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June 2007

All Over the Map
by Rob Grace
June 27, 2007

Two weeks ago, I picked my personal Top 24 Rock Songs of All Time and printed them in this space. My inspiration for the column came from, of all people, Stephen King, who published his personal Top 24 Rock Songs of All Time in a recent issue of Entertainment Weekly. (The reasoning of 24, instead of 20 or 25, came from 24 hours in a day.)

Since the column, I've received a number of lists from regular readers of this space, and I've heard from some folks who consider the majority of my list bunk. (Chief complaint: "Too much Springsteen." Another complaint: "I've never heard of most of your songs.")

Anyway, I've printed some submitted lists below. Ponder them and discuss among yourselves.

From a reader who wished to remain nameless (comments are his):

1. Jailhouse Rock by Elvis Presley (has to be #1 - he's the King)
2. Help by The Beatles
3. Won't Get Fooled Again by The Who
4. Eminence Front by The Who
5. She Loves You by The Beatles
6. I Heard It Through the Grapevine by Marvin Gaye or Creedence Clearwater Revival -- take your pick
7. Going Mobile by The Who
8. Johnny B. Goode by Chuck Berry (no Top Rock Songs list is complete without at least one Chuck Berry song)
9. Green River by Creedence Clearwater Revival
10. That'll Be The Day by Buddy Holly
11. Oh Pretty Woman by Roy Orbison
12. Good Rockin' Tonight by Elvis Presley
13. Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison
14. Jumpin' Jack Flash by the Rolling Stones
15. Rock This Town by Stray Cats
16. Good Golly Miss Molly by Little Richard
17. Blue Suede Shoes by Elvis Presley
18. I Get Around by The Beach Boys
19. Gimme Some Lovin' by the Spencer Davis Group
20. Cowboy Song by Thin Lizzy
21. All Along the Watchtower by Jimi Hendrix
22. Great Balls of Fire by Jerry Lee Lewis
23. You Really Got Me by The Kinks
24. Soothe Me by Sam & Dave

Honorable Mentions: Respect by Aretha Franklin; Rescue Me by Fontella Bass; Garden Party, Travelin' Man and Fools Rush In by Rick Nelson (to whom The Eagles owe a huge debt); Needle and the Spoon and Gimme Three Steps by Lynyrd Skynyrd; Fortunate Son, Bad Moon Rising, It Came Out of the Sky, Hey Tonight and Up Around the Bend by Creedence Clearwater Revival; Roam by The B-52s; Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay by Otis Redding; Dancin' in the Street by Martha & the Vandellas; Twist & Shout by The Beatles.

From a local doctor, here's a list of his 24 favorite songs -- in no particular order:

1. Every Little Thing She Does is Magic by The Police
2. Sultans of Swing by Dire Straits
3. Changes by David Bowie
4. Won't Get Fooled Again by The Who
5. London Calling by The Clash
6. Sunday Bloody Sunday by U2
7. Radio Free Europe by R.E.M.
8. Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd
9. All Right Now by Free
10. Feel Like Makin' Love by Bad Company
11. Lonely is the Night by Billy Squier
12. Clocks by Coldplay
13. Fortunate Son by Creedence Clearwater Revival
14. (She Sells) Sanctuary by The Cult
15. Bad to the Bone by George Thorogood & the Destroyers
16. The One Thing by INXS
17. Immigrant Song by Led Zeppelin
18. That Smell by Lynyrd Skynyrd
19. Tie Your Mother Down by Queen
20. Sympathy for the Devil by the Rolling Stones
21. Interstate Love Song by Stone Temple Pilots
22. One by U2
23. Enter Sandman by Metallica
24. Back in Black by AC/DC

Finally, a reader named Steve couldn't help himself. He submitted two lists of his Top 24 Rock Songs of All Time.

His first:

1. Over The Hills and Far Away by Led Zeppelin
2. Maybe I'm Amazed by Paul McCartney and Wings
3. Won't Get Fooled Again by The Who
4. I Want to Hold Your Hand by The Beatles
5. Brown Sugar by the Rolling Stones
6. Blue Sky by the Allman Brothers Band
7. Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd
8. Tears Don't Matter Much by Lucero
9. Magic Bus by The Who
10. Rockin' in the Free World by Neil Young
11. Roxanne by The Police
12. Train in Vain by The Clash
13. Changes by David Bowie
14. A Nirvana song with a title that's not appropriate for this publication
15. Under My Thumb by the Rolling Stones
16. Jessica by the Allman Brothers Band
17. Let My Baby Ride by R.L. Burnside
18. The Thrill is Gone by B.B. King
19. 1985 by Paul McCartney and Wings
20. Black Magic Woman by Santana
21. Gimme All Your Lovin' by ZZ Top
22. Gold Dust Woman by Fleetwood Mac
23. Fool for the City by Foghat
24. Sweet Jane by Velvet Underground

And his second list:

1. All Along the Watchtower by Jimi Hendrix
2. Even Better Than the Real Thing by U2
3. Gimme Some Lovin' by the Spencer Davis Group
4. Rebel Rebel by David Bowie
5. Rough Boys by Pete Townsend
6. The Core by Eric Clapton
7. Time by The Chambers Brothers
8. Suite: Judy Blue Eyes by Crosby, Stills & Nash
9. Tenth Avenue Freeze Out by Bruce Springsteen
10. Hurricane by Bob Dylan
11. Mr. Blue Sky by Electric Light Orchestra
12. Burning For You by Blue Oyster Cult
13. Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana
14. All Right Now by Free
15. Midnight Rider by the Allman Brothers Band
16. Are You Gonna Be My Girl by Jet
17. Nothing Else Matters by Metallica
18. Beautiful Loser/Traveling Man by Bob Seger
19. Roll With the Changes by R.E.O. Speedwagon
20. Just the Same Way by Journey
21. Ballad of Curtis Lowe by Lynyrd Skynyrd
22. Electrical Storm by U2
23. Fortunate Son by Creedence Clearwater Revival
24. Working Class Hero by John Lennon

You can write Rob in care of Arkansas Weekly, or e-mail him at You can view Rob's blog at

All Over the Map
by Rob Grace
June 20, 2007

Greetings dear reader.

I will be skipping this week due to limited space. Next week, I'll tell you all about my dream to bring warring Los Angeles gangs together by introducing them to the art of square dancing.

Actually, some readers have submitted their choices for the Top 24 Rock Songs of All Time, and next week I'll print a few in this space.

Have a great week!

You can write Rob in care of Arkansas Weekly, or e-mail him at You can view Rob's blog at

All Over the Map
by Rob Grace
June 13, 2007

6:30 a.m. Friday, June 8.

I tell you this because our printing schedule at Arkansas Weekly demands that everything be delivered to the printer on the Friday before publication, and I am very much past our office deadline. (The free classifieds we print have a deadline of noon on the Thursday before publication -- so I am cutting it close, as well as making our graphics manager very unhappy. But that's why I'm here: to irritate my fellow workers.)

Yet the news of today -- again, June 8 -- demands I wait to the very last minute.

You see, dear reader, one of the most important news events of our life is rapidly unfolding as I type these words, and I want to make sure I have all the details in order to properly pontificate on this incident.

By the time you read these words, much of the events surrounding this developing story will have been settled -- so, perhaps this column was written in vain. But I still believe that you, dear reader, would want to know my thoughts on this event that will likely have international reverberations for years to come.

Of course, the story of which I write is the continuing saga of Paris Hilton.

As we all know, yesterday morning -- June 7, our national nightmare ended with the release of Ms. Hilton from a Los Angeles jail facility. She had been unfairly incarcerated since June 4 for some trumped up charge or something. I don't know -- driving on a suspended license or something trivial like that.

At the time, her sentence for 40 days in jail drew rightful worldwide outrage. Who in the heck did this judge think he was? This was PARIS HILTON. Paris Hilton does not go to, of all places, jail! She is the international face of everything that is right about America. When our friends around the world think of America, the first thing that pops into their heads is Paris Hilton. She represents the riches that one can have in this country. She represents opportunity, hard work, and of course, pizzazz! (Remember she did once work at a Sonic in Altus, Arkansas -- so, yes, she has paid her dues.) Yet when some judge decides to heartlessly toss her in some jail with criminals, another image of America develops in the eyes of our foreign friends: INJUSTICE!

The jail sentence handed down to Ms. Hilton ranks up there with other horrific injustices perpetrated by those in this country who wished to soil America's reputation: the Abu Ghraib prison scandal in Iraq, the Rodney King beating, and of course, the cancellation of Full House in 1995.

Yet when Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca released Paris because of some potential psychological problems she was having, America -- and the world -- collectively let out a sigh of relief. Celebration parties across the globe spontaneously developed. In major cities, there were all types of people dancing in the streets. Paris was free. Glory halleluiah, Paris was free!

Then...the tide turned.

Word from Los Angeles came that Paris still had to serve her sentence with home confinement. The evil snake that is injustice had struck again.

How would we survive knowing that Paris would not be able to walk down a red carpet, enveloped by the camera flashes of adoring photographers and fans, for 40 days?!? She wouldn't even be able to go shopping, for the sake of heaven!

Comfort did come in the realization that Paris would be able to be in the loving companionship of her friends, family and of course, her beloved dog, Tinkerbell. Yet denying Paris the opportunity to live her life as she deserves was still a bitter pill to swallow.

Then, more horrible news: this morning -- again it is June 8 as I type these words -- it was revealed that the demonic judge who threw Paris in jail has demanded she come to his court later today.

Hasn't Paris lived through enough trauma? Remember the feud she had with Nicole Richie? Remember the unfair reception to her groundbreaking singing debut? And remember, earlier this year, it was revealed that she had somehow also contracted herpes? (Many of us still question how such a virtuous young woman could contract a disease usually associated with lust-filled sex deviants. A conspiracy, perhaps?)

Regardless, the time has come for me to turn in this column to our graphics manager at Arkansas Weekly. I will be eagerly awaiting word from the Los Angeles courthouse this afternoon on the fate of America's closest thing to a royal princess. In the meantime, I will hold a prayer vigil in this time of national crisis.

We're here for you, Paris. Stay strong. And more importantly, stay glamorous!

* * *

I've been receiving feedback from my list of the Top 24 Rock Songs of All Time. I will post some of them on my blog at, and in a later column.

Thanks for all the comments.

You can write Rob in care of Arkansas Weekly, or e-mail him at You can view Rob's blog at


All Over the Map
by Rob Grace
June 6, 2007

Blockbuster novelist Stephen King recently released his choices for the Top 24 Rock Songs of All Time. (Twenty-four for the hours in the day.) King, who published the list in his monthly column for Entertainment Weekly magazine, has always been a rock fan. He is even a member of The Rock Bottom Remainders, a band with such fellow best-selling authors as Dave Barry, Mitch Albom, Amy Tan and Scott Turow.

King's list included such gems as "Dead Flowers" by the Rolling Stones, "Burning Love" by Elvis Presley, and "Ramrod" by Bruce Springsteen. However, there seemed to be a few duds in there as well: "On the Dark Side" by John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band (!); "Stupid Cupid" by Connie Francis (!!); and "I Want to Help You Ann" by the Lyres (What!?!? Who!?!?).

Anyway, it got me to thinking: What would I put on my list? (I know what I wouldn't put on it. "Stupid Cupid," for one.) But compiling such a list is a fool's errand. There are simply too many classic rock songs out there to narrow down to 24.

Finally, I just decided to name some songs off the top of my head, songs that have left a lasting impression on me for years. There will be more than one from some of the same artists, namely Springsteen, the Stones, the Who and The Beatles. But, that's one reason those artists are legendary.

24. "I Can't Explain" by The Who
23. "I Saw Her Standing There" by The Beatles
22. "No Quarter" by Led Zeppelin
21. "Train in Vain" by The Clash
20. "My Sharona" by The Knack (I don't care what anyone says -- this song never grows old. It's beyond infectious.)
19. "Tempted" by Squeeze
18. "Cadillac Ranch" by Bruce Springsteen
17. "Folsom Prison Blues" by Johnny Cash ("Well, I shot a man in Reno/Just to watch him die." Best set of lyrics ever.)
16. "Rocks Off" by the Rolling Stones
15. "Someday" by Steve Earle
14. "Brown Sugar" by the Rolling Stones
13. "A Big Hunk o' Love" by Elvis Presley
12. "Lucille" by Little Richard
11. "Who Are You?" by The Who
10. "Don't Let Me Down" by The Beatles
9. "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding" by Elvis Costello
8. "Romeo and Juliet" by Dire Straits
7. "Fall on Me" by R.E.M.
6. "Roxanne" by The Police
5. "One" by U2
4. "Baba O'Riley" by The Who
3. "Atlantic City" by Bruce Springsteen
2. "Gimme Shelter" by the Rolling Stones
1. "Born to Run" by Bruce Springsteen

There you go. It's guaranteed that each and every one of those songs have played full blast on my car radio at least once in the past six months. And, if you would have seen me at a stoplight while one of those tunes was pumping out of my speakers, you likely saw me screaming along.

Feel free to send your list of the top 24 rock songs of all time. I'll print them in this column or on my blog, the address of which is listed below.

You can write Rob in care of Arkansas Weekly, or e-mail him at You can view Rob's blog at


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