My friend Sarah was in town over Memorial Day, and we spent the weekend in the car, driving around and taking pictures of all kinds of offbeat L.A. landmarks (those Watts Towers are really short, up close). We thusly also spent a lot of time listening to the car radio, and as we flipped around, avoiding commercials, we kept coming across KROQ’s countdown of the 106.7 Biggest Bands of All Time.
Oh, how I love me a good list! This one was voted on by KROQ listeners, and when we first encountered the station, they were in the middle of a four-song block from the No. 8 band, U2. We sang along with a live version of “Bad” until we reached our destination, then got back in the car in time for the No. 5 band, Rage Against the Machine. The sound of me hollering “A BULLET IN YOUR HEAD!” provided a perfect soundtrack for our (unsuccessful) quest to find someplace where we could sneak down into the L.A. River. But Band No. 3, Sublime, was incredibly questionable. Really? Sublime as the third-biggest band of all time, KROQ listeners? Especially considering that, once the countdown whipped back around to the end, we learned that the Pixies were way down at No. 104, a full three slots below freakin’ Wolfmother (or, as the display on my digital car stereo read, “Wolfmoth”)?
Yeah, we started to smell something fishy. But we kept driving, andkept listening, and eventually learned that Nirvana were at No. 2,which left open the huge question, Who in the world would be No. 1?The Clash? Radiohead? Metallica? On Monday, we stopped for a drink atthe fabulous Chez Jay before I drove Sarah to the airport. As we pulled into the parking lot, the radiowas blasting Pearl Jam’s “Dissident,” and we figured this was perfect — any countdown that’s willing to put Sublime at No. 3 could certainlyvote Pearl Jam No. 1, right? I love Pearl Jam! I would have no problemswith that choice whatsoever…
But no! Pearl Jam was way down at No. 16! SIXTEEN! Beneath theKillers and Linkin Park! Oh God, PopWatchers, this could mean only onething. Only one band could rise to the top in that sort of environment,and they are pictured above: your No. 1 Biggest Band of All Time, According to the Fine Folk of the Los Angeles Area. I shall withholdcomment, except to say that I continue to like that “Snow (Hey Oh)”song, even though Sarah screamed at me to change the station when itcame on.
Here’s the complete list.Feel free to yell at it in the comments. Please. It thinks Panic! atthe Disco is a better band than Talking Heads! This is just notokay.