The most outrageous claims in rock
29 July 2023, 15:00
The best rock stars are the ones who keep us entertained with their grandiose claims. But sometimes, musicians go a little too far...
“We’re more popular than Jesus now."
"I don’t know which will go first - rock ‘n’ roll or Christianity.” said John in one of the most famous boasts in rock history.
Famous because it led to record burnings in the Southern states of America and a telling-off from the Pope. The band scraped through one last US tour in 1966 then put a stop to playing live.
"We're not arrogant, we just believe we're the best band in the world."
"This album is one of the best albums in the past 20 years."
Brandon Flowers of The Killers described their second album Sam's Town like this to MTV in 2006.
Having seen off The Bravery for apparently being Killers copyists, Brandon's confidence was clearly riding high.
"I've met the man in the street. He's a c**t."
In his Sex Pistols heyday, the punk icon was asked if he made his music with the man in the street in mind. That was his reply.
"I'm the best songwriter of my generation."
Borrell gave this grand statement to the NME in 2004. He added: "Ask me in 20 years about The Libertines." Well, both the Libertines and Razorlight are still here in 2023, so let's call that one a draw.
"Rock stars are fascists, too. Adolf Hitler was one of the first rock stars.”
David Bowie caused controversy in September 1976 when he told Playboy magazine that the Nazi leader and architect of the Holocaust was "quite as good as [Mick] Jagger." He went on: "Look at some of his films and see how he moved. It’s astounding. And, boy, when he hit that stage, he worked an audience." This was during Bowie's coked up "Thin White Duke" period and this interview, plus a photo in which he appeared to be giving a Nazi salute when arriving at Victoria station in London (he claimed he was just waving at the fans), meant that it took years for the superstar to shake off accusations that he was a fascist sympathiser.
"I want to be one of those people, be they writers, poets, musicians, who leaves clues for the next generation."
So said Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas in 2001 at the outset of his career. "The really good people leave clues that help feed the human race." Have you had enough yet?
"No one is probably going to believe it but he was the most influential Beatle."
"I'm the greatest rock and roll drummer on the planet and you suck."
Tre Cool on being Green Day's drummer
"I have a zoo."
Axl Rose on the benefits of being a rock star as told to Jimmy Fallon in 2012.