Saturday, June 30, 2012

Softening My Rock Hall Picks

Man, maybe I'm getting older and softer, but lately I've been endorsing more artists that I used to scoff at for the Rock Hall.
Watching the Laura Nyro presentation at this year's Rock Hall, 2 songs by the 5th Dimension came on, and I stood up and finally realized that while I once swatted away their induction, I now think they made just as many great Pop records as Little Anthony & The Imperials, to name a crossover act.  And besides my Dad used to like 'em.

I used to be lukewarm on the J. Geils Band.   Better live act than recorded one.  But hearing their catalog played on XM's Deep Cuts, I've come around.

Can't believe Motor City native Dave Marsh has never been able to get Mitch Ryder on the ballot.  But if you don't think he was an influential shouter than you haven't heard early Bob Seger and early John Mellencamp.  I was doubtful for years until those guys got inducted.

Last year the Hall nominated the Cure.  I thought the Smiths should have gotten a nod first.  But almost a year later, I shouldn't have placed them so low on my ballot.   A month ago, I went back and listened to some of their early catalog titles and saw how good they were.  Plus, my wife always liked them.   I wonder if the Hall will skip them and go with the Smiths next go-round.  Oh, and I've always supported a Duran Duran nod.

While I'm still wavering back and forth on Classic Rock staples Boston, who turn up on the People's Hall of Fame ballot,  or I've got no problem with Journey.  Damn!  Could you see the comments from the Journey-hating critics if they ever got nominated!    Can't see that happening with the current NomCom, but if I was on it I'd fight for them over Bon Jovi.  Oh, the arguments I could have with Little Steven!  But, while Bon Jovi have been nominated, Journey had better songs and made better albums.  But they are tagged with the dreaded "Corporate Rock"  trademark.  Add Foreigner, also better than Bon Jovi,  to the above statement as well.  BTW- I do support a Bon Jovi induction, just think some from their genre were better.

Moving over to Metal, I'm now on board for Judas Priest, but not Iron Maiden.  And I've always been on board for Motorhead.

Not known as "Corporate Rock", the Doobie Brothers had a great chart run in the 70's, and could sneak on a ballot one year.  This current NomCom, as I stated with Journey, etc., just don't like bands like this.
The same could be said about the Guess Who.  Again, a great singles band.  The Hall could combine them with BTO.  As far as Grand Funk?  Still a no for me, but I like some of their hits.
And while I like a lot of Prog Rock, and still cry every year Yes are left off the ballot, Emerson, Lake & Palmer have always been a question mark.  But they turn up on so many of these snarky "Hated bands ever" lists that this current NomCom just wouldn't go for them.  But I don't think their would be as big a controversy if they got nominated, like their would be with Journey.

A Facebook friend asked me about Bad Company 2 years ago, and I scoffed at his suggestion.  But now I've come around.  Again, XM's Deep Cuts channel has turned me.  Make it easier for us and add Free to the bill and it's a no-brainer.  But Paul Rodgers could be a polarizing figure for some.  Big, brawny, muscular voice bellowing out Classic Rock anthems?  Not the stuff the NomCom goes for.

Say the name Tommy James & The Shondells and some would say "Bubblegum" music.  That's what's keeps him off the ballot I believe.  Once again I've got to say it:  great singles artist.  But I really didn't change my mind until I read his Bio last year.  But, no, I'm still not feeling it for Herman's Hermits.

Still not feeling much about Paul Anka or Pat Boone. Talk about polarizing names!  Can't see them ever getting nominated either.  But say the name Connie Francis and I come alive.  I've heard some chatter about Lesley Gore, but just typing her name makes me shrug my shoulders.  Put her down as someone whose catalog I need to dig deeper into.

In the good-time hits sweepstakes of 60's acts, Gary "US" Bonds is a thumbs up.  But Freddy Cannon and Chubby Checker are still a no.

Speaking of a great singles band, I agree with Philip at Rock Hall Monitors, nominating the Three Dog Night, would not be a bad decision.  They made as many enduring singles as the Hollies.  Again, it's that early 70's era for AM charting acts that this current NomCom can't embrace.

Jimmy Buffett has turned out to be more influential with Country acts than Pop ones.  No surprise there, because his songs have always sounded Country to me, even if he wasn't aiming them at that market.  But with his massive "Parrot Head" following and his continued longevity, I've always expected him to get a nod.

Let me interrupt and state something:  As NomCom members come and go (we hope) in the future, some of these artists could  have a better chance of getting on a ballot.

Okay, so some will use the Sports analogy here.  You either think someone is a Hall of Famer from the get-go or you don't.   But it is indeed possible to soften one's stance on any particular person.  But you have to keep an open mind to other people's suggestions and conversations on an artist.

I'm also not saying that if their were other strong names on a ballot that some of these names might not even make my upper tier in who I'd vote for.

Just saying that if any of the above appear on a ballot, I won't snicker or wave 'em away.  Yep, I think I'm getting soft in my old age.

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