No Surprises: Rock Hall Set To Induct Guns N' Roses, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Beastie Boys
Guns N' Roses are Rock Hall bound, but which version of GNR will show up?
Photo By Marco Torres
This morning (well, it leaked last night) the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in Cleveland announced their 2012 class of inductees. Included on the list are Guns N' Roses, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Beastie Boys, Donovan, Laura Nyro, Freddie King, The Small Faces/ The Faces, Don Kirshner, Cosimo Matassa, Tom Dowd, Glyn Johns. This makes for an expected-slash-nerdy lineup going into the Rock Hall.
Notable snubs this time around include The Cure, Heart, The Spinners, War, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Rufus with Chaka Khan, Donna Summer, and Eric B. & Rakim. They were all on the ballot that went out to Rock Hall industry voters back in September.
Strangest of all this morning is the fact that the Rock Hall is treated the Small Faces and The Faces as one group really. The Faces, known for songs like "Stay With Me" and "Ooh La La" among many others, were formed when Small Faces lead singer Steve Marriott jetted in 1969 to form Humble Pie with Peter Frampton.
The inductions of the main bands, the Chilis, Guns, and the Beasties weren't surprises, and all three were gimmes, though some would argue that the Guns' somewhat meager studio output makes them an odd choice. The Chilis were expected, and they have a devoted industry following.
The Beasties could be seen by the old guard as merely a hip-hop act, but Run-D.M.C. and Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five are already ensconced, so there will just be more hip-hop to come. Plus, the Beasties rock chops are more than worthy of induction. Have you ever heard "Sabotage?"
What about Guns? Which version will show up to accept the honors? Will Slash and Axl hug it out onstage and wail out a dirty "Mr. Brownstone" and shed a tear because they missed each other during "Patience" or will Axl not show and leave us with Duff, Slash, and the rest to smile and play nice?
Industry man Don Kirshner, who passed away this past January, will be getting the Ahmet Ertegun Award posthumously.
Donovan and Laura Nyro were both longtime Rock Hall snubs, but next year they will finally be getting recognition. Both of their contributions to the musical worlds around them - Donovan's psych-folk and Nyro's empowered woman stance - each shaped the music that came after them. Without Nyro's Eli And The Thirteenth Confession, there is no Tori Amos.
They are both underrated as it is, and hopefully these honors will hip younger folks to them.
Behind the scenes cats getting nods this year are Cosimo Matassa, Tom Dowd, and Glyn Johns. Matassa owned J&M Recording Studios in New Orleans, which became a sort of Crescent City version of Sun Studio in Memphis, recording the early fits of acts like Fats Domino, Little Richard, Lloyd Price, and Professor Longhair.
Inductee Tom Dowd produced and recorded such varied artists as Big Joe Turner, Ray Charles, John Coltrane, Aretha Franklin, Solomon Burke, Otis Redding, Allman Brothers Band, Cream, Dusty Springfield, Willie Nelson, The Eagles, Rod Stewart, Bette Midler, and Chicago. A great doc about his career, Tom Dowd & the Language of Music, was released in 2003, the year after his death.
Glyn Johns? Oh, he just produced The Who's Who's Next, The Faces, all of the cool Eagles albums, the best Rolling Stones singles, early interesting Steve Miller blues-rock, Eric Clapton's Slowhand, and a treasure trove of other classic rock delights. He just did mixing, engineering, and production of Ryan Adams' recent return to form, Ashes and Fire, too.That's all Glyn Johns has did.
Early influence inductee and Gilmer, Texas native Freddie King is getting his belated due for his brand of brash and dirty blues-rock next year. He died in 1976 at the age of 42 from heart failure. You probably know his "Going Down" as the theme song from HBO's Eastbound & Down. Start your education now. Dude has high school girls singing behind him.
No Rock Hall blog would be complete without once again trotting out the list of artists who have not yet made it into the joint. Here is a list of eligible artists not yet inside the hall, if you feel like feeling your insides liquefy with hate this afternoon. Don't shoot the messenger, talk to Jann Wenner.
Devo, X, Love, The Replacements, Motörhead, Roxy Music, Can, Big Star, Cheap Trick, Peter Gabriel, New Order, Joy Division, Thin Lizzy. Link Wray. Dick Dale.
New York Dolls, The Cars, Electric Light Orchestra, Bon Jovi, Gram Parsons, Kraftwerk, The Flaming Lips, The Pogues, Tammi Terrell, Warren Zevon.
Randy Newman, T. Rex, Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Smiths, Los Lobos, Dick Dale, Linda Ronstadt, Hall & Oates, Link Wray, The Monkees, MC5, Deep Purple.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.