It’s been a while since we stirred up the hornet’s nest with a question.  And honestly, I don’t even remember if we did this one before.  If I did, perhaps it’s time I hang up the TAP title and retire.  For now, we’ll ask the question anyway.

Rock music has been around for some time now.  With roots in the ’50s, Rock music itself is over 50 years old.  And personally, I don’t know how that makes me feel.  Oddly, there were vastly different kinds of music in the ’30s, and ’40s, before the ’50s gave birth to the rock band.  Since, while styles have changed, the basic concept of Rock and Roll has not.  Call that comforting, or not, I’m glad that the phenomena is still accessible even after all of these years.  It certainly could have been something else entirely.

GW1001_Keith_RICHARDSWith a multitude of bands to draw from, there have been some classic performers.  Rock and Roll was often more than just the music it produced.  It was also a style, a choice, a defining movement.  It allowed bands and its performers to set trends, to create the next style of music, to set the tone for the next generation of listeners.  Unfortunately, many of them failed.  Some only had a brief lifespan.  But some…some changed it all forever.  Some became the face and representative of Rock and Roll.  Some became it’s very embodiment.

All of us can easily point to one individual person as the quintessential face of Rock.  We may have a short list as well to choose from, but when you remove all of the subtleties, there is usually one.  for me, that is Keith Richards.

Honestly, I can think of no other one person that has so become the face of Rock and Roll.  Yes, there are many that come close, to be sure.  But if you blend in all of the many things that constitute a Rock star, then Keith is surely it.  It is his swagger, his bold experimentation, his influence, his ‘cool’ factor, his persona, his ability to craft a song, and to lead a band.  Yep, Keith Richards for me.

So, roll this around in your head a bit, and comment on who you think the end-all, be-all Rock and Roll poster boy (or girl) is. I’d actually be surprised if Keith didn’t take this bit of a poll by some kind of storm.

By MARowe

13 thoughts on “Who Is The Greatest Rock Star Persona?”
  1. Please don’t hang up the Tap title and retire but I think we have debated this in the past.
    It’s hard to argue with Keith Richards since he’s been the poster boy for so many years. Maybe a better question would be “Besides KR who is the greatest rock star persona”.
    I’ll throw out Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Page as a possible contenders.

  2. For me it’s Jimi Hendrix. So unique, such a strong rock personality that still shines so strongly after all these decades. Just say “Jimi” and so many images come to life.

  3. I see, a rhetorical question…considering that an iconic figure such as Pete Townsend ‘asked’ Keith if he could borrow that “windmill thing you do warming up before a gig” and subsequently introduced one of the most legendary stage histrionics for a guitar player to ever grace a stage…and considering that every cigarette hanging from a guitar player’s lips is straight from the original Keith catalogue…and considering that jackets draped over pirate shirts with armbands and assorted other copious amounts of jewelry were never observed before the Master of the Open ‘G’ introduced fashion to the optics of a enchanted audience…and also considering that every single drug related headline for musicians AUTOMATICALLY brings about a Keith reference (I distinctly recall Dennis Leary’s famous ‘we can’t do any drugs anymore, since Keith did them all and there are none left’ routine)….and considering that even today, certain artists from the realm of motion pictures have incorporated that Keith vibe and aura into their actual lives as well as their cinematic offerings…and when you consider how prolix and wordy this opus has been, waxing on about Keith and that the same COULD NOT BE DONE with any other aritist in the history of rock’n’roll….well, then I guess your answer would be Keith.

  4. For me, it’s a different Keith… Keith Moon. Love Keith Richards and Jimi Hendrix. They both are the epitome of cool-factor. But when I think of rock ‘n’ roll, and all the crazy and zany characters therein, for me it is Keith Moon who takes the cake. Such a character!

  5. If anybody can top Keith Richards it would be Mick Jagger. Hear me out here….
    Keith has amazing talent, swagger and far more street cred than any musician should be allowed but Mick has achieved the same stratospheric success and popularity with little more going for him except charisma and a desire to knock your socks off every time he performs. Mick’s not a particularly good singer, not a particularly good dancer and not since the 60’s has anyone ever thought he’s even remotely good looking but when he performs he owns the stage. His image is so iconic that his oversized lips were the inspiration for the band’s logo. In fact, Mick Jagger’s so good at being a rock star he can be the front man in the band Keith Richards plays in! That’s pretty amazing in and of itself.

  6. Other than Keith, the only person I can think of in the same style is Tom Waits (who Keith plays a bit of guitar for these days!). However given that Tom is not rock-and-roll (he tries very hard not to fit into any style), isn’t half as well known, and is definitely a Marmite taste, most people being on the dislike side, I have to agree with you, Matt.

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