My favorite color is blue. My favorite food is bangers and mash. My favorite Stooge is Moe. My favorite ball club is The Phillies. My all-time favorite TV show is The Sopranos. My all-time favorite writer is Kurt Vonnegut. My all-time favorite filmmaker is Martin Scorsese. All easy choices. But I've had a hard time picking an all-time favorite band. For almost my entire adult life, I've had two favorite bands: The Clash and Bon Scott era AC/DC. It's just been too close to call. I love both. I could never put one over the other. They were 1 and 1A. But it's time to get off the fence. A final decision must be made. I hate being non-committal. So today, I'm going on the record.
AC/DC has a lot working in its favor. I've been a fan since the age of nine (I didn't get into The Clash until I was in my 20s). Bon Scott is my favorite rock and roll singer ever. Angus Young is my favorite guitar player ever. The Clash only had three great albums, whereas AC/DC with Bon Scott had twice that many.
However, The Clash has a strong case in its own right. London Calling is my favorite album. Self-titled (U.S. edition) is probably top five as well. "Guns of Brixton" is my favorite song. And if you add in all their early B-sides and non-LP tracks plus the good songs off of Sandinista! and Combat Rock, The Clash probably rivals AC/DC in terms of sheer volume of classic songs.
Musically, it's a dead heat. The fiery anthems of The Clash versus AC/DC's simple, perfect rock and roll. They both get ten out of ten in my book. So it all comes down to the gut. And the gut tells me to go with The Clash. AC/DC is great. AC/DC is Animal House. AC/DC is The Hangover. But The Clash is freaking Braveheart! The Clash is The Only Band That Matters! I'm a happily married man of 40. Song after song about banging chicks, while still appealing to that part of me that will always be 16 years old, doesn't quite speak to me the way "Clampdown" or "White Riot" does. That shit gets me fired up! The Clash is the sort of favorite band a man can grow old with. Their music is about fighting against the powers that oppress. Their music is about dissent. Their music is about questioning the so-called "truths" most people blindly accept. The day I stop relating to AC/DC is the day I go to my doctor and ask about testosterone replacement therapy. The day I stop relating to The Clash is the day I know my soul has died. "When they kick at your front door/How you gonna come?/With your hand on your head/Or on the trigger of your gun?" Fuck yeah! I want those lyrics on my tombstone!