Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Readers' Top Rock Legends

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Readers' Top Rock Legends

Article excerpt

Well, we did ask for a second opinion.

When we ran our monumental (no pun intended) story about who belongs on rock's Mount Rushmore last Sunday, we gave it some thought.

We pondered the list of greats: Little Richard, Mick Jagger, Bob Dylan, Kurt Cobain. And after much soul-searching, we came up with the four faces that, we felt, represented pivotal, transformative points in the music's evolution: Chuck Berry, the original guitar hero; Elvis Presley, the iconic rock god; Jimi Hendrix, the modernist, and The Beatles - as represented on our imaginary Mount Rushmore by John Lennon - who put it all together.

Then we asked you for your opinion.

And we got an earful - not only from readers questioning our choices, but readers questioning our choice to do the story in the first place.

Here are a few:

"The most important name was left off the list! LESTER POLFUS!!!!! Well, you know him as Les Paul. No amplified guitar, no R&R," wrote William Cantor of Woodcliff Lake.

Well, Bill, you are right, and we are duly mortified. Especially since the late Les Paul was a longtime Mahwah resident. True, he wasn't himself a rock musician. Nor, for that matter, was he sole inventor of the electric guitar. But it is certainly impossible to imagine rock, as we know it, without Paul's iconic instrument. Whether or not he belongs on the mountain, he certainly rated a big mention.

"I loved your article but I think we would need something as big as the Grand Canyon," wrote Adrian Savonije of Wood-Ridge. "We would have to have Bob Marley in there, talk about someone who transcends the ages. ... There is also Frank Zappa, David Bowie, Alice Cooper, Led Zeppelin. ... But for me and probably millions more it would have to be the great JERRY GARCIA."

Thanks, Adrian, and I agree that it was hard to choose. We only left Marley out because we weren't quite sure if we could call him a "rock" musician. And we love Jerry ... dude.

"I believe that if you are speaking of Mount Rushmore, it should be limited to American artists. …

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