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Tue, December 17, 2013

Hall Of Fame 2014

KISS, NIRVANA, DARYL HALL & JOHN OATES, PETER GABRIEL, CAT STEVENS, and LINDA RONSTADT will be inducted as the Class of 2014 into the ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME at the Hall's APRIL 10th induction ceremony at the BARCLAYS CENTER in BROOKLYN.

Im OK with pretty much everyone getting in - although, KISS' Gene Simmons has been such a jerk about it, I almost wish the Hall would have snubbed the band. Let's face it, the reason KISS has the popularity they had was because of the era from 1973-1980 with all 4 original members - Ace, Peter, Gene and Paul. That was KISS. They were metal-pop. They had this metal image, but muscally, they were pretty mainstream pop/rock. I loved albums like 'Rock And Roll Over' and 'Destroyer'. Classic KISS.

Nirvana gets in because of what they did in 1991 moreso than the body of music they put out. While 'Nevermind' is a classic rock album, they only released 2 studio albums. However, their immediate impact was a game-changer. Their debut changed the entire landscape for rock music. The hair bands were still dominating the charts and there was a lot of bad rock music being released. "Smells Like Teen Spirit" in 1991 was heavy and angry - and I remember at that time thinking, "I can't play this during the day - it's WAY too heavy!". So, we only played it after 7PM when mostly teens were listening. I didn't want to freak out our 30 year old listeners. Quite amazing to look back and remember the impact that song had. Of course, that restrictive time slot didn't last long. Soon, it was the most played song on the radio station I was programming. Does Nirvana deserve to get into the Hall over such legends as Yes or Deep Purple? When comparing the impact the band had at that time - I say they do.

You cannot deny Daryl Hall & John Oates. The duo created some of the best pop music on the radio from 1976 to 1986. Hit after hit, all done with such respect to the legends they grew up with like the Temptations, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles and so many other great soul artists from the 1960's. Hall & Oates clearly deserve an induction into the Hall of Fame.

Peter Gabriel first hit the pop charts with 1982's "Shock The Monkey" and I still love that song. Peter was different and unique and his music was always cutting edge in a time and era where pop music was pretty disposable. His vocals and songwriting created some truly great songs over his career and his innovative videos were all over MTV. Who doesn't enjoy watching the video for 'Sledgehammer'? Good stuff.

Cat Stevens. I admit, I am a huge fan of Cat and I own just about everything he did in the 70's. Talk about a one-of-a-kind vocalist. He wrote songs that could be so happy and positive ("Peace Train") and the next song would depress the hell out of someone ("Sad Lisa"). While his politics and his change to Islam confused me at the time, I respect who he is as an artist and his music. He created songs that have stood the test of time and are still played on Classic Hits stations today.

Finally, the one and only Linda Ronstadt. First of all, if you have grown up with the image of Linda in the 90's, then you should Google some pictures of Linda in the 1970's. I was crazy about her in the 70's. She was so beautiful and she had such an amazing voice. From her solo debut in 1970 all the way into the 90's, Linda recorded sone pretty great songs. I wasn't always a fan of everything she recorded, but I was always in love with such gems as "You're No Good", "Hurt So Bad", "How Do I Make You", "Ooh Baby Baby" and "Blue Bayou". One cool thing about Linda was, she didn't write any of her hits and most of the time, she recorded old songs that I didn't know about until SHE recorded them and made them hits. Sadly, she can't "sing a note" according to her because of Parkinson's disease.

Two bands were passed over who deserve to get into the Hall and I'm sure they will: Yes and Deep Purple.