Joey Ramone (1951-2001), singer with US punk band the Ramones, on stage during a live concert performance by the band, with drummer Tommy Ramone in the background behind his drumkit, 1977. The backdrop has the band's 'presidential seal' logo and name. (Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

The Greatest American Rock Band. Just reading those words together feels so important, so serious. So let’s argue about it!


Let’s start with Kaye Loggins, though, because she’s the one who got me thinking about this. Among a growing portfolio of entertainment undertakings, Loggins releases music as Time Wharp. But it’s the sense of humor and the Twitter feed that put the artist on my radar late last year.


In this clip, Loggins rolls out the typical “person-on-the-street” bit in Times Square. She quips: “What are people interested in? What’s the pulse of the culture today?” She then proceeds to ask the question: “What’s the greatest American band of all time?” A great question, but an especially brilliant question to spring on a stranger you’ve just met on the street. The answers, however, were not so brilliant.


Gorillaz. Queen. The Beatles. The Rolling Stones. All British.


And when the people on the street start chiming in with actual American bands? Kygo. Papa Roach. The Killers. So yes, as a comedy bit, Kaye slays with The Pulse of the Culture from Times Square. But we don’t get an actual answer, let alone a coherent discussion, with regards to the Greatest American Band. Let’s fix that.


The Greatest American Rock Band: 12-Inch Poll

Is it a lofty topic? Yes. Will it likely devolve into some semblance of comedy? Probably also yes. But what the hell. It’s a cold January Wednesday in Boston. What better time to get into a heated argument.


I’ve put forth a dozen American rock bands you could make a good argument for being the greatest. As with any 12-Inch Poll, I invite you to scroll through my selections, vote for your favorite, and then hit the ROCK 92.9 Facebook or Twitter and yell at me because you have a selection that’s better. Enjoy!

  • Aerosmith

  • Eagles

  • Foo Fighters

  • Guns N' Roses

  • Metallica

  • Nirvana

  • Pearl Jam

  • Ramones

  • R.E.M.

  • Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers

  • Van Halen

  • ZZ Top

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