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My Own Personal Rock Gods
My rock gods are not the same as your rock gods (or perhaps they are, in which case you should totally friend me on the Facebook), because you probably grew up with those Led Zeppelin fellows, or those Beatles guys. Not that, you know, those are not true rock gods, because Robert Plant and John Lennon certainly are, they just are not the same as the ones I grew up with. As for today's rock gods, they are out there but they are hard to find. That being the case, can you really call them gods? As with any faith, that lies in the eyes of the beholder.
Kurt Cobain, God of Sacrifice
There are few things that can change your outlook on the world in front of you in one small moment, but the moment that kid on the bus put headphones over my years and played me Nirvana's 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' was certainly one of them. Before that, I had not given much thought to music as a passion, because most of my music knowledge came from VH1 and listening to the likes of Genesis and Michael Bolton (rock gods of the underworld). The moment those opening chords hit, everything changed for me. Well, maybe not the chords necessarily, but more that large rapture of drums that kicked in, so perhaps Dave Grohl should be on this list as well. Or perhaps, Nirvana as a whole are rock gods. Either way, Teen Spirit led me on the path to all of Kurt and company's other songs, none of which were a let down.
Worth a Listen: 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' 'Aneurysm' 'In Bloom' 'About a Girl' 'All Apologies'
Julian Casablancas, God of Sound
I label the Strokes' front man as 'God of Sound' because, simply put, I love his sound. His voice, his music, it all works together to create something brilliant, something that I love to put on repeat over and over. His early sound on the first two albums from The Strokes was a bit rough, but once he struck out on his own with his solo album, Phrazes for the Young, he perfected the recipe for a long, good feeling eargasm. The influences of Phrazes definitely carries over into The Strokes' most recent album, Angles, and perpetuates my continued man crush on Jules.
Worth a Listen: 'Glass' '11th Dimension' 'Left & Right in the Dark' 'Under Cover of Darkness' 'Machu Picchu'
Jack White, God of Guitar
In the modern age of music, no one can play guitar quite like Jack White, and I would even put him with all time guitar greats like Jimmy Page, Keith Richards and Jimi Hendrix. Check out early White Stripes album De Stijl for more evidence of that, as he plays tactfully well on tunes like 'Hello Operator' and their cover of Son House's 'Death Letter.' He lays killer guitar riffs on 'Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground' from 2001's White Blood Cells, and continues that tradition with 'Sixteen Saltines' from his debut solo album, Blunderbuss.
Worth a Listen: 'Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground' 'Seven Nation Army' 'Icky Thump' 'Intimate Secretary' 'Sixteen Saltines'
Robert Levon Been and Peter Hayes, Gods of Noise
I first discovered Black Rebel Motorcycle Club while watching an HBO TV series titled Reverb, which show cased live performances of various rock groups. I was immediately drawn to their sound, distorted guitars and catchy riffs. What I also loved was their style, dressing all or mostly in black, sunglasses, cigarettes loosely hanging out of their mouth. It's like watching a band of James Dean and Johnny Cash wanna be's. They continue to influence me to this day, because if you look in my closet, it's best to have a light on because it's hard to see my dark clothes in the dark (as I write this, I'm wearing black jeans, a black shirt and black leather jacket). Although largely a noise rock group, the band did change things up with their third album, Howl, infusing various 'Americana' music genres such as blues, country and gospel to create a brilliant masterpiece of a record.
Noel Gallagher, God of Gods
Each group of gods has to have their own Zeus, right? For me, it is without a doubt one Mr. Noel Gallagher. When I spoke of life changing moments earlier in this article, there was one that was a truly defining moment for me and all of my musical and creative influences to follow, and that was when I saw the video for 'Champagne Supernova' by the legendary Brit pop band Oasis. At that moment, I had no idea who Noel Gallagher was, nor did it matter because what I saw and heard on my TV was the coolest thing I've ever seen or heard. As soon as the video ended, I ran to my mother and begged her to drive me to the nearest store that sold CDs (which was a half hour drive away) because I had to have What's the Story (Morning Glory)? not later, but now, right now!
As soon as I arrived back home, the album went straight into my ears through my headphones, and I was transformed forever. I immediately took the liner notes to find who was who in the band, and soon discovered that the lead guitarist, Noel Gallagher, was the man behind such epic tunes as 'Wonderwall,' 'Don't Look Back in Anger,' and of course, 'Champagne Supernova.' And, much to my surprise, this was actually Oasis' second album, which followed the even more brilliant Definitely Maybe.
Over the years, Noel Gallagher became more to me than just the lead guitarist and principle song writer for my favorite band, he also became an idol of mine. His interviews were hilarious, I wanted his hair cut, I wanted his shoes. Honestly, I could write a whole other hub on just Noel Gallagher alone (and probably will). Through out the years his songs, his lyrics, they have all remained brilliant, as has he in all of his interviews. I was heart broken when I first heard Noel had made the decision to leave Oasis, but then happy when I realized he would be embarking on a solo career that was sure to be, and so far has been, godlike.
Worth a Listen: 'Live Forever' 'Don't Look Back in Anger' 'Half the World Away' 'Acquiesce' 'Everybody's On The Run'
Who are your rock gods?
We've all got 'em, we all grew up worshiping them, wanting to be them. We listen to them whenever we can, in the car, while out for a stroll, home alone. But we all have our differences, and our rock gods are all different. Who are your rock gods?