KISS- Probably the first band I ever claimed was my favorite. I was 11. They don't do anything for me now.
Rush- First big concert I ever went to was Rush. I still dig all their early stuff, but stopped listening after Signals.
Yes- Discovering them was an incredible moment. With a classical music upbringing they grabbed me from the first notes. Not so keen on the 90125 and afterward era, but they still were putting their own mark on rock music.
Pink Floyd- If I could have been a member of any of these bands it would be PF, except for during the post-Waters era. DSOTM is still one of the best works of audio art ever.
Steely Dan- "You're calling Steely Dan a ROCK band?" Yes, I am. The first time I heard "Rikki Don't Lose That Number" come through my clock radio I was spellbound. Their music sounds as fresh today as it did when I was 10 years old.
The Allman Brothers Band- Any live version of "Whipping Post". Even though they still sell out multiple nights in New York City, they are probably the most underrated band that everyone knows.
The Who- Maximum R & B is how it all started for them, and the Beatles and the Stones. I think of those three, The Who wound up as quite the rock band. (Let's not talk about Face Dances.)
The Police- I hear ya. "You're including the likes of these guys and the Clash and you still don't think the Beatles fit this list?". The Police were responsible for opening my eyes to World Music, whatever that lame catch-all phrase meant in the 80s.
Alice In Chains- So unlike any of the other bands on this list, but they're responsible for me embracing many types of rock music that I was too much of a snob to pay attention to. Their dissonant harmonies engaged me and I didn't let go until Layne died. I've only heard one song by the post-Layne AIC and I wasn't interested. Because I'm a snob.
So many bands are not on this list that are far better than some that are, but I reiterate-These are the 10 rock bands that had the strongest influence on me, e.g. opening my ears to new sounds, making me wear a Destroyer T-shirt and thinking, "I'm cool." (I wasn't.)