The annual Rock and Roll Hall Fame Induction ceremonies were held this week. I told you who this year’s inductees were in a previous column, so I’m not going to revisit that again, but on WDST’s website this week, several on-air personalities and writers made up their lists of the top ten artists who deserve to be inducted, but have not yet been. I couldn’t resist adding my two cents worth to that idea. Here’s my list:
- Love – The 60’s art-rock band were way ahead of there time, and had a revival in the beginning years of this century, just before their leader, Arthur Lee, passed away. Check out their masterpiece, “Forever Changes” or the equally good “Da Capo”.
- Guns n Roses – Short lived but monumentally influential 80’s rock band, who burst out of the gate with the greatest debut album of all time, the aptly named “Appetite for Destruction” and one of the all-time greatest albums period. Unfortunately, they self destructed immediately afterwards, but they certainly left their mark.
- Gram Parsons – The single most important figure in what became known as Americana music, but back in his day, was called country-rock, which as my friend’s The Snakehandlers say, is neither. Often overlooked in the Gram Parsons equation is his partner in the Flying Burrito Brothers, ex-Byrd bandmate Chris Hillman, who should receive equal credit. Pick up “The Guilded Palace of Sin” or Gram’s solo masterpiece, “Grievous Angel”.
- J. Geils Band – Before they went pop and had multi-platinum hits, The J. Geils Band released two of the most hard rockin’ blues albums ever made, “The J. Geils Band” and “The Morning After”.
- Little Feat – Fronted by former Frank Zappa guitarist, Lowell George, the story goes that Zappa kicked George out of The Mothers of Invention because Frank recognized that he was a bandleader, not a sideman. Pick up any of their albums with Lowell George. They’re all great.
- Faces/ Small Faces – I put these two together because Faces was born from the remnants of Small Faces when Steve Marriott left to form Humble Pie with Peter Frampton, and was replaced by Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood. Small Faces had about a dozen number one hits in a row in England, but sadly only broke through once in America, with the psychedelic anthem, “Itchycoo Park”.
- Donovan – Starting as a Bob Dylan inspired folkie (and a pretty good one at that), Donovan went on to record a string of great psychedelic songs with producer Mickie Most, featuring members of The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Cream, and The Jeff Beck Group as his backing musician’s. “Sunshine Superman” and “Epistle to Dippy” are my favorites, but “Hurdy Gurdy Man” is pretty great as well.
- Joe Cocker – One of the best white RnB singers of all time, Joe deserves induction for his performance at the 1969 Woodstock Festival alone. His first album is still his best, but after almost passing into obscurity, he staged a comeback with an amazing version of “Cry me a River” and is still as good as ever now.
- T Rex – Ringo Starr knew how good these guys were. That’s why he made a movie about Marc Bolan, the band’s frontman and resident genius. “Electric Warrior” is their most popular album, but my favorite track is only available as a bonus track on the re-issue of “Tanx”. I won’t say what it is, but if I run into you somewhere and you ask me, I’ll probably tell you.
- Johnny Winter – Muddy Waters’ called him his adopted son and he’s still one of the legendary guitarslingers. My favorite album of his is still “The Progressive Blues Experiment”, but if you can’t find it, pick up “Johnny Winter” or “Second Winter”, on which he does a scorching version of Dylan’s “Highway 61 Revisited”. Some of his recent albums are amazing too, like “Guitarslinger” or “Third Degree”.
The ALLMAN BROTHERS continue their 16 show run at the Beacon Theater in Manhattan with 5 shows this week. On Friday, March 18, you’ve got your choice between driving to Tarrytown to see local legend, LEVON HELM, at the Tarrytown Music Hall, staying closer to home for former Grateful Dead vocalist, DONNA JEAN GODCHAUX at The Bearsville Theater, or coming to see me pound the skins for BEKI BRINDLE at Harmony in Woodstock. On Sunday, March 20, comedian RON WHITE brings his act to UPAC in Kingston, and please don’t forget about Thursday night Karaoke with Miss Angie at The Bearsville Theater. Trust me, it’s a blast!