I expect this will be my most controversial post ever because I’m going to confess to not liking iconic rock bands and artists. Now, there are plenty of bands/artists I don’t like but I can understand why other people like them. Boy bands, for example, are not my thing but I can see why they appeal to teenage girls. And there are plenty of artists who I respect as being talented musicians but I’m just not interested in listening to them much (Bob Dylan and Tom Petty come to mind). But the bands/artists I’m listening here are ones that not only do I not like but I can’t understand why anyone else likes them.
So here we go! Beware, some sacred cows will be slayed!
People who know me know that I’m “the guy who hates The Eagles.” To be honest, the hate is greatly overstated and it arose from the fact that when I went to high school and college in the 80s and the 90s, The Eagles were treated as the Best. Thing. Ever. Like, people would list the best rock bands of all time and it would be “Beatles. Rolling Stones. Eagles.” The Eagles are a fair to middling band but in response to the great overstatement of their talents I went in the other direction to extreme Eagles hatred. I’ll confess I like “Take It To the Limit” and the harmonies on “Seven Bridges Road.” Still, it’s good to know that I have The Dude as company in hating The Eagles.
I’m pretty good at tuning out bad music, but songs by The Cars have the ability to get under my skin and grate at my nerves. It’s hard to listen to music that causes such a physical reaction. Of course, everyone loves The Cars, and as they’re a Boston band I will be doubly ostracized for not liking them.
This band causes pretty much the same effect as The Cars, the physical inability to ignore the music, and the mood-altering affects of a seething boredom. In my experience, people who love The Cars also love The Pretenders. They must be made of stronger stuff than me.
There is a subculture of people known as Parrotheads who wear floral shirts and leis, sip mixed drinks, and generally seem to have a chill time hanging out together. They seem like nice people having a fun lifestyle. But I just don’t understand how they’re brought together by an old white dude singing overproduced and country-tinged calypso songs. So much color comes from so much blandness?
Allman Brothers/Lynyrd Skynyrd
Speaking of country and mixing it with other genres, I’ve never been able to tell these bands apart and even if they’re being ironic, I don’t see why they have such a wide appeal outside of the former Confederate states.
This is one I thought people were in general agreement on. In the 80s & 90s we could look back at the excess and melodrama of the 1970s and laugh about what crazy things got popular during those heady days, and Queen was the epitome of this. Remember when Wayne’s World parodied losers driving around singing “Bohemian Rhapsody?” But then, within in the last decade people started admiting in dribs and drabs that they unironically liked Queen, and now they seem to be universally accepted as one of the great rock bands of all time! Ok, “Under Pressure” is a great tune and baseball games would not be the same without “We Will Rock You” and “Another One Bites the Dust,” but “greatest of all time” is a case of dramatic excess worthy of a suite of Queen songs.
By now you may sense a theme that I don’t like rock music that is a) from the 1970s, b) prog rock, and/or c) excessive and overly dramatic. So you should not be surprised to see Meat Loaf on this list
This is a band that music critics and fans I respect go on and on about how great they are. Yet, the music of Wilco makes absolutely no impression on me. They’re kind of the opposite of the Cars/Pretenders in that it goes in one ear and out the other. So I can’t say I dislike Wilco so much as I am completely unable to remember Wilco, and thus cannot understand why they’re so beloved by others.