Los Angeles, your sun and laid-back attitude calls to all of us.
There's something about the city, record company headquarters aside, that breeds good bands. Hundreds of excellent groups didn't just meet in L.A. or relocate there, but formed in the City of Angels.
On Sunday, Omahans will hail the return of one of Los Angeles' greatest bands, Red Hot Chili Peppers, who will perform here for the first time in almost a decade.
The funk-punk band has good company, plenty of other popular and influential artists have hailed from California's largest city.
While thinking about the Chili Peppers, we also thought about other L.A. greats and picked our 10 favorites — those bands formed in Los Angeles with Los Angeles people who performed in Los Angeles.
10. The Doors
Jim Morrison's frantic poetry and the band's rock tunes blew the doors off clubs like London Fog and Whisky a Go Go while blowing the minds of people all over the country in the late 1960s. “Light My Fire” and “Break on Through” are seminal rock songs that almost everyone knows.
9. Bad Religion
Since forming in 1979, Bad Religion has danced across the punk spectrum. That should be no surprise if you glance at the band's smattering of influences that include hardcore punk and new wave bands. Over the years, Bad Religion has managed to remain punk and take on various social ills while still cranking out toe-tapping, singalong rock songs, and for that, we love them.
8. Guns N Roses
GNR's continued playing of the Hollywood club scene brought the attention of major record labels during the early 1980s. One of the band's most famous (and most rocktacular) songs is “Welcome to the Jungle,” which is a metaphor for Los Angeles. With lines like “If you got the money, honey, we got your disease,” you know lead singer Axl Rose was partly paying tribute to his adopted hometown and also warning of its dangers.
7. Silversun Pickups
Named after late-night runs to a Silver Lake neighborhood liquor store, this fuzzy, buzzy indie rock group is the best band to come from L.A. in recent years. With melodic, but slamming tunes such as “Lazy Eye” and “Panic Switch,” the band keeps fans bouncing and popping. Their third record, “Neck of the Woods,” expands the sound and lets the rhythm section take a front seat next to lead singer/guitarist Brian Aubert's expert melodies and singing.
6. Rage Against the Machine
Mixing heavy metal and hip-hop, Rage Against the Machine takes the best of Public Enemy and Black Sabbath and turns it into politically charged, squelching rock. Songs such as “Killing in the Name,” “Bulls on Parade” and “Guerrilla Radio” (from the aptly named “The Battle of Los Angeles”) are some of the hardest-hitting rock songs from L.A. or anywhere.
5. Van Halen
This band started out playing backyard parties and barbecues in Pasadena and Hollywood before making it big and becoming one of the best-selling rock bands of all time. Whether the band played “Jump” or “Dance the Night Away” and whether it was fronted by David Lee Roth or Sammy Hagar (yes, we're aware of Gary Cherone, but we're not counting him), the band has been prolific in its hit-making.
4. Black Flag
The hardest of the hardcore punk bands adopted Henry Rollins from Washington, D.C., but they epitomized the L.A. punk scene in the late 1970s and early '80s. Guitarist and lyricist Greg Ginn took on authority with songs that were short bursts of incredible energy.
Jay-Z and Lil Wayne are good, but a few of the best rappers ever came from this collective, including Ice Cube, Dr. Dre and Eazy-E. They didn't come from the clubs on the Sunset Strip, but from the L.A. areas of Compton and South Central. Though expletive-filled, their lyrics were all about Compton life and were full of social commentary. “Straight Outta Compton” remains an amazing rap track.
2. Red Hot Chili Peppers
Songs such as “Under the Bridge” and “Californication” are not only about L.A. life, but also two of the best popular rock songs of the last two decades.
1. Mötley Crüe
The poster boys for hard-partying and L.A.-style rock star living are Nikki Sixx, Tommy Lee, Vince Neil and Mick Mars. Most of the band lived in California most of their lives and Lee and Neil met at their L.A. high school. Not only was Mötley Crüe the best of the glammed-up heavy metal bands, but they continue to kick out the jams with the same style. Their latest, “Saints of Los Angeles,” reflects on their times coming up in the Hollywood rock scene.
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