Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame 2024 nominees

Blige, Carey, Cher, Matthews, Eric B., Foreigner, Frampton, Jane’s., Kool, Kravitz, Oasis, O’Connor, Osbourne, Sade, Quest.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2024 nominees were announced recently. They are Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey, Cher, Dave Matthews Band, Eric B. & Rakim, Foreigner, Peter Frampton, Jane’s Addiction, Kool & the Gang, Lenny Kravitz, Oasis, Sinéad O’Connor, Ozzy Osbourne, Sade & A Tribe Called Quest.

Yes, please don’t tell me it doesn’t matter. I might even agree with you. But I loved visiting Cleveland in 1998 and 2016 to see the exhibits anyway.

For some years, I know precisely which three or four people I would vote for in the fan ballot, for which you can vote until April 26. I vigorously supported underappreciated artists such as Fela Kuti, John Prine, and Warren Zevon when they were recently on the ballot, but they were not inducted.

The nominees

This year, there was only one sure thing: Cher. Curiously, I don’t have any of her albums, though she does appear on compilations I own. She’s gone from being a background singer for Phil Spector to her days with Sonny Bono to becoming an icon. I watched her shows with and without Bono. Not that it’s particularly relevant here, but she was good in a trio of 1980s movies: Silkwood, Mask, and  Moonstruck. Absolutely YES.

I scattered my votes – one can vote for seven instead of five this year – among 11 artists.

Mary J. Blige: I have none of her music. Yet her influence is well-documented. PROBABLY YES.

Mariah Carey – I have her greatest hits album on CD. Still, I didn’t bother voting for her because 1) she’ll get in without my help, and 2) she has a five-octave voice, which she often uses unnecessarily to the music’s detriment. NO

Dave Matthews Band – I don’t own any of the music. A funny thing about me and Dave Mathews: I saw him at the Willie Nelson 90th birthday bash and the Rock Hall induction, and I NEVER recognized him, visually or sonically. MAYBE.

Eric B. & Rakim – I don’t own their music, but I appreciate their contribution. MAYBE.

Foreigner – I have a couple of their LPs and some irritating live CD. MAYBE.

An old Ray Charles song

Peter Frampton – I have Frampton Comes Alive. But my YES vote comes from his brief tenure with Humble Pie, particularly Rockin’ The Filmore, an LP I own. Specifically, I Don’t Need No Doctor was a staple of FM radio in the 1970s.

Jane’s Addiction is a group I don’t own, but again, I recognize their importance, in this case, to alternative rock. MAYBE.

Kool & the Gang – I have one of their LPs. Of course, it contains Celebration. And Pulp Fiction brought back Jungle Boogie. I am inclined to favor older acts, and they first charted in 1969. YES.

Lenny Kravitz – There are a LOT of artists for which I have one of their albums. I have one Kravitz CD. MAYBE

Oasis – Ditto. MAYBE.

Sinéad O’Connor – I have only her albums, the one with Nothing Compares 2 U, a video that has always gutted me. And it was before she died. But she became a probably YES after I heard the Coverville tribute to her.

Ozzy Osbourne – I wasn’t into Black Sabbath. Ozzy, I know more as a personality on that MTV show. He’ll get in, I’m sure. NO.

Sade – Lovely voice. I own one of her albums.  Also, Rebecca Jade will be doing a show of Sade songs plus her own in Philadelphia on my next birthday. MAYBE.

A Tribe Called Quest – They show up on a couple of my compilations, and I love what they do. YES.


So that’s six YES or PROBABLY YES, two NO, seven MAYBE.  I’ll admit to a certain bias. In Bernie Taupin’s acceptance speech, he pointedly lifted up articulate women and black people. It was a clear rebuke of Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner and his comments about why his then-current book included only white men. The statement got Wenner removed from the board of directors of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation.

Who would you vote for?

The folks who decide on the new inductees can also select people in the category of  Musical Excellence, which “shall be given to artists, musicians, songwriters and producers whose originality and influence creating music have had a dramatic impact on music.” Taupin, the lyricist for most of Elton John’s songs, was selected this way.

Besides Kuti, Prine, and Zevon, I’d like to see more of the Wrecking Crew picked, particularly Carol Kaye, who created the bass line for Sonny and Cher’s The Beat Goes On in the studio. They should also pick Glen Campbell, a mighty guitarist, before having success as a singer.


Finally, they need Estelle Axton, the co-founder of STAX Records, in, as I have been nagging about since 2015. As I noted, her brother, Jim Stewart, was inducted in 2002! My late friend Dustbury opined: ” So why is Stewart in the Hall and Axton not? Because Stewart, who couldn’t comprehend contract law, signed all those early Stax masters over to Atlantic, and at the Hall, Ahmet Ertegun sits at the right hand of God. Estelle, had she seen the paperwork, would have figured out the deal from day one.”

Estelle Axton for the ROCK HALL. Estelle Axton for the ROCK HALL. Oh, and Estelle Axton for the ROCK HALL.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, class of 2022


Elizabeth CottenI was well-pleased with who got into the class of 2022 for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It turned out that the top eight on the fan poll were selected. * I voted for them

Duran Duran* (934,880 votes), who I voted for as soon as ADD asked; it was a tight race for a while, but DD ran away. I own but one DD album. And it’s the album that people who own only album own, Rio. Here are some videos.  

Eminem (684,237). I own none of his music. But I did see the movie 8 Mile. His channel.

Pat Benatar* (631,299), and they rightly included her partner Neil Giraldo; she led early in the fan poll. I may own something on vinyl. The Benatar Giraldo  channel

Eurythmics* (442,271). I LOVE Eurythmics. I have two or three of their albums, plus the greatest hits. Also two Annie Lennox albums.  One of my favorite MTV videos is Would I  Lie To You. Their channel.

Dolly Parton (393,796); saying that she was undeserving may have been the most rock and roll thing she ever did. I have one of her solo albums, plus the complete Trio albums with Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou  Harris. Her channel.


 Judas Priest (365,999). I own none of their music. Their channel

Carly Simon (335,489). I have three or four of her albums on vinyl, plus one and the greatest hits on CD. But the Simon Sisters show up on a couple of compilations I own. Her channel

Lionel Richie* (302,877). maybe one LP. I have one Commodores greatest hits CD. His channel

The others who got in:

Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis (YES!).  Their channel.

Allen Grubman. If you don’t know him, and I didn’t, here’s a 75-minute  video from the 1990s.

 Jimmy Iovine (yes) – an 18-minute video of the record label owner and producer

Sylvia Robinson -watch the video of The God Mother & Pioneer Of Hip-Hop’s Big Business (R.I.P. Queen Sylvia Robinson)

I’m sorry I didn’t know Elizabeth Cotten, though I know all of her acolytes: Pete Seeger (for whom she was a nanny!); Joan Baez; Bob Dylan; the Grateful Dead; Taj Mahal; and Peter, Paul, and Mary, among many others.  Surely I know her most famous song, Freight Train.

 HARRY BELAFONTE – I’ve written about him here and here and probably a dozen other times

The also-rans on the fan ballot. Devo* (224,723), Kate Bush (207,523); Rage Against The Machine (190,063); Dionne Warwick (186,038); A Tribe Called Quest (145,287); New York Dolls (120,958); Beck (99,771); MC5 (93,666); and Fela Kuti (69,656), who was in the top two in the fan poll last year.

As I have said MANY times, they need to add Estelle Axton!

Rock Hall noms – who to pick?

Sweet Dreams Are Made of This

Pat BenatarThe Rock Hall noms popped up on my email feed recently. While I was pleased with many picks on last year’s ballot, I’m unclear which five to pick this time. Here’s music from each nominee. The top five finishers in the popular tally collectively receive a vote.

Beck (first-time nominee) – worthy, and I have a couple of his albums thanks to a certain party, but I’ll not vote for him because he’s newer to the music scene than some of the other nominees.

Pat Benatar – I don’t think I have any of her albums. Actually, I was won over by this CBS Sunday Morning interview that highlighted both her accomplishments and her “I don’t care” attitude. It’s also a love story with Neil Giraldo, dubbed Rock’s Romeo and Juliet, except that they’re very much alive and well.

Kate Bush – surely I don’t know enough about her body of work, though I own one of her albums.

DEVO – I voted for them last year, and I’m doing it again, at least in part because of the subsequent body of work of the brothers Mothersbaugh, Mark and Bob. I have at least four of their albums.

Duran Duran (first-time nominee) – worthy, I suppose, though I own none of their music.

Eminem (first-time nominee, first-year eligible) – clearly worthy, though I own none of his music; too new to pick. But he’ll probably get in.

Eurythmics – an easy yes, for them and for Annie Lennox’s solo stuff too, which I own, and maybe for her art.

Judas Priest – not my cuppa, but I hear they’re good.

Who the heck was Fela Kuti?

Fela Kuti – a massive international star. “Fela Aníkúlápó Kuti also known as Abami Eda, was a Nigerian multi-instrumentalist, bandleader, composer, political activist, and Pan-Africanist.” He “died on 3 August 1997, in Lagos, at the age of 58, from complications related to AIDS.” I may not have heard of him before 2009 or so, when Fela! the musical was on Broadway. Last year, his fan base came out to vote and he ended up second in the fan vote to Tima Turner.

MC5 – I like them, have one or two of their albums.

New York Dolls – ditto.

Dolly Parton (first-time nominee) – damn, I’m hoping that she gets picked for musical excellence for her impact on the industry, for which she is utterly worthy. I bought the complete Trio albums just last year.

Rage Against The Machine – significant, not just musically, but socially; have none of their work.

Lionel Richie (first-time nominee) – I ended up voting for him, as a member of the Commodores and as a songwriter; if he got picked in the musical excellence category, that’d be fine by me. I have a Commodores’ greatest hits CD.

Carly Simon (first-time nominee) – yeah, yeah, not rock, which is true of at half of the nominees. I’m a big fan, and I have maybe a half dozen albums.

A Tribe Called Quest (first-time nominee) – Hugely significant, though I don’t own their music.

Dionne Warwick – I love her body of work and have at least two of her albums.

The easy picks for me were Benatar, DEVO, and Eurythmics. EVERYBODY else except Beck, Bush, Eminem, and Judas Priest were on my “I’d consider them.” Ultimately, I picked Richie and rotated the fifth vote.

YOU can vote for your favorites here daily until April 29th.

Musician Nils Lofgren is turning 70

E Street Band and Crazy Horse

Nils LofgrenNils Lofgren is quite possibly a musician you’ve never of, even though he’s in the Rock and Hall of Fame. He’s the epitome of the working musician.

“Along with his work as a solo artist, he has been a member of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band since 1984, a member of Crazy Horse, and founder/frontman of the band Grin.”

He appears on a number of albums that I own. With Neil Young, that would be After the Gold Rush (1970), Tonight’s the Night (1975), Trans (1982), and Unplugged (February 1993). For Bruce, that would include Live/1975-85 (1986), Tunnel of Love (1987), The Rising (2002), Magic (2007), Working on a Dream (2009), Wrecking Ball (2012), and High Hopes (2014).

But he never became a “star.” He was a two-time member of Ringo Starr’s All-Starr Band. “In December 2018 PBS NewsHour aired a 10-minute career retrospective Nils Lofgren: 50 Years of ‘just being a guy in the band.’”


After his group Grin “failed to hit the big time, and were released by their record company,” he recorded some solo albums. I have exactly one of them.

His eponymous first solo album “was critically praised at the time of its release, most notably in a 1975 Rolling Stone review by Jon Landau. The 1983 Rolling Stone Record Guide said it was a ‘tour de force of unquenchable vitality and disarming subtlety.’

“In 2007, nearly 32 years after the release of Nils Lofgren, the album was again praised by Rolling Stone in the ‘Fricke’s Picks’ column, where David Fricke said it was one of 1975’s best albums. The album was on the Billboard 200 chart for nine weeks and peaked at number 141 on May 10, 1975.” #141.

When I was working at FantaCo, running the mail order, some guy at Rykodisc would send me free music. I believe that this album was one of them, although it was re-released in 1990, according to the Wikipedia article, and I left FantaCo in 1988.

Cry Tough (1976) got to #32, I Came To Dance (1977) to #36, Night after Night (1977 live double albums) to #44.

“With mainstream success continuing to elude Lofgren, A and M brought in Bob Ezrin in 1979, to oversee Nils. Ezrin was known for his successes with Alice Cooper, Pink Floyd, Lou Reed, and Kiss. Lofgren: ‘The label said they wanted to bring in co-writers, and I said that I didn’t do that. Ezrin said, ‘What about Lou Reed?’ And I said, ‘Well, yeah, okay. That would be cool.'” The album reached #54, and he never had another album crack the Top 100 except Night Fades Away (#99 in 1981).

Commercial success isn’t everything

In 2014, he as part of the E Street Band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. “Known for backing Bruce Springsteen in his storied performances, the E Street Band is a gang of musicians bursting with skill, soul, and endurance.”

The Springsteen page notes. “In 1984, following the departure of Steven Van Zandt, Lofgren joined the E Street Band just prior to the launch of the enormous, globetrotting Born in the U.S.A. tour. Throughout the 156-date monster Lofgren became known not only for his scorching guitar work but his gift for stage-worthy acrobatics and theatrics — which makes sense, as in high school Lofgren had been a competitive gymnast.

“Lofgren kept up both roles for the Tunnel of Love Express tour in 1988… And when the E Street Band reconvened in 1999, Springsteen diplomatically answered the question of which guitarist would be brought back into the fold by including both Van Zandt and Lofgren.”

Check out his website. Also this article: Nils Lofgren talks ‘Bonus Tracks,’ Neil Young, Keith Richards and Rolling Stones near miss.” And this one: Nils Lofgren On Playing With Bruce Springsteen And Neil Young, 52 Years On The Road And More.


When You Dance, I Can Really Love – Neil Young
Back It Up 
If I Say It, It’s So 
Keith, Don’t Go (Ode to the Glimmer Twin)
Valentine – Nils Lofgren & Bruce Springsteen

You should go to Youtube and search Nils Lofgren Bruce Springsteen or Nils Lofgren Neil Young. Oodles of good stuff.

Nils Lofgren turns 70 on June 21.

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.

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. 

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

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.

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial