Writer Ian Alterman, and his brothers Eric and Tony, create email threads that have left me intoxicated, annoyed, and most often in a mental frenzy as they suck me into all sorts of music minutia. But boy can they wax poetic; always an education. Ian's latest thread continues that trend:
"The following are arguably the dozen most recognizable opening guitar riffs in rock. I've arranged them alphabetically by band. However, I would be interested to see what order each of you puts them. You can use any criterion: favorite, most influential, most important, chronological, etc."
While I appreciated his list -- a very fine list, a list I could find very little fault with, and certainly a worthy email chain (that continues) -- I wanted my own list. That's the problem with lists, they are never definitive and almost never complete. Someone always feels slighted.
So I decided I would compile my own rock riff intro list. I did find merit in a few obvious choices from Ian's "Classic Rock" list, but most were a tad too pedestrian for my "garage rock" leanings. And I purposely left off The Beatles because I could have filled all twelve slots with their opening riffs. Ditto for Zep's Jimmy Page, early Kinks, The Who, Clapton (Cream, Derek & The Dominos), Hendrix, and a few other obvious omissions.