Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Greatest Rock N' Roll Band?

A strong case can be made. They were the ultimate 60's garage band, competing straight up with legendary proto-punk groups like The Wailers and The Kingsmen. Their bluesy lead singer was Jagger before Jagger. Unbeatable at live performance, they finally broke big in 1965 when they began a string of monster hits. Steven Van Zandt counts 1966 as the greatest rock year. In that year, no one rocked harder than this band. Yet in that same year of 1966 they also charted the first "jam band" style song,a precursor to the music of the Grateful Dead.

For all their success, for all their credibility which came before it, this band is not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which is criminal.

Who am I speaking about?

Paul Revere and the Raiders were the greatest garage band. Formed in 1958, they gained much experience playing gigs, in an area of awesome rock bands, the Northwest, in their formative years. In live performance, strutting about the stage in unison to songs like "Steppin Out," their antics causing them to be likened to the Marx Brothers; wearing crazy Revolutionary-era costumes; they've seldom been matched. (Prince's ruffled stage look was a throwback to the Raiders.)

Their recordings of "Just Like Me,' "Kicks," and "Hungry" are at the heights of pure rock n' roll.

How can one call the Rolling Stones "The World's Greatest Rock n' Roll Band" when an act from their own time was better?

Why are the tepid or connected likes of James Taylor, Bonnie Raitt, and Billy Joel-- many parts folk, country, or saloon singer but only incidentally rockers-- in the Rock Hall when the band which defined rock during its most glorious period is not?

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