Originally Posted by Airmaxx23
The bootloader does not need to be unlocked to gain root access.
according to Paul, it does indeed
and i quote:
"Note: If you are using a retail Galaxy Nexus, you may need to unlock the bootloader first, using './fastboot-windows oem unlock' (or the appropriate version for your machine). Note that the OEM unlock sequence wipes your device."
[MOD] 30 Nov r3: Superboot - rooting the Galaxy Nexus - xda-developers
what i get from that is that if you have a retail GNex and the bootloader isn't already unlocked, you'll need to unlock it first.