Thursday, March 18, 2010

Billy Preston ... Jeff Lynne ... and The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame

Our "For Your Consideration" piece the other day inspired a few of you to write in with your own comments ... as did Monday Night's Annual Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony ... here goes:

Billy Preston first came to my attention when I heard his recording of "Billy's Bag" (Vee-Jay 653) in the mid-60s, probably on a R & B station. I ran to a record store to buy it, and was disappointed when it got almost no air play in our market (Tidewater, Virginia). Having taught myself to play Hammond Organ (when a teenager), he was one of my heroes.
Chuck Adams
1964 - 1983


Strong picks that I hope get future consideration. With the TAMI Show restored and released, I hope Jan & Dean begin to get credit for both their music and their showmanship / humor. (They were the Monkees before the Monkees were invented!).
Keep it going!
You'll find more on the T.A.M.I. Show coming up in this Sunday's Comments Page ... thanks, Phil! (kk)

Hi Kent,

I love Billy Preston and Jeff Lynne. I've sung songs by both over the years. I, too, don't understand why they've been overlooked for nomination.
I don't think Billy Preston stole the show in The Concert for Bangladesh, however. I think Leon Russell did, but it's a minor point.
Great article as usual. Both incredibly talented players, sidemen, and in Jeff's case, producer.
No question that Leon was good at The Concert For Bangla Desh ... but nobody knew WHAT to expect from Billy Preston ... even George Harrison had a hard time keeping a straight face! I've loved "That's The God Planned It" ever since. (George took him on his 1974 U.S. tour, too, and by then Billy had a few of his own hits under his belt ... and, once again, he really raised the performance level with the amount of energy he exhibited on stage.)

As for Leon Russell, HE'S not in The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame EITHER!!! How is THIS possible?!?!? Between all of his great session work ... his work with Joe Cocker ... writing masterpieces like "Superstar" and "This Masquerade" (not to mention his OWN hits) ... explain to me how "rocker" Leonard Cohen gets in but Leon Russell doesn't!!! Todd Rundgren is another good example ... if not for his own work (which is certainly worthy in its own right), look at all he's done in the way of producing other artists. Somethin' just ain't right on The Nominating Committee to overlook artists like these and yet rush ... and gush ... to induct Percy Sledge, Patti Smith and Bonnie Raitt! (kk)

Kent -
You make a great point when you mention how if a guy has worked with a number of Hall of Fame artists, he needs to be considered among them.

A few years ago I interviewed Mike Campbell, who is Tom Petty's guitarist and songwriting partner (Mike also wrote the tracks "Boys Of Summer" and "The Heart of the Matter" for Don Henley). Mike told me that working with Jeff Lynne on Full Moon Fever is what made the album work. Here's a bit of what he said:
This guy walked in and he knew exactly how to put the pieces together, and he always had little tricks, like with the background vocals how he would slide them in and layer them, and little melodies here and there. Tom and I were soaking it up. Pretty amazing, a very exciting time, like going to musical college or something.With the drums, he'd go out and we'd put the mics up on the drums, and he'd walk out and he'd take the microphone over the drum and he'd turn it away from the drum facing the corner, and he'd go "OK, record it like that." Sure enough, 99% of the time he'd be right. We'd go, "Yes sir, Mr. Lynne." That's one way to make records, it's not the only way. Nowadays we like the band to play all live again on most stuff, but we learned so much from him about arrangements and counter-melodies and all kinds of stuff.
The full interview is here:
It tells you something when a guy can come in and take charge on a Tom Petty record, and that's just a sliver of Jeff Lynne's career. Yeah, he deserves in.
Be Well,
Carl Wiser

Point / Counterpoint:

Well, I made it all the way thru the Abba induction last nite. 10:30 is past my bedtime. Fine rock and roller I've turned out to be.
Anyways, here are my observations:
I almost went to bed during the Genesis induction. The speech went on longer than an ELP album. I can see why Peter Gabriel passed. The band is unusual in that their best work yielded no charted singles and no top 40 LPs. Yet after Peter went solo, each entity had tremedous success.
Who'd a thunk that Iggy Pop would still be alive in 2010, let alone performing with an energy that a man have his age would be hard pressed to equal. Maybe a bit over the top, but that's what the show needs.
David Geffen was right, where else but the entertainment industry can someone without skills or ability, become successful.
The sad part of the nite for me was watching the Hollies. It's obvious that Allan Clarke, one of the possessors of the greatest rock and roll voices, no longer can sing with any authority. Age catches up to us all.
Speaking of age, Anni-Frida has to be one of the hottest looking grandmothers I've ever seen. Would have liked to have her duet with Benny. Instead it was confirmed to me that Faith Hill would make a great 70s pop singer. Too bad it's 2010.
As far as your case for Billy Preston and Jeff Lynne in the RRHOF, I'd say maybe to Jeff Lynne and no to Billy Preston. There's too many performers there now who don't belong. Success by association, particularly in Billy Preston's case, doesn't qualify you automatically. The same reasoning applies to Jeff Lynne, although ELO certainly did bring something to the table. The problem is that ELO should be inducted, not Jefff Lynne. It was Roy Wood's concept of merging orchestra with rock and roll. That's my two cents and I'm prepared to be shot down.
Jack (Rock And Roll Never Forgets)

I don't think Billy Preston belongs in The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame simply because of "association" ... I believe that he has earned his way in with a long and successful career. (And, at this point, I guess I tend to value the opinions of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Little Richard, Ray Charles, et al, over those of Jann Wenner and his hand-picked cronies ... they all felt Billy was good enough to "come out and play" ... and that, to me anyway, is pretty high endorsement indeed.)
I agree that The Electric Light Orchestra belongs ... they brought something new to the game of rock and roll music ... and I have long campaigned for their induction. (Whose music do YOU think will last longer ... ELO's or GrandMaster Flash's??? Radio has played and embraced the music of The Dave Clark Five for close to 50 years now ... and it STILL sounds fresh and exciting today. Yet a few years ago there was a major controversy when The DC5 were bumped so that Wenner could induct his Rap Act. When's the last time you heard anything by GrandMaster Flash on the radio? Or, more specifically, on the ROCK Station on the radio??? This IS, after all, The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, isn't it? We don't hear much Miles Davis or Leonard Cohen on the rock stations either, but I digress.)
As for my full review of the induction ceremony ... or what I saw of it anyway ... keep reading ... but I will say this: the biggest disappointment of the evening for me was seeing The Hollies perform ... known for their impeccable harmonies, these guys couldn't hold a tune the other night ... and the addition of the lead singers from Train and Maroon Five only made things worse. (Don't get me wrong ... I actually rank both Train and Maroon Five amongst my favorites of today's contemporary artists ... and I quite enjoy their work ... but things were literally falling apart up there on stage!!!) Once again, this all makes a VERY strong point for inducting these deserving artists sooner rather than later ... waiting too long often means there's not much left in the way of talent and ability!!! (Keep in mind that The Hollies have been ELIGIBLE for Hall Of Fame Induction since 1988 ... there was absolutely NO reason they should have had to wait around an extra 22 years for Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame consideration!) kk

THE REST OF MY REVIEW: The opening tribute to Genesis by Phish got rave reviews from the die-hard "early" Genesis fans, those who loved the "art rock" of the Peter Gabriel years ... but for me it simply illustrated everything that is WRONG with this long-winded progressive music. I swear, I changed the channel three or four times during the opening number yet every time I came back to it, that same song was still going!!! Ten minutes later, it was FINALLY over!!!
The plain and simple fact of the matter (like it or not) is that the REAL hits didn't come until years later, after Gabriel left the band for a solo career. Once Phil Collins took over the lead vocal duties, Genesis 17 Top 40 Hits ... I know, I know, NOT the benchmark or measurement that The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame cares about ... but it IS the measurement by which those of us who appreciate music show our love and support. Collins also had 21 SOLO Top 40 Hits ... so clearly the fans have spoken regarding their favorite incarnation of the band ... and which version was the most "accessible" to a listening audience. (Incredibly Genesis had one #1 Record, Phil Collins as a solo artist had SEVEN!!!!!) Even Peter Gabriel started hitting the pop charts ... AMAZING what you can do once you simply add a MELODY to your music!!! ("Solsbury Hill", "Games Without Frontiers", "Shock The Monkey", "In Your Eyes", "Big Time" and the #1 Hit "Sledgehammer" have all become FM Classics ... and you'll hear quite a few of these on the POP stations as well.) Did Gabriel sell out? Or simply wake up?
Honestly, I turned it off for Iggy Pop, too ... I have NEVER been able to stand this guy ... and I really didn't need to see him do (at 63) the things I couldn't bear to watch him do some 35-40 years earlier! Punk Rock was always an acquired taste ... and it never really caught on here in The States the way it did in Great Britain.
I thought David Geffen was spot-on with his acceptance speech ... but when did it become necessary for those INDUCTING the artists to talk for 10-20 minutes?!?! Isn't it supposed to be the Inductees' moment??? Isn't that really what this night is supposed to be about?
Worst offendors of all in this area had to be Barry and Robin Gibb, two of my all-time favorites, who made absolute FOOLS of themselves up there on the dias. (The question of the evening ... and the water-cooler discussion the next morning: What the heck was Barry Gibb on the other night?!?!?) I know they're trying to maintain a presence (with a reunion tour coming up) ... and believe me, we'll run out to see them perform ... but these guys could NOT hold their own while inducting ABBA into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. (As two of the premier "disco acts" of the '70's, there was probably as much flack by rock purists for the induction of these two artists as any others over the past 25 years! And that includes most of the ones that WE'VE complained about!!!) And why did they feel a need to keep adding their own accomplishments to the list while discussing ABBA's?!?!? Somebody really needs to monitor this a little bit better!
(Personally again I would have rather watched 15 minutes of vintage Hollies clips than listen to Steven Van Zandt ramble on for close to 20 minutes, the first ten of which went by without him ever even mentioning The Hollies by name!!!)
As stated earlier, making The Hollies wait 22 years before bestowing this honor upon them shows everything that is wrong with the way The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame is currently set up. It's incredible to think that Graham Nash was inducted first for his work with Crosby, Stills and Nash before The Hollies were finally recognized, especially in light of the fact that Nash QUIT The Hollies over their refusal to cut Graham's "Marrakesh Express", which then became CSN's first hit single!
And I must have missed this part ... Rolling Stone Magazine reports that:
Train’s Pat Monahan came out to sing “Long Cool Woman,” but midway through the song, later-day Hollies vocalist Terry Sylvester ran onstage, whispered something in his ear and literally took the mike out of his hands. He sang half a verse before a highly irritated Alan Clarke came over and got the mike back to Monahan. The whole thing happened very quickly and few people even seemed aware they had just seen a decades-old Hollies feud flare up.
-Rolling Stone
I also loved the fact that, of ALL people, it was Eric Burdon who was chosen to perform a Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil song during Carole King's induction of all of the long-overlooked songwriters who FINALLY made it into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame this year. We just recently covered in great depth the fact the Cynthia Weil HATED The Animals' version of "We Gotta Get Out Of This Place"!!! ... (but I'll betcha she still cashed the royalty checks!!! lol)
I thought Jimmy Cliff was pretty good, too ... on the surface, another unlikely candidate who raised a few eyebrows when his nomination was first announced (in lieu of so many other deserving artists that were passed over again this year) ... but Cliff certainly excelled in an area of Rock Music not typically acknowledged by anyone other than Bob Marley.
I agree with Jack that Frida looked GREAT for a Grandmother of 65 (Thank God she didn't wear the white jumpsuit!!!) ... in fact, she was elegantly dressed and seemed to geniunely show her appreciation for the award ... although she still seemed to feel the need to restate the obvious ... when, in broken English she reminded everybody that "we are not going to reunion". Faith Hill singing "The Winner Takes It All"??? It could have been worse ... not what you expect to hear her sing ... nor would you typically expect her to be invited to a ceremony such as this one ... but it was definitely tolerable.
I missed the All-Star Jam at the end ... (I, too, went to bed at 10:30) ... but typically this show is on again ... and again ... and again ... and again ... so hopefully I can still catch some of the bits and pieces that I missed. (kk)

Kent -
It's terribly sad about what the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has become although I agree with Graham that some of the long overdue writers and some others are finally getting inducted and it's a good thing to show support for them.
You are absolutely correct in stating that Billy and Jeff both deserve to be in. But let's not forget Steve Miller ... when will Steve Miller get inducted?
Graham and I have a long time connection. I co-wrote "Yes I Will" with Gerry Goffin and the Hollies record is just so great (Phil Collins told me it was one of his favorite records back then) and we worked together on James Taylor's "Gorilla" and "In the Pocket" albums. Crosby and Nash did amazing work on those records. "Mexico", "Lighthouse" and "Nothing Like a Hundred Miles After All". "Yes I Will" was also on the first Monkees' record (as "I'll Be True To You" - kk) but it wasn't a very good version. I also sang in the back-up group on the original "I'm Into Something Good" by Earl-Jean with Carole King and Darlene McCree. Carole gave me the falsetto part, too, probably because it had that Beach Boys sound and I was the kid from L.A. Very much looking forward to the British Invasion box. Having been the rhythm guitar player in the Shindig band for the first year, I may actually appear in some of those clips.
Russ Titelman

Despite his enormous talent and following, I think the biggest drawback against Steve Miller is his reputation for "borrowing" too heavily from other artists ... some of whom have been genuinely pissed off by the way he's bastardized their work in an effort to incorporate it into his own. Personally, I've always liked the guy's music and I think Miller has put together one incredible, long career. Once again, I'd put HIM in before about two dozen other artists who have already been enshrined ... and his music still plays non-stop on both the oldies and the Classic Rock stations!
By the way, you'll find a little piece on "Shindig" in Sunday's Comments Page, too! (kk)

"The Beatles" are my favorite band although my favorite albums are by "The Traveling Wilburys" and my #1 favorite rock genius is Jeff Lynne. Ok, "Xanadu" was not a great movie but you can't knock the title tune ("Suddenly" is also great).
Davie Allan

First, Genesis' Peter Gabriel and half of ABBA (Bjorn Ulvaeus and his ex-wife Agnetha Faltskog) said that they were unable to attend Monday's Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame ceremony in New York. Then it turned out that the two remaining original members of the Hollies (drummer Bobby Elliott and guitarist Tony Hicks), had a conflicting performance they couldn't get out of and were also not able to attend. Former Hollies members Graham Nash and Allan Clarke did attend, as did Phil Collins and ABBA members Benny Andersson and ex-wife Anni-Frid Lyngstad. But clearly, Jann Wenner's social club has lost some of its luster.
By the way, I saw on Goldmine Magazine's Twitter feed from the induction ceremonies for Jann Wenner's Social Club (Goldmine_mag) that Jailhouse Rock with a B-side of Treat Me Nice was Benny Andersson's first record. Benny, of course, is from ABBA. So we have something in common besides our love for attractive Swedish blonds.
-- Ron Smith
LOL ... as soon as I heard Benny say that as part of his acceptance speech I posted it on The Forgotten Hits Website in our "First 45's" Category!!!

Click here: Forgotten Hits - Even MORE Of Your First 45's
The number of "No Shows" was a constant topic of discussion the other night ... everybody making excuses, getting their jabs in or "sending their love" ... but as we've stated numerous times these past few years, it's becoming painfully obvious that many of these long-ignored artists just don't care about The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame anymore ... which is a real shame because we all know what it was SUPPOSED to stand for. And yet the "Powers That Be" remain completely CLUELESS as to what's going on. (The ceremony has already moved from VH1 to Fuse ... how much longer before they simply hold the celebration in Jann Wenner's basement?!?!?) kk

I think the "rock and roll" hall of fame should have been limited to people who actually did rock and roll. I have no desire to visit.

Keep in mind that the Museum has absolutely NOTHING to do with the nominating and election process ... and provides a home to a number of rock and roll artifacts that we, as fans, would never have had the chance to see otherwise. They also don't seem to discriminate the way the nominating committee does ... there've actually been "One Hit Wonder" displays at the museum in the past ... and you'll see quite a few names and artists honored there that have never been so-acknowledged by the committee. We are looking forward to our first visit later this summer ... and have heard only the most awed and impressed reviews from those who have seen it. (kk)

Greetings, Kent ...
... and thanks for another excellent edition --

and, yes, you're certainly right about both of your recommendations --
Billy Preston and Jeff Lynne are more than deserving of the honor but no more so than many of the others you and the Forgotten Hits readers have mentioned over the past few years.
There's a saying around this town that the labels look for excuses as to why not to sign a new and deserving talent, as opposed to taking a shot -- going with their gut -- and signing them.
Over the past few years that's kinda the feeling I have had about waiting for the annual RRHOF announcement as to who their inductees are going to be. Now, it's more of a 'lets see who they've passed over again this year' kind of feeling. And it makes me want to scream.
Over the course of my 53 years in radio and records, I've had the honor of knowing, promoting, booking, and / or recording approximately one-quarter of the members of the Rock Hall. I've also had the honor of having hosted both Billy and Jeff at my Nashville studio, Treasure Isle Recorders, Inc., which is celebrating it's 30th Anniversary this year.
Jeff recorded with us in the 90's (Richard Dodd engineered) and I co-produced Billy with the late great Isaac Hayes for the 1990 album, "Red Hot and Blue," which featured Billy, Isaac, B. B. King, Carla Thomas, The Memphis Horns, Chuck Jackson and Lee Atwater. It was a 1991 Grammy nominee in the 'Contemporary Blues' category (we lost to Stevie Ray Vaughn in the final voting round).
When the 1997 Country Music Hall of Fame members were announced, one was no surprise -- "Little Miss Dynamite," Brenda Lee. Few are more deserving than Brenda -- who many of us grew up with. Her records defined our lives growing up in the 50's, early 60's. The same can be said for Taylor Swift today -- with one major difference. Brenda could sing -- and she didn't need Pro Tools to do it. Her records have stood the test of time.
The other two Hall of Famers inducted that year were legendary songwriters, Cindy Walker and Harlan Howard. Cindy had written hit songs as far back as the 1930's and when she passed away in 2006 -- two days before Buck Owens -- she had experienced hit songs spanning eight decades. Classics like "Dream Baby (How Long Must I Dream)," "Distant Drum," "You Don't Know Me," "Cherokee Maiden" and "In The Misty Moonlight," among others.
Harlan was equally successful but his success followed Cindy's by two full decades, garnering his first hit, "Pick Me Up On Your Way Down," in 1958. He quickly followed it with the classics "Heartaches By The Number," "I Fall To Pieces," "Busted," "I've Got A Tiger By The Tail," and "Above and Beyond," among others. For six decades he was truly the "Dean of the Nashville Songwriters." His oft-quoted remark, "Country Music is three chords and the truth," will stand the test of time. But there was a humble side of this man, who realized, perhaps, more than most of us, that he owed a debt to the other great writers who had paved the trail for him and for countless others who followed.
Cindy Walker -- his fellow inductee -- was one of those who had blazed the trail for Harlan to follow. So Harlan honored her -- and so many others -- when he said: "You don't induct the students before you induct the teachers." If Jann Wenner, and the Rock Hall nominating committee, happen to read this post, I hope they will take note and begin to 'right the wrong.'
So, the second purpose of this e-mail is to add several other 'names' to your 'overlooked' list -- all of which are more than deserving. Most of my suggestions have been previously mentioned over the past five, ten or even fifteen years, but several of them -- which I would consider a 'slam dunk' -- I seldom hear. I can assure you that ALL of them are far more deserving of the honor than those 'great rockers' (sic) Leonard Cohen and Grandmaster Flash!
Jan & Dean -- seven decades and still going strong (without Jan, of course, who passed away in 2004), but that does not diminish their enormous contributions. If you saw the recent PBS broadcast of the "T.A.M.I' Show, you already know their role in rock is firmly established. Numerous Top 10's and a huge #1, "Surf City," cannot continue to be ignored. Their Top 50 song, ("Here They Come") From All Over The World," was an early rock anthem. They should have been a shoe-in for induction at least ten years ago -- in time for Jan to enjoy the honor he so deserved. Now, it's my dear friend Dean's turn to accept the honor.
Paul Revere and The Raiders -- another band that continues to perform (and they're still a GREAT live group) over fifty years past their formation in Boise, ID, in 1958. "Indian Reservation," "Kicks," "I'm Not Your Stepping Stone" and "Just Like Me," in addition to the 'all time fraternity classic,' "Louie, Louie," (which was recorded by The Raiders and The Kingsmen in the same Portland, OR studio) are reason enough to induct them. Add in two hit television series, "The Happening" and "Where The Action Is," and how can you deny them any longer?
Carol Kaye -- what can I say about the most recorded woman musician of the rock era -- she started as a musician and music teacher in 1949, began her recording career in 1957 playing on Sam Cooke sessions. The "First Lady" of the legendary "Wrecking Crew," I am honored to have her as a friend. Carol Kaye and Hal Blaine are the brick and mortar in the "Wall of Sound." Hal's in. Where's Carol?
The Crickets -- ignoring the singular group that influenced The Beatles and so many other bands is simply an insult to all of us who ever listened to good old rock and roll on the radio or who spent our entire weekly allowance to buy a 78 or 45 RPM record that featured them. Sing along to "That'll Be The Day," "Oh Boy," or "Everyday," and you're singing along to either "Buddy Holly and The Crickets" or "The Crickets featuring Buddy Holly." Enough said.
Dick Dale -- honored late last year by the Musician's Hall of Fame, Dick was the 'king of the surf guitar.' And, at age 72, he's still rockin.' He influenced my dear friend, Carl Wilson, and countless other guitarists and garage bands of era. His recommendations to Leo Fender revolutionized the electric guitar as he test drove one Stratocaster after another until it was perfect. Take his signature song, "Misirlou," out of the hit movie, "Pulp Fiction," and the flick just ain't the same!
Johnny Rivers -- whether it's one of his nine Top 10 songs, his "Live at the Whisky a Go Go" album, hits like "Memphis," "Poor Side of Town," "Secret Agent Man," his late night television anthem, "Midnight Special," or as producer / record label impresario of the 5th Dimension / Soul City Records, Johnny has worn a number of hats spanning six decades. Another 'no-brainer,' Jann.
The Rock and Roll Trio -- another 'early, early influence' who have been ignored far, far too long. Brothers Dorsey and Johnny Burnette, who I had the honor of booking in '63 and '64 -- and friend, Paul Burlison -- influenced the Memphis rockabilly music scene two years prior to Elvis and Carl Perkins. They were also role models and mentors to another young Memphis musician and friend, Jimmy Griffin, who would follow them to LA long before he became a founding member of "Bread." As songwriters for Ricky Nelson their credits included "Believe What You Say," "Waitin' In School'" and "It's Late." While major success escaped them as "The Rock and Roll Trio," their solo careers produced some great hit singles: "Tall Oak Tree" and "Hey, Little One," (Dorsey) and "Dreamin'" and "You're Sixteen" (Johnny). Too late for all of them to accept the honor but not too late for the RRHOF to do the right thing.
And, finally, I come to what are, perhaps, the two most insulting snubs: my dear friend of forty-seven years, Brian Wilson, who's contribution to America's popular music culture has few peers, and Quincy Jones, who has been equally overlooked. These two music icons are at least fifteen to twenty years past due for their individual inductions. There is nothing I can possibly write about them that has not already been written. Not only should they be included in the Class of 2011 but Jann should get down on his hands and knees and beg for their forgiveness. But, as we all know, there's little chance of that!
So, as Harlan said so many years ago: "D
on't induct the students before the teachers.' If the folks I've just suggested are not 'teachers,' then who are?
Fred Vail
Treasure Isle Recorders, Inc.
Music City, USA

Well said, Fred, and deserving artists every one. (By the way, I LOVE that line "Country Music is three chords and the truth" ... AMAZING!!! We saw "Crazy Heart" this weekend, a FANTASTIC portrait of a washed-up country singer done to a "T" by Oscar Winner Jeff Bridges ... no one was ever more deserving.)
As you've seen over the past few years, virtually ALL of these artists continually make our "Deserving And Denied" List.
Taking them one by one, there's been a lot of support for Jan and Dean from our readers ... Jan Berry was considered a musical genius who was never allowed to reach his full potential due to the tragedy of his real-life "Dead Man's Curve" accident. Like Dick Dale, they helped to define a specific genre of rock and roll, second only to The Beach Boys in this area, who are already enshrined.
Which means Brian Wilson would become yet another "Double Inductee" ... but, since they've set the prescedent with this, who could possibly be more deserving than Brian? (Graham Nash was "double-inducted" the other night ... and that list keeps growing, too, as The Nominating Committee continues to ignore so many artists year after year, preferring instead to re-induct existing members.) Brian was, without a doubt, one of the greatest innovators of rock and roll ... and he most certainly deserves this honor.
That being said, one of the artists on your list who has received a number of votes from our readers over the years is Johnny Rivers. Unfortunately, I think Johnny falls into a similar category as Steve Miller as mentioned above ... MOST of Johnny's hits were simply remakes of songs already written and recorded by Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame Artists. As such he wasn't considered innovative and inspiring as much as he was the one that was influenced and inspired. Incredibly, most of Johnny's remakes outsold (and out-charted) the originals! And there is no question that he had a TREMENDOUS following back in the '60's ... his live club shows were second to none. Johnny made a career breathing new life into rock classics like "Memphis", "Maybelline" "Mountain Of Love" and "Rockin' Pneumonia And The Boogie Woogie Flu" ... Motown Gems like "Baby, I Need Your Lovin' and "The Tracks Of My Tears" ... and great rock / pop remakes like "Help Me Rhonda", "Blue Suede Shoes" and "Curious Mind" (first done as "Um Um Um Um Um Um" by Major Lance.) He might get in eventually ... because he was a well-loved performer and he helped to define the "live club" atmosphere and carved out a pretty nice niche for himself as a producer and label head. Although Johnny put his stamp on everything he recorded, the only tracks that really scream out his own name are "Secret Agent Man", "Poor Side Of Town" and "Summer Rain" ... not a bad resume by ANY standards ... but probably not enough to move to the top of the list Hall Of Fame - wise. (Of course that's three more hits ... and three more rock standards ... than The Velvet Underground ever recorded ... so who knows!!!)
The Rock And Roll Trio most DEFINITELY belong, if only in the "Early Influences" category ... how they have been overlooked for as long as they have been is just another Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame injustice.
I think Carol Kaye ... and ALL of the members of The Wrecking Crew belong in The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame ... they literally provided the soundtrack for the entire era we all grew up in. The Funk Brothers, too, for that matter ... honor the people who "manufactured" this great music.
Paul Revere and the Raiders? Most definitely they provided the "Feel Good" rock of the '60's, along with Tommy James and the Shondells, Herman's Hermits, The Monkees, The Turtles ... every one of whom absolutely belongs in The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.
The Crickets? I guess I never really considered the fact that Buddy Holly was in but the band who helped him define his sound was not ... and that just doesn't seem right. Yes, Buddy was the driving force ... and the major song-writing talent behind their hits ... but this is true of so many of the front men inducted along with their bandmates in virtually every other case.
But the most AMAZING exclusion has to be Quincy Jones ... I actually had to go back and review the list of inductees to verify that he wasn't on it ... how on earth is this possible? Jones has had his hand in virtually EVERY musical genre for the past 50 years ... you are absolutely right in stating that he should be IMMEDIATELY inducted, followed by an on-his-knees apology from Jann Wenner.
Love your piece, Fred ... I've read it several times now (and I believe most of our readers will, too.) You've been there to see it all ... thanks SO much for helping us to keep this great music alive and out in front of the fans who love it! (kk)