Murry Wilson was an entrepreneur, but he also had an interest in music, which he passed along to his sons, Brian, Dennis, and Carl, sharing his love of the tight harmonies of groups such as the Four Freshmen. He became their business manager, finagling for their group, which also included his nephew, Mike Love, and the brothers’ friend, Al Jardine (replaced briefly by David Marks), a recording contract with Capitol Records. He was a great motivator, though considered abusive.
In that great musical debate about the preferred lead singer of Van Halen, I suppose I’m in the David Lee Roth camp, rather than the Sammy Hagar camp. It is only because my one and only VH album, 1982’s Diver Down, features Roth. “From 1974 until 1985 the band comprised guitarist Eddie Van Halen, vocalist David Lee Roth, drummer Alex Van Halen [Eddie’s brother] and bassist Michael Anthony.” That’s the group I remember watching in the early days of MTV.
From CNN: “Grunge groundbreakers Nirvana, disco dynamos Chic and the costume-clad, Gene Simmons-led pop metal band KISS are among 16 nominees up for election in the museum’s Class of 2014. The deep selection also includes ’70s and ’80s hitmakers Hall and Oates; college radio heroes the Replacements; New Orleans funkmeisters the Meters; sweet-voiced Linda Ronstadt; and pioneering gangsta rappers N.W.A.
“Completing the list: the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Deep Purple, Peter Gabriel, LL Cool J, Cat Stevens, Link Wray, Yes and the Zombies.”
CBS News adds: “Nirvana, Linda Ronstadt, Peter Gabriel, Hall and Oates and The Replacements are among first-time nominees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.”
One of my friends, remembering her popularity in the late 1970s, both musically and visually – posters of her image were on more few dorm room walls – wrote: “Now that we know Linda Ronstadt is living with Parkinson’s, can we please finally put her in the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame?”
Not sure about whether induction there really matters; it certainly does not diminish her remarkable talent over decades. Still, I support the notion of her getting into the Hall, and if it takes a sympathy vote because she no longer can sing to achieve it, so be it. But I think she has enough bona fides to get there without pity.
War was a long-running funk-rock band from southern California, who was commercially viable, at least into the 1990s. Eric Burdon, formerly of The Animals, was the lead vocalist on their first hit, Spill the Wine, back in 1970, but others took the reins shortly after that.
On the Billboard 100, the very peaceful tune called Summer, which was appropriately released on June 21, 1976, debuted on the chart on July 10 and spent 16 weeks there, eventually getting to #7. On the soul charts, it also started moving on July 10, and spent 14 weeks, reaching #4. It was declared a gold record, selling over 500,000 units.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame released its nominations in the last month or two. Here’s the nominating process. “Criteria include the influence and significance of the artists’ contributions to the development and perpetuation of rock and roll.” So there’s some vague line about commercial success, but also “importance”.
Invariably, there are those who kvetch about who’s not on the ballot – if I were so inclined, I’d mention the Moody Blues and Yes.
Billy Preston, George Harrison, President Gerald Ford, all deceased.
While I’m less and less caring about who gets selected for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the performer category, I’ve become more and more interested in categories such as early influences and non-performers. I’m especially intrigued by the sideman category since Leon Russell was inducted in 2011. After all, he was a performer of some commercial success, but not enough to make it as a performer. But he played on a lot of albums for other artists, and was inducted based on that.
“Neil Diamond and Alice Cooper are among the musicians who will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011. Tom Waits, Darlene Love, and Dr. John will also join the class of 2011… Other honorees will include Jac Holzman, Leon Russell and Art Rupe.”
Those nominees who were not chosen for induction this year were Bon Jovi, the Beastie Boys, LL Cool J. Laura Nyro, Joe Tex, Chic, Donovan, J. Geils Band, Donna Summer, and Chuck Willis.
And I remember in the early days of the Rock Hall, which I visited in May of 1998 – they had tributes to recently deceased Carls, Wilson and Perkins – that I was actually excited who got in. Continue reading Rock Hall QUESTION→