First thing I wanna say: If you haven’t been to this museum – and you’re a lover of all things rock n’ roll – highly suggest going. You can get a package deal with hotels that include tix. My son and I went a year or so ago and it was a great experience. It’s not some half-assed thing – it’s a real museum. We went half-a-day Saturday and all day Sunday. You can sit there forever listening to blues, roots music etc. and then wander through the place just taking it all in. When we were there they had a featured exhibit on fifty years of the Rolling Stones. Well worth it.
Anyway, I voted on the next batch of inductees. Not 100% sure about how the whole voting thing works but whatever. The five groups I voted for all were the top vote-getters. So a word or two here about each of them:
- The Cars – Part of the Boston music scene (Pixies, Til Tuesday, J. Geils, Aerosmith, etc.) they were a pretty good band with some songs that have stood the test of time. Their guitarist, Elliott Easton, is a fine guitarist who they never gave enough to do. But it wasn’t that kind of band.
- Steve Miller – Sure, I like his stuff. Miller has been kicking around forever and his songs are all over classic rock radio. “Jungle Love,” “Big Old Jet Airliner,” “Livin’ in the USA.” That last one especially deserves a listen. A tough, taut beginning with nice harmonica.
- Chicago – Definitely. Love these guys ever since their first album which was “dedicated to the revolution in all its forms” or something like that. Too bad Peter Cetera tried to make them into a wimpy love song band. Terry Kath was a terrific guitarist. Check out “25 or 6 to 4,” “Beginnings.” Or this smokin’ tune, the Spencer Davis Group’s “I’m a Man”….
- Deep Purple – If you don’t already own it, immediately run out and buy a copy of “Machine Head.” This is the one with “Smoke on the Water.” But that’s not even as good as “Highway Star” or the amazing “Lazy.” The latter starts out sounding like Phantom of the Opera and winds up with a scorching Richie Blackmore solo that climaxes with a great, classic blues ending (that I just worked out on guitar).
- Yes – Of all bands nominated, the length of time they waited to nominate these guys boggles my mind. I mean, they put their first album out in 1969 or something. (Same, pretty much, for Miller and Chicago). I don’t at all dislike Red Hot Chili Peppers or Green Day. But how the fuck did they get in before these guys? I mean, Chris Squire – Yes founding member and bassist – died a little while ago. I don’t know how he felt about the museum. But I bet he wouldn’t have hated it.
- Cheap Trick – These guys weren’t in the top 5. But I don’t care. I like ’em. Next time maybe.