Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees announced

Hall & Oates in August 2013. Photo: Kelly A. Swift
Anyone who has been reading my Rock 'n' Roll Truth blog or catching episodes of Music Worth Buying over the past few years knows my (mostly negative) thoughts surrounding the process of putting a wide range of deserving artists into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Rolling Stone has leaked the list of Class of 2014 nominees and for once I can't fully argue much with the list since it does actually focus on significant rock- and pop-rock artists who have earned a spot. It's a no brain-er that Nirvana, Kiss and Peter Gabriel will make the cut, but I'm also hopeful that Hall & Oates will finally (deservedly) be inducted too when the ceremony is staged at a ceremony in New York City in April 2014. Just for the record, I am not a voter and never have been.

The Zombies last month in Santa Ana. Photo: Kelly A. Swift
I am not as optimistic about the Zombies getting in even while I count the British band as one of the most deserving on the list (call me crazy, but I would rather listen to the Zombies' artful blend of jazz-tinged melodic and psychedelic rock day of the week over Kiss and Nirvana). In fact, the band's recent concert here in Orange County was one of the best shows I've caught this year. The fact that the packed crowd was comprised of mostly twentysomethings was also proof positive of the band's continuing influence.

One of my all-time favorite hard rock/heavy metal outfits, Deep Purple, is also on the ballot. Sadly, I fear they won't get selected. Just a few days ago, I spent an afternoon watching the newly-released DVD Perfect Strangers Live (released yesterday). Filmed in 1984, it's amazing how powerful and influential the English outfit was, thanks in large part to singer Ian Gillan's amazing vocals and Ritchie Blackmore's stunning guitar work.

I am as interested as all of you as to see who will get the nod.

I just read Los Angeles Times music writer Randall Roberts' piece posted today, where he handicaps the nominees and it's worth a look. 

Better yet, Orange County Register writer Ben Wener has written an outstanding overview and I agree with many of his key points (please note only Orange County Register subscribers can get behind the site's pay wall).

Here are some highlights from Ben Wener posted last night (Oct. 15, 2013) on his Soundcheck blog:
"Who is most likely to get in?
Well, one thing is for certain: Dave Grohl, one of the modern era's most beloved rockers, is about to become a Hall of Famer, alongside Krist Novoselic and the late Kurt Cobain, whose path to this pantheon was clear even before he killed himself. The induction ceremony should coincide with the 20th anniversary of his shotgun suicide.
Hall & Oates, the best-selling duo of all time, has been overlooked even as a nominee for more than a decade; voters hopefully will make up for that slight by ushering them in.
Gabriel seems a strong possibility, considering his role (akin to Paul Simon's) in bringing world beat to pop prominence, plus his body of work is arguably more respected than that of Genesis. He would be the 18th artist twice inducted, not counting Eric Clapton, who has been celebrated three times, with the Yardbirds and Cream and as a solo act.
Let's not forget, however, how long it can take some icons to get inducted on their own. Eleven years passed before Paul McCartney was so honored, following the Beatles automatic enshrinement in 1988. Yet Lou Reed, installed with the Velvet Underground in 1996, has yet to make a ballot for the rest of his life's work.
The Hall of Fame has a love/hate relationship with Kiss, and vice verse – but now that Rush finally got its due, anything is possible. Chic may get a pity push this time, while Ronstadt, certainly a deserving choice, may garner extra sympathy given her recent announcement that Parkinson's disease has left her unable to sing.
She's sure to come in ahead of Cat Stevens and the Zombies and the Replacements, the latter a college-rock critics' darlings who are meritous but also lucky to be included. The rap acts have a 50/50 shot at best, I think, considering their competition this time. Paul Butterfield and the Meters are wild cards, significant acts whose long-range influence has nonetheless been limited compared to others in this mix.
Among the many other eligible but absent names are Whitney Houston, Cheap Trick, Todd Rundgren, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Pixies, the B-52's, Barry White, the Cure, Depeche Mode, Dire Straits, Dick Dale, Duran Duran, Iron Maiden, Harry Nilsson, Journey, Joy Division, Love, the Monkees, New York Dolls, Roxy Music, the Smiths, Sonic Youth and Steve Miller Band."

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