Van Halen and Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band Named Top American Rock Bands of All Time
Gibson.com's 1. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band: OK, so we all know Springsteen is a brilliant artist and a rock and roll songwriter of the highest echelon. But this isn't a list of the Top 50 American Rock Stars this is a band list. So, in this case, we're talking about Bruuuuuuuce and the heart-stopping, pants-dropping, house-rocking, earth-shaking, legendary E! Street! Band! Bruce wrote amazing songs about America the promise, the failures, the hard times and the glory days. But it took this most amazing of bar bands (assembled specifically for their performance prowess) to fully demonstrate the all-encompassing power of these songs, these anthems. This was a band that could go 3 hours, 4 hours, 5 hours and we're talking dynamic shows that could vary from a hushed arrangement of "The River" to the blazing epic "Rosalita," with the fearless frontman sliding all the way across the stage on his knees (even at age 60!) somewhere in between. Recently, E Street has been in mourning with the loss of organ player Danny Federici a few years ago, and saxophonist Clarence Clemons just a few weeks ago. If the group's marathon shows have taught us anything, it's that the E Street Band doesn't quit unless it's on their terms. We likely haven't heard the last of the greatest American band. Bryan Wawzenek
Gibson.com Reader's No 1. Van Halen (they were only No 6 on the Gibson list): I wonder if Van Halen clocking in only at #6 (they're #1 in my book) is because of the tumultuous nature of the inter-band relationships, as well and their many iterations over the years Van Halen, Van Hagar, Van Cherone, Van Roth II (oops maybe not), Hagar Roth, Van Hagar II, Van Roth III). Regardless, however you slice whoever's singing, Van Halen is one helluva'n American band. For virtually every rock guitarist under the age of, say, 55, most can tell you exactly where they were when they first heard Van Halen or, more specifically, where they were when they first heard Eddie's brain-crunching instrumental, "Eruption." That one track alone changed the direction of guitar-driven rock forever, and the genre has never been the same (just as I was never the same after witnessing from the front row in high school Diamond Dave preening around in buttless-chaps like he owned the joint, which he did.) No wonder Jeff Spicoli hired them with his reward money! Sean Patrick Dooley
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