Music News

Music News

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 02: Ronnie James Dio performs on stage with Heaven and Hell during their Heaven and Hell 2007 tour at Challenge Stadium August 2, 2007 in Perth, Australia. Heaven and Hell is a musical collaboration featuring Black Sabbath members Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler along with former members Ronnie James Dio and Vinny Appice.

We all know that fans love to argue about what artists should, and should not, be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. But another good argument that fans and artists have more and more frequently is: when a band is inducted, which members should be included? Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of KISS, for example, were angry that only the original lineup was included in their induction, and not later members like Eric Singer, Tommy Thayer, and the late Eric Carr.

A couple of weeks ago, former Black Sabbath/Dio drummer Vinny Appice made headlines when he referred to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as “a bunch of f—in’ a–holes” for not including Dio with Sabbath. He has a point!

There are certainly lots of examples of bands who have had so much turnover that it definitely wouldn’t make sense to include everyone. Over 50 musicians have passed through Santana’s lineup. Chicago has had nearly 30 members over the years. Obviously, you have to be an excellent musician to step on stage or in the studio with those groups. But only a few of the members were truly important to the band’s peak era(s).

With that in mind, there are still some examples of musicians with vital roles in their respective bands’ histories, whether it was playing on classic material, or being a part of the band’s formation. We found more than a few examples of musicians that fit one or both of those descriptions but weren’t included in those bands’ inductions. Here’s hoping that the Rock Hall comes up with a new category to recognize these vital artists.

  • Ronnie James Dio and Vinny Appice of Black Sabbath

    We can understand why the Rock Hall wouldn’t want to delve too deeply into Sabbath’s long and confusing lineup history: over 20 musicians have passed through the band’s ranks. And frankly, most of their later lineups were good, but not great. And some weren’t even good. There’s no arguing that the original lineup – Tony Iommi, Ozzy Osbourne, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward – is the version of Black Sabbath that changed the world. That said, their second iteration – Tony, Geezer, Ronnie James Dio and Vinny Appice – was an important part of moving metal forward in the ‘80s. We hope that the band Dio (which would include RJD and Appice, obviously) is inducted one day. One way or another, Ronnie James Dio belongs in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as does Vinny Appice.

  • Gram Parsons of the Byrds

    As with Sabbath, the Byrds’ original lineup – guitarist/singer Roger McGuinn, guitarist/singer David Crosby, singer Gene Clark, bassist/singer Chris Hillman and drummer Michael Clarke – were game changers in rock and roll. But one of their greatest and most influential albums was 1968’s Sweethearts of the Rodeo, a seminal influence on country-rock, or “Americana,” as it is often referred to. And by the time they made that album, Crosby, Clark and Clarke had all left the band. Singer/guitarist Gram Parsons was a big part of the band going from psychedelic folk to country-inspired rock (and back then, country and rock rarely mixed). Parsons could be nominated for his very influential solo career, but he really should have been included with the Byrds.

  • Nick Simper of Deep Purple

    Like Black Sabbath, Deep Purple has several lineups. Unlike Sabbath, the Rock Hall acknowledged more than one of them. Purple’s most famous lineup is “Mk. II”: keyboardist Jon Lord, guitarist Ritchie Blackmore and drummer Ian Paice, with singer Ian Gillan and bassist Roger Glover. “Mk III” was also acknowledged, as singer David Coverdale and bassist/singer Glenn Hughes were included. “Mk I” – the original lineup, who had hits with “Hush” and “Kentucky Woman” – was recognized too. That lineup put out three albums: 1968’s Shades of Deep Purple, 1968’s The Book of Taliesyn and 1969’s Deep Purple. Singer Rod Evans from that era was included, although bassist Nick Simper, who played on the same three albums, wasn’t.

  • Anthony Phillips of Genesis

    Most Genesis fans agree that there are two classic eras of the band: the prog rock era of Peter Gabriel, Steve Hackett, Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford and Phil Collins. And then there was the more popular, stripped-down Banks/Rutherford/Collins era. But not everyone knows that Collins and Hackett weren’t original members. Anthony Phillips was the band’s original guitarist and the group’s leader in their early years. Sure, he only played on two albums – 1969’s From Genesis To Revelation and 1970’s Trespass, but those albums had some early classics, like “Stagnation,” “The Knife” and “The Silent Sun.” He was a vital part of the band’s early history, and the Rock Hall should not have ignored him.

  • Chad Channing of Nirvana

    He played on Nirvana’s first single, “Love Buzz,” as well as on most of their debut album, 1989’s Bleach. Yes, Dave Grohl is the band’s most famous drummer, and Grohl played on their breakthrough album, Nevermind. Although as Grohl noted at Nirvana’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, on Nevermind, he was playing drum riffs that Channing came up with on the demos. But Bleach is a classic and so is “Love Buzz.” Interestingly, Jeff Ament of Pearl Jam listed Channing on the t-shirt that he wore to Pearl Jam’s Rock Hall induction, which was a long list of artists that he felt should be inducted. And weirdly, he didn’t even mention the former Pearl Jam drummers who weren’t included with their band. Which brings us to…

  • Dave Abbruzzese of Pearl Jam

    Pearl Jam have had four drummers over the course of their eleven albums and one EP. Dave Krusen and the band parted ways after their debut album, Ten, and he was, rightfully, included in the induction. That makes sense: Ten remains the band’s most popular album. Matt Cameron is the band’s longest-running drummer, having been with them for over two decades, so he was included. That makes sense, too. But the exclusion of Dave Abbruzzese is a bit confusing: he played on much of the tour promoting Ten, including the band’s legendary episode of MTV Unplugged. He also played on two very popular albums: 1993’s Vs (7x platinum in the U.S.) and 1994’s Vitalogy (5x platinum in the U.S.).

  • Jack Irons of Pearl Jam

    We’d also argue that Jack Irons should have been included too. He joined at a chaotic time for the band, and was something of an elder statesman: he’d already been a member of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and had played in former Clash leader Joe Strummer’s band. He was a bit more mature and experienced, and he encouraged the band to experiment more, which they did on 1996’s No Code. That was also was the album that led to their return to the road, after not touring for the prior two albums. He was also on 1998’s Yield. Irons, of course, is already a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer as a member of the Chili Peppers. But he should have been alt-rock’s first two-time inductee (Dave Grohl has that honor, having been inducted with Nirvana and the Foo Fighters).

  • Jack Sherman of the Red Hot Chili Peppers

    Hillel Slovak was the original guitarist in the Red Hot Chili Peppers, but he left before their debut album. Jack Sherman took over and played on 1984’s Red Hot Chili Peppers. Anthony Kiedis is referring to him when he yells, “Better be burnin’, Sherman!” in “Out In L.A.” Sherman also co-wrote much of their second album, 1985’s Freaky Styley, but the band fired him before they recorded it, after Slovak decided to return to the group. Those aren’t their greatest albums, but Jack Sherman deserves respect for his part in both of them.

  • Dave Navarro of the Red Hot Chili Peppers

    Writing “Dave Narvarro of the Red Hot Chili Peppers” over twenty years later feels weird. Like, “Did that really happen?” Navarro joined the band in late 1993 and only played on 1995’s One Hot Minute. But, when the Peppers were inducted, guitarist Josh Klinghoffer was included, and at that point, he’d only played on 2016’s The Getaway, which isn’t classic either. But hopefully, Navarro will get in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame eventually with his main band, Jane’s Addiction.

  • John Rutsey of Rush

    It’s easy to forget that Rush wasn’t always Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart. But John Rutsey was the band’s original drummer, playing on their 1974 self-titled debut. Peart took over as drummer (and lyricist) on the follow-up, Fly By Night, but Rush had some amazing Zep-influenced garage rock classics on their first record. “Finding My Way,” “In The Mood” and “Working Man” are all incredible and Rutsey played on all of them.

  • Neal Schon of Santana

    As we mentioned, Santana has had a lot of members pass through its ranks. We understand why the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame would only want to include the founding lineup, who recorded the band’s first two albums: Carlos Santana, keyboardist/singer Gregg Rolie, bassist David Brown, drummer Michael Shrieve and percussionists José “Chepito” Areas and Mike Carabello. But Santana III is a classic, as is the much weirder follow-up, Caravanserai, and Schon played on both of those. He should have been acknowledged by the Rock Hall for that. At this point, it’s not too big of a deal, as Schon is in the Rock Hall with Journey, the band he formed with Rolie after they left Santana. Rolie, by the way, is probably the most low-key two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Famer.

  • Steve Ferrone and Scott Thurston of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

    Thurston joined the band in 1991 as an extra guitarist/keyboardist. Ferrone joined after playing on Petty’s classic 1994 solo album, Wildflowers (some of the Heartbreakers have taken umbrage at the idea that it’s a “solo” album; it was mainly dubbed such because original drummer Stan Lynch didn’t play on it, but he hadn’t yet quit the Heartbreakers). They both played on the final four Heartbreakers albums and during their two decades in the band, played countless shows. Not just any shows, either, but some of the best concerts that the Heartbreakers ever played. If you want proof, check out the upcoming Live At The Fillmore box set, recorded over an extended string of dates at the storied venue in 1997.

  • Doug Yule of the Velvet Underground

    Velvet Underground fans have a few reasons to dislike bass player Doug Yule. First off, he replaced original member John Cale, and helped to take the band’s avant-garde sound in a (relatively) more mainstream direction. Worse, after Lou Reed, Sterling Morrison and Maureen Tucker quit, Yule had the audacity to continue on with a new lineup, making a rightfully ignored album, 1973’s Squeeze. On the other hand, some of the Velvets’ biggest classics came after Yule joined the band, including “What Goes On,” “Pale Blue Eyes,” “Beginning To See The Light,” “New Age,” “Oh! Sweet Nuthin’,” “Rock and Roll” and “Sweet Jane.”

  • Peter Banks of Yes

    Most of Yes’s classics feature either Steve Howe or Trevor Rabin on guitar. But Banks is the band’s original guitarist, having played on 1969’s Yes and 1970’s Time and a Word. It’s true that the band got much more popular after Howe joined, but that shouldn’t minimize Peter Banks’ contribution to the band’s early history. What can we say: we feel like founding members of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame bands should be acknowledged.

  • Eric Carr of KISS

    If any non-founding member of KISS should have been included, it’s Eric Carr. He’d likely be their drummer today, had he not succumbed to cancer in 1991 at the age of 41. He was an important part of the band’s transition to the ’80s – -and importantly, dropping the makeup. He played on a lot of classics, including “Creatures Of The Night,” “I Love It Loud,” “War Machine,” “Lick It Up,” “Heaven’s On Fire,” “Thrills In The Night,” “Who Wants To Be Lonely,” “Tears Are Fallin'” and the ballads “Reason To Live” and “Forever.”

  • BONUS: Bernie Taupin

    Ok, this is a kind of unique one. Bernie doesn’t play or sing on Elton John’s records. He has, however, written the lyrics to most of his classics. And hey: Robert Hunter was included with the Grateful Dead – he also didn’t play or sing, his job was to write their lyrics. And yes, Elton is a solo act, not a “band” – but this year Pat Benatar’s induction will (rightfully) include her guitarist/collaborator/husband Neil Giraldo. Taupin was essential to Elton’s artistry and to his success. As Elton said when he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, “Without him, the journey would not have been possible. I kind of feel [like I’m] cheating standing up here accepting this. Without Bernie, there wouldn’t have been any ‘Elton John’ at all. And I would like him to come up and I would like to give this to him.” It’s long past time that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame gave Taupin his own honor.

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