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so you wanna be a rock superstar...

Content later. I've got a quickie poll for now (which had the potential to get heated and ugly), stemming from a Fark discussion.

Who is the greatest rock and roll star of this generation.

Let's assume that for generation we mean current, say 1990 to now. Post-David Lee Roth (whom I consider the last great rock and roll star). And to further define rock STAR - I'd have to say someone who has a recognized name and face, so - famous, at least in the world of rock and roll (I'm not saying your grandmother has to recognize him). Basically, a Mick Jagger or Robert Plant. Drug addiction not requisite.

Some names tossed about: Dave Grohl, Scott Weiland, Chris Cornell, Eddie Vedder, Billy Corgan.

So, is there anyone who is a great rock star today?


Niel Sedaka!

Dude, if you're gonna be snarky, you could at least spell the name right.

Shows how much I know; I don't recognise a single one of the names you mentioned!

the low caffiene light is still on

Bo Bice.


Bono, even though he made his best music a long time ago, he is still around (saving Africans and such).

Bruce Dickinson (lead singer of Iron Maiden, solo work...which produced the best metal album of the 90s Chemical Wedding, airline pilot, author, Documentary host, broadcaster...and all around approchable nice guy).

The first one that comes to mind for me is Dave Navarro.

What about Kid Rock or Fred Durst?

It's not so much that I'm a fan of either but they seem to embody the 'rock star' attitude better than anyone else at the moment. The rest of the current crop is a little too laid back and intellectual -- I'll take midgets, Pam Anderson and home made porn over 'social awareness' and introspective noodling any day. I like my 'rock stars' drunk and loud.

I can't see Chris Cornell, Weiland, that annoying Radiohead guy or Grohl throwing midgets out of hotel windows into swimming pools filled with Pabst and groupies -- they are much more likely to nod out in a corner, curled up in a fetal ball muttering about their 'issues' and corporate greed.

See, Al understands what "rock star" is all about.

What I should have said is, who is this era's Keith Moon!

Lenny Kravitz for non-Pabst-based Rock and Roll stardom.

Using the Pabst-criterion, I'd go with Kid Rock.

Al's dead on. Unfortunately, they're the only 2 that really qualify under Keith Moon rules. There's plenty of OD cases during the 90s (Brad Nowell and Layne Staley to name 2), but none of them otherwise qualify as full-on stars from the oldschool.


Just stop it with the David Lee Roth stuff. David Lee Roth couldn't sing.
Just stop it.

He didn't have to be a great singer. He had EVH backing him up. He had great tunes to belt out. And he was an ENTERTAINER. A rock star must entertain.

Van Halen RULEZ!

the only one my mom would recognize out of that bunch is billy corgan, then again i was more of a bush fan in high school.

i think cobain was the last one. no rock band has ever been as ubiquitous since. courtney love would be more easily recognized by my entire family than any of those guys, and she's not really even a musician.

Okay then. Howabout the geeky looking guy from Cheap Trick? He's performed later than 1990. In Japan, I think. Cheap trick is still hot as a pistol over there. Elvis hot.

Gene Simmons. Without a doubt.

Kurt Cobain - he even did the "aged 27 Morrison-Hendrix-Joplin" career move.

The Nirvana stuff is priceless.

David Hasselhoff. Big in Germany, you know.

Seriously, I'd go with Kid Rock under the Keith Moon Rule. Before they sobered up, became annoying and started to suck, you might have said Hetfield or Ulrich. Post-1990 but pre-this moment, you'd probably include Axl. Most of the modern rock "stars" would be unrecognizable on the street to the average fan.

Terry, who cares if Roth could sing or not?

Rock stars don't have to be able to sing or even play their instruments. Stardom is a reflection of perception rather than reality and is the ultimate example of form over function. Talent certainly helps but it is by no means a prerequisite for 'star' status. David Foster Wallace is a great author and a capitol 'G' genius but I'm taking Stephen King to the beach and who do you think is going to be recognized at Wal-Mart?

There have been some really bad bands that have sold out arenas for years. If I want musicianship I can sit (nap?) through a three hour Fripp guitar 'workshop' -- if I want to be entertained I'll take Ted Nugent.

No one. No one does that anymore. Kid Rock doesn't stand out. Bono doesn't act like a drunken wild rock star, and also violates your 1990 rule. Too many other bands are anonymous and interchangeable.

Quick third-hand rock star story: My boss's brother opened for James Gang in the seventies. He watched Joe Walsh completely trash a hotel room. Apparently he stomped a birthday cake into the carpet, among other things. And didn't remember any of it the next day.

Michele, Courtney Love is the quintessential rock star. Visible, recognizable, prone to public meltdowns and like her or not, she gets your attention.

Anyway, Doll Parts is a great song and for anybody but Cobain's widow would have been a career maker even as a one hit wonder.

Yeah, I know nobody cares if a rock star can sing or not. I just have this dislike of DLR. Also the only thing I've listened to since 1990 is Tool and old country western yodeling. I had nuthin.
I think Bono (as a few commentators have nominated) is high on the list. He's a stage peacock, he's a celeb, and he's got talent.

Also the only thing I've listened to since 1990 is Tool

Well at least you didn't say Maynard, which someone on the Fark thread did.

He's not a rock star. He's an alien.

Anthony Kiedis!

Rock out.

I'd also have to go with Bono. Axl Rose would be a distant second.

sorry, but i think Bono sucks ass. hello, King of Self-Importance. or does Sting still have that title?

that's a list you should do - rock stars who, at one time rocked, but now, you just wish they'd shut the fuck up and disappear:

Bono: I guess you had some good songs a while back, but shut the fuck up now.
Sting: I loved the Police. I hate you.
Lars: up to the Black Album, I liked Metallica. Sell outs.

you've probably done that list already, huh. oh well.

Axl Rose, duh.
Ian Astbury (The Cult)
Anthony Kiedis
Michael Hutchence

But nobody fronted a band as well as David Lee Roth when I first saw Van Halen in 1978. Say what you will about him now, but that night he was a god.

Cobain. No one else comes close.

Vedder seems like a real anti-star, as far as a guy who goes out of his way to not embrace being a familiar face.

If you count out people like Bono or Springsteen who were already rock stars by 1990, I can't think of anybody at all. Maybe that's because I'm a grumpy old man now, but I don't think it's just that.


I would say no one today is even close to being a rock star similar to previous eras. That time has passed.

But then, I wonder how much the older names mentioned were rock stars at the time...how much of the sheen is due to nostalgia. (Yeah, yeah, I know they were big at the time, but were they as big then as we make them out to be now) And how much was due to narrower markets--fewer artists signed, released, etc. through the few channels they had to get to the public.

The closest thing to a rock star nowdays are the manufactured pop sensations or the country superstars. Oh well, can't form a thought here... where's my coffee...

Jesus, what a tough choice!

My vote would go to Vedder, Cobain, Bono, Weiland, or Keidis. Although Al is dead on about Courtney Love, Kid Rock and Fred Durst. I just can't vote for them, though. They make my teeth hurt.

Marilyn Manson.


Inasmuch as Steve Vai's "Passion and Warfare" came out in 1990, I'd put him in the group. That said, he performed with David Lee Roth after he left Van Halen, and his first. I honestly think the DRL/Vai albums are superior to anything Van Halen has done since DRL left, and are among the better rock albums of the late 80s.

Wild - rocking. Vai's shows are still incredible. He's probably the best rock guitarist on the planet.

I definitely have to back the suggestions of other for:

Scott Weiland
Courtney Love
Kid Rock

Bono is a huge star but, aside from his enormous ego, he really doesn't act like a petulant star.

Grohl is huge, but he doesn't act like a star. In fact, he looks and behaves like any nice, ordinary, unassuming kid from any middle class neighborhood.

Scott Weiland-

Awesome Live Performance... Check

Drug Addiction... Check

Several failed stints in rehab... Check

Arrested for Abuse... Check

Over-inflated ego... Check

come on, check out the nazi hat story(and pic) and tell me the guys not a rock superstar!


Not one person mentioned in this thread is anywhere near the class of Jagger, Richards, Fogerty, Springsteen, Petty - the list could go on. What's happened is that rock & roll has become a trivial, almost non-existent part of the music industry, and traditional rock & roll - meaning NOT Coldplay and their ilk - has virtually disappeared from the general public's radar.

There are tons and tons of great bands playing awesome, kick-ass rock & roll shows every night in this country, but most of them are doing it in bars that only hold a few hundred people at best. I mean, on the merits of the case, Mike Ness should be a HUGE rock star. It's not that there aren't great musicians out there, some of whom also have larger-than-life personas. It's just that not many people are paying attention these days - ESPECIALLY not many people within the upper management levels of the music industry.

I'm dedicated to doing whatever I can to change that circumstance, but it is a steeply uphill fight.

Billie Joe Armstrong

Yes! Marilyn Manson! He's done it allll, baby.

Man, there are some lame names being mentioned here. A rock star, to me, is a party animal, great looking, sex machine front man who puts on a great show. I agree David Lee Roth is the epitomy of rock star. I would submit these for consideration:
Nikki Sixx (technically not front man but cooler than Vince).
Ted Nugent
Paul Stanley

Steven Tyler still qualifies. I'm surprised nobody has listed him.

Here's the question: by the time we have another truly great new rocker, will he (or she) be the rock equivalent of Harry Connick jr., arriving late to dominate a dead genre? Will we rock fans, like the fans of the pop crooners of the 40s and 50s, spend our remaining decades cut off from pop culture, listening to our old records, trotting out our aging heroes, and reminiscing about the glory days?

I suspect so. Rock officially becamea sick old man about ten years ago, around the time that gangsta rap eclipsed rock as the soundtrack of youth, and nothing since has reversed the trend.

hmmm...Eminem might qualify. in fact, many rappers fit the old gold standard for "rockstar".

That Scott Weiland article re: the Nazi uniform got me to thinking...was there outrage when Jimmy Page started taking the stage in full Nazi SS attire circa 1977?

I must agree with you, Michele, on old Diamond Dave. The second he left VH, I stopped listening to anything new they put out. But I still have my "Eat 'em and Smile' and 'Skyscraper' tapes, BABY!

From this era, I have to admit to being a Kid Rock fan. I even have his unreleased stuff, via Napster before it became a pay service. I am also a Chris Cornell fan, if only for the uniqueness of his voice. On that subject, I will also mention Geoff Tate, of Queensryche. His voice is still pretty unique. Oh, and I still crank it up whenever I hear anything from Dio.

No no no no, Crank! I wish I had the time to explain why (I hope) you are soooo very wrong, but it ain't happenin' tonight. Just take my word for it until I have time in the morning. (Really, you can trust me ;-))


I think it has to be Anthony Kiedis from RHCP. He is the frontman for the band that has the tunes, dodgy past and still rock. And how many millions of women swoon when they see that photo of RHCP naked except for sock on their willy.

I also agree with Michele that DLR is the finest frontman. I have long believed that he was the template to follow if you wanted to be a successful rock star. He had the swagger, attitude and always sang about chasing women. Perfect!

Ozzy has done all that stuff Weiland has done in extremis. Of course, Ozzy has passed be a rock superstar and now is just a superstar period.

Paul Stanley
Gene Simmons

You have to go a long way to beat David Lee Roth back when he was with Van Halen but he sucks since he left them.

Ok, did everyone miss the "1990 to now" part of the post?

Henry Rollins

Liam Gallagher wins the UK edition. Idiot savant neanderthal fistfighting drug using celebrity-marrying, and the best singer in rock.

(And the new Oasis album isn't bas at all.....)

Trent Reznor

Are you kidding. Anthony Kiedis hands down. Nobody does it better.