Rock 'n' Roll is the "People's Music," so I thought it would be nice to ask a handful of "people" who they believe should be elected. Besides, my doctor and I enjoy talking about these matters. He says it helps with my treatment.
I asked a variety of people, but mostly the writers wrote back. (As if making a list requires anyone to write!) I didn't solicit comments, since I didn't want this blog to read like the Deluxe and Expanded Re-Mastered Version of War and Peace.
For my own list, I grabbed some names that didn't make the others. I wrote up the 25 entries that caught my eye. But don't take that to mean that the other suggestions are any less deserving.
Participating in this poll does not imply that you care about what happens with the Hall of Fame. This is for amusement purposes only. I'm sure the omission of Alanis Morissette is purely an oversight!
Thanks to all who participated. Obviously, I think quite a bit of your opinion.
Readers, don't forget to write in your own faves.
Note: I reference the contributors in some of the entries, so be sure to scroll down and see what I'm talking about.
Dion And The BELMONTS: Bob Rixon makes an excellent point. Why should Dion be admitted to the Hall while his old group the Belmonts are given no credit? As if people who are not the lead singer aren't already paid less as it is.
24) Harold Melvin And The Blue Notes: Dr. Eric Stamberg also makes a cogent point about the oft-neglected "sidemen" category. I've had to check the list several times to make sure the Blue Notes were not admitted. That's how hard it is to believe. Listen, I know Philly is one of those cities that always gets dumped on, but you can't argue with Philly Soul. Besides, the Hall itself is located in Cleveland, so it's not like it doesn't understand the plight of the underdog.
Carole King (As A Performer): Interesting. She's inducted as a songwriter but not as a performer. For those who complain she isn't "rock 'n' roll," you can be in charge of "rockness" in the future (and you can try and kick James Taylor out). All I know is that everyone owned Tapestry back in the early 1970s and they all tried to sell it to me at garage sales in the 1980s. Since I believe everyone belongs in the Hall, I say she's in.
22) Captain Beefheart: Average people like to claim that Rock Critics are an elitist, snotty bunch with too much control. But clearly that is not true because the great Captain has gotten great reviews and sold very few records and is nowhere near the Hall of Fame. Even Sylvie Simmons' TEN VOTES don't get Mr. Van Vliet any closer to entry. Even I PAID RETAIL for several of his albums! We are a raging impotent lot! NO, WE CAN'T!
The Cure: It's really annoying how many great British bands have been left out of the Hall. Sure, most of the 1960s bands all got in, but after that no Brits need apply. The Cure were so damn versatile. I also vote for Bauhaus and the Sisters Of Mercy. Just think--a Goth wing! No windows and you could save a bundle on lighting!
20) Kraftwerk: Electronic music has been such an important part of rock music in the ensuing decades. Can't these guys get in under the "influences" tag if nothing else? In fact, where are any of the great German bands? Just because their parents were Nazis is no reason to slight them.
Journey: OK, OK, I've been less than kind to them. But I'm not everyone. And Lyndsey Parker certainly knows what the men don't understand. I'm more partial to letting in her beloved faves Duran Duran, since they were an important part of early MTV. But just as your favorite musical acts made an indelible impression on you when you were a small person, so did Journey on young Lyndsey. Miss L remains a hardcore music junkie. That's more than you can say for most people. She cares!
18) The "5" Royales: Chris Morris has become, like many of us, a historian by default. I'd like to borrow his record collection sometime. If you're not familiar with the musicians on his list, then you have some studying to do. If you're not going to include R&B bands that laid the pipe for future generations, then why even have a Hall?
Moby Grape: Moby Grape were the best band to come out of that 1960s San Francisco scene and they're the ones who aren't here! They paid the first time around and they're paying now!
Big Star: How the Hall can continue to ignore the "marginal" figures who have kept the flame alive for so many is just another chapter in a book I never intend to write! (Too busy listening to music.)
Brian Eno: Ted Cogswell, who runs his own nifty site on FaceBook where music fans have their voices heard, has a solid list of contenders. Known to many people, except, I suppose, to those people voting in the real Hall.
The Monkees: I know, this is where the Hall applies their standards. This and Kiss. Again, I invoke what will be known hereafter as the "U2 Defense."
10) The Dead Boys: Richard Riegel plays his favorites. (Go Jr. Walker and the All-Stars!) There were so many great punks bands that have no likely shot at the Hall. Rocket From The Tombs, Pere Ubu, Richard Hell & the Voidoids, X Ray Spex, X, Suicide, the Dictators...take your kids to the zoo instead.
8) The Modern Lovers: Dilettante Tom Carson even managed to vote for Pylon! Who I'm sure those sleepers in R.E.M. would agree on. Jerry Harrison got in as a member of Talking Heads and maybe someday David Robinson will get in as a member of the Cars. But the Modern Lovers, with auteur Jonathan Richman, were so much more, y'know!
Public Image Ldt.: I guess Johnny Rotten (Lydon) should be happy(?) that the Sex Pistols made it in. Why aren't more people like Van Morrison? He didn't even bother going to his induction ceremony. I guess he didn't feel like "jamming" with The Boss.
6) New York Dolls: Sean D. Ison makes some good points and none more demanding of attention than these lipstick killers. Madonna made it in. David Bowie made it in. Iggy and the Stooges made it in. What kind of grassroots push is it going to take to put in these folks? Or will Buster Poindexter be admitted first? Can they at least be considered "influences"?
MC 5: You would think Bruce Springsteen's manager would have a little more pull with the Hall. But then maybe things went really wrong in the studio and they weren't nice enough to him. Or maybe someone should just let those poor filmmakers release that MC 5 documentary and things will then work out.
4) West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band: Martin Dio shows a strong preference for musicians who sell very few records in the United States. I guess The Zombies are the "band to watch" here, having had at least a few hit singles. I wouldn't waste any betting money on The Wild Swans. I love Martin exactly because he chooses bands like the WCPAEB! What an acronym!
2) The Smiths: That jerk Rob O'Connor voted for Allen Ginsberg! Has anyone heard Allen sing? Why anyone could write his blog! Sometimes it feels like "anyone" does. As for the Smiths, what is everyone waiting for? Wasn't anyone on the Hall induction committee ever a teenager?
Joy Division: Seriously! They've now had enough books, films and reissues to qualify. Does someone else in the band have to commit suicide to get more attention?
And now the lists from the contributors:
Bob Rixon, Poet, DJ:
Dion and the BELMONTS
Laura Nyro (currently nominated)
Eric Stamberg, Physician, Pianist:
1. Huey Piano Smith and the Clowns
2. Gary US Bonds: if Percy Sledge is in, why not him?
3. Harold Melvin and the Blue notes and/or
4. The Spinners: Philly Soul is definitely under-represented
5. Carole King as a performer
6. Donna Summer (currently nominated)
7. Barry White
8. I originally said Mitch Ryder but I think Johnny Rivers may be a better choice
9. Randy Newman: if Leonard Cohen is in, why not him?
10. Junior Walker: what an oversight this is
And the sidemen category is completely neglected. Off the top of my head, I can think of at least 4 piano players that should be included (Otis Spann, Al Kooper, Nicky Hopkins and Chuck Leavell).
Sylvie Simmons, Writer, Ukulele-ist:
Captain Beefheart x 10
Lyndsey Parker, Yahoo!'s #1 Blogger:
1) The Cure
3) Hall & Oates
5) Big Star
6) Depeche Mode
7) Duran Duran
8) Cheap Trick
12) The Damned
Chris Morris, Writer Variety:
The "5" Royales
The (Small) Faces
Billy Lee Riley
and hey, f**k it, the Monks
Ted Cogswell, Director of the People's Hall Of Rock n' Roll:
The "5" Royales
The New York Dolls
The Small Faces
Richard Riegel, Esotericist:
Arthur Lee/Love [Ultimately worth more than any given 20 inductees of recent years.]
The Dead Boys
Paul Revere & the Raiders
Chi-Pig [the Akron band, not that Canuck clown in SNFU]
And yeah, Jr. Walker for sure
Tom Carson, Dilettante:
The Modern Lovers
Hound Dog Taylor
Sean D. Ison, FaceBook Acquaintance and All-Around Good Guy:
1. New York Dolls
2. Hasil Adkins
3. Charlie Feathers
5. Joe Meek
6. Shadow Morton
8. Suzi Quatro
9. Black Flag
10. Blue Cheer
11. Screamin' Jay Hawkins
Martin Dio, Phenomenologist:
West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band
The Lotus Eaters
The Wild Swans
Rob O'Connor, The Idiot Who Writes This Blog:
Bedlam (NJ Hardcore band)
Amon Duul II