We're bruised and battered, like Bruce Springsteen on the streets of Philadelphia. The angry e-mail flows deep.
Our little rock 'n' roll contest has been called "bogus," "ridiculous," even "farcical."
"Sorry," wrote a reader named Matt Williams. "I cannot vote in a tournament I find flawed."
Our sin, according to Mr. Williams? We left out Styx. Jilted fans of Boston protested almost as vociferously. Others lamented the omission of Journey, The Cars or Pantera. "For some reason," wrote Bill Dekle, of Millen, Ga., "your list of 'best' bands includes almost no good bands - just famous noise makers."
A couple who identified themselves only as Darryl and Sue threw this little dart: "It seems you should have properly determined the meaning of rock 'n' roll before you came up with the present list."
We expected this. Just like the folks at the NCAA on March Madness Selection Sunday, we prepared for a siege by the unchosen. (Believe it or not, some folks actually wrote to say they're enjoying it.) Our field of 64 was never going to be perfect, and the bands that were on the bubble were never going to win it all anyway. As a peace offering to the slighted mob, we're listing a few bands that nearly made the cut. Pardon us while we go dress our wounds.
Reach Tom Szaroleta at tom.szaroleta@ jacksonville.com, (904) 359-4548, and Thomas Lake at thomas.lake@jacksonville. com, (904) 359-4697.
Bubble Bands: THE ONES LEFT BEHIND
• Alice in Chains rocked loud and melodically about roosters, deep holes and men in boxes. Five more spots, and they'd have had one.
• Boston's exclusion generated the loudest complaints, but their songs sound alike, and they put out just three strong albums in their career.
• The Cars' first album was one of the first New Wave records to get widespread airplay. If you listen to their music now, it sounds very dated. They also were one of the worst live acts in rock history.
• The Go-Go's were one of the last bands to be cut from the field and the subject of our favorite VH1 Behind the Music episode, but were not quite strong enough to make the field.
• Journey morphed in the early '80s from a good rock band into a corporate money-making machine. Also, a lot of people really hate Steve Perry's voice.
• Kansas was every bit as deserving as many of the bands that made the list, but we just ran out of room in the field.
• Mtley Cre was kind of hard to take seriously, what with all the mascara and hair spray. We will, however, give credit where credit is due: Girls, Girls, Girls is about as rock 'n' roll as it gets.
• Stone Temple Pilots shocked us with Sex Type Thing, but something about them always left us looking for the beef.
• Styx is perhaps the most schizophrenic band in rock history. For every rocker like Blue Collar Man or Too Much Time on My Hands, there was a wimpy number such as Babe or Best of Times.
• Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention were an acquired taste. Zappa was wildly creative, but much of his stuff is difficult to listen to.
No contest: Creedence Clearwater Revival won with 92 percent of the vote.
No love: The Replacements got only 550 votes, giving CCR a big victory.
Close call: Dave Matthews Band squeaked by Bon Jovi with just 51 percent.
Most love: The Beach Boys received the highest number of votes, 7,688.
Upset: The Steve Miller Band was the only lower seeded band to beat a higher seed, Prince and the Revolution.
Go Vote: To cast your second round vote, go to jacksonville.com, key words: "rock and roll"