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Top 10 Signature Rock Moves

VO: Rebecca Brayton
The world's biggest rock stars don't only make music many people love but they also know how to put on a good show. This often includes the addition of moves, dances, gestures or techniques that are sure to entertain the crowd - some bands and artists will become so identified with these that they'll become part of their trademark. For this list, we’ve decided to choose the artists that are most closely associated with certain rock moves, or who popularized them, and not necessarily the first rockers to perform them. Join http:/ as we count down our picks for the top 10 signature rock moves.

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These moves are synonymous with the artists that made them famous. Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 signature rock moves.

For this list, we’ve decided to choose the artists that are most closely associated with certain rock moves, or who popularized them, and not necessarily the first rockers to perform them.

#10 – ZZ Top: 360 Guitar Spinning

It was in the video for their song “Legs” that these bearded American rockers debuted their trademark spinning guitars covered in white sheep’s wool. These custom-made Dean guitars made such an impact that ZZ Top continued to use them to display their 360-degree twirls in other videos, live onstage, and in pop culture.

#9 – Axl Rose of Guns N’ Roses: Snake Dance

The Monkees’ Davy Jones may have done it before him, but Axl Rose truly made the snake dance his own with his charisma and raw energy. By oozing sex, drugs and dirty rock ‘n’ roll, the Guns N’ Roses frontman brought the band’s music to another level with his swaying and crooning. The dance move worked especially well with their power ballads and added that much more to the most dangerous band in the world’s live shows.

#8 – Gene Simmons of KISS: Tongue Wagging

Amid KISS’ loud anthemic music, eye-catching costumes and onstage antics, Gene Simmons made tongue-wagging his signature move. The unusual length of his appendage caught the attention of so many fans (and groupies) that stories soon spread that The Demon had a cow’s tongue attached to his own! Alright, so that isn’t true, but there really is no one else who can do this quite like Gene.

#7 – Jimi Hendrix: Guitar with his Teeth

As the original Seattle rocker, Jimi Hendrix wasn’t only a musical innovator with avant-garde ideas – he was also an incomparable guitarist who wasn’t afraid to show off his skills. Later inspiring the likes of Stevie Ray Vaughan, Joe Satriani and more with his theatrics, the left-handed musician could play the instrument between his legs and behind his back – but what’s most impressive was that he could play a mean electric guitar with his teeth!

#6 – Angus Young of AC/DC: Guitar Spasms

Aside from adopting Chuck Berry’s duck walk into his routine, Angus Young jumps around on stage, runs through the crowd and interacts with his AC/DC band mates – all while playing his guitar. However, his most striking move has gotta be his spasms, where Young continues to solo while lying flat on the ground and spinning around in circles. It’s not that easy to describe, so here, let him show you.

#5 – Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones: Rooster Strut

The Rolling Stones’ explosive combination of rock ‘n’ roll wouldn’t be the same without Mick Jagger’s expressive vocals and uninhibited showmanship. Inspired by Tina Turner’s spirited dance moves, Jagger crafted his own on-stage persona that includes incessant energy, arm and leg movements and of course, the rooster strut. Simply put, nobody’s got the “moves like Jagger.”

#4 – Michael Jackson: Crotch Grab

Few people alive in the ‘80s will ever forget Michael Jackson busting out the moonwalk during “Billie Jean” on Motown’s 25th anniversary television special. But another iconic move also heavily connected with MJ is the one he claimed the music compelled him to do: the crotch grab. Though the King of Pop was also known for “Smooth Criminal”’s anti-gravity lean, the racy reach for his groin was sure to throw audiences into a frenzy.

#3 – Pete Townshend of The Who: Windmill Strum

Though Moon the Loon tried stealing the spotlight with his explosive antics and drum destruction, his band mates also held their own: Daltrey swung and threw his mic in time with the music while Townshend smashed guitars like there’s no tomorrow. But it’s Townshend’s often-copied windmill strum against his guitar strings that remains inseparable from The Who’s rebellious yet ambitious rock ‘n’ roll gigs.

#2 – Chuck Berry: Duck Walk

By introducing R&B and guitar solos to the genre, Chuck Berry laid down the law in rock and roll. But it was the “Sweet Little Rock and Roller”’s original beats, stage bravado and dance moves that set the tone for the genre’s growth and subsequent explosion. He was particularly famous for the duck walk, which was a one-legged hop later adopted by AC/DC’s Angus Young and still performed by Berry today.

#1 – Elvis Presley: Gyrating Hips

Flaunting good looks, a rebellious image, and versatile vocals in his rockabilly style, Elvis had “something for everybody.” But he wouldn’t be the King of Rock and Roll without his gyrating hips: rumor has it Elvis the Pelvis’ sexually suggestive dance moves were so risqué for the time that CBS wanted to show him only from the waist up on “The Ed Sullivan Show.”

Do you agree with our list? What’s your favorite signature rock move? Be sure to subscribe to for more entertaining top 10s.

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