Friday, May 8, 2015

More Of Your Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Comments

re:  The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame:
I agree wholeheartedly with your list of artists deserving of induction yet not found worthy of consideration by the powers that be. I would also like to add to that list another artist who rarely gets credit for contributions and creativity. Tony Burrows had a string of great hits ... one (Melanie Makes Me Smile), a great, catchy tune ... even bore his own name. He had hits in his other incarnations as White Plains (My Baby Loves Lovin'), First Class (Beach Baby), Brotherhood of Man (United We Stand), The Pipkins (Gimme Dat Ding), and, of course, Edison Lighthouse (Love Grows Where My Rosemary Goes). Sheeesh, what's a guy have to do?    
My two centavos: 
When in Cleveland, check out a Cavs, Indians or Browns game; the nice collar parks, Coventry, the Cleveland Museum of Art, etc., and skip the RRHOF. As one reader pointed out, it not relevant. It's run by and has been permanently tainted by idiot / bureaucrat / dictator / asshole Jann Wenner, the great inventor of phony gang-rape stories. Don't reward deplorable behavior with your dollars or time.  
Bill Fortune
Once and for all:
Forget about The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame altogether.
Let's just simply listen to the music and get all our information from Joel Whitburn.
Everything one needs to know to keep the "Rock and Roll era" in perspective is in his books.
Not to mention parts of Rock and Roll's history is in some of our memories as well.
That is: whatever portions we caught while growing up (and beyond).
Chubby Checker and Freddy Cannon are still NOT in the R&RHOF?
And still no Tommy James and the Shondells or The Guess Who?
(Yes, ELO and ELP would then follow accordingly ...)
Tal Hartsfeld
Hola Kent,
The list of Deserving and Denied artists would constitute the beginnings of an entirely new RRHOF. The fact that it exists is testament to the ridiculousness of the current hall.
I had a chance to visit the RRHOF a few years ago and decided against it specifically because of who wasn't in there.
It would surely be a hoot to see all the artists that are enshrined and the memorabilia representing them, but I don't think I could enjoy myself knowing that some of my favorites have been excluded, while some artists that literally disgust me are represented. Yes, they may have a large following but many should not be classified as Rock N Roll artists as they deserve a Hall of their own, which I feel would be untenable since they have such a small supporters that they could not sustain themselves, which is why they have been afforded space in the highly supported Rock N Roll Genre.
The innocence and beauty and angst of true Rock N Roll (along with a lot of country) endures while the "Parental Advisory" Genre attracts only the very immature and rebellious youth who abandon it once they mature. 
My Rock N Roll Hall of Fame is intact in my own mind and it differs from anyone else's, although I suspect that most, if not all of my contemporaries, would share almost the same listing. I needn't concern myself with what others do ... I step to my own beat (sorry Mr Thoreau) as I expect most people do.
My Oldies Music will forever enrich my life and I haven't time to worry about what others try to promote.
You know, Kent, I haven't seen too many "Rap" or "Hip Hop" downloads on your wonderful site.  That's because they belong to another blog as well as another Hall of Fame.
While we've yet to visit it (maybe this summer [???] ... although I'm kinda starting to feel like The Cubs with that whole 'maybe next year' attitude), I hear it's beautiful and definitely worth seeing.  And the museum is NOT tied into the nominating or voting committees that ultimately decide who gets in.  (In fact, we spoken to several people from the museum over the years who are just as baffled as we are over some of the ridiculous picks these committees continue to come up with.)
I might not feel as disgusted by The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame process as I do were the public in any way, shape or form somehow involved.  As you say, we all have our favorites and our own ideas as to who does and doesn't belong ... but at least if put to a vote by the MASSES, I could justify it by saying "well, the people have spoken ... and, even if I don't agree with all the choices, I can accept this."  Instead, we have a narrow-minded nominating committee of just a select few who give the voting a committee a list to choose from each year ... and I also happen to know that some of these voting members scratch their heads as well ... some don't bother to vote at all ... because they don't feel the list is worthy enough of such an honor.  Fact is, we're never going to change it or fix it ... which is why most of us have given up on caring about any of this a long, long time ago.  Based on the list Rolling Stone published of who THEY feel would be worthy candidates for next year's ballot, I can't even imagine watching the ceremony on TV ... nobody there that interests me at all. (kk)
Hi, Kent:
Being from another generation is a lot like being from another planet. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame means nothing to me so I can speak as an alien life form.
I heard a lot of good music growing up in the 1940s but none of it was ever enshrined, to my knowledge, in some kind of Hall of Fame. The fame didn't need enshrining or some official coronation as royalty. We knew who the great ones were.
When some organization creates a Hall of Fame what it really creates is the notion that somebody or something is worthy of enshrinement;  that this form of entertainment, athletics, etc. is so important that a hallowed temple should be built to pay homage to it. It also creates a group of people who are self-appointed to tell whoever is willing to buy into it what is great, what is significant, what is shrine-worthy. Side effects are controversy, record sales and TV shows. For me, the best part is the controversy, because it makes for interesting dialogs that I can read on your website. It's like those fascinating discussions about which movie won an Oscar for best picture vs what many feel should have won. The object of any movie maker should be to make a good movie, not some damned award. The same can be said of the music makers.
We still know who the great  ones are, don't we?
Sadly, the day that Mariah Carey (and her screeching tires and brake noise down a mountain road -- also known as her voice) gets inducted into the Rock Hall before even a tenth of the people on your listing of the more deserving artists get in, it will be GAME OVER for me.  And she will be eligible next year.Be afraid.  Be very afraid.T. Jay Dexter
There are certain "givens" and Mariah will likely be inducted on her first round of eligibility.  Sadly, so will Britney Spears, who has probably graced the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine more times than The Beatles!!!  Go figure THAT one out!!! (kk)
Interesting comments, to be sure ... but hardly anything I haven't been saying / thinking for more than 15 years.
I've visited the R&R HOF four times over the years.  The building and experience itself is wonderful ... the process by which inductees are chosen sucks bilge water.
'Nuff said ...
And that's an important distinction that needs to be made and that we HAVE made numerous times over the years.  The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame MUSEUM is a glowing tribute to the artists who have provided the soundtrack to our lives ... you'll find hundreds of artifacts here by folks who haven't been enshrined by the nominating committee.  But it's the nominating committee (led by Jann Wenner) that has made a mess of things.  Off the record, several folks connected to the museum have fessed up to their own embarrassment at some of these selections ... but they have absolutely NO say so in the matter ... and simply carry on because they've got a museum to run.  Until there is a shift in power within the organization itself, we're doomed to just keep repeating ourselves.  I mean all you have to do is look at their list of who THEY believe the next "most likely candidates" should be.  Seriously?!?!  How CAN we take you seriously!!!  (kk)
The R&R HOF Committee is a sham ... it's all politics ... and Jann Wenner is a pompous jerk.
Half the inductees don't belong there. 
~ Bob
Hi -
Rick Levy here ...
I am attaching letter I have sent to the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame Foundation on behalf of TOMMY ROE.  He obviously should be inducted, but maybe because his hits were AM, and maybe because he didn't live a life of excess and self indulgence (which they seem to love), he is constantly overlooked.
But fans know ... Tommy is a songwriter, singer, artist, who survived and succeeded though the British invasion while most other American acts vanished.
Rick's letter:
To The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Foundation
Hello friends,
I am manager and bandleader for pop rock legendary songwriter and artist TOMMY ROE.
Yes, I have written in the past to have Tommy considered for induction into the Hall Of Fame, as he is already in the Georgia Music Hall Of Fame, Hit Parade Hall Of Fame, Songwriters Hall Of Fame and Rockabilly Hall Of Fame.
Why you have not inducted him, I do not know.  Perhaps because his music is pop,feel good, AM radio MONSTER HITS, perhaps because he actually is monikered the King Of Bubblegum, or perhaps because he lived and lives a relatively normal life.
Fact is Tommy Roe had The Beatles as his opening act ... the last time the fab four ever performed as a support act (UK, 1963).  They then asked Tommy to open for them on their first North American Concert, February 11, 1964, at the DC Coliseum.  Tommy will be featured interviewee in the upcoming Ron Howard directed docu-film on the Beatles touring years.  The Beatles actually performed "Sheila" in their early touring days.
Fact is, Tommy Roe is one of the very few American solo acts to survive and THRIVE throughout the onslaught of the British invsaion ... but "inventing" his good time pop music.  He wrote and recorded SIX Top Ten Hits during the '60's, more than any other American Solo Artist ... SIX Top Tens!
Fact is, Tommy has 23 Billboard chart singles, 11 Top 40, 6 Top 10, 4 Certified GOLD ... and, of course, with "Sheila" and "Dizzy", two international giants.  His 2012 album DEVILS SOUL PILE earned TWO Independent Music Network awards as well.
So while Tommy Roe is just an all around great guy ... and perhaps hasn't left a trail of destruction behind him ... but smiles, happiness and great memories ... and one HELLUVA track record ... I would hope Tommy, at 73 years old and still performing, will be considered for induction.
Thank you.
Rick Levy
I wish you all the luck in the world but as we've seen time and time again, The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Nominating Committee pays absolutely NO attention to letters or petitions from fans.  (Several years ago a petition with over 10,000 signatures on it supporting Pat Boone was completely ignored and discarded.  Several other major petitions ... The Monkees and Neil Sedaka immediately come to mind ... were similarly disregraded without so much as an acknowledgement that they had been received.)  They simply don't CARE what the music fans think and operate on their own agenda.  (kk)
Regarding your Rock And Roll Hall Of ShamMMM list ...
Your 52 artists all have one thing in common (except for the Spinners -- they will be on next list, likely).  I don't think any of them recorded for Atlantic Records at one time or another.  I'd bet that 60-80% of those in the Fame DID record for Atlantic, right?  Favoritism??  Slightly. 
The Kingsmen should be in for ONE record and their national appeal as the ultimate original garagers, but we get one time Atlantic artists MC5 instead.
Jack Ely and the Kingsmen inspired SO many garage bands.  Sad to hear Jack passed the other day at 71.
Clark Besch
While Ahmet Ertegen was still alive there is NO question that a little bit of favoritism was applied by Jann Wenner to please him ... once you get past the obvious nominees of the first few years, just the list that followed.  Hey, Atlantic Records turned out some stellar talent over the years ... and MOST of those inducted deserve their spot in The Hall ... but when Atlantic artist Percy Sledge is scratching his head over his own nomination, I've got to believe that some better choices could have been made along the way. 
And The Kingsmen is another EXCELLENT example of where The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame has failed us.  They're simply NOT living up to their own credo.  How many thousands (and maybe even hundreds of thousands) of bands were inspired to give music a shot thanks to the raw, elementary sounds of "Louie Louie"?  When I look at the lists of nominees from the past decade, I cringe to think that these folks, who represent themselves as the most knowledgeable music people on the planet, continue to overlook the obvious in favor of the trendy.  (kk)
Hi Kent - 
Please include my top five list / requests for artists deserving to be the in R&RHOF:
YES - With the following members, IMO - Steve Howe, Jon Anderson, Rick Wakeman, Chris Squire, Bill Bruford, Alan White (and mainly for the artistry during the YES “main sequence” which included the timeframe - The YES Album through Going For The One - as described by author Bill Martin in his book, Music Of YES from 1996)
POCO - Legend has it that The Eagles sat at the feet of POCO in their rehearsal space and listened, watched, dreamed and formed their band around the style of these “country rock” pioneers (Members most deserving, IMO - Richie Furay, Jim Messina, Rusty Young, George Grantham, Timothy B. Schmit and Paul Cotton)
The Moody Blues
Todd Rundgren
Mike Stineman
Countless artists over the years have acknowledged the inspiration provided to their own musical careers by Poco ... should of the knowledgeable, previously inducted artists have SOME say as to who else belongs up there with them in The Rock's Hallowed Halls?  It's where the system breaks down the most ... giving the inducted artists some say goes well beyond voting only for their friends and comrades ... it gives them a voice into the whole process of insuring that the proper people are credited and inducted. (kk)
I really appreciate your top 50 "Who's Not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame" list. 
Chubby Checker should be nearer the top of this list as "The Twist" changed the face of how people dance (without contact with their partner) that has been a cultural change along with musical change.
How about The Tokens?   From their original Doo-Wop beginning as with lead singer Neil Sedaka, to many chart records throughout the 1960's as well as the long-standing #1 record The Lion Sleeps tonight, Margo, Margo, Medress and Siegel were Bright Tunes Publishing, BT Puppy Records (responsible for their own hits and all the hits of the Happenings) to producers for The Chiffons (how about He's So Fine?), one of the first artists to perform commercials that became "hits" (Great Shakes and the Clairol commercial "She Lets Her Hair Down")  The popularity of The Lion Sleeps Tonight reached a whole new audience with the making of The Lion King.  This group affected Doo Wop, Pop, R&B and Childrens music over the last 50 years. 
Clay Pasternack
Rocky River, Ohio
Believe it or not, when we ran our first Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame expose series, The Chubby Checker Fan Club told us to back off with our push for Chubby ... they felt his induction would come in good time ... "Don't worry about Chubby ... the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame will take care of itself" was the exact message they sent me.  (I've always wondered how an artist's fan club is doing that artist any service with an attitude like this!)
Now, all these years later, he still hasn't even so much as made the ballot.  Recently, Chubby's been telling the media that they'd better induct him soon while he's still around and able to get up on the stage and "twist again".  No question in my mind that he belongs just for the incredible impact he made on pop culture in general.
The Tokens have been on and off our list numerous times over the past eight years ... they just don't seem to have the support of the masses as worthy candidates.  Again, they did SO much more than record "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" ... but with Neil Sedaka also long overlooked, I don't think we'll be seeing these guys inducted any time soon.  (kk)

My suggestion, for what it's worth, is that they need to do something similar to what baseball has done and have a veterans committee to consider acts from the early days.  Let's say 1955 - 1970 or so.  It would be independent of the regular voting and maybe add two or three older names a year.
Mark (GoHawksGo)
We've made a similar suggestion over the years ... and I think it's a great idea.  But then staff that committee with knowledgeable music people who were there at the time and can make a meaningful contribution to the selection process.
I've also suggested a mass induction ... fess up to these oversights and induct a dozen overlooked, deserving and denied artists in a special ceremony independent of their regular, annual event ... no, it probably won't give them the tv ratings they want by marketing this thing to HBO ... so run it on PBS where there is a HUGE audience for this sort of thing and these "vintage" artists.
Another thought is to have the inducted artists themselves come up with a list of nominees ... acts that influenced THEM to get into the business of rock and roll and carve out a successful career.  Who would know better than THESE guys?!?!  There is SO much that COULD be done, were the strings not so tightly controlled by the people at hand.  (kk)