A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from August 11, 2015
Cock Rock

The term “cock rock” was coined by an anonymous faminist who wrote “Cock Rock: Men Always Seem to End Up on Top” for the October/November 1970 issue of the New York underground newspaper Rat, New York’s Village Voice used the “cock rock” term several times in the 1970s.

“Cock rock” is representation of male sexuality in rock music, from the lyrics to the aggressive beats to the women in the rock videos.


Wikipedia: Cock rock
Cock rock is a subgenre of rock music that emphasises an aggressive form of male sexuality. It developed in the later 1960s, came to prominence in the 1970s and 1980s, and it continues into the 21st century.

Characteristics
Cock rock is a musical genre. Philip Auslander uses Simon Frith’s description of cock rock characteristics:

“cock-rock performance means an explicit, crude, ‘masterful’ expression of sexuality ... Cock-rock performers are aggressive, boastful, constantly drawing audience attention to their prowess and control. Their bodies are on display ... mikes and guitars are phallic symbols (or else caressed like female bodies), the music is loud, rhythmically insistent, built around techniques of arousal and release. Lyrics are assertive and arrogant, but the exact words are less significant than the vocal styles involved, the shrill shouting and screaming.”

Google Books
Ms. Magazine
Volume 1
1972
Pg. 24:
Thus we get something that has been called Cock Rock, a music that finds its strongest statements in the amplified reflection of arrogance. The prototypes of Cock Rock are the Rolling Stones, whose sexual stance is best summed up in a song called “Under My Thumb.”

Google News Archive
5 April 1973, The Village Voice (New York, NY), “All that glitters is not gay” by Roger Klorese, pg. 49, col. 3:
COCK-ROCK AS JUDEO-CHRISTIAN ETHIC APOLOGIST

Google News Archive
20 December 1973, The Village Voice (New York, NY), “Scenes,” pg. 58, col. 1:
Some of the all-girl rock bands that have been playing clubs around the city have been accused of doing “cock rock” (but isn’t that the best stuff to dance to?) and of being apolitical.

OCLC WorldCat record
STEVE WAKSMAN EVERY INCH OF MY LOVE: LED ZEPPELIN AND THE PROBLEM OF COCK ROCK
Author: WAKSMAN STEVE
Edition/Format: Article Article : English
Publication: Journal of Popular Music Studies, v8 n1 (March 1996): 5-25
Database: Wiley Online Library

OCLC WorldCat record
Riot Grrrls Castrate “Cock Rock” in New York
Author: marisa ragonese
Edition/Format: Article Article : English
Publication: Off Our Backs, v32 n5/6 (20020501): 27-31
Database: JSTOR Arts & Sciences VI Collection

OCLC WorldCat record
Women’s “Cock Rock” Goes Mainstream
Author: Jennie Ruby
Edition/Format: Article Article : English
Publication: Off Our Backs, v35 n7/8 (20050701): 42-44
Database: JSTOR Arts & Sciences VI Collection

Google Books
The Rock History Reader
By Theo Cateforis
New York, NY: Routledge
2013
Pg. 120:
All the names on the albums, all the people doing the sound and lights, all the voices on the radio, even the DJs between songs – they are all men. In fact, the only place I could look to see anyone who looked anything like me was in the audience,and even there, there were usually more men than women.
Pg. 123:
Source: “Cock Rock: Men Always Seem to End Up on Top,” Rat, October 15-November 18, 1970, pp.16-17, 26.

The Guardian (UK)
Can Eagles of Death Metal’s cock rock survive in 2015?
The band’s latest album, Zipper Down, has artwork of a busty girl with her hand down her trousers: it’s ironic, but in the era of Clit Rock, She Shreds and fourth-wave feminism, it’s just a bit limp

Deborah Coughlin
Tuesday 11 August 2015 07.13 EDT
An anonymous feminist in a 1970s issue of New York underground newspaper Rat first coined the term “cock rock” in order to describe the aggressive, sexualised misogyny of rock at the time. In the piece, entitled Cock Rock: Men Always Seem to End Up on Top, the writer lamented: “All the names on the albums, all the people doing the sound and lights, all the voices on the radio, even the DJs between songs – they are all men. When you get to listening to male rock lyrics, the message to women is devastating.”

Described by Wikipedia as “rock music that emphasises an aggressive form of male sexuality” – it is a subgenre that came to prominence during the musical excesses of the 1970s and 80s, shaped by a group of men known for relentlessly dry-humping their Les Pauls and using artwork on their records illustrating a fantasy world in which women were almost always naked.

Posted by Barry Popik
Tuesday, August 11, 2015 • Permalink