Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Kickin' Em Out: 1987

Sorry, Eddie. Sorry, Paul McCartney.
It kind of made sense that the Rock Hall's debut year would have a ton of inductees (16), since it was the first class and they'd want to get a ton of no-brainers in like Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry. So things would settle down in the second year, right? The judges would get more selective, committing to picking only the best of the rest to make the Hall a hallowed place.
Nope. In fact, the class of 1987 more than doubled the first year's group of enshrined. The judges even tried to get a two-for-one with the ace songwriting duo of Leiber and Stoller.

Therefore, we have to start chopping real performers along with some of the non-performers. And no longer is it a one-chop-per year rule. The highlight of this year's class is Eddie "Summertime Blues" Cochran. Yeah, he influenced a "look," but so did Geraldo. Yeah, he influenced Paul McCartney, John Lennon and the early Beatles, but so did pills and that weird German couple. Yeah, he was a guitar hero, but so is Joe Satriani. Yeah, he got The Who to make "Summertime Blues" a staple of their live set, but he got The Who to make "Summertime Blues" a staple of their live set.

23 inductees in the second year? No wonder the hit-obsessed judges are already scraping the bottom of the barrel.

Leonard Chess
The Coasters
Eddie Cochran
Bo Diddley
Ahmet Ertegun
Aretha Franklin
Marvin Gaye
Bill Haley
Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller
Louis Jordan
B.B. King
Clyde McPhatter
Ricky Nelson
Roy Orbison
Carl Perkins
Smokey Robinson
Big Joe Turner
T. Bone Walker
Muddy Waters
Jerry Wexler
Hank Williams
Jackie Wilson

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