They had legs and they knew how to use them. And, as far as we know, they still do.
They were the women behind ZZ Top's iconic 1984 video "Legs" and our new pal Marc Tyler Nobleman — the same music-video girl sleuth that found the Sherrie in Steve Perry's "Oh Sherrie" and the girl in Tom Petty's "Free Fallin'" clip — has tracked down those famous legs and the women who stand on them.
When ZZ Top released "Legs," from their 1983 album Eliminator, the Texas trio was already a well established forced on album-rock radio, churning out such hits as "Tush," "La Grange," "Tube Snake Boogie," and "Sharp Dressed Man." Yet, that song and accompanying video — with those women and those legs — helped take the band to a whole new level, as they say in the record business.
With their long, flowing beards ZZ Top's singer/guitarist Billy Gibbons and bassist Dusty Hill are certainly a sight to be seen, but they can hardly compare with Wendy Frazier, Kymberly Herrin and Daniele Arnaud — the fine lovely ladies featured in the video.
Frazier, the brunette who makes the transformation from shoe store clerk to video vixen in the clip, told Nobleman she always dreamed of being Miss America. Through a friend, she landed a role in Baxter Robertson's "Silver Stand" clip in 1983, which was directed by Tim Newman. When it came time to cast women in ZZ Top's "Legs" video, she got a call from Newman's office to audition. Initially, Frazier thought she didn't have a chance getting cast alongside the "gorgeous playmates who 'knew how to use it,'" Frazier told Nobleman, but she got the part and celebrated her 21st birthday on the set, and received an autographed teddy bear from the band.
The highlight of the video for Frazier is a bit risqué. At about the 4:15 mark of the clip, she's hoisted up on a counter by a biker and spins around to kick her boyfriend's boss. "In the process, by accident, just a peek of the crotch of my underwear showed. I was ahead of Sharon Stone." Of course, Sharon Stone wasn't wearing panties, but that's a whole other story.
Frazier went on to attend the MTV Video Music Awards with Newman when "Legs" and "Sharp Dressed Man" were up for awards. "Legs" won Best Group Video, beating out "Sharp Dressed Man."
"The night was magic," Frazier says.
She received fanmail and was recognized more than a decade after the clip premiered on a visit to Aspen, Colorado.
These days Frazier owns a rental property where she once had Kelly Clarkson as a tenant. "She is one of my favorite tenants, because of the beautiful energy she left behind in my home," Frazier told Nobleman. "Kelly had no idea [of my music video past]; my contact [with her was] brief and landlord-like."
Kymberly Herrin, another of the "Legs" girls, was described by ZZ Top's Gibbons as a "groovy hippie chick" in I Want My MTV by Rob Tannenbaum and Craig Marks.
Like Frazier, she was also initially intimidated by the other talent at the casting call. "There must have been somewhere around 15-20 beautiful girls. Miniskirts, high heels, perfect hair, nails and makeup," she told Nobleman. "I came so close to leaving, getting on the 101 freeway, and hightailing it home."
Herrin landed a part in "Legs" after the so-called Eliminator girls Daniele Arnaud and Jenna Ellen Keough didn't like the original blonde girl cast. Herrin says they also didn't like each other, either, or her. "They were always pushing me to the back," she said.
But, Herrin said she was paid well, more than $2,000 for the shoot, and then something went wrong in the production process and a major portion of the clip had to be re-shot.
Known for her red top, garter belt and fishnet stocking in the "Legs" video, Herrin was recognized by fans on trips to the coast of East Africa and Australia. "The Aussies treated me like an American movie star," she told Nobleman. "I was blown away."
Herrin went on to land roles in Romancing the Stone and Ghostbusters, as well as Kiss's long-form 1987 video Exposed and a David Lee Roth video. She also wrote The Sexercise Book and landed on the cover of Playboy in September 1982 and 1983. These days, she has her own line of jewelry called Kym's Designs.
Finally, there's Daniele Arnaud, who unlike Frazier and Herrin, was a veteran with ZZ Top by the time she appeared in "Legs," having also appeared in the Eliminator-era clips "Gimme All Your Loving'" and "Sharp Dressed Man."
Prior to "Legs," Arnaud had also appeared in a clip by the Manhattan Transfer and well as a few films. Like Frazier, she attended the MTV Awards when the "Legs" video was honored and is often recognized in public.
These days, she works selling art, working on museum project and teaching languages at colleges and for private clients.