We’ve nearly arrived again at that most American of holidays: the Fourth of July. In celebration of the country’s independence, and legacy of amazing bands, Gibson.com is counting down the Top 50 American Rock Bands of All Time.
That’s right, we’re celebrating the good, old U.S. of A. with some pre-holiday musical fireworks, sure to ignite a fiery debate over who owns the title of the best American rock band – ever! We enlisted the talents of Gibson.com’s editorial and writing staff, along with you, the readers, to weigh in on this most patriotic of subjects.
10. The Allman Brothers Band
9. The Beach Boys
7. The Byrds
6. Van Halen
I wonder if Van Halen clocking in only at #6 (they’re #1 in my book) is because of the tumultuous nature of the inter-band relationships, as well and their many iterations over the years – Van Halen, Van Hagar, Van Cherone, Van Roth II (oops… maybe not), Hagar Roth, Van Hagar II, Van Roth III). Regardless, however you slice whoever’s singing, Van Halen is one helluva’n American band. For virtually every rock guitarist under the age of, say, 55, most can tell you exactly where they were when they first heard Van Halen – or, more specifically, where they were when they first heard Eddie’s brain-crunching instrumental, “Eruption.” That one track alone changed the direction of guitar-driven rock forever, and the genre has never been the same (just as I was never the same after witnessing – from the front row in high school – Diamond Dave preening around in buttless-chaps like he owned the joint, which he did.) No wonder Jeff Spicoli hired them with his reward money! – Sean Patrick Dooley
4. The Ramones
1. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band