In the spirit of the NFL draft coming up on the 28th, here is my first top 5 of the week, classic rock bands of all-time. A testament to each of these bands is that they rock/rocked live just as good if not better than their albums. To say this was a hard list to create is an understatement. I will say that I did not consider The Beatles in this list as I consider them more of an oldies band than a classic rock band, so no hate mail that I left them out. Let me know your top 5 (Randy - Pink Floyd is not allowed).
#5 - While there have been numerous bands from Australia few have the footprint of my #5 pick, AC/DC. This band survived a death and is still rocking the house, the crazy part is the death was the original lead singer, Bon Scott in 1980. To say Brian Johnson has stepped in and kept them going strong is again an understatement. They are definitely one of those bands that are recognizable as soon as Bon or Brian start singing. They can get you fired up for sure, when I am warming up before tennis matches, AC/DC helps get me going. AC/DC definitely has one of the most recognizable guitar players alive, Angus Young, who along with his brother formed the band in 1973.
#4 - This band continues to tour to this day, with very few lineup changes, pick #4 is The Rolling Stones. The Stones formed back in 1962 and got its name from a Muddy Waters LP in which one of the songs was "Rollin' Stone." The Stones came stateside during the British invasion of the mid 60's. They have sold more than 200 million records worldwide. This is one of those bands I have not been fortunate to see live, but from those I have met that have say it is one of the best concerts they have ever been to. Mick Jagger is one of the most recognizable celebrities in the world today and he was even knighted in 2003.
#3 - This is one of those bands that everyone probably has in their top 5 and seldom realize how many songs they actually sing, pick #3 is Led Zeppelin. Zeppelin started in England in the late 60's and featured two of the world's best known musicians: Jimmy Page and Robert Plant. Rolling Stone magazine and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has called Zep "the heaviest band of all time" and "as influential in the 70's as The Beatles were in the prior one." From Black Dog, Whole Lotta Love, Fool in the Rain, Stairway to Heaven to Kashmir, Zeppelin's music is still as good today as in the 60's and 70's.
#2 - A lot of people do not consider this band good at all, but to me have some of the best songs collectively to this day, my pick at #2 is Journey. Journey like many classic rock bands still tour today, however they will never be the same without Steve Perry. The only downfall is that Perry rocked sleeveless tees tucked into his Levi's with no belt, damn it Steve. Journey was started in San Fran by former members of Santana. From ballads to heavy hitters, Journey has a true list of greatest hits that most people recognize and sing-a-long with every time they are played. I must say that I have only ever seen two guys ever attempt to tackle Journey songs as Perry is a hard person to recreate. People seldom make mention, but Neal Schon is one of the best guitarists of all-time. Here is a little sampler of their live shows from back in the day (what a shirt from Perry).
#1 - Growing up in Texas I do not know if I would be allowed back if I did not select "That Little Ol' Band from Texas," ZZ Top, #1. It has amazed me since I first heard them as a little kid that three guys could make that much noise. ZZ Top has changed their sound numerous times over the years, but always go back to their blues roots. Little known fact is that the two front men have long beards (Billy Gibbons & Dusty Hill) and the drummer is named Frank Beard. Here is them performing one of there greatest hits in 1980.