The 10 biggest classic rock douchebags

Categories: Classic Rock
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Photo courtesy of FLICKR/Takahiro Kyono
While rock 'n' roll is necessarily classified as a form of pop music, it is actually an idiom whose radical, destructive primitivism established a new type of socio-cultural disorder. It's about rejection of the status quo and celebration of the dis-imprisonment it instills.

Always exploited for profit, rock's unmanageable aspects have been steadily diluted by a sinister, commercially driven course of revisionist myth-making. There is no acceptable role in the marketplace for radicals like Charlie Feathers, Poly Styrene, Lux Interior or Roky Erickson, but there's always room for the homogeneous, money-hungry, play-it-safe phonies on this list.

These douchebags all have one thing in common -- they screwed up rock 'n' roll, big time.

See also:
The 10 biggest douchebags in country music
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Arista Records
10. Jerry Garcia 
Garcia's gutless, drug-addled brand of candyass jamming wreaked havoc on rock 'n' roll, derailing what had been a form of rebel confrontation and paving the way for spineless hippie quasi-folk. Garcia's guitar was always listless, flabby and aimless. He never went anywhere and always took his sweet time doing it, yet is endlessly venerated as a soloist on par with the greatest names in musical history. Hogwash. The ultimate illustration of Garcia's dead-from-the-neck-up approach came when an SFPD officer, patrolling Golden Gate Park at noontime in January 1985, got an acrid whiff of Garcia's burning cocaine -- the peace-and-love icon was freebasing in the front seat of his BMW. Far out, man.
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Courtesy of the label
9. Bob Dylan
A serial plagiarist (Google that -- the citations are endless) and "moon/June"-level lyricist, Dylan's masterly employ of the mediocre -- that ingredient so essential to American pop culture enshrinement -- has kept millions of unthinking listeners in a somnambulistic state. Seriously, kids, just because it rhymes ("the pump don't work 'cause the vandals took the handle") doesn't add any weight, and just because it's topical (whether Emmett Till or Rubin Carter) doesn't make it significant. Even Dylan's primitive vocal style is entirely hijacked, from bluegrass singer Carter Stanley. His peer Joni Mitchell said it best in a 2010 L.A. Times interview: "He's a plagiarist, and his name and voice are fake. Everything about Bob is a deception."
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Courtesy of FLICKR/ceebdub13
8. John Fogerty
Consumed by an obsessive victim mentality, Fogerty allowed a standard music rip-off deal orchestrated by Fantasy Records' Saul Zaentz to transform his life, music and personality. In the resulting frenzy of litigation, he sued everyone, repeatedly, including his former Credence Clearwater Revival bandmates, and spewed his venomous frustration in a series of ridiculous songs, notably the idiotic "Zanz Can't Dance." Snatching karmic defeat from the jaws of legal victory by refusing to let his former colleagues perform at Creedence's Hall of Fame induction, Fogerty's self-propelled legacy of sanitized bubblegum blues and all around douchery is unparalleled.
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Courtesy of FLICKR/Man Alive!

7. Lou Reed
A chronic dullard whose turgid output steadily degenerated over six interminable decades, Reed, like his stale monotone vocal delivery, was so relentlessly and unengagingly depressive that the approximately 20 minutes of influential rock 'n' roll he participated in wholly invalidates itself -- and brings to mind the infinite monkey theorem (wherein a primate with a typewriter would eventually produce the complete works of Shakespeare). If, as Reed so pretentiously did, one feels compelled to identify oneself as "a poet from New York City," fine. Just stay the hell away from rock 'n' roll.


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318 comments
stacyoncemore
stacyoncemore

A serial guttersnipe (Google that - "Whiteside guttersnipe"). Anyone who has ever met this guy knows he is the type of person who if he did not have a toilet of his own, he'd be peeing right on the public sidewalk. Disregard and shun people like this, and unsubscribe and un-"like" the Weekly and City Pages and complain to each that "writers" like him who are almost universally poisonous but supportive of their own friend's bands should be disqualified from their employment.

RightJeff
RightJeff

Love the list... except:


John Lennon:  Douchebag?,yes (as a person), but pretty hard to discount the Beatles music. (yeah go ahead and try)

Zappa:  Not really a classic rock Icon.


Replace these two with Mick Jagger and Pete Townsend and You've really nailed it!!


(and i don't feel the need to attack anyone else's post to prove my credibility)

usaangelhere
usaangelhere

The one thing these ten artists has, that Jonny Whiteside  lacks, (TALENT)

Sounds like Jonny Whiteside needs to take a few months at "The Ronald Reagan home for the incredibility stupid" (Michele Bachmann ward)

greg11360
greg11360

Listening to pretty much any one of these shitty musicians gives me a instant headache.

Sarah Larson
Sarah Larson

Good one Jessica Ford!! Hahaha I hope this article is a joke

oldwise65
oldwise65

You are really a scumbag probably a Tea bagger

Jessica Ford
Jessica Ford

The only douchbag is the one who made this list.

Yazoo
Yazoo

Great irony - I laughed both cheeks off.

I think the commentary on Jerry Garcia was the best of the lot, and therefore he should be rated at least #2. Mr Whiteside viewpoint shows bias as he obviously is jealous of the BMW and the substance.

jenniferschultz2009
jenniferschultz2009

You got many of these all wrong. AND your forgot the biggest douche bag of all Ted Nugent!!!!!

llnystrom
llnystrom

What has this guy been smokin?  

ds7734
ds7734

The biggest douchebag to not make the list was the writer himself.

Bill Wyers
Bill Wyers

This list is only about 50% accurate. Is Jonny Whiteside a bitter musician that didn't make it?

Reginald Tulk
Reginald Tulk

Whoever Johnny Whiteside is, he has no clue. I'll not be reading any more city pages crap.

Barry Rubin
Barry Rubin

Is this really City Pages or an article in The Onion? What a total incompetent moron who would write this.

crystalraejensen
crystalraejensen

In reading the reasoning for Zappa's being the #1 douche-baggiest, I got the joke.  The journalist is doing exactly what he's "accusing" Zappa of doing.  That's deep, and I like it.


mohanlon3
mohanlon3

The top ten city pages writers who hope one day to be worthy of being called a douchebag,. wait, do we have to limit it to less than ten?

Trent Heiss
Trent Heiss

jerry garcia definitely sucks! or sucked anyways.

jason.dorweiler
jason.dorweiler topcommenter

Really, you are listing some great names that shaped music. When you list names without actually meeting or interviewing these musicians it makes you look incredibly stupid. Now fuck off and find a real story.

Jack Hicks
Jack Hicks

Sorry, I just can't agree with this one.

August Scheppers
August Scheppers

I'm curious to know what they think the 10 greatest rock n roll musicians are....

Colleen Schille
Colleen Schille

Let me guess..Johnny Whiteside \U0001f49c Justin beiber, Miley cyrus, etc.

Andy Simser
Andy Simser

Seriously he rags on revisionist views of rock n roll, while writing an article 40 years after the fact. Somebody get this guy a beer or a joint, maybe he'll calm down.

Andy Simser
Andy Simser

We can add this guy to the list of top ten douchebags in the twin cities. Somewhere between Jesse Ventura and anyone who listens to 93x.

Sari Green
Sari Green

Wow even more reason now to strongly dis like the City Pages! Write better material!

Mary Schille
Mary Schille

1 man's opinion don't get me started they can write what ever trash they want to, just like the national Enquire, he's just looking for attention. that's how we get serial killers they want to be famous, medication sometimes help with illnesses such as these! LOL!

Fozzy Bear
Fozzy Bear

Write better music than these artists...then you can write articles like this.

Kenny Hilliard
Kenny Hilliard

Thanks Kelly Loverud I bet Carlyle Dean got a big laugh about it. I sure did..

Valerie Voeks
Valerie Voeks

City Pages has gotten peerless in dredging through the muck somehow keep it all together. Only an infusion of some poor, hungry new journalists and writers can save these hacks.

Larry King
Larry King

If this writer believes what he wrote, I truly feel sorry for him and his inability to recognize and celebrate true talent.

Hauren Lenry
Hauren Lenry

I bet the author thinks Adam Sandler's a douchebag too.

Hauren Lenry
Hauren Lenry

Wow. All I can say is this article is complete bullshit! There's honestly nothing else to say about it. Only douchebag here is the author.

Paul Gerst
Paul Gerst

This is just so trying to piss people off and get them to click and interact. IGNORE this imbecile and everyone like them.

Katie Mcgrade
Katie Mcgrade

City pages really? Not into the hate in this article.

Wade Wutschke
Wade Wutschke

What kind of rag even puts crap like this out there. Just because I may not listen to the same thing you do? Really, the history of rock music full of many styles and choices. Whatever you idiot!

Rikki Omdahl
Rikki Omdahl

So negative. Also, many unresearched rumors = bad journalism.

David Anderson
David Anderson

City Pages Minneapolis, i miss the Reader. You continue to devolve into nothing but pointless ads and poorly written drivel. "Unlike." Johnny Whiteside? I am willing to bet that is a pseudonym, if not why are you scared to use your real name? My Name is David Anderson and I think Pitchfork, Connor Oberst, as well as 80% of what 89.3 The Current plays ruined music.

Matt Millage
Matt Millage

I completely agree with all of this, and it's nice to see someone finally speak up.

artguy
artguy

Agreed Reginald. Johnny Whatshishead seems like the 

douchebag  to me.  LOL. -City Pages has lost me on this one. Reads more like the Onion. ~Lame-O.

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