Steven Van Zandt Opens Up About The Real Inventor Of Rock Music


E Street Band guitarist Steven Van Zandt shared a couple of posts to discuss the origins of hard rock and heavy metal music with his fans on his official Twitter account. The guitarist named the first hard rock song even though some of his followers disagreed and shared another band.

Hard rock is a rock music subgenre with aggressive vocals, distorted electric guitars, bass guitar, and drums sound in their works originating from the garage, psychedelic, and blues rock movements. The genre’s pioneers were regarded as The Kinks, The Who, Cream, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, The Rolling Stones, and The Yardbirds. Shortly after these acts, many more groups like Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple began making what was considered hard rock music.

Therefore, according to Van Zandt, The Kinks’ ‘You Really Got Me,’ released in 1964, was the first song that belonged to the genre, and the first hard rock instrumental was ‘Rumble’ from Link Wray and The Wraymen. Also, the guitarist added it inspired The Who’s ‘My Generation,’ but a fan claimed that Eddie Cochran’s song ‘C’mon Everybody’ was the first. Van Zandt responded to the follower, saying that that song was great, but it wasn’t hard rock.

Then, another fan claimed that Black Sabbath created the hard rock sounds before any other band, but the musician disagreed with them by drawing attention to the band’s being a heavy metal pioneer. Van Zandt added that it’s about semantics, and Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, and Deep Purple later took place in the hard rock genre.

Van Zandt’s tweet read:

‘You Really Got Me’ by The Kinks in ’64 is the first hard rock song. ‘Rumble’ by Link Wray and The Wraymen in ’58 is the first hard rock instrumental. The 1/7 chord change became the go-to thanks to Wray and would be used by the Kinks (for YRGM) and The Who for ‘My Generation.'”

A fan responded:

“Eddie Cochran with ‘C’mon Everybody’ was a hard rock song.”

Here’s what the guitarist wrote:

“Sorry. It wasn’t. Great, but no. However, Johnny Ramone picked up on his frequent half-step riffs and made them an essential part of the Ramones style, and played with hard rock guitar distortion as opposed to Eddie’s mostly acoustic, clean, but rockin’ like a sound.”

Another followed replied:

“Hard rock? No, sorry, it was Black Sabbath, by Black Sabbath. Nobody heard that hard stuff before that classic.”

Van Zandt shared his ideas, saying:

“Look, it’s all semantics, but again I disagree. Black Sabbath did not invent hard rock. They invented heavy metal. It’s them, Led Zeppelin, and Deep Purple around the same time. Heavy metal would keep evolving, and those pioneers would later be moved to the hard rock category.”

You can check out the tweets and song below.