Every year I give brief commentary on the new class of inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but this year I seem to have missed it. Probably too busy looking after Mom and escaping in books and movies and the guitar to listen to the news. After the election I did swear off of the news for a while because I was so burned out. Anyway, better late than never, maybe. Here’s my look at the Class of 2005.
Buddy Guy – Wish I knew this guy better. But the fact that I knew the name on sight was enough to convince me that he was a good choice. A nomination late in coming, perhaps, but good.
Percy Sledge – I never much warmed to Percy. The press release from the RnRHoF cites his vocals on songs like “When a Man Loves a Woman,” “Take Time to Know Her,” “It Tears Me Up” and “Warm and Tender Love.” Woudn’t a better nominee be the authors of some of these songs?
The O’Jays – “Love Train.” “Backstabbers.” “For the Love of Money.” “I Love Music.” Ohhhh yeahhhh. Time for me to go to the iTunes Music Store.
The Pretenders – I could almost grudgingly accept them, but I’m already doing it once with this class (see below). So I have to say this was not that great a choice. New wave has been well represented in the last few classes with the Talking Heads, Elvis Costello, and The Clash. Talented, but not influential in my book.
U2 – How nice of them to remember that nice little new wave band that had two great albums in the late 70’s/early 80’s, Boy and War. Oh wait. You mean that outfit with the pomous, overbearing, foul-mouthed, self-important lead singer who sticks his nose into everybody’s business? Ehhhh. This is my grudging pass. They have the success, the talent and the influence. But in my opinion, it’s been decades since their last good album. Let me think about The Pretenders some more.
Frank Barsalona – I only know this guy from his being mentioned in Almost Famous, so I withhold comment.
Seymour Stein – The brains behind Sire Records: The Ramones, Madonna, The Pretenders, Talking Heads, Seal, Depeche Mode, The Cure, The Smiths, kd Lang, Barenaked Ladies, and more. Good call.