Ok, I got on here with full intention of writing about how screwed up San Francisco and Arizona are right now, but I realize I am on the losing side...strangely enough, that happens to be on the side of the law. How in the heck can it be wrong to ask someone to be a citizen to get benefits, wages and to VOTE? It is the law, it is absolutely right, and if you are illegal, leave or get legal. Or we can start paying you in pesos. How would you like 8 pesos and hour vs $8? Right. So, thats all on that, because I have a feeling I could rant a thesis length paper right now about the idiot protestors.
So, new list. Favorite rock musicians. Solo. There are going to be many more on here, but that is because there are so many greats, and, frankly its my list, so I don't even know why I have to justify.
Again, in no particular order.
Bruce Springsteen - Ok, you may argue he is in a band if you like, but it is Bruce Springsteen & ... So individual it is in my book. The essential voice of the working man. A blue collar poet. Sure, sometimes it seems as if he is reading from a diary or a newspaper, but the way he turns the phrase into something more is outstanding. And sure, his voice is not great, but if it were, I don't think he would be as good. Teh grittiness makes it. Concerts are legendary. Super-gluing your fingers to keep playing even after 3 hours on stage? And he can certainly play. And The E Street band is pretty dang good too.
Billy Joel - The Piano Man. Just don't request that at a piano bar. Amateur. I love his stories. Its like country music set to piano and rock. A lyricist to the core who can tinkle the ivories with the best of them. Diverse too, with many clasical pieces under his belt and lending his songs and expertise to Broadway as well. A good voice, with great range, his albums run the gamut and give you a listening experience that doesn't all sound the same.
Meatloaf - Ok, so he mostly acts now, but he has arguably the best concept album ever with Bat Out of Hell. And he can belt, really belt. Again, a lyric storyteller, with epic length songs. Pretty sure 'the best of' could get you through a regular workweek commute. Its more quality than quantity here, which to me, is unfortunate, but he does have a new album out, so there is hope.
Before I continue, yes, I see the theme. I like stories. I like lyrics. Understood.
Elton John - Very similar to Joel, except more flamboyant x 10. Great songs, and part of one of the best writing teams of all time with Bernie Taupin, and now very prolific on soundtracks and Broadway with Tim Rice. Diverse, eccentric, and interesting, his 35 years of albums are all over the map, and mostly good. Like the US, minus Ohio.
David Bowie - Another of the top 5 concept albums of all time, in my opinion with Ziggy Stardust. Ecclectic, mega talented, and smart, he has an outstanding voice, and ideas a plenty. One of those artists I really get excited about when the radio gets its head out of its rear end and puts some Ziggy on. An actor as well, he has fallen away from the music scene a bit, but has enough credibility to pull off any move he wants to.
Prince - Some may argue he is R & B, but I say rock. What other R & B act has that kind of music, especially the guitar? And, sadly, Prince gets overlooked too often because he doesn't neatly fit into a category. He can certainly handle himself with the instruments, and musically brilliant. One of the best soundtracks from one of the worst movies with Purple Rain. Vocal range to spare, all in a pocket sized, in your face, daring dude. Sure he is strange, but I imagine thats where the inspirations come from, so go for it man.
Michael Jackson - Off his rocker weird. Ok. No argument. But the best performer in my lifetime easily and Elvis is probably his only rival of all time. Singer, writer, musician, dancer, & actor and all done fairly successfully. Controversial for many reasons, even before the allegations of the 90s, he seemed to be a little boy genius trapped in man's body. Be hard to say what he would have been like with a normal family, but his results speak for themselves.
So this is my list. Apologies to Van Morrison (nothing in my lifetime too significant) and Bob Dylan (everyone's go to pick, but I prefer his lyrics to his music) and Elvis (what have you done lately, huh?) and too many others to name. Feel free to comment. Or not. Suggest a list if you want.