I’ve groused about the general lameness of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the past, and still can’t figure out how Tom Petty got in there while progressive rock and metal remain seriously underrepresented, but I have to give credit where it’s due.
I heard today that Lou Reed and Joan Jett are part of the incoming class, and I’m okay with both of those — in fact, I’m surprised Lou wasn’t put in there during his lifetime. The inclusion of the Butterfield Blues Band and SRV are also both well deserved, and I’m glad the 5 Royales made it as an early influence (and a group with a tie to King Records, back in my old Cincinnati stomping grounds.) Green Day’s inclusion? Well, I would have preferred the Dickies, but that’s just me, I guess.
But of course, the one that delights me is the addition of Ringo Starr, who finally catches up to his three bandmates, all of whom had been inducted as solo artists in previous years. When I started to play drums, many years ago, Ringo was the only drummer who really mattered to me. I soaked up his grooves and approach as I learned to play, and I still describe my playing as “Ringo with a bigger kit”.
I may have mentioned in the past that the nicest thing I’ve ever heard about my drumming came from a guitarist who said that when I play, he could be lazy, because he could just feel where he was in the song by listening to what I was playing. That’s the difference between being a chopmeister (which I’m not) and a musician (which I try to be), and that’s Ringo’s genius.
But for many years, I had to defend Ringo’s importance as a musician to a lot of people. Interestingly, not many of those people were musicians themselves — generally, they got it, and still get it. I’m glad to see the rest of the world is catching up.
Congratulations, Ringo — it was long overdue. And to the Hall of Fame voters, it was about time. Now, how about Paul Revere & the Raiders, Yes, King Crimson, and Motorhead for next year?