The most outrageous claims in rock

17 May 2020, 13:00 | Updated: 17 May 2020, 13:01

Johnny Borrelll in 2006
Johnny Borrelll in 2006. Picture: Titia Hahne / Getty Images

The best rock stars are the ones who keep us entertained with their grandiose claims. But sometimes, musicians go a little too far...

  1. "I'm the best songwriter of my generation."

    Johnny Borrell onstage at V2006 festival
    Johnny Borrell onstage at V2006 festival. Picture: Tom Oldham/Pymca/Shutterstock

    Borrell gave this grand statement to the NME in 2004. He added: "Ask me in 20 years about The Libertines." Well, they're still here 16 years later... how are Razorlight doing?

  2. "I’m a bisexual man who’s never had a homosexual experience."

    Suede singer Brett Anderson poses for a portrait at the NME offices in London, 1993.
    Suede singer Brett Anderson poses for a portrait at the NME offices in London, 1993. Picture: Martyn Goodacre/Getty Images

    The Suede frontman gave this interesting declaration in a 1992 music press interview. It prompted Brian Molko to write the Placebo classic Nancy Boy.

  3. “We’re more popular than Jesus now."

    Bored Beatles meet the press in Los Angeles, August 1966.
    Bored Beatles meet the press in Los Angeles, August 1966. Picture: Jeff Hochberg/Getty Images

    "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.

  4. "We're not arrogant, we just believe we're the best band in the world."

    Noel Gallagher 2019
    Noel Gallagher 2019. Picture: Sharon Latham/Press

    Indeed.

  5. "I've met the man in the street. He's a c**t."

    Sid Vicious performing live onstage at Baton Rouge's Kingfisher Club, Louisiana, 1978
    Sid Vicious performing live onstage at Baton Rouge's Kingfisher Club, Louisiana, 1978. Picture: Richard E. Aaron/Redferns/Getty Images

    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.

  6. "Rock stars are fascists, too. Adolf Hitler was one of the first rock stars.”

    David Bowie waves to fans as he arrives at Victoria Station May 1976
    David Bowie waves to fans as he arrives at Victoria Station May 1976. Picture: Daily Mirror/Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images

    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, meant that it took years for the superstar to shake off accusations that he was a facist sympathiser.

  7. “Dance music was on its arse before we came along."

    Serge Pizzorno of Kasabian on stage during the 2009 Glastonbury Festival
    Serge Pizzorno of Kasabian on stage during the 2009 Glastonbury Festival. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Archive/PA Images

    This is what Kasabian guitarist Serge Pizzorno claimed in 2006.

  8. "This album is one of the best albums in the past 20 years."

    The Killers in Italy in 2006: Mark Stoermer, Ronnie Vannucci, Brandon Flowers and David Keuning
    The Killers in Italy in 2006: Mark Stoermer, Ronnie Vannucci, Brandon Flowers and David Keuning. Picture: Alessia Laudoni/Shutterstock

    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.

  9. "I want to be one of those people, be they writers, poets, musicians, who leaves clues for the next generation."

    The Strokes at the NME Awards in 2002
    The Strokes at the NME Awards in 2002. Picture: Myung Jung Kim/PA Archive/PA Images

    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?

  10. "No one is probably going to believe it but he was the most influential Beatle."

    Yoko Ono, John Lennon and Ringo Starr at the Roxy Theatre, Los Angeles, 1976
    Yoko Ono, John Lennon and Ringo Starr at the Roxy Theatre, Los Angeles, 1976. Picture: Brad Elterman/Shutterstock

    Yoko told Rolling Stone this surprising news about Ringo Starr in 2015. Hmmm.

  11. "I'm the greatest rock and roll drummer on the planet and you suck."

    Green Day 2019
    Green Day 2019. Picture: Press/Pamela Littky

    Tre Cool on being Green Day's drummer

  12. "I have a zoo."

    Axl Rose in 2016
    Axl Rose in 2016. Picture: USA TODAY Network/SIPA USA/PA Images

    Axl Rose on the benefits of being a rock star as told to Jimmy Fallon in 2012.