Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 2018: Peter Asher, Glen Campbell and Carol Kaye deserve induction

November 12, 2017

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 2018: Peter Asher, Glen Campbell and Carol Kaye deserve induction

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Peter Asher. Carol Kaye. Glen Campbell.

Unless you’re as much a music historian as a music fan, the only one of those three you’ve probably heard of is Campbell.

Here’s hoping you know all of them a lot more intimately after the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame announces its Class of 2018.

The Rock Hall has 18 acts on its ballot for the Hall of Famers who’ll be enshrined during ceremonies in April in Cleveland. Music fans’ favorite pastime between now and mid-December, when the inductees will be revealed, is debating who could, would or should be onstage at Public Hall, giving boring acceptance speeches and yesterday-once-more performances.

Between five and seven will get the votes of the 700 or so Hall of Famers and industry insiders who will cast ballots, and you can count on someone being ticked if their personal favorites aren’t inducted.

For me, that would be the Moody Blues, the J. Geils Band, the Cars and maybe even Rage Against the Machine. I figure Bon Jovi is getting in, and while it’s not my favorite band, I can see it, just based on commercial success. I love Dire Straits and the Eurythmics, but I just don’t think they’ve got a chance this time around. Same with Depeche Mode.

The rest? Meh.

But here’s the thing: The Rock Hall also will induct one, two or maybe even three other folks who aren’t on the nominees list. Those can be industry types, sidemen, early influences and even those recognized for a lifetime in the biz.

Asher should have been in a long time ago as the latter example. His Peter and Gordon years were a nice start, but it’s his post-singing work that dominated his career. He was the Beatles’ first A&R head at Apple Records, in large part due to his relationship with Paul McCartney (McCartney dated his sister, Jane, lived in the Asher family home for a while and even wrote four hits for Peter and Gordon).

But Asher also managed a pair of other Hall of Famers – Linda Ronstadt and James Taylor. He’s produced more than 100 albums, for artists ranging from Bonnie Raitt to comedian Robin Williams to 10,000 Maniacs to Neil Diamond and more.

The guy, who also happens to be one of the nicest people in the business (maybe THE nicest), has earned a spot in the Hall.

Campbell and Kaye were members of what most call the Wrecking Crew and Caye pointed out was actually known as the Clique in Los Angeles by producer Phil Spector back in the day. Most of us know that Campbell, who died this past August of complications of Alzheimer’s disease, was an unofficial and frequent voice and guitar on Beach Boys albums.

But for all that, he wasn’t nearly as big a part of the Crew/Clique as was electric bassist Kaye. She’s appeared literally on THOUSANDS of cuts, both for Spector and the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson with the Crew and independent of that. It’s her bass, for example, that you hear on the seminal “Pet Sounds″ album.

Her credits range from Simon & Garfunkel to Quincy Jones scores, from the Monkees (“I’m a Believer″) to Paul Revere & the Raiders (“Indian Reservation”).

Some might argue – among them Kaye herself, who vehemently asked me NOT to recommend her for induction to “that place!″ -- that misogyny-fed politics has kept her on the sidelines. A few of her male counterparts in the Crew – keyboardist Leon Russell, drummers Hal Blaine (whom Kaye despised) and Earl Palmer, and sax player Steve Douglas -- are in the Hall, either as sidemen or as lifetime achievement award winners.

“Others have tried [to get her inducted] in order to please my dying daughter years ago, and including some names on [a] petition like Sting, Bono, Bonnie Raitt, ex-pres. Clinton etc.... and failed twice,″ Kaye wrote in an email. “I told them to STOP..... it’s all politically motivated, I want NOTHING TO DO WITH PHONIES, never did.?″

Given the spice in her email, I’m honestly a little afraid to argue with her.

That being said, though, and knowing she wouldn’t show up even if she were inducted, I still think she deserves the accolade. I would bet that Asher, who has always been the consummate gentleman in our conversations, would agree, as would Campbell if he were still around.

And they’d say Kaye should lead the way. After all . . .

Ladies first.