Those Rock and Roll Hall of Fame shows set for October at Madison Square Garden: they’re already causing controversy.
Missing from the rosters on both nights are just about everyone important: Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, the Rolling Stones, Van Morrison, Elton John, Sting, Bonnie Raitt, Carole King, The Eagles, Billy Joel, Steve Winwood, not to mention the Kinks and the Who, Fleetwood Mac, and so on.
The listings omit both women and blacks with the exception of Stevie Wonder and Aretha Franklin. How sad, and stupid. Smokey Robinson, Diana Ross and the Supremes, Gladys Knight, Lionel Richie–all missing. Al Green, Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Sam Moore, Booker T, Mavis Staples, Gene Chandler, Percy Sledge, all the doo-wop groups, Dion and the Belmonts– missing.
What this is: a Rolling Stone magazine celebration cloaked as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Otherwise, Chubby Checker would start the show with “The Twist.” But he’s not even in the Rock Hall. So there!
And where are the chicks, so to speak? Joni Mitchell, Judy Collins, Carly Simon, Linda Ronstadt, who made Rolling Stone so big in the 70s? Or all the punky rock groups from the Phil Spector era, or Darlene Love? Something tells me there are going to be lots of medleys led by the indefatigable Paul Shaffer, in between the big acts already announced. It will be like one of those hideous PBS singalongs from Pittsburgh.
And what of the O’Jays, the Dells, the Chi Lites, the Stylistics and Earth Wind and Fire? Blondie, the Cars, the Ramones, the Pretenders and Talking Heads? Elvis Costello? Patti Smith? George Clinton?
And Joel Peresman gets $376,000 a year. It boggles the mind.