Darrell Vickers: Guess Who’s Not in the Hall of Fame

darrell-vickersAnytime anyone has put pen to parchment or thumb to I-phone to craft a well-intentioned list of things meritorious, people have lined up for days to ladle the cold and lumpy vomit of their disgust down the back of that individual’s shirt collar.   Today is no exception.  Pull out your shirt collar, Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame, because I’ve got my whisky-barrel-sized ladle and it’s full to brimmin’ with the icy cold sick of my discontent.

Rock_and_Roll_Hall_of_Fame

That’s right. You heard me. I said, “Anytime anyone has put pen to parchment or thumb to I-phone to craft a well-intentioned list of things meritorious, people have lined up for days to ladle the cold and lumpy vomit of their disgust down the back of that individual’s shirt collar.   Today is no exception.  Pull out your shirt collar, Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame, because I’ve got my whisky-barrel-sized ladle and it’s full to brimmin’ with the icy cold sick of my discontent.”

the-guess-who-1Let’s start with The Guess Who, shall we?   Is it because they’re Canadian?  That they eat round instead of strippy bacon, so they can go fuck themselves?  Surely, no other plausible explanation can be proffered for this find exemplary band’s inexplicable snubbing at the hands of that strangely shaped building in Cleveland.  Obviously, those American bastards wavy gravystill haven’t forgiven us for setting fire to their goddamn White House or dropping Celine Dion on them.  It really boils my garters when I think of some of the musical lightweights that have been joyously, and with much ceremony, trotted into that big glassy pyramid.  One cannot help but wonder whether Wavy Gravy  is handing out Syd Barrett levels of the leftover Brown acid from Woodstock during their selection meetings.

A Case in Point:

dave clark fiveSure, the Dave Clark Five and Donna Summer had their moments in the sun – but do either of them have the hits or the staggering catalogue that Bachman, Cummings, Winter and Troiano bestowed upon the world?  This is not a close call, folks.  NOOOO, they fucking don’t!  The Guess Who were pumping out top notch rock albums from the mid 60’s thru 1975.  Now, I know that Donna Summer is dead, but that’s no excuse.  Being dead is not a body of work.  It’s just a body.  By all means, put her in the Disco Hall of Fame or the Donna_SummerOver-Produced-Ass-Wag-Music Hall of Fame but Rock ‘n’ Roll?  Really?  Can you even name a Donna Summer song that could honestly be described as rock ‘n’ roll?  And her horrifying reinvention of McArthur Park made about as much sense as the song’s lyrics. That’s got to be worth a few demerit points.

But perhaps I’m being unfair.  I can sort of buy the “Apples and Oranges” argument.  Why not compare a bunch of white guys with instruments with a different bunch of white guys with instruments?

Yes the Dave Clark sold a few billion copies of Glad All Over, Bits and Pieces, Do You Love Me and….and…well, you name another song of theirs that’s lasted more than a week or two in the bowels of the Charts.  Does anything spring to mind?

Guess Who earlyWhereas The Guess Who Tallied…

1965 Shakin’ All Over

1969 These Eyes

1969  Laughing

1969 Undun

1970 American Woman

The+Guess+Who+ with kurt winter1970 No Sugar Tonight

1970 No Time

1970 Share The Land

1970 Hand Me Down World

1971 Rain Dance

1971 Albert Flasher

1971 Hang On To Your Life

1972 Heartbroken Bopper

1972 Sour Suite

The+Guess+Who+with troiano1972 Running Back To Saskatoon (live)

1973 Follow Your Daughter Home

1974 Clap For The Wolfman

1974 Star Baby

1975 Dancin’ Fool

Most of these songs are Classic Rock radio staples.  When was the last time you heard “Over and Over” coming through the car speakers on a clammy summer’s night?

And the Guess Who weren’t just a singles band.  How about Orly, Glamour Boy, Rich World/Poor Word, Dirty, Nashville Sneakers, All Hashed Out, Bye Bye Babe, Glace Bay Blues, Truckin’ Off Across the Sky, Those Show Biz Shoes, Hoe Down Time etc. etc. ???

Live at the ParamountBut, receiving “the big invite” is obviously not just about being great songwriters.  Worthy inductees Jackie Wilson and the Supremes didn’t pen their own tunes.

What if performing prowess is a large portion the nomination equation?   Imagine, if you will, that you had to wager a large dollop of your procreative appurtenances on whether the Dave Clark Five were a better and more rockin’ band live than The Guess Who.  Would you even entertain placing the wellbeing of your nut sack or growler on the former Fab Five for a second?  Have you heard Live at the Parmount?

Well, if it isn’t the hits, songwriting or performance that put the DC5 way out ahead of the GH, how about musicianship?

Is Lenny Davidson a better or more inventive lead guitarist that Randy Bachman, Kurt Winter or Domenic Troiano?  Grow the fuck up.

Randy Kurt DomIs Mike Smith a better singer than Burton Cummings?  Mr. Smith is a workable warbler but Burton Cummings in one of the very best rock singers of his generation.

garry petersonWe’re running out of possibilities here.

Is Dave Clark a better drummer than Garry Peterson?  Not even if Garry had as many arms as that guy from Def Leppard (and possibly a few toes on his hi-hat foot missing).

So, what is this mystical metric that these mavens of the music biz are utilizing when they pick these nominees?

frankie-lymon-and-the-teenagersAnd here’s a further puzzler.  What drunken evil warlock spell made them decide to induct Frankie fucking Lymon?  He barely had a career!  Let’s face it, being found dead next to a toilet is as close as this guy will ever get to being Elvis Presley.  Deep Purple were eligible to be nominated that deep-purple.bandyear.  Can you, in any universe or hitherto unknown dimension, picture a scenario where Frankie Lymon gets on a stage and out-rocks Deep Purple?

More Cavilling:

Status+QuoSince we’re happily slopping the frigid and lumpy regurgitations about, let’s take a quick gander at the career of Status Quo.  So, is Cleveland home to “The Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame” or is it “The American Only and Nobody Else Rock and Roll ’n’ Hall of Fame?”  Quo started recording in 1967 and continue putting out top-selling, head-boppin’ albums to this very today.  They’ve had 63 chart hits in the UK (more than any other group).  They have 22 top 10 singles.  They’ve sold 128 million records worldwide.  I saw them live in a sea of screaming Mexicans in Hollywood and they blew the roof off.  Why, I don’t believe even a rock god the magnitude of oh, say…FRANKIE LYMON could have put on a better, more rockin’ show.  They’ve been eligible to be nominated for 23 years, Goddammit!  What do these guys have to do, short of shitting Beatle wigs, to get in to the Hall?

Dartboard DecisionsI don’t even get me started on Cliff Richard.

My Final Chunk Puddle of Irritation:

I know there’s been a lot of talk about the questionable methodology of the Hall’s decision makers.  Apparently, these industry big wigs have been accused of casting a very kind eye on artists connected with their own record labels.  Say it isn’t so!

MTV Europe Music Awards 2009 - ShowEven Murray the K. was somewhat covert about his corrupt practices.  He didn’t get on the air and announce, “The only reason I’m playing this single is because I just received a trunk full of Jacksons from the record company and the lead singer’s wife jerked me off into my silly straw fedora.”  The nominating board isn’t even that subtle in their monetarily rewarding selection process.  But, let’s put aside the sordid and unpardonable history of this ethical No Man’s Land where talent and merit hold about as much weight as the helium in Katy Perry’s tits. 

Let’s take a look at this year’s nominees and see who is worthy

yes-bandYes – Abso-fucking-lutely!  These guys should have been inducted in their first year of eligibility.  They invented art rock as we know it today.  So what if Jon Anderson couldn’t find a decent lyric if someone nailed it to the end of his Nous Sommes Du Soleil.  When one takes a look at their body of work and the staggering musicianship…

Bill Bruford?  Steve Howe?  Rick Wakeman?  Heard of any of these rhythmically advanced fellows?  Musically, they are the best of the best and every prog band out there has stolen from them.  This is their first nomination.  Chic have been nominated 8 times.  Society has gone mad, I tell you.  Is it any wonder that our children turn to drugs and violent I-phone games involving fruit.

SONY DSCKiss – Again: pure insanity these guys are not already in.  They may not have written more than three good songs in a 40 year career but who cannot marvel at their contributions to the stage craft and spectacle of rock.  Sure, Gene Simmons is a world class jerk but Chuck “let me videotape you while you’re taking dump” Berry isn’t?

linda ronstadt with pigsLinda Ronstadt – Sadly, she will probably get in because she is ailing.  That’s no reason to put someone in the Hall.  The reason Ms. Ronstadt should have been welcomed in a decade ago, is because she’s damn fine singer and she’s had a massive career.  Her mega-successful albums with Nelson Riddle sent every fading rock star in sight scrambling in search of an orchestra.  Plus, millions of today’s middle-aged men grew up masturbating to that poster of her sitting with pigs.  Even the great Neil Diamond can’t make that sort of boast.

Hall and Oates – Not really my cup of tea but they probably deserve it.

NWA – No fucking way.

The Paul Butterfield Blues Band – Yes.

Peter-Gabriel-3Peter Gabriel – It’s lucky it isn’t the Prolific Hall of Fame because he wouldn’t even get a single vote.   Peter is so slow; he couldn’t even come up with titles for his first three solo records.  But he definitely should be in the Hall.

LL Cool J – No.

Chic – No. No. No. No. No.

Nirvana – A short career but (like the Velvet Underground and the Stooges) one which spawned a whole generation of admirers and imitators.   Perhaps they shouldn’t get in on their first nomination but one day.

The Meters – They should definitely be in the mix.

The Replacements – I have a soft spot in my crusty heart for this band.  I’m a huge Westerberg fan and they probably deserve to be in.  Plus – they have a dead member – that seems to hold some sway with the board (See Lynyrd Skynyrd).

Cat Stevens – To me, he’s borderline.  Some nice songs but a short career of quality work, followed by some real drivel before he quit music to call for the religious assassination of Salman Rushdie and to educate little children.

the zombiesThe Zombies – Probably too small a canon to warrant their inclusion. (See Dave Clark Five)  Perhaps Rod Argent should be admitted for the Zombies and Argent combined.

Link Wray – As sidemen go – he probably deserves it.  However, I don’t see him making the top five in this mega-talented group.

Ian_Gillan_ToolboxDeep Purple – A touching personal story.  When I was in Nobby Clegg – we had the pleasure of warming up for Ian Gillan at the El Mocambo for two nights.  The legendary rocker and former Jesus was a superstar asshole to us.  First, he made us change in the El Mocambo kitchen because we weren’t worthy of being in his presence.  Then, during the performance, his tech crew refused to give me monitors.  Huh?  Was the singer of “Smoke on the Water” and “Space Truckin’” actually afraid that I was going to wipe the vocal floor with him, if I were allowed to actually hear myself?  Probably not.  He was just being a fucking overweight, drunken prick.  But…even having suffered such shoddy and reprehensible treatment at the hands of this steel-tonsiled, criminally inconsiderate troubadour, I still believe he should be in the Hall of Fame.  (And I hold on to grudges.)

My five top picks for the Hall from this year’s nominees.

  1. Yes
  2. Kiss
  3. Linda Ronstadt
  4. Peter Gabriel
  5. Deep Purple – Even including that son of a bitch they’ve got singing for them.

 =DV=

For anyone who enjoys my humble scribage, I have a serial novel about sex, wine and food in the South of France.  There are two chapters up at the moment (at the link below) and a new one will be added every Monday.  I’d be just as pleased as punch if you could check it out.  http://chateaudietrich.blogspot.com/

Darrell Vickers appears here every 4th Monday 

Contact us at dbawis@rogers.co

DBAWIS_ButtonDarrell Vickers started out as one half of Toronto area band, Nobby Clegg.  CFNY fans may remember the cheery song “Me Dad” which still gets airplay.  From there, he valiantly ventured to L.A. and eventually became head writer for The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.  Since then, he’s created numerous sitcoms and animation shows in Canada and the U.S.  He still writes music and has an internet band called Death of the Author Brigade (members in Croatia, Canada and the U.S.)   Mr. Vickers also had a private music mailing-list where he features new and pre-loved music.  Anyone who would like to be added to his daily mailing list, just write him at Radiovickers1@gmail.com .

7 Responses to “Darrell Vickers: Guess Who’s Not in the Hall of Fame”

  1. DC5 also hit with “Because”, it’s a good song. But yeah the Guess Who would be in if they were an American band, so to speak. Does any other HOF attract this much controversy?

  2. Harry Nilsson did the ‘Merkin Songbook before Linda Ronstadt and, while on the subject, Nilsson is another one left out of the R&RHoF.

  3. Warren Cosford Says:

    The Problem with the choices made for induction into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame……and most other Hall of Fames…… comes down to one simple thing……..

    CRITERIA. They don’t have one.

    Let’s see if we can come up with Criteria. For PERFORMERS:

    1) Career Dates: The earlier you began your success, the more points you achieve. Making Rock and Roll Records in The ’50s when many churches were burning them and many radio stations were breaking them……did not appear to be a long term career option.

    5 points for Pre-1955 (true pioneer)

    4 points for 1956-1959 (Elvis takes it Mainstream)

    3 points for 1960-1963 (post payola.)

    2 points for 1964-1975 (contributing to The Beatle Wave or succeeding in spit of it)

    1 point 1975-Present (being inspired by Everyone)

    2) Number of Top 40 Chart Records (Billboard) One point for each record.

    3) You ALSO wrote/co-wrote (one point for each Top 40 record)

    4) You ALSO Produced (one point for each Top 40 record )

    5) You ALSO played a Musical Instrument (one point for each Top 40 record)

    We would have to establish a different Criteria for nominees who were exclusively writers, producers etc.

    If you accept the idea….then what we have to decide next is…..how many points does it take to get in?

    What do you think?

    Cheers
    Warren Cosford

    • Warren…this is twerkingly Uber-Bitchin’ stuff! Now all we have to do is find someone to go through ALL the inductees and see who is worthy and who isn’t. THAT would be a great list to read. Anyone want to take that on?

  4. Warren Cosford Says:

    Well…..the people who are in The Hall are going to stay in The Hall. It’s only fair. And most of them probably qualify if the point total we choose is 10.

  5. George Burrell Says:

    Hall and Oates are well overdue as well. They are actually the most successful duo of all time.

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