The other day, Jess Harvell posted a nice little essay over at Idolator called "Why The Misfits Are the Most Mythic of All New Jersey Bands." As you might imagine, Harvell argues that, more so than the Boss or Jon Bon, the Misfits don't just represent New Jersey, they are New Jersey. To wit:
Bruce Springsteen wants to aggrandize this statewide, neon-ringed cage into something befitting Oscar-worthy drama. (Or even the kitchen-sink, Mike Leigh sort of affair on his better albums.) Bon Jovi is happy to render it as straight-faced soap opera, Tommy and Gina united in futile love against a system that views them as so many ants. The Misfits, crawling like Mad Max villains over the state's plastic and plaster scrap heap, say fuck that. If the ship is going down, then drink up as the waters consume you. If all you've got is schlock, then make shlock so fierce it shuts up the naysayers and gives fist-pumping succor to the likeminded.
Keeping in mind the follow-up thread at Idolator (Dee Snider = Long Island) and the announcement that Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire" has been added to the list of songs for the upcoming Guitar Hero 5 game, alongside songs by The Raconteurs ("Steady as She Goes") and Kings of Leon ("Sex on Fire"), let's talk about who should be named The Most Mythic of All Tennessee Bands.
Obvious beyond all obviousness.
2. Hank Williams
About as obvious as No. 1. Some (people in Alabama) might claim him as theirs, and they probably should. But his legend was made in Nashville, so he's on our list.
3. Johnny Cash
He was known as The Man in Black, for crying out loud. That's Mythic. Some (people in Arkansas) might claim him as theirs, and they probably should. But his legend was made in Nashville, so he's on our list.
4. Tina Turner
A daughter of Nutbush, Tenn., Anna Mae Bulluck went on to become, well, Tina Turner. 'Nuff said.
5. Big Star
This band is basically the Velvet Underground of Tennessee--hugely influential, almost completely unknown in their time, still relevant.
6. Booker T. and the MG's
More or less the house band at Stax. 'Nuff said.
Of course, make your nominations in the comments. And while we're at it, let's decide on that State Rock Song, too.