Feb 042013

The Super Bowl is over. God has spoken. Pitchers and catchers don’t report for another week. To help ward off the February Blahs, Townsman Al has suggested we initiate Rock Town Hall’s very own Awards Season: Once and For All February.

To avoid the folly of trying to stay hip and current, the same folly that awarded Dances With Wolves and Christopher Cross, for instance, top honors mainly because they were new and voters didn’t have the necessary perspective to understand how quickly these works would wilt in the test of time, we will target only categories and entrants that are worthy of such a definitive honor. Once and For All February is an effort to get the year off to a regret-free start: settling age-old debates and giving credit where credit is due. As the year progresses, there may still arise a need to take a collective stand—once and for all—on a key issue in rock, but Once and For All February will put a number of debates that threaten to tear the fabric of the Hall behind us early in the new year, allowing 10 months of smooth-sailing consensus to come.

The first order of business includes identifying our categories and nominees. Targeting more than 10 topics to rule on—once and for all—in such a concentrated time, would be more than even our community could bite off. In the next 2 days, let’s determine 10 topics and 5 nominees worthy of settling—once and for all—the most heated, knowledgeable barroom debates. Once the topics and nominees have been settled we will discuss, debate, and vote on the winners. By month’s end we will know—once and for all—who’s who and what’s what.

Following are 6 suggested topics. Please suggest your own topic in need of a definitive, once and for all answer, and please suggest possible nominees for any or all of these categories. Through the month we will roll out individual threads dedicated to each of the categories.

  • Saddest Story in Rock ‘n Roll
  • Best Rock ‘n Roll Anthem
  • Best Band Under Another Name
  • Best Rock Instrumental of the ‘60s
  • Worst Album Naming Pattern
  • Coolest Beatles Look

Once and For All February will culminate in identifying—once and for allRock’s Most Recognizable Single Opening Note or Chord.

Al has spoken.


  45 Responses to “Once and For All February…and the Nominees Are!”

  1. • Saddest Story in Rock & Roll
    All of Badfinger’s potential ending in the suicide of two members.
    • Best Rock ‘n Roll Anthem
    I need to think this one over some more but maybe Rock and Roll All Night by KISS or Boy Are Back In Town by Thin Lizzy
    • Best Band Under Another Name
    Not sure what you mean
    • Best Rock Instrumental of the ‘60s
    Since Sleepwalk came out in ’59, I’ll say the Ventures’ version of Walk, Don’t Run http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Rl3yVq6rrg
    • Worst Album Naming Pattern
    • Coolest Beatles Look
    George on the inside gatefold of the Red and Blue compilations

    Rock’s Most Recognizable Single Opening Note or Chord.

    This is a slam dunk: Hard Days Night (Here’s Randy Bachman breaking it down: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=AvxPc5MPEuQ)

  2. Oops, sorry it I pulled the trigger to early by answering these…

  3. Most iconic electric guitar.
    Greatest Stage Name.
    Most improbable yet artistically successful partnership.
    Best use of the Vibraslap
    Best use of backwards masking (for guitar or vocals)

  4. misterioso

    Yes, but some good calls. Badfinger–good lord, it doesn’t get sadder than that.

  5. No shortage of these —

    Nominees for Saddest Story in Rock & Roll
    Gram Parsons
    Ian Curtis
    Doug Hopkins from Gin Blossoms
    Stuart Adamson from Big Country
    Syd Barrett
    Nick Drake
    Judee Sill

  6. A couple of things: It’s OK to suggest nominees at this point. Al already submitted a list of possible nominees, which I have held to see what others thought. I’ll post his nominees now, which will help answer questions concerning possibly vague categories. Here are Al’ initial recommendations. We will choose the best of the best to determine our once and for all conclusions.

    Saddest Story In Rock ‘n Roll
    • The Band
    • Brian Wilson
    • John Lennon’s murder
    • Sly Stone

    Best Rock ‘n Roll Anthem
    • The Beatles – All You Need Is Love
    • The Beatles – Revolution
    • John Lennon – Give Peace A Chance
    • John Lennon – Imagine
    • The Youngbloods – Get Together
    • The Young Rascals – People Got To Be Free
    • Melanie – Beautiful People
    • Bob Dylan – Blowin’ In The Wind
    • Bob Dylan – The Times They Are A-Changin’

    Best Band Under Another Name
    • Dukes Of Stratosphear (XTC)
    • Eddie & The Falcons (Roy Wood’s Wizzard)

    Best Rock Instrumental Of The ‘60s
    • Santo & Johnny – Sleep Walk
    • The Ventures – Walk Don’t Run
    • The Tornadoes – Telstar
    • The Sufaris – Wipe Out
    • Booker T & the MGs – Green Onions
    • The Bar-Kays – Soul Finger

    Worst Album Naming Pattern
    • Chicago 1, 2, 3, 4, …16
    • Led Zeppelin 1, 2, 3, 4
    • The Who – Who’s Next, Who Are You, Who Came First, Who Am I

    Coolest Beatles Look
    • Collarless suits
    • Sgt. Pepper
    • Richard Avedon photos
    • Rooftop
    • Leonine

    You may recall that we have already collected a list of the Top 64 single opening notes of all time.

  7. misterioso

    Once and for all: greatest use of electric sitar.

    For example: Box Tops, “Cry Like a Baby”; B. J. Thomas, “Hooked on a Feeling”; Joe South, “Games People Play”; Steely Dan, “Do It Again”; Redbone, “Come and Get Your Love”; etc., etc.

  8. GREAT categories. I strongly suspect some of these will make the cut!

  9. hrrundivbakshi

    Once and for all: greatest key change deployed at the end of a song because it’s going nowhere. “Greatest” is defined here as “you know what? That schlock arranger’s trick actually works in this song, and it’s genuinely better for it.”

    I was reminded of this on my way into work, when “Living On a Prayer” came on the radio, and I found myself waiting for the schlock key change moment near the end of the song, which occurs here: (sneak ahead to the 3:23 mark) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDK9QqIzhwk

    Is there best use of this trick? I’m not sure. I need your help!


  10. Interesting. I considered “anthems” to be more of the air-guitar type song. I’ll have a rethink.

    Also, I obviously misread the Beatles Look question and thought you wanted the single best look by an individual Beatle.

  11. Don’t argue which is best, just yet – please provide other nominees. For all worthy categories we’ll be holding full-blown, dedicated threads with polls and whatnot. February will be marked by brutal battles over these topics followed by a March of pure healing and clear thinking.

  12. Add Greg Kihn to the top of the list for horrible naming patterns: Rockihnroll, Kihntinued, Kihnspiracy, Kihntagious, Citizen Kihn (Get it? It’s his name! His name is in all of the… oh forget it….)

  13. Lowest slung guitar and/or widest stance by a guitarist or bassist in a not-totally-obscure group.

  14. misterioso

    “Don’t argue which is best”–get real, man! That’s like dangling raw meat in front of hungry animals and saying, “This is for later.”

  15. More sadness —
    Buddy Holly plane crash
    Waren Zevon’s farewell media tour — that was painful
    Marvin Gaye too, what a horrible decline and fall

  16. What I mean is, you can argue for the strength of a nominee, but don’t blow your wad on arguments claiming that your nominee best meets the Once and For All criteria. What if said nominee is not selected as 1 of the 5 in the run-off?

  17. trigmogigmo

    I wouldn’t vote against one of my top 5 favorite bands, but I’m sure some would knock ’em for the album naming of Outlandos d’Amour, Regatta de Blanc, and Zenyatta Mondatta.

  18. Artist Most in Need of a Change of Clothes. So far I have only two nominees:

    The lead guy from Mumford & Sons – he’s been wearing that white button-down shirt with the sleeves rolled up and a vest for the last couple of years.


  19. I would have thought you (and Oats) would have Iggy on that list too.

  20. Ha, I guess the need for Iggy to add a shirt tops all contenders, in which case, this has been determined…once and for all.

    I am curious to see what else the Mumford & Sons guy has in his wardrobe.

  21. H. Munster

    If 60s instrumentals is a category, “Apache” has to be a nominee.

  22. Does Asia continue to name each album with a word that begins and ends in “A”? Hopefully their next will be called…


  23. jeangray

    WoWsa! Mumford & Sons is soooo far off of my radar — I have no idea about the guy’s look. I was only able to stomach about 30 seconds of their hit single.

  24. meanstom

    For Worst Album Naming Convention I offer Peter Gabriel, with all those albums entitled ‘Peter Gabriel.’ Really?

    What’s the ‘Leonine’ Look among Coolest Beatles Looks? Is that referring to the Rubber Soul Look? That needs to be a nominee.

    I second the Electric Sitar category nomination.

    I also second the Greatest Stage Name nomination. Rat Scabies must be included for consideration.

  25. machinery

    Saddest to me: d. boon. or The Beach Boys’ dad/son relationship
    R&R Athem: AC/DC’s For those about to rock
    Best Band under another name: Autumn Carosel
    Worst Naming pattern: Zeppelin. Could never keep them straight
    Coolest Beatles look: Those big Furry Animal Vests from Let it Be era
    Best opening note thingy: Drum thwack from Spoonful’s Summer in the City.

  26. By Leonine I meant that stage where they all had the long hair and beards and John in particular looked like a long-haired lion like here:

    Although the photo I’m really thinking of but can’t find has them walking and John is in a white suite.

  27. cliff sovinsanity


    Best Single from the 2nd Wave of Power Pop (76-80)
    Best Song from a Saturday Morning Kids Show
    Best Uncredited Vocal Performance
    Best Surf Song Released after 1967

  28. 2000 Man

    I like all those. I’d like to add Best use of the guitar talk box. It was cool to talk through your guitar way before it was cool to Auto Tune!

  29. jeangray

    Best producer? Might have to break that one down by decades.

  30. cliff sovinsanity

    Best former musician turned producer or Best former producer turned musician.

  31. Bronzed Nordic God

    Rock and Roll’s greatest white afro. To make this competitive, we might have to exclude Sib Hashian. That thing was dang near perfect. It has to be real hair too so no Phil Spector trial wig.

    How about the best deadpan stage presence? My early vote is for Ron Mael.

  32. ’60 Instrumental: You got the right band, but you musta got the wrong song!

    the Bar-Kay definitely belong, but those who would vote for a ‘Soul Finger’ only do so because they’ve never heard A. J. the Housefly

  33. Here’s my nominee: Dennis Dunaway, assuming near horizontality counts.

    I was watching library dvd’s the other day and I would boldly state that the last 1:20 seconds of this clip should be a shoo-in nominee for the most overblown ‘Majesty of Rock’ moment. I listened closely and I believe Neal Smith was feeding back too…

  34. I was always partial to the Jonny Quest theme song – it had a real ‘Shorty Rogers Meets Tarzan’ vibe, but I’m sure experiencing this work out without sufficient ‘Soul Protection’ (TM) warped my little brother permanently.

    Did Paul Freed actually do ALL the voices?

  35. That’s a great song, don’t know as I ever heard it before.

    I was focusing on instrumentals that were hits. Soul Finger peaked at 17. A.J. didn’t chart.

    And, by the way, I did know that Sleep Walk came out in 1959 but I cheated because I like that song a lot.

  36. I especially LOVE the White Afro category – or maybe we get around the slam dunk of Hashian by adjusting it to Rock’s Worst White Afro/Perm?

  37. jeangray

    Dig his pants!

  38. Keep the good stuff coming through Tuesday, Townspeeps. On Wednesday we will begin conducting the first of at least 10 Once and For All determinations.

    Meanwhile, please consider whether the bassist in Canned Heat would give Bill Wyman (and whoever else) a run for his money for Rock’s Most Committed “You Can Tell I Was Trained on a Stand-up Bass” Bassist:



  39. Just respond to one award. Saddest story in Rock. Ian Curtis lead singer of IMHO ironically named “Joy Division” committing suicide at 23. I get the impression due to side effects of anti epilepsy meds, troubled marriage, career

  40. Frampton, Sambora, Joe Walsh and Pete Drake. Who dat? Pete Drake

  41. This was the subject of a thread on the old listserv but could definitely stand to be revisited:

    White Guy ‘Fro Down!
    Who had the best white guy `fro

    a. Noel Redding
    b. Magic Dick
    c. That drummer from Boston
    d. Rob Tyner

    Bonus question #1.
    Who had the best white guy dreads?
    a. nobody

    Bonus question #2.
    Which is a more conclusive sign that a British musician is no longer
    going to be making interesting music:

    a. Gets teeth fixed
    b. Quits hard drugs

  42. How about:

    Best use of two drummers in a band
    Best stage prop (must provide video proof)
    Best session player

  43. Just hours to go before we determine – once and for all – all kinds of important stuff!

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