Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees for 2021

Billy Preston, Kraftwerk, Todd Rundgren, LL Cool J, finally

Here are two possibly contradictory things. I know that who gets, or doesn’t get, into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame doesn’t equate with their talent, commercial success, or “worthiness.” And, for the most part, I am really quite happy who got in this season. Here was my wish list. Maybe next year for Chaka Khan and Devo.

“The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame reveals its 2021 Inductees, celebrating the most diverse list of Inductees in the history of the organization.”

Performer Category

go gosTina Turner – for a time, she and Fela Kuti were vying for the top spot on the fan ballot. In the end, Tina won going away. I didn’t vote for her because she was already in, with Ike Turner and I chose to vote for those who weren’t in at all. But I’m not complaining, as I have two of her solo albums.
The Best 

Carole King – she ended up sixth on the five performer ballot. I didn’t vote for her either, as she was in as a songwriter with Gerry Goffin. But no complaints here, even though Tapestry is the only album of hers I own.
Jazzman 

The Go-Go’s – came in third in the fan voting. I voted for them and saw them perform 30 years ago in Albany. 
We Got The Beat 

JAY-Z – near the bottom of the fan vote, but an understandable pick.
Song Cry 

Foo Fighters – in the top five of the fan vote. I didn’t vote for them, primarily because Dave Grohl was already in the Rock Hall with Nirvana. But I like Grohl. He’s been Touring in a Van, Interviewing Rock Stars and; Performing with His Daughter. 
Everlong 

Todd Rundgren – YES! His third time on the ballot is the charm. He’s been my #1 or #2 pick each year. Nazz, Utopia, solo work, plus producing.
Appropriately, Just One Victory 

Early Influence Award

Kraftwerk – it was on the ballot about a dozen times. Not this year, but they got in anyway, and that’s great.
list from J. Eric Smith.

Charley Patton  – Wikipedia says (April 1891 (probable) – April 28, 1934) he was an American Delta blues musician. Considered by many to be the ‘Father of the Delta Blues’, he created an enduring body of American music and inspired most Delta blues musicians.
Spoonful Blues 

Gil Scott-Heron – an inspired choice. In case you don’t know, “his music… influenced and foreshadowed later African-American music genres such as hip hop and neo-soul.”
We Almost Lost Detroit 

Musical Excellence Award

This is an odd category. It used to be the “sidemen” award for folks such as Motown’s James Jamerson or Hal Blaine of the Wrecking Crew. But, under the new title, it has included Ringo Starr.

LL Cool J – I’ve been pushing for him for years, and I voted for him this year, but he was in the bottom two of the popular vote.
I Need Love 

Billy Preston – MY FAVORITE CHOICE. Nearly a decade ago, I made the case why he should be included. 
My Sweet Lord (live)

Randy Rhoads – I must admit, I know the name, but not the body of work from Quiet Riot and Ozzy Osborne
Solos 

Ahmet Ertegun Award

Clarence Avant – read the Wikipedia article about the Black Godfather, who made black music more visible.

Yeah, there are more musicians to get in. But I must make my annual appeal for Estelle Axton in this category.

Music: Do What You Want – Billy Preston

The That’s The Way God Planned It album was produced by one George Harrison

Do What You WantIn May of 1971, I hitchhiked from Binghamton to New Paltz to see my girlfriend. Long story short, she broke up with me, and I was pretty devastated.

She did kindly drive me to a boarding school in nearby Poughkeepsie, where I saw my friend Steve. I had met him in Binghamton Central High School a couple years earlier. I don’t remember much about what we talked about, except he was really looking forward to seeing this great new singer named Bonnie Raitt again. I’d never of her.

At some point, he played the 1969 Billy Preston album That’s The Way God Planned It, produced by one George Harrison and released on Apple Records, with pikers such as Eric Clapton, Keith Richards and Ginger Baker playing on it. Naturally, I knew who Preston was from the Beatles Get Back session.

The first track on the album, Do What You Want, I loved instantly. It’s a wonderfully imperfect recording that starts off much slower than it ends. (The song When You Dance, I Can Really Love by Neil Young from that era does the same thing.)

Recently, I was looking for Do What You Want To on YouTube, and I came across a DIFFERENT recording on Billy’s eponymous 11th album from 1976 on A&M. It’s not a BAD song, but I find it far inferior.

it’s rather like the lyrics to the B-side of Outa-Space, one of Billy’s A&M hits, I Wrote a Simple Song:
I wrote a simple song
With simple words and harmony
Wasn’t very long
Before a star, I was bound to be

They took my simple song, yes, they did
They changed the words and the melody
Made it all sound wrong, yeah
Now it sounds like a symphony

There are very few people – Dustbury is probably one – who has such a specific memory of music in a time and place as I do.

Listen to
Do What You Want (1969)
Do What You Want (1976)

That’s The Way God Planned It (#62 pop in 1969, #65 pop in 1972)

I Wrote a Simple Song (#77 pop in 1972)

I saw Billy Preston live at the Elting Gym at the college in New Paltz in 1971 or 1972. He would have been 72 this month.

2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominee fan vote

That first Steppenwolf album I listened to constantly

the_cars_-_the_essentialsFor the past couple years, you, the popular music fan, have been allowed to select up to five Nominees you think should be Inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, from the admittedly flawed list of candidates. The aggregate vote get tallied as one vote, along with the experts.

Last year, I rooted for Chicago, Chaka Khan, Los Lobos, The Spinners and Yes. Chicago, which won the fan vote last year made it into the Hall, though popularity there did not assure induction. Los Lobos and the Spinners are not even on the ballot this year.

The 2017 Nominees are:

Bad Brains Continue reading “2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominee fan vote”

Music throwback Saturday: Those Were The Days

mary-hopkinBack in 2010, the year it came out, I purchased Come and Get It: The Best of Apple Records. The CD was “the first commercially issued multi-artist compilation in the label’s history.” It didn’t cost the nearly $40 it’s now going for presently on Amazon, though you can get the MP3 for $9.50.

It’s a fun 21-track compilation of singles from 1968 to 1972, though not truly the “best of Apple.” For one thing, there are no Beatles songs, nor any of their solo material. Still, the Fab Four are well represented, often as songwriters and/or producers.

Those Were The Days / Mary Hopkin (1968, produced by Paul), or HERE. The debut 45 by Mary Hopkin was a huge hit, UK No. 1 for six weeks, #2 for 3 weeks in the US. I remember I purchased this 45 because Continue reading “Music throwback Saturday: Those Were The Days”

Billy Preston would have been 70

I continue to nag that Billy Preston should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,

billy-prestonWhen I was in college at SUNY New Paltz, WAY back the spring of 1972 (I think), I saw Billy Preston in concert, probably the second live concert of a “name” artist that I ever saw, after Seals & Crofts. He must have played in the Elting Gym. I took pictures, but from where I was seated, in the rafters, all I got was shadows and the backs of people’s heads.

You SHOULD know Billy Preston, keyboard player extraordinaire. Continue reading “Billy Preston would have been 70”