Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Class of 2011

The 2011 inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame are:

Alice Cooper (the band, not the dude with the mascara at the helm)
Neil Diamond
Dr. John
Darlene Love
Tom Waits

In addition, Leon Russell gets in as a sideman and recording industry figures Art Rupe and Jac Holzman get past the velvet ropes. A few quick thoughts:
  • It's easy to forget now, but the Alice Cooper band was really quite good and equally controversial back in the day. There was a time when certain rock critics wondered aloud if Alice Cooper would be the American version of the Rolling Stones. That never happened, but for a shining moment or two in the early 1970s, they were a force.
  • Yes, the majority of Neil Diamond's career has been in the service of schlock. In the 1960s things were very different. Give a listen to "Kentucky Woman" or "Cherry, Cherry" sometime.
  • In some ways, I think you can pair Dr. John and Leon Russell. Both were extraordinary keyboard players from the American South. Dr. John was a much better bandleader which is why he gets in the front door. Leon Russell's solo career was patchy, but it had its moments.
  • Darlene Love was one of the primary voices of the Phil Spector sound and my guess is that her annual appearances on David Letterman's show helped her candidacy a lot. I don't have a problem with that -- she remains to this day a powerhouse vocalist and those sides she cut with Spector still sound fresh nearly a half-century later.
  • Waits is the most interesting case, since he's not really a rock and roller in the traditional sense. He's had a remarkable career but if you were to ask the average music listener to name 5 Waits songs, they'd be hard pressed to do it. As a stylistic influence he deserves the award, though.

Fearless Maria and I may turn our attention to these artists in a Guilty Pleasures at some point. In the meantime, here are my questions for the audience:

Do you have an issue with any of these inductees? And;

What act (or acts) not currently in the Hall deserves to be?

Do you even care about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?


W.B. Picklesworth said...

The Rock n Roll Hall of Fame is about as important the gout epidemic in Tierra del Fuego. Not very.

Mr. D said...

the gout epidemic in Tierra del Fuego

Didn't know about that, because I've concentrating my attention on the mumps epidemic in the Dardenelles.

Night Writer said...

Tom Waits is the most interesting nominee for me, and I could name you a couple of handfuls of his songs, none of which I would ever classify as "rock". Probably the closest he came to mainstream was the song "Ol' 55" that he wrote and was covered by The Eagles on one of their early albums. The "NightHawks at the Diner" album is a classic, though and (as all classics should) holds up very well even 30 years after it was released.

Alice Cooper should be pleased since his fear, as expressed in the song "High School", was "don't forget me or nothin'".

Bike Bubba said...

The important question here is whether Mike Myers and Dana Carvey are going to show up at the induction to bow down with "we're not worthy!"

Party on, Mark!

Gino said...

i dont really care about the r/r hall of fame.

they leave all my favorite bands out, anyway.

CousinDan 54915 said...

It can't be that important. Bob Dylan doesn't shave for the show.

Mr. D said...

Bob Dylan doesn't shave for the show.

He did get a bikini wax, though.