Monday, May 7, 2012

The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame

The 2012 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony has just started airing on HBO this past week ... so this seemed like a good time to share more of your thoughts (and frustrations) about this whole God-forsaken process!  (kk)

Hey Kent,
I thought I'd get my two cents in, on the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame. First of all, I think the awards process is just as political as the Grammys. I can't figure out why some get in, while others are left out. A few years ago, I made a comment on another blog, that one group, that was inducted, shouln't have been. They had ONE hit, and it didn't even make it to Billboard's top five. I got blasted by angry responses, proclaiming the band was a "supergroup" and those musicians influenced many others. Well, at the time, it wasn't a supergroup. Three members of the band went on to bigger and better things and became more famous than they were, then. I felt that it wasn't about what they had done afterwards, but what the band did, at the time. I could go on and on, about other things, but it will do little good, I'm afraid.
I started with a list of 35, but narrowed it down to 20. -
The Buckinghams, Foreigner, Ringo Starr, The Spinners, Jan and Dean, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Aerosmith, Grand Funk Railroad, Tommy Roe, REO Speedwagon, America, Heart, Paul Revere and the Raiders, Hall and Oates, Nilsson, Three Dog Night, Johnny Rivers, Toto, Huey Lewis and the News, Yes.
John LaPuzza
Aerosmith was recently inducted ... but all of these others are GREAT choices (and all have been earning your votes in our current Deserving And Denied Poll.)  I believe The Spinners have been nominated a time or two ... but virtually everybody else listed here has never even so much as made the ballot!!!  (Now that's just wrong!!!)  kk

Kent ...
Here's what Bobby Keys has to say about the Crickets being inducted into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame ... "Finally!"
Crickets drummer became his legal guardian.
Frank B.
Click here: Bobby Keys On The Crickets’ Rock Hall Induction: “Finally!”
As stated previously, it's great to see The Crickets finally recognized for their contribution.  And I really love the fact that they adopted a stance of solidarity by stating that if one couldn't go, then NONE of them would go.  They really looked at this as a group effort.  (kk)

My candidates for the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in no particular order are:
The Guess Who
Harry Chapin
Pat Boone
Connie Francis
Brenda Lee
Linda Ronstadt
Steve Winwood
The Turtles
Paul Revere & The Raiders
If I thought about it longer I'd probably come up with some early influences and non-performers. But I thought I'd just stick with the artists who's music made us happy.
Rock And Roll Never Forgets
For the record, Brenda Lee is in The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame ... but every artist on your list has been receiving votes for our Deserving And Denied List ... so keep those votes and nominations coming!  (kk)

Hello Forgotten Hits friends and fans,
This is Rick Levy,, from St. Augustine, Florida.
For the past 30 years, I have had the honor, and mostly the pleasure of managing and / or leading bands for some of the greatest pop / rock oldies artists. Currently I manage and lead the band for TOMMY ROE and JAY & THE TECHNIQUES. I have also handled THE BOX TOPS, FREDDY CANNON, BARBARA LEWIS, DENNIS YOST, and others.  I was also lead guitarist and musical director for HERMAN'S HERMITS starring PETER NOONE from 2000 - 2002.  Add to that the number of artists I have backed up from Bo Diddley to the Tokens and many more.  I have lived my musical life like a kid in a candy store ... playing the music I love, and becoming friends with so many great artists, writers, producers, etc.
So ... why am I starting off 2012 with a complaint?? Well, I think the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (Shame) ... has become a sham. Artists and producers who are known for pop, AM radio notoriety seem to be systematically shut out from induction, while "hip" acts, with significantly less musical impact, are invited year after year.
I personally have written to have TOMMY ROE nominated. He, after all, wrote and recorded more TOP 10 hits during the 60s than any other American solo artist ... Dizzy, Sheila, Sweetpea, Everybody, Jam Up Jelly Tight, Hooray for Hazel. I vaguely recall a letter coming back that the Hall did not consider his achievements worthy of nomination.
Can I say BULLSHIT in this column ... well, I just did!
Also, I nominated the legendary producer JERRY ROSS. Jerry only produced some of the
biggest hits and artists of the era ... Bobby Hebb, Jay & the Techniques, Spanky and Our
Gang, Keith, and others. This time, I did not even get a reply from the Hall.  Of course, I cant even believe that Herman's Hermits, with 51 million records sold, are not included in the Hall!!
So, in my thinking, there is a real disconnect. Artists, producers, writers who create hits that are heard and loved by millions of people for multi generations ... certainly deserve Hall of Fame recognition, at least as much as some of the quirky, trendy acts that come and go ... yet are inducted.
If you agree ... tell the Hall of Fame. I welcome your feedback
Thanks ... and keep rocking
We know first hand of several petitions ... with upwards of TEN THOUSAND SIGNATURES on them ... being tossed out by The Nominating Committee.  They seem to have their own agenda when it comes to the artist selection process and that's all there is to it.  Perhaps if they SHARED the criteria with us, we'd have a better understanding and appreciation for all of this ... but even so I don't think I could EVER be convinced that Eric B. and Rakim or Afrika Bambaataa are more deserving of Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame recognition than some of the artists listed throughout these pages!  (kk)  

A while back, Bob Lefsetz published this letter from long-time Goldmine Publisher Jeff Tarmakin, a former member of The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Nominating Committee ... 

I feel that it REALLY puts into perspective why we all bemoan such a disappointing list of nominees year after year after year. 
Now I don't for a minute agree with all of Jeff's "rightful" suggestions ... as Peter Noone has often told me, that's why restaurants have menus ... so you can pick what YOU really like.  But, since we're right in the middle of updating our Top 40 List of the Most Deserving And Denied Artists, we figured this would be a great time to run this.  (Besides, quite a few of the artists that made our original list have since been inducted ... so it really IS time to update ... and we need your help and support for that.) 

Meanwhile, here's a behind-the-scenes look at what goes on behind closed doors in regards to The Rock And Roll Hall of Fame Nominating Committee, courtesy of Jeff Tarmakin:  

Like Toure and Joel Selvin I spent time on the R&R Hall of Fame nominating committee, albeit almost 20 years ago, and like Joel, I was kicked off, in my case for writing a guest editorial for "Billboard" on the inequities of the nominating process (which earned me a public tongue-lashing from none other than Phil Spector at my last committee meeting).
Perhaps things have changed since I was involved, but my observations at the time were that the process was anything but democratic. While I'm sure Toure means well with his statement that "rock n roll is meant to be defined by the Hall as the broadest possible definition of that term so all the genres considered pop music are in our purview," therein lies the committee's biggest problem - the committee is trying to define rock in its own image rather than reflect what history actually defines as rock. I can't say that I'm all that familiar with Eric B & Rakim, and I'm not one of those who feel rap shouldn't be included at all, but I think I can safely say that 99% of the audience that has bought rock records and gone to rock concerts over the past half century would have a hard time understanding why that act is considered rock by the committee when so many artists that are indisputably rock by history's reckoning remain out in the cold.  (???)
The following is a list of artists that have yet to be inducted into the R&R HoF. The majority of the list was supplied to me by the proprietor of a website called the People's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I've added a few names myself. Whether all of these deserve induction is questionable, but I think it's safe to say that the majority of actual rock fans would at least consider these rock. Would they include Eric B & Rakim in this list, not to mention several other artists already inducted (Is ABBA really rock? Is Madonna?). I'm guessing not.
The list of the un-inducted (and mostly un-nominated), to which I'm sure each of your readers can add at least a few blatant oversights:
The B-52s, Badfinger, Black Flag, Blues Project, Roy Brown, Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Johnny Burnette & the Rock 'n' Roll Trio, The Cadillacs, Glen Campbell, Captain Beefheart, The Cars, The Chantels, Cheap Trick, Chubby Checker, Chicago, Joe Cocker, The Crystals, Dick Dale, The Dead Kennedys, Deep Purple, Def Leppard, Devo, Dick Dale, Dire Straits, The Dominoes, The Doobie Brothers, Electric Light Orchestra, Fairport Convention, Marianne Faithfull, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Peter Gabriel, Grand Funk Railroad, The Grass Roots, The Guess Who, Ronnie Hawkins, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Heart, Herman's Hermits, The Jam, Jan & Dean, Jethro Tull, Joy Division, Judas Priest, Albert King, Ben E. King, Carole King, King Crimson, Kiss, Al Kooper, Love, John Mayall, The MC5, The Meters, The Steve Miller Band, The Monkees, The Moody Blues, Mott the Hoople, The Neville Brothers, The New York Dolls, Randy Newman, Gram Parsons, Paul Revere & the Raiders, Procol Harum, Cliff Richard and the Shadows, Roxy Music, Todd Rundgren, Rush, Otis Rush, Neil Sedaka, The Smiths, Sonic Youth, Steppenwolf, T. Rex, Thin Lizzy, The Turtles, Stevie Ray Vaughan, War, Dionne Warwick, The Marvelettes, Mary Wells, Link Wray, Yes, Warren Zevon, The Zombies
I have a favorite story that I like to tell from my brief tenure on the committee. I think it reflects the committee's prejudices. At the time I was editor of the record-collecting magazine Goldmine. When word got out that I was serving on the committee I began receiving dozens of letters from readers asking me to place into nomination a favorite artist. I explained that I didn't have that power but they kept coming at me anyway. Shortly before my second and last nominating committee meeting I received in the mail a petition signed by 5,000 fans of the Moody Blues asking that they be considered. Now, I'm not much of a Moody Blues fan - I like "Go Now" and played that first symphonic album a bunch in college but haven't really listened to them in the past few decades - but I felt an obligation to at least make the petitioners' efforts known. So I carted the petition to the meeting and at some point I told the above story, that it was sent to me unsolicited, etc. After the laughter died down one of the big players in the room, the manager of a major rock artist, asked me if I was a fan of the Moody Blues and if I felt they deserved nomination. I replied that I was not a personal fan of the group but that a lot of people obviously do feel they were important enough to be considered. The bigwig immediately shot back with, "Well, if you're not advocating for them personally, then forget it," and the efforts of the 5,000 died right then and there in that room. Nearly 20 years later the Moody Blues have yet to be nominated.
Personally I'd rather see Link Wray and the Dolls get the recognition, but that's not the point. That's my taste and the nominating process needs to not be about taste. Rock 'n' roll is not something that can be defined by a bunch of suits and critics meeting once a year to push their own agendas, sell tickets to a dinner and plan a TV show. The history of rock is not subject to filtering by a committee. It's something that has been defined by record buyers, concert-goers, magazine readers, radio listeners, club people - fans, the people who decide what is rock and what isn't - for some six decades now. And no amount of wishin' and hopin' is going to convince that audience that Eric B & Rakim belongs in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Jeff Tamarkin
Jeff's list ought to get the juices flowing for our next batch of nominees, don'tcha think?
We're running it back up the flagpole ... so be sure to make your votes count!  (kk)