From a small northwestern observatory…

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Rock Hall Rant, Part 2

As faithful readers know, for a couple of years now I’ve been one of the crowd nagging the Rock Hall of Fame for some of their most egregious omissions.  Included on this list are acts which will probably eventually make it, but nonetheless are long overdue.  Our collective complaints have been falling in the right places, and in the past couple of years we’ve seen Chicago, Moody Blues, and Steppenwolf’s song “Born to be Wild” all inducted (albeit not Steppenwolf themselves!).  We’re also hearing good things about the Doobie Brothers.  Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

Today’s rant is about acts that will probably never make it, but we shouldn’t forget about.

10.  Tammy Terrell — Everyone’s heard of Marvin Gaye, and indeed he was an early inductee in 1987.  What we forget is that in his glory days, he was part of a duo — Marvin Gaye and Tammy Terrell.  They were the “IT” couple at Motown.  Sadly, Tammy died in 1970, and never enjoyed the later fame her partner garnered based on that early 1960’s work.

9/8.  The Guess Who and Bachman Turner Overdrive — Arguably, this is one group.  BTO is just the Guess Who without Burton Cummings.  Indeed, Cummings and Randy Bachman have been touring together lately, playing their combined catalog, which is a powerful collection of 60’s and 70’s music.  Their 1969-70 trifecta of “Wheatfield Soul”, “Canned Wheat”, and “American Woman” belong in every album collection.  But for Neil Young, they are perhaps the best rockers to come out of Canada, and that probably says why they’ll never make it in.

7. Chad and Jeremy — I guess the Rock Hall figured they’d done all they needed to do about early 60’s duos when they inducted the Righteous Brothers.  Their 1964 album “Yesterday’s Gone” alone should have at least garnered them a nomination.

6.  Grand Funk Railroad — Wow.  In 1970, I blew through 3 copies of the 8-track “Closer to Home” cruising in my ’68 Mustang.  Rolling Stone magazine once said, “You cannot talk about rock in the 1970s without talking about Grand Funk Railroad.”

5.  Mountain — The power duo of Leslie West and Felix Pappalardi only lasted 3 years, including a powerful performance at Woodstock and one of the classics songs of the rock era, “Mississippi Queen”.  “Nantucket Sleighride” is still on my playlist today.  Their influence on heavy metal cannot be overstated.

4.  T-Rex — A 60’s psychedelic folk act that transitioned into electric music in the 70’s, front man Marc Bolen was clearly a heavy influence on the later glam-rock movement.  Sadly, his life was cut short in a 1977 car wreck, otherwise we would have heard more from them in the 80’s ala David Bowie.

3.  Toto — “Rosanna” and “Africa” were two mainstays of the early MTV, and Toto IV is one of the best selling rock albums of all time.  Multiple Grammy Awards, 17 studio albums selling over 40 million copies, and induction into the Musicians Hall of Fame seemingly isn’t enough for the Rock Hall.

2.  Warren Zevon.  Huh…. yeah.  Why not “Werewolves of London”?

And now, for my TWO #1 picks of acts that will, sadly, probably never make it into the hall

1A.  Blue Oyster Cult — Often viewed as one-trick-ponies for their monster hit, “Don’t Fear the Reaper”, they had a strong list of albums throughout the 1970’s.  They helped pioneer the genre that gave us Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, and influenced Metallica, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Queens of the Stone Age, and so many others.

1B The Bangles — Yes, they were the real thing.  Four women who wrote, sang, performed, and tuned their own guitars.  Like Pearl Jam, they seemed to blow through bass players, but the lineup that seemed to last the longest included Susanna Hoffs, Debbi Peterson, Vicki Peterson, and Michael Steele (who, lest we forget, also played in the Runaways).  If you’ve never seen them, catch them on YouTube playing at the House of Blues a few years ago — they’re the real deal.  Vicki Peterson may be the best female guitarist of the rock era.

Written by johnkilpatrick

July 8, 2018 at 10:12 am

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