Thursday, January 26, 2006

RRHOF Class of 2006, Part 4

We’re not too far from on the 2006 induction Ceremony for the Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame. The ceremony will be 3/13/06, held in NYC (rather than Cleveland, where the Hall resides). The class of 2006 will be includes Black Sabbath, Blondie, Miles Davis, Sex Pistols, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Herb Alpert/Jerry Moss. I have an old, beat up record guide from Rolling Stone, circa 1979, and thought it would be interesting to review what these premier rock critics thought of these eventual hall-of-famers back then.

Lynyrd Skynyrd: Skynyrd had released all of their pre-crash records when the guide was released. Reviewer John Milward was surprisingly positive about Skynyrd: "Plugging in hard-rock influences, where most other Southern place country roots, a mix of British rock sensibilities and hard-drinking Southern boogie established Lynyrd Skynyrd as top contenders for the mid-Seventies Southern Rock throne". They then go on to comment on each album, a courtesy that fellow inductees Black Sabbath and Blondie didn't merit.

Meanwhile, with the rock establishment's anti-Southern Rock Bias, Skynyrd only put 1 album in the all time top 500, with “Pronounced” ranking #401. Pathetic. They did manage 2 entries into the top 500 songs, with Free Bird (#191) and Sweet Home Alabama (#398). Worse, they were been shot down in the Hall Of Fame (HOF) voting 6 times, before finally making it in this time. I don’t think it’s coincidental that the HOF announcement lists only the pre-Crash band members, and I think the post-crash band’s use of the Skynyrd moniker has hurt. I think the current lineup is solid, but frankly not HOF material. Guess that means Johnny Van Zant, Rickey Medlocke and whoever’s been playing bass and drums aren’t welcome at the ceremony!! I wish Skynyrd could’ve gotten this recognition when Leon Wilkerson was still alive, and I hope Gary Rossington’s heart is well enough to actually play.…

Trying to imagine the HOF Jam session with Billy Powell, Gary Rossington, Johnny Rotten and Ozzy Osbourne…. Think they’ll play Free Bird in a heavy-metal style?? Or Sweet Home Alabama as a Punk anthem??

Full disclosure: I’m kind of a Skynyrd fan. They were my favorite band in high school (and beyond). I saw them twice in the 70’s, including my first rock concert. I have just about everything they’ve released (except the Christmas album), and wore out a complete set of vinyl of the first 6 records. All replaced w/ new vinyl, and, of course, its all on CD, now. I think I still know every note of every guitar solo by heart, from the pre-crash lineup. “What song is it you wanna hear?”

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