Daily Dirt: I’m a believer that The Monkees should be in Rock and Roll HOF


Daily Dirt for Aug. 19, 2021

By Steve Eighinger Muddy River News Minister of Culture

Next to Major League Baseball (specifically, the Cleveland Indians), the music of Rod Stewart, watching “The Walking Dead” and old westerns, I think my favorite conversation topic is who should — or should not — be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Vol. 41 of the Daily Dirt examines a subject close to my heart:

1. Here’s my picks for the top 10 bands and/or individuals who have been overlooked, (PUBLISHER’S NOTES ADDED THROUGHOUT. JRG):

A. The Grass Roots: They were one of the first rock groups to incorporate the sound of horns, plus utilizing two lead singers — Rob Grill and Warren Entner. Their sound was perfect for AM radio in the late 1960s and early 1970s, but for some reason the band has never been taken seriously by critics. The makeup of the group, except for Grill and Entner, was in a constant state of flux, which I also think hurt its overall acceptance. Favorite song: “Midnight Confessions.” (While I agree with the song choice, the Grass Roots should be lower on the list. JRG)

B. The Monkees: We can argue all day about whether or not this band was simply a corporate creation and nothing more. In my opinion, at first, yes, that was all Davy, Peter, Mike and Mickey were. In the end, however, they were much more and are much more worthy of a hall of fame spot than probably half of those already there. Favorite song: “I’m A Believer.” (Probably going with Last Train to Clarksville here, just because it has allowed me to make so many jokes/references to Clarksville, Mo. over the years. JRG)

C. Tommy James and the Shondells: Only now does this group’s long overdue respect seem to be mounting. Hopefully, all of those great songs they gave us will be eventually rewarded with enshrinement in Cleveland. Favorite song: “It’s Only Love” (a minor hit for the group, at best, but I absolutely love the chorus). (Mony, Mony? C’mon, Steve..the crowd chorus of “Let’s get…Let’s get…”. Although maybe Billy Idol got that going with his cover. JRG)

D. The Spinners: When it comes to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, this group is arguably the most overlooked Motown ensemble ever. They are long overdue to be a member. Favorite song: “Working My Way Back to You/Forgive Me, Girl” (Wrong again, Mud Boy…It’s Rubberband Man. JRG)

E. Three Dog Night: Another group that was not the a favorite of the so-called critics, but all they did was was sell records — millions and millions of them. Favorite Song: “Shambala” (not one of the group’s mega-hits, but my personal pick. A close runner-up, of course, is “Joy to the World.” Jeremiah was, is and will always be a bullfrog.) (Mama Told Me (Not to Come) by a nose. JRG)

F. Paul Revere and the Raiders: Another 1960s band that truly never received the respect it deserved. A quality lead singer in Mark Lindsay, one hit song after another and an entertaining stage presence. “Critics” (we know about these guys already) claim their sound and image were not serious enough. It’s music, not Tolstoy. The Raiders deserve to go be in Cleveland. Favorite song: “Kicks.” (Agreed. JRG)

G. Meat Loaf: Mr. Loaf was able to combine a great theatrical presence, plus, at times, an almost operatic style and theme, into a unique top-40 sound. Favorite song: “Paradise by the Dashboard Light.” (Cheese and Rice, Steve, HOW IN THE WIDE, WIDE WORLD OF SPORTS DO YOU HAVE THE LOAF THIS LOW??? Paradise was great for the opening gambit at the Casino Starlight Lounge back in the day, but Two out of Three Ain’t Bad was the deal sealer. You Took The Words Right Out of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night) then follows…”I bet you say that to all the boys”. Meat Loaf was just behind Queen in the Rock Opera genre. JRG)

H.Pet Benatar: She has long been the epitome of the female rocker, yet no respect from the hall of fame. Favorite Song: “Hit Me With Your Best Shot.” (Duh. JRG)

I. Diana Ross: She was inducted in 1988 as a member of the Supremes, but also deserves recognition as a solo artist. Favorite song: “Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand).” (Ms. Ross should just be happy to already be in as part of the iconic supergroup. JRG)

J. Johnny Rivers: This is a sentimental pick. Rivers was one of the first big names I took a liking to when I discovered pop music in mid-1966. Favorite Song: “Baby I Need Your Lovin'” (I’m going to begrudgingly agree here, but Memphis, Tennessee and Secret Agent Man kick ass. JRG)

2. J. Robert Gough apparently forgot to tell me the Winter Olympics are coming up in February. Didn’t we just have the Summer Olympics (Publisher’s Note…I didn’t know. JRG)? The Chinese capital of Beijing — with a population of almost 22 million –is hosting the Feb. 4-20 extravaganza. I certainly hope everyone will be wearing masks.

3. It won’t be long until college football kicks off. In fact, it’s just over a week. And there will be fans in the stands this year — thank heaven! Another season of empty seats would have been a lot to take.Here’s a look at an abbreviated Aug. 28 schedule of games:


UConn at Fresno State, 1 p.m. CBS Sports Network

Hawaii at UCLA, 2:30 p.m. ESPN

UTEP at New Mexico State

Southern Utah at San Jose State, 9 p.m. CBS Sports Network

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