Don Kirshner

Rock & Roll Hall of Famer

Category: Non-Performer

Inducted in: 2012

Inducted by: Carole King

Don Kirshner @ Wikipedia


2 comments so far (post your own)


Don Kirshner

Excuse me? Could you repeat that? Don Kirshner? In the Rock 'n' Roll Hall Of Fame? Is this a joke? It'd be hard in a year where Laura Nyro gets inducted for anyone to compete for the most bewildering undeserving selection, but Don Kirshner may just pull it off. Like Dowd, Kirshner is another inductee who is recently deceased, but unlike Dowd, virtually everyone involved is glad that Kirshner's gone and won't be around to further taint the ceremonies with his presence. Known as the man with the golden ear, Kirshner was a song plugger from the famed Brill Building during it's early 60's heyday when it was churning out hit after hit for dozens of rock artists. He started Aldon Records, a publishing house, which signed many of the hottest up and coming writers, but a publisher, while a vital entity in the music business, is by no means a creative endeavor, but rather a business enterprise. He was in no way personally responsible for any of the hits his writers submitted, other than possibly as the final arbiter of their potential. He didn't write the lyrics, he didn't write the music, he didn't write the arrangements, he simply wrote the checks and then, most tellingly, CASHED the checks those songs written by others reaped in publishing royalties. His primary claim to fame was creating the Monkees, the group and TV series, which was the most reviled concept of its era by the newly formed rock critic contingent, who oddly enough are now voting for the Hall Of Fame. Yet while that group has never recovered from its initial image problem, despite being among the most popular, innovative and yes, influential groups of their era (pioneers in music videos, the Moog synthesizer and country-rock), Kirshner, who strove to keep them locked into rigid formula and stifle any and all attempts at artistic creativity, was ultimately fired for his stringency. Bitter at his ouster, he then got his wish for total control over an artist however by creating another group, the Archies, but in order to not have to actually deal with such nuisances as human beings he presented them as cartoons with anonymous session singers who couldn't overrule his authority. So essentially Kirshner gets rewarded with an induction to The Rock 'n' Roll Hall Of Fame for giving the world the hit Sugar Sugar and the bubblegum teen pop of that era when all along he was one of the most reviled men in the business. Somewhere Mike Nesmith just put his fist through a wall in frustration.

Posted by Roy on Tuesday, 03.20.12 @ 16:20pm

I think Don Kirshner's induction is in preparation for a Monkees induction next year, as was Neil Diamond's induction.

Posted by Roy on Tuesday, 03.20.12 @ 16:22pm

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