So perhaps you read about the Rolling Stone readers' poll. Readers of the venerable rag were asked to select the greatest punk bands of all-time. Demonstrating what a bad idea democracy can sometimes be, RS readers named Green Day the greatest punk band of all-time. Hopefully this honor does not come with certain benefits – like a large cash prize or an arsenal of super powers – that should have gone to the Ramones estate. But come on. Can anybody actually say they’re surprised by the selection of Green Day? It was, of course, a poll of RS readers, not writers (who probably would have picked an even worse band for #1!). The shocking thing, considering that this was the general public making the call, is that they got so much of the list right. The Clash, Ramones, Stooges, and Sex Pistols, who’d all make my list, made this one too. Misfits and Black Flag were solid choices. I can even abide Bad Brains cracking the top ten. Some selections made me shake my head a little (Social Distortion?), and others were easy to predict (Dead Kennedys). But, you know, it could have been so much worse. I would have bet money that Rancid was going to come in ahead of The Clash!
Listing the ten greatest punk bands of all-time is probably not as easy as it sounds. What the heck, I’ll give it a try:
4. Sex Pistols
6. The Damned
8. Stiff Little Fingers
If I re-did the list tomorrow, it would probably be slightly different. Clearly I played it safe, picking no bands from the ‘90s or even the ‘80s! I considered Black Flag, The Misfits, X, and a few others from that time period. I would not have ruled out Cock Sparrer. I considered Teengenerate from the ‘90s. But when it comes to punk music, I’m most definitely a traditionalist. Guilty as charged! You know what I’m asking for next: your top tens. Come on…let’s have it!