Album: Vee Vee.
While “Greatest of All Time” isn’t the best indie rock song of all time, it much just be the most indie rock song of all time. Over a pair of clean-sounding but utterly skewed guitars, Eric Bachmann spins a fantasy that had crossed the mind of more than one indie rocker:
“They caught and drowned the front man
Of the world’s worst rock & roll band.
He was out of luck, because nobody gave a fuck.
The jury gathered all around the aqueduct.
Drinking and laughing and lighting up.
Reminiscing just how bad he sucked, singing
Throw him in the river.”
And who was it? Steve Perry? Lou Gramm? The guy from Loverboy? Eddie Vedder?
In 1995, the Our Band Could Be Your Life unity of indie rock had been shattered by a lethal combination of success, drugs, imitation, radio, the internet and – of course – death.
It was replaced by endless sniping, posturing and arguing over indie bona fides. It was around this time that being an indie rocker went from being an necessity to a career choice. And “Greatest of All Time” captures this perfectly.
And the end of the song, after a flyover by the singer of the greatest band of all time – who is way too smart to be anywhere near these people – not knowing what else to do:
“The people gathered all around the radio.
To hear the transmissions from the devil’s soul.
Locked and stunned and sick and cold.
Toasting their dead hero.”
Which is where they were eventually overcome by a surging river of guitars and remain to this day.
Fan-made video for “Greatest of All Time”
My Certain Songs Playlist on Spotify