Cameron Carpenter: The ABC’s Of Rock’n’Roll – G is for Going In/Going To Wait

CamTime once again for the annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame debate. Nominations are out for the class of 2014, and, for a couple of days, everyone is talking rock’n’roll. Speaking of which why the hell isn’t it called the “Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame”? Maybe that explains a lot. Until December 5th you can vote online for your five faves, and the public vote will be used (in a very, very small way) towards the final count.

The induction ceremony moves back to New York next year and will take place in April. The five or six who get a hall pass will be announced this December. To refresh your memories here are the class of 2103 in the Performer category; Randy Newman, Public Enemy, Donna Summer, Albert King, Heart and Rush.

The Paul Butterfield Blues Band

Will it be third time lucky for The Paul Butterfield Blues Band? No. Even though they are the only blues artist nominated the overall field is too stacked this season for them to be inducted. The Chicago legend played both Woodstock and The Monterey Pop Festival but, much like last year, they are going to have to wait. Verdict – Going to wait.

The Paul Butterfield Blues Band – “Driftin’ Blues” from Monterey 1967


This is the eighth time on the long-list for the Chic. Once again I’m afraid it won’t be “Good Times” for the Nile Rodgers/Bernard Edwards led band. They should be in the “Sample Hall Of Fame” as hip-hop artists have sampled their grooves almost as frequently as they have sampled James Brown. Verdict – Going to wait.

Chic – “Le Freak”

Deep Purple

How many kids of my generation learned the riff to “Smoke On Water” on guitar or bass? It is one of the most played songs of all time and one of the most iconic rock’n’roll riffs ever. I picked them last year as inductees but they lost out to Rush and Heart with the rockers vote. Should be a no-brainer this year. Verdict – Going in.

Deep Purple – “Burn”

Peter Gabriel

The only Genesis in my books is the Peter Gabriel Genesis. I fear, however, that the lamb will not lie down on Broadway next April for the adventurous solo artist. Peter is already in as a member of Genesis and will have to wait a few more years for solo membership, Verdict – Going to wait.

Peter Gabriel – “Solsbury Hill”

Hall and Oates

The most successful pop duo of all time according to Billboard Magazine surpassing The Everly Brothers. Although not successful with great early albums “Abandoned Luncheonette” and “War Babies” they boys jumped from Atlantic Records to RCA and started to crank out the chart toppers. It was “Wonderbread Soul” but damn they knew how to write a hook. Will be a surprise in December. Verdict – Going in.

Hall and Oates – “Screaming Through December”


Hell yes. A huge part of my rock’n’roll DNA. Come on I saw them open for the New York Dolls at Massey Hall. They changed staging and merchandise in the seventies. They had their own army! They better invite Ace and Peter to New York next April or I will forever be pissed at Gene and Paul. Verdict – Going in.

Kiss – “Strutter”

LL Cool J

Sure the ladies love cool James but I don’t think the voters will. He laid down some brilliant tracks for Def Jam back in the day but is now better known as an actor and a part time MC for The Grammy Awards. He might get the nod one year but not this year. Verdict – Not going in.

LL Cool J – “Mama Said Knock You Out”

The Meters

Even though they have one of the longest and strongest resumes on the list The Meters are not well enough know by the general public to find their place in the hall. This is the third time on the list and I think they will eventually be hitting Chic nomination numbers before they are given the keys. Verdict – Not going in.

The Meters – “Sophisticated Cissy”


The voice of a generation, not mine, but a generation none the less. Yes kids in 2014 it will be 25 years since Sub Pop released “Bleach” and April 2014 will mark the 20th anniversary of the death of Nirvana leader Kurt Cobain. This one is the safest bet of all. Verdict – Going in.

Nirvana – “In Bloom”


The lost out last year to Public Enemy and I think they will find themselves on the sidelines once again. It looks like a rock’n’roll year in 2014 and they, along with LL Cool J will have to wait on the hip-hop bench. I don’t think they will be denied in the future. Verdict – Not going in.

N.W.A. – “Straight Outta Compton”

The Replacements

If I was going to listen to three hours of music from any of this year’s nominees it would be The Mats. They never had a chart topper but their influence was enormous. They have made some of the most wonderful, sloppy and lyrically challenging rock of the last 25 years and this year they returned to the stage to show the world what they missed. Having said that, no matter how much the Pitch Fork generation will protest, I don’t think they will be first year inductees. Verdict – Not going in.

The Replacements – “Bastards Of Young”

Linda Ronstadt

Maybe my favourite tweet of the year from Andrew Matheson and The Hollywood Brats: “My favourite Stone Poney is apparently hobbled. I raise a glass to you tonight lassie. From all Brats to you”. The only solo female artist to be nominated and with Grammy wins in pop, country, Mexican American and Tropical Latin this is one of the safest bets of 2104. Verdict – Going in.

Linda Ronstadt – “Blue Bayou”

Cat Stevens

You can’t deny the number of hits that Cat rolled up in the seventies but I fear he may be followed by a name shadow. Name shadow, yes name shadow. Now known as Yusuf Islam, and after leaving the recording industry for far too many a year, I think there will be a bit of a wait before he is honoured. Verdict – Not going in.

Cat Stevens – “Morning Has Broken”

Link Wray

There is a brilliant scene in the guitar doc “It Might Get Loud” where Jimmy Page is playing air guitar along to Link Wray’s “Rumble”. To me that says it all about Link. From “Rumble” to his brilliant collaboration with Robert Gordon in the late seventies I think Link Wray will be the surprise induction this year. Verdict – Going in.

Robert Gordon & Link Wray – “Red Hot” – Top Of The Pops


Behind “Stairway To Heaven” and “Smoke On The Water” “Roundabout” by Yes may have been the third most played song on rock radio in the early seventies. No matter how much glam or punk was in my genes I always was a big fan of early Yes. Long been ignored by the hall I have a feeling they will be joining Brit contemporaries Deep Purple in the HOF next April. Verdict –Going in.

Yes – “Long Distant Runaround”

The Zombies

Loved The Zombies and was also a big fan of Argent. My old A&R boss Paul Atkinson played in The Zombies. Once, while we were in Saskatoon scouting The Age of Electric he quipped “Cameron, the last time I was in Saskatchewan was in the Dick Clark ‘Caravan of Stars’”. I can still hear his voice saying that as we stepped out of the hotel. Even though they wrote some of the greatest songs of the British Invasion I think The Zombies are going to need to wait another year or so until they are asked to be members of the club. – Not going in.

The Zombies – “Tell Her No”

Come December we will see how I have done.


Follow Cam @CC59 on Twitter.

Cam’s column appears every Thursday

The ABC’s Of Rock’n’Roll are proud to be presented by The Bovine Tiki Bar. The bar and BBQ opens daily at 4 PM and the BBQ rocks until 10 PM. Cocktails available after 10. Time is running out to hit the patio so the sooner the better. If it is cold or rainy plant yourself at The Rock Lobster Food Co. in the former home of the late great Shanghai Cowgirl.

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DBAWIS ButtonCameron Carpenter has written for The New Music Magazine, Music Express, The Asylum, The Varsity, The Eye Opener,  The New Edition, Shades, Bomp!, Driven Magazine, FYI Music News, The Daily XY, New Canadian Music, NXNE Magazine and Don’t Believe A Word I Say.


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