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Twelve Long Years

By Scott Smith in Arts & Entertainment on Dec 14, 2004 7:14PM

Darn Tootin' I've Got The Blues just didn't have the same impactThe Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced the members of their 2005 class yesterday and as usual there was a mix of the inevitable and the surprising. In the former category are U2 and the Pretenders and in the latter are The O’Jays, Percy Sledge and Chicagoan Buddy Guy.

Born in Louisiana and a resident here since 1957, Guy’s influence on electric Chicago blues is almost taken for granted in a town where his bar is a must-see stop for tourists and residents alike. Though he’s been eligible for induction since 1992, it wasn’t until the year previous that his career experienced its current renaissance with his Grammy-award winning Damn Right I’ve Got The Blues.

Deep thoughts from Buddy’s brother Phil and more navel-gazing on this year’s nominees after the jump...

Chicagoist popped in at Legends for a few hours last night to see if any celebration was in progress and we were sorely disappointed. If the man with his name above the door was selected for induction that morning, you'd never know it from the looks of things inside as it was pretty dead. The blame for the mellow tidings could be placed on the frigid temperature outside or the extended hangover from the staff holiday party the night before. Apart from the usual Monday night blues jam, little evidence of yesterday's good news was to be found apart from some remnants of a cake. Buddy wasn’t around by the time we got there, but his brother Phil was. When asked for a comment on his brother's good fortune, Phil replied, "Yeah. It's real good."

You heard it here first, folks. Scooped ya there, Dero!

As for the rest of the inductees: if you put much stock in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at all (and many deservedly don’t--and won’t--at least until Black Sabbath gets inducted) then the induction of the O’Jays gives it a reason for being. Their status as one of the architects of 70s soul is contrasted with fellow inductee Percy Sledge. While he isn’t a one-hit wonder in the strictest sense of the word, if it weren’t for The Big Chill and Michael Bolton, his level of fame would be no greater than Johnnie Taylor’s. And a Hall of Fame with the Pretenders but without Patti Smith is like Green Day without Stiff Little Fingers (though that’ll probably happen someday too). Chicagoist predicts that next year’s class will include Lynyrd Skynyrd and Grandmaster Flash with Patti Smith as a perennial dark horse candidate.