Aerosmith, Black Sabbath, Queen and Steely Dan passed over by Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Voters
When Bonnie Raitt inducted Charles Brown into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in March, she gently chided the Hall for taking too long to recognize the uptown style blues pianist -- who died on Jan. 21 at the age of seventy-six. "People that are getting to be of that age, they don't have a lot of time to wait around," she said. The list announced Tuesday for the Hall's Y2K inductees reveals that Raitt herself doesn't have much longer to wait. The red-headed slide guitarist will be ushered into the hallowed halls on March 6 along with Eric Clapton, Earth Wind & Fire, James Taylor, the Lovin' Spoonful and doo-wop group the Moonglows. Jazz icons Billie Holiday and Nat King Cole will be ushered in as "Early Influences."
In a statement, Earth, Wind & Fire co-leaders Maurice White, Philip Bailey and Verdine White said, "We feel very privileged and blessed to be mentioned in the same breath as many of the artists in the Rock 'N Roll Hall of Fame, which have stood the test of time. It truly is a once in a lifetime dream come true." Clapton, nominated as a solo artist and already a two-time inductee as a member of the Yardbirds and Cream, simply said, "I'm very happy and proud."
Also set for induction in 2000 are the Hall's first class of "Side-men": Scotty Moore (guitarist for Elvis Presley), King Curtis (saxophone for the Coasters and Aretha Franklin), Earl Palmer (drummer for Little Richard and Fats Domino), Hal Blaine (drummer for Phil Spector's Wall of Sound productions) and Motown bassist James Jamerson. Arista Records founder and CEO Clive Davis will be honored on the "Non Performer" ticket.
Of course, the bigger story is often the list of acts passed over for induction, which this year includes a larger-than-average share of heavies: Aerosmith, Lou Reed, Steely Dan, Ritchie Valens, the O'Jays and Queen -- recently voted the No. 2 Band of the Century behind the Beatles in a BBC poll in England. Don't cry for perennial Hall of Fame rejects Black Sabbath, though; frontman Ozzy Osbourne asked that his band of Iron Men be removed from the nomination ballot. "Just take our name off the list," he wrote in an Oct. 4 letter to the Hall of Fame. "Save the ink. Forget about us. The nomination is meaningless, because it's not voted on by the fans." (Sabbath was not removed from the ballot, but it didn't end up mattering).
The March 6 induction ceremony -- the fifteenth for the Hall of Fame -- will take place at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York. The proceedings -- customary all-star jam included -- will air on VH1 later that month.
Written by RICHARD SKANSE for RollingStone.com News