor was the morally outraged mob content with vandalism.

"At the end of the set, one of them was pacing back and forth saying, 'I'm gonna get you' over and over again," says Liars bassist Bill Fool. "So I threw my bass off, grabbed him by the neck and punched him in the face repeatedly until I was dragged off of him. Then Jimmy [Sanchez, guitar/vocals] jumped off stage and continued hitting the guy. After he ran away is when we noticed the car."

Fool chocks the reaction up to homophobia, and has no plans to alter Born Liars' performance style. Thus is a legacy founded on the likes of Wendy O. Williams, Iggy Pop, Shannon Hoon and others continues to fare well in H-Town.

Although the radio waves are currently heavy with virtue, an orgy of nude rock continues for those who wish to partake.

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