Nominate The Mothers And Other Backing Groups For The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame

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In 1995, Frank Zappa, Janis Joplin, and Neil Young were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. Absent, however, were the groups that performed with them on many of their most cherished works-The Mothers Of Invention, Big Brother & The Holding Company, and Crazy Horse. The same occurred with Deon and The Belmonts in 1989, Bob Marley and The Wailers in 1994, Paul McCartney and Wings in 1999, Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band in 2004, and Patti Smith and The Patti Smith Group in 2007. This despite The Mothers’ inclusión in Frank’s first nomination as well as The Belmonts being inducted with Deon into the Vocal Group Hall Of Fame and all of Marley’s studio albums billing The Wailers.

These bands, beyond playing their parts, breathed personality and life into the music, their chemistry with each other lifting the music and their frontpeople to greater heights. To paraphrase Smokey Robinson, they didn’t stand behind the frontperson, the band stood with them

In 2012, a special committee was appointed to recognize many groups left out when their frontpeople were originally inducted. While this is clearly not common place, it shows that indeed past mistakes can be remedied, the unsung heroes receiving their due alongside the more famous members.

While Frank Zappa, Bob Marley, Janis Joplin, Neil Young, Deon, and Bob Segar are all legends and their talents and achievements unquestioned, we must never forget the groups who took a chance on them and who helped them get there.