Alice Cooper (the band, not the dude with the mascara at the helm)
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?