Rock Stars–if they’re not already–should be placed on the endangered species list. In 2009, we speak of them in the past tense. It has been so long since we’ve had a Rock Star, we don’t even know what a real one is anymore.
(left: Is Queen one of the greatest Rock Star bands? You better believe it!)
The word “Rock Star” has become a disposable noun. If little Johnny scores a goal in his pee-wee soccer game, you may hear his mother calling him a Rock Star from the sidelines. He is no more a Rock Star than he is a cavalier, a knight, or a conquistador–titles that meant something back in the day, that described a person who did more than squeeze an orange wedge between his teeth and kick a ball passed another seven-year old kid.
So it can be recorded in the annals of history, here are some of the greatest Rock Star bands of all-time. (Note: You’ll notice the absence of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and The Who from this list. Why? Well, as I’m sure you know: the sky is blue and water is wet.)
10. Green Day
Who knew years ago that Billie Joe Armstrong’s punk rock ditties could translate into sold-out-stadium anthems?
Kiss isn’t just a band, they’re a brand. They could make a living just off their merchandise alone. Superheroes playing music? Or musicians playing superheroes? You be the judge.
If your band is credited for changing the musical landscape of an entire generation, then yes, you are Rock Stars.
7. Guns N Roses
Headline-grabbing lead singer, iconic guitar player with amazing licks, sold-out-stadium shows, biggest-band-in-the-world status, and eventual implosion. Looks like they learned from the best.
There’s a reason they’re called power chords.
Ferocious bay-area thrash metal band that has built up such a reputation, they can sell out a coliseum in any country of the world (and probably do it in just a few minutes).
4. Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
Don’t think songs about everyday-America can fill stadium seats? Think again. Bruce Springsteen isn’t called The Boss for nothing.
One of life’s great mysteries. How do you not age, stay socially conscious despite having more money than you know what to do with, make hit after hit, and still stay relevant and fresh after all these years?
Close your eyes. Hum yourself a Queen song. There’s no way that song is being performed in a 200-capacity club.
1. Led Zeppelin
Rock Stars? They wrote the book on it–really. Ever read Hammer of The Gods?
(left to right: Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant and Jimmy Page.)
Don’t lose hope just yet. Here’s a list of bands that have potential of wielding Rock Star status:
10. Fall Out Boy
The most popular member of the group is their bassist. We just need some people to start recognizing their lead singer and then we’ll be in business.
9. The Mars Volta
If they weren’t so damn stubborn and could keep their songs more focused…
8. Kings of Leon
If only they were a band in the 70’s.
7. Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Nick and Brian need to be more vocal and compelling in interviews, otherwise the Rock Star burden is always going to fall on Karen O’s shoulders.
6. Vampire Weekend
In a different musical climate, they’d be a couple steps higher in their climb to superstardom.
5. My Chemical Romance
They’ve got some really “big” songs, but half of America still thinks they’re emo.
4. The Killers
If the members of The Killers were more exciting behind-the-scenes, they might have a better chance of making the list above.
How to get out of the shadow of U2?
2. The White Stripes
Can you say “bass?”
1. Muse (right)
Their rocket is ready to launch. They’re just waiting for America to press the ignition button.