The 2011 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees have been announced and the list covers a wide range of musical styles. They include Alice Cooper, The Beastie Boys, Bon Jovi, Chic, Neil Diamond, Donovan, Dr. John, J. Geils Band, LL Cool J, Darlene Love, Laura Nyro, Donna Summer, Joe Tex, Tom Waits, and Chuck Willis. Only five will actually be inducted.
I’m sure the artists chosen have already sparked a debate across Facebook and Twitter as to who is worthy of the honor and who is not. I have to confess I’m not super excited about any of them, at least not to the degree that I was last year when The Hollies got the nod. Over 40 years of liking a band that has never seemed to get the respect it richly deserved will do that to a fan. Still, since I never watch American Idol (even the very funny Ellen DeGeneres couldn’t rope me in) I feel like I should pick nominee in particular to root for.
Tom Waits would be an interesting choice, for the way he mixed humor, pathos and jazz. Plus, I’d love to hear his acceptance speech. “I’d rather have an award in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.” Darlene Love and Neil Diamond bring back fond memories of the 1960s. But, when it comes down to it, Donovan is going to be my Lee DeWyze.
Donovan, of course, scored with “Sunshine Superman” and “Mellow Yellow,” but he also had some cool lesser known singles like “Epistle To Dippy,” “There Is A Mountain,” “Jennifer Juniper,” and “Catch The Wind.” The dreamy melody and lyrics of “Wear Your Love Like Heaven” captured the very essence of flower power. So, congratulations, Mr. Leitch, and best of luck!