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Published:June 10th, 2014 12:45 EST
A High Point of HBO`s 2014 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, is Linda Ronstadt`s Induction!

A High Point of HBO`s 2014 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, is Linda Ronstadt`s Induction!

By John G. Kays

I caught HBO`s 2014 Rock N Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony (originally taking place on April 20 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn), Saturday night; I had sense enough to hit the red record button, since there were quite a few bright moments (to behold). I enjoyed all of the shoe, since I`ve spent a lifetime worshipping Rock N Roll Music, but there were particular parts that I could identify with more. I`ll get this out of the way, just in case you aren`t aware of who was inducted, then I`ll simply touch on what was most important to me. The winners were/are: Peter Gabriel, Linda Ronstadt, Cat Stevens, Kiss, Nirvana, Hall & Oates, the E Street Band, Andrew Lood Oldham, and Brian Epstein.

Back in the 1970s, I was a huge fan of Linda Ronstadt, so this may explain why I favored this portion of the ceremony. Linda`s best song, although she had many, was Different Drum, which was written by The Monkees` Michael Nesmith; Linda sung it when she was still with The Stone Poneys, but, I believe, continued performing it throughout her stunningly successful solo career. Linda owned the Seventies; I got to see her at The Armadillo sometime in the early 1970s, and I distinctly remember her barefooted-stage-presence. The tribute performances by Carrie Underwood, Bonnie Raitt, Emmylou, Cheryl Crow, and Stevie Nicks demonstrated just how strongly Linda`s influence has been felt. as the years swiftly pass away.

That entire Southern California soft-rock Renaissance (of sorts), partially spearheaded by Linda Ronstadt, dominated the 1970s, up until Punk Rock took over! I know I was under the spell of The Eagles, Jackson Browne, Fleetwood Mack, Warren Zevon, and naturally Linda, until Punk came along and made me consider things in a slightly different, new light. Linda`s soulful singing and overall ambience (sex appeal), ranks high up there, with even the likes of Janis Joplin, and Linda was a GIGANTIC STAR for a lot longer than Janis (you probably know the reasons why this is true)

Some ambitious graduate student could write a great thesis on this iron-grip (referenced above), held by an exclusive cache of Southern Californian artists  (and record labels). Well, I didn`t think of it, but what graduate student majors in Pop or Rock N Roll History?  I guess, the answer is none, zilch, ZERO! The cost of higher education is such, that you better try to learn something that`s gonna make you some doe. Anyhow, I loved the parts on Cat Stevens and on Peter Gabriel, as well `cuz I`m great big fan of both those guys. I recently picked up an original edition, vinyl pressing of Tea For the Tillerman (in mint condition) at one of these record conventions; this is a classic for all time!

Another segment that was dear to my heart, was the induction of two managers, Brian Epstein for The Beatles, and Andrew Lood Oldham for The Rolling Stones. Had it not`ve been for these two guys, neither of these bands would`ve made it nearly as big as they ended up making it. I`m pretty familiar with Brian`s career, but I wouldn`t mind digging a little deeper into what Oldham was up to. An example is, I hear he`s responsible foe encouraging Jagger and Richards to try and become song writing partners, such as Lennon & McCartney were. As you know, that`s just what they ended up doing. Also, I`ve always preferred the early Stones, which reflects the time Andrew managed them.

The In Memoriam segment touched me the most; we lost so many stars in 2013, and up to the time of the ceremony, which was April 13th. I`ll go ahead and list their names for you (I`ll let you make the connection as to what band or artists they are associated with). Let us not forget: ever Phil Everly, Marshall Lytle, Franny Beecher, Marvin Junior, Cowboy Jack Clement, Pete Seeger, Donald Byrd, Jeff Hanneman, Chris Kelly, JJ Cale, Bobby Blue Bland, George Duke, Allen Lanier, Junior Murvin, Joey Covington, Cordell Boogie Mosson, Ray Manzarek, Alan Myers, Bob Casale, Trevor Bolder, Dave Oderus Urungus Brockie, Phillip Chevron, Scott Asheton, and finally, Lou Reed. Without getting overly sentimental or rhapsodic, these departed R&R STARS carried the torch (of licks & lyrics) forward to a new generation of appreciative fans...