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Ex Lion Tamer
08-10-2004, 06:02 AM
I've seen recently a couple of mags with cover stories on the 100 best front men in rock history. One was limited to "hard" rock and had the usual suspects you'd expect; Plant, Mercury, Daltrey, D.L. Roth, Ozzy, et al, (but inexplicably forgot Jagger). The other didn't limit itself to hard rock, so included other typicals like Springsteen, Gabriel, Waters, Byrne, Jagger, Lydon, Strummer, Cobain etc...

Thought we'd like to do our own list with some others that may or not have been overlooked by the mainstream media. Here's a few to get us going...

Shane McGowan; saw The Pogues twice back in the '80s and Mr. McGowan was fantastic each time. Coherent enough to give it his all and drunk enough to add a nice edge.

Lux Interior; Insanity reigned at the Cramps show I saw. Mr. Interior was the chief nut-job.

Gordon Gano; Another justly lauded live act, though the Femmes were more of a group effort, Gano still had a certain magnetism.

Isaac Brock; I saw Modest Mouse this weekend. The show was great and Isaac Brock definitely has IT.


Andy Gill (Gang of Four)
Ian Curtis (Joy Division)
Lou Reed
Paul Weller
Billy Bragg

So let's see your list...

08-10-2004, 06:23 AM
I'll add:

Ray Davies
Paul Westerberg
Travis Morrison

08-10-2004, 06:33 AM
For sheer intensity...you gotta toss Henry Rollins in there.

Then, of course, there's Iggy Pop, Johnny Rotten, David Johansen, and others.

Those are just a few off the top of my head. I may stop back and add more later.

08-10-2004, 07:18 AM
Excellent call on Shane MacGowan - I saw him a handful of times and I would say his state of inebriation ran from a pleasant slight intoxication to passed out mid show on stage in a blind stupor. I just read the Pogues and Shane might be back together. That would be nice!

How about Jarvis Cocker from Pulp as a top front man...

08-10-2004, 07:41 AM
Phil Lynott

David Byron

Peter Gabriel


08-10-2004, 07:52 AM
Jim Morrison
Freddie Mercury
Greg Duhli (sp?)

08-10-2004, 08:04 AM
Jon Anderson
Ian Anderson
Billy Gibbons
Jay Ferguson
Burton Cummings
Todd Rungren
Sammy Hagar
Dave Clark

mad rhetorik
08-10-2004, 08:07 AM
Ozzy Ozbourne
Ronnie James Dio
Chuck D. (of course, that's hip-hop..he has a pretty menacing prescence)
David Bowie (no mentions of Bowie yet?!?)
Axl Rose (okay, he's a passive-aggressive tool... but fun to watch, for sure)
Maynard James Keenan
Johnny Rotten
Chris Cornell
Jello Biafra
Perry Farrell
Wendy O. (of the Plasmatics...assuming that women count)
Cedric Bixler (that afro-headed singer from At The Drive-In/Mars Volta)
Jon Spencer
Joey Ramone
Mike Patton (he steals the show of every band he's in)
Black Francis/Frank Black
Steve Tyler
Rev. Horton Heat
B.B. King
Jimi Hendrix
Stevie Ray Vaughn
Johnny Cash

08-10-2004, 08:12 AM
Ian Anderson. Do I really need to explain why?
Warren Haynes (Gov't Mule). Excellent guitarist/singer/songwriter. A tireless performer.
Adrian Belew (King Crimson). I like his style. And his voice.

Dusty Chalk
08-10-2004, 09:45 PM
Blixa Bargeld -- this man can do this ultra-high falsetto in control, on command, every time. I've also seen him perform all the vocal loops on NNNAAAMMM in perfect sync, live. He's just a very tight musician, fronting a band of tight musicians.

Edward Ka-Spel -- seems like the Clark Kent type in real life, becomes this super-man type on stage. Or perhaps a Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde comparison would be more appropriate.

Steve Kilbey -- just a very watchable and charismatic performer.

Steve Vai -- just has too much fun up there. There was one time where he was making up hand gestures, and the band had to follow them. He "threw" control of the band over to someone in the audience, and they still followed it. Even when the audience member extended his middle finger (it was somehow appropriate). He also magically "retracted" control, and all without missing a beat.

Satch -- chrome guitar, bald head, "reflecto" sunglasses -- he's from another planet, and I dig it.

Trent Reznor -- the man creates a very specific atmosphere that is completely in line with the Nine Inch Nails "image" perfectly. I know that sounds commercial, but for me, it's a good thing.

Al Jourgenson -- freak. *******. Everything you want in a front man for this kind of music.

Rob Zombie -- freak. Period.

Dave Gahan -- one of the few examples of me understanding what all the girls see in someone. The man just has a great voice, and knows it. Sure, it's pure ego-stroking, but somehow he makes it work. Really knows how to get an audience going.

Franz Treichler -- Young Gods. Just a really good front man for a really good live band. Best non-guitar guitar band ever.

Shirley Manson -- looked like she was the biggest fan of the music, more so than the audience.

Toni Halliday -- mesmerizing. I have a feeling they could play a concert with no audience. Watching her, the thought struck me that there are performers out there that play music for themselves, and we're just lucky enough to be allowed to watch as well.

I'll second Adrian Belew, Ian Anderson, and Greg Dulli (note spelling), Bowie. I've heard Freddie Mercury was good, but never saw him myself.