Worst. Band. Ever.
I asked Monty one time who he thought was the worst band in history and without hesitation he said, “Busta Rhymes.”
I laughed for a while then told him it had to be a band. Again, he didn’t even pause to reflect but answered, “The Doors.”
The Doors seems to be the consensus among a certain swath of music connoisseurs. On one hand, it’s inspiring to me because after a brief flirtation with classic rock in high school when I really tried to appreciate a band comprised of a pickless guitar player, egotistical alcoholic, the world’s most tasteless keyboard player and no bass player, I finally came to my senses and spent years wondering if other people thought The Doors were as insufferable as I did.
On the other hand, what about the Eagles? What I mean is, sure The Doors suck. I mean they suck in mind-blowing ways. And they suck in two ways crucial to establishing themselves as the worst band in history:
1) They were fairly popular. I don’t think you can nominate someone to be the worst band ever unless they have some sort of large appeal. Otherwise, you’re just picking on the defenseless. I mean, after all, worse bands are constantly being invented. But none has had Oliver Stone — that master of the overblown — direct a film about them. They’re all bush league in their suckage.
and 2) The Doors attract that certain breed of fan who insists that Jim Morrison was some sort of genius poet. Let me address those people for one second: he wasn’t. But that sort of fanaticism is elemental to establishing a band as the worst ever. You’ve got to have crazy people making crazy arguments for why you’re great to really, really suck. Jim Jones had his Kool-Aid drinkers and Jim Morrisson has his.
Think of it this way: The Eagles suck. They are just objectively horrible. But nobody’s making an argument that Don Henley is some sort of genius. Likewise, The Velvet Underground have plenty of people praising them to the rafters in really crazy ways. (After all, the band could not write a song.) But they never had enough popularity to establish their suckdom. If they had been popular, they’d be The Doors. Face it.
But I digress. What I was getting at originally is that maybe — and I’m just suggesting here — maybe The Doors aren’t actually the worst band in history. We do, as rock historians, have to take into account the fact that imbeciles with guitars and drums are constantly redefining new lows. And as much as you may hate it, you might be able to sing along with a couple of Doors songs. Yes, you will feel shame but you still know the words.
What I’d further suggest is that a band has come along in the past decade who fit all the criteria for the worst band in history: popularity, crazy fans, people from Hollywood liking them. But, unlike The Doors, they couldn’t play a note of music. I mean, they sold millions of records and didn’t ever even come close to recording a good song. For Christ’s sake, Fred Durst can write a song, but my nominee for the Worst Band in History just whiffed every time they got up to bat.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I nominate:
Rage Against the Machine.