David Crosby And Other Two-Time Kings Of The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame
An induction into Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is the mecca for any artist; these elite artists have achieved that feat twice over.May 18, 2015
David Crosby – legendary singer, songwriter, and overall mind – is in a uniquely elite class. (See him why you can! Click here for tour dates!)
An induction into Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is the mecca for any artist; a show of respect and validation from your peers that says, “Hey buddy, you did it.”
Each year, a small Rock Hall committee selects between nine and twelve artists to be up for nomination. From there, ballots are sent to over 600 rock critics and experts, who vote on who should be inducted – which usually ends up being about five per year. Since the start of this process, over 200 artists have been given the honor.
So how do artists stick out in an ever-growing group of honorees?
Simple. They achieve greatness – twice.
However, a double-induction is no easy feat. Of that group of 200 plus, David Crosby is among a mere 21 artists have been inducted twice. (With one inducted a staggeringthree times.) While some artists wait to be inducted even once, you can’t deny the towering achievements of Crosby and his group of fellow legendary two-timers.
For context, here’s a quick list of artists in the Hall once: Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Elvis Presley, all the dudes from Queen.
Let’s take a moment to pay proper tribute to these legendary double dippers, as well as highlighting some under-the-radar “hall pass” tracks that got them there.
1. DAVID CROSBY
What He’s In For: The Byrds (1991); Crosby, Stills, and Nash (1997)
Let’s start with the Croz.
As a songwriter, David Crosby’s work speaks for itself – “Long Time Gone,” “Guinnevere,” “Wooden Ships” – and that’s all only on one album! However, in both CSN (and sometimes Y) and the Byrds, David Crosby routinely sings the most difficult – usually middle – harmony part in any given song, which typically ends up being the element that holds the vocal line together.
For instance, let’s look at “Helplessly Hoping” on the Crosby, Stills, and Nash debut. Up top, you have Nash’s distinctive tenor, and at the bottom, you can easily pick out Stills’ trademark rasp twang. However, those two elements would not work alone without Crosby’s velvety middle part bridging them together.
Harmonic mastery aside, Crosby has the distinction of performing the first solo vocal on any Byrds song which wasn’t until 1966’s Fifth Dimension – their third album!
Possibly the most mind blowing fact is that Crosby’s inductions aren’t even factoring in his solo masterpiece, 1971’s If Only I Could Remember My Name – which has to be one of the top albums ever. In fact, Crosby still puts out fantastic solo work, as evidenced by his stellar 2014 album, Croz. Nobody deserves multiple inductions more than the Croz, a man who elevated every musical project he took part in.
Hall Pass – The Byrds: “Lady Friend” (Seriously, this might be their best song.)
Hall Pass – Crosby, Stills, and Nash: “Almost Cut My Hair“
2. STEPHEN STILLS
What He’s In For: Buffalo Springfield (1997); Crosby, Stills, and Nash (1997)
Friend of the show Stephen Stills brings both his distinctive voice and guitar tone twice to the Rock Hall, and deservedly so. Along with Neil Young, Richie Furay, and others, Stills formed Buffalo Springfield and created what can only be described as a high-octane psychedelic Americana (which sounds something like this.)
Stills also wrote the only song directors of movies about the sixties use during the Vietnam sequences.
Of course, most of Stills’ massive success came with CSN(Y) – who, in the late-’60s/early-’70s, were considered the American Beatles (despite the British N and the Canadian Y). Stills plays about 98% of the guitars on the group’s huge 1969 debut, and is responsible for “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes“, which contains more great melodies than most bands have in their entire catalogue.
Like Crosby, Stills’ solo work merits its own induction – just take a listen to his solo debut or his killer double LP with his 1972 side band, Manassas. Notice that Stills was inducted both times in the same year, so he only had to dry-clean one tux.
Hall Pass – Buffalo Springfield: “Four Days Gone”
Hall Pass – CSN: “Helplessly Hoping“
3. GRAHAM NASH
What He’s In For: The Hollies (2010); Crosby, Stills, and Nash (1997)
The only British member of CSN, Graham Nash has probably the most recognizable voice in any CSN tune, with his soaring tenor vocal lines riding on top of the whole operation. However, Nash was a master songwriter in his own right.
After co-writing ’60s hits “On a Carousel,” “Carrie Anne,” and “Stop, Stop, Stop” while starting out with British Invasion group The Hollies, Nash wrote some of the most iconic CSNY tunes ever – notably “Our House” and “Teach Your Children.” You can’t turn on a radio anywhere in America, the UK, and the parts of Canada where they have radios without “House” or “Children” on some station. Additionally, Nash teamed up with Crosby for some stellar albums and tours.
Hall Pass – The Hollie s: “To You My Love“
Hall Pass – CSN: “Pre-Road Downs“
4. NEIL YOUNG
What He’s In For: Solo Career (1995); Buffalo Springfield (1997)
Detecting a pattern here? All of CSN&Y are in the “two time” club but amazingly, that’s the only band Neil isn’t in for!
Neil Young is about twenty different music acts: Commercial tunesmith (“After the Gold Rush“), balls-to-the-wall electric thrasher (anything with Crazy Horse), protest singer (“Ohio“),musical mad scientist (Trans), master of theatrics (Greendale), deacon of the ditch (Time Fades Away/On The Beach/Tonight’s the Night), and that’s not even including his amazing work with Buffalo Springfield. He deserves to be inducted for every single one.
Hall Pass – Buffalo Springfield: “Mr. Soul“
Hall Pass – Solo Career: “Powderfinger“
#5-8 – EVERY BEATLE
Paul McCartney: The Beatles (1988); Solo Career (1999)
Paul’s induction as a Beatle was a no brainer in 1988, but Paul has also had the most successful solo career of the four lads from Liverpool, leading to his 1999 re-induction. Think about it – McCartney, on his own, has written a Bond theme, a Christmas standard, and had duet hits with Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Kanye, and Rihanna. Plus, he wrote the theme to the classic Aykroyd/Chevy Chase vehicle Spies Like Us – that alone should earns him nine more inductions.
Hall Pass – Beatles: “For No One“
Hall Pass– Solo Career: “Back Seat of My Car“
No words are needed to justify his Beatle contributions, but Lennon’s solo career was a lot more than just “Imagine” and that Christmas song where the kids lie about war. For instance, check out Lennon’s Plastic Ono Band album any time you want to hear where indie rock started. Raw, stripped down, and completely vulnerable, the album showcases a side of Lennon he rarely displayed before or since. Unfortunately, Lennon wasn’t alive for either of his inductions, but the man’s message and spirit live on through his music (and through every hippie playing “Give Peace a Chance” in Central Park at any given moment).
Hall Pass – Beatles: “Hey Bulldog“
Hall Pass – Solo Career: “Move Over Ms. L“
The phrase “underrated Beatle” is a little counter-intuitive, but in many ways, it does apply to George. Sure, he started out as the band’s lead guitarist, but over the course of the Beatles’ saga, George blossomed into a staunch advocate for Eastern musical influences and arguably an equal songwriter to Lennon or McCartney. For instance, you won’t find much debate that the best songs on Abbey Road are Harrison compositions.
On the solo side, George has the distinction of being the first Beatle to have a #1 single on his own, with 1970’s “My Sweet Lord.” In fact, you could also argue that George recorded the best solo album of any Beatle, with his three LP epic All Things Must Pass. Then when you consider the fact that he anchored the first ever benefit concert, his work with the Traveling Wilburys, and the fact that he hit #1 in 1987 with this, you realize that George’s solo career would be Hall worthy even if he hadn’t been a Beatle.
Hall Pass – Beatles: “It’s All Too Much“
Hall Pass – Solo Career: “Behind That Locked Door“
Ringo Star: The Beatles (1988); Solo Career (2015)
Peace and love, peace and love. Who doesn’t love Ringo? Honestly, even the guy’s name makes you smile. Still, Ringo may be a more influential drummer than most realize, with a unique kit set up that led to those iconic, early-Beatle tune fills that everyone tried to replicate in the mid-’60s. Naturally, when you’re competing with McCartney/Lennon/Harrison for songwriting greatness in the same band, somebody’s going to come up short. Still, Ringo wrote one of the band’s most iconic tunes: “Octopus’s Garden” and sang another, “Yellow Submarine.” Also, you could argue that Ringo is the MVP of both the Hard Day’s Night and Help films. In 2015, Ringo was inducted as a solo artist, not officially, but rather under a special “Musical Excellence” banner – basically underlining the longstanding fact that everybody loves Ringo.
Hall Pass – Beatles: “Don’t Pass Me By” (dig that fiddle)
Hall Pass – Solo Career: “Early 1970“
9. ERIC CLAPTON
What He’s In For: The Yardbirds (1992); Cream (1993); Solo (2000)
“Clapton is God” said the iconic graffiti, which could double as a description of Clapton’s place in the Rock Hall. Yes, Clapton is the only individual to be inducted three times! Three! Each induction represents a distinct phase of Clapton’s career: The Yardbirds were Clapton pioneering British blues rock, Cream was Clapton paving the way for Hendrix, and Eric Clapton, as a solo artist, has just about done everything else. The sick part is, Clapton could theoretically still get inducted as part of either John Mayall’s Blues Breakers, Blind Faith, or Derek and the Dominos, all of whom would rightfully deserve it.
Hall Pass – The Yardbirds: “Louise“
Hall Pass – Cream: “Badge“
Hall Pass – Solo Career: “Give Me Strength“
10. RONNIE WOOD
What He’s In For: The Rolling Stones (1989); Faces (2012)
If someone told you that a Rolling Stone was in the Rock Hall twice, it would be understandable if you guessed Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, or even Charlie Watts. Instead, good ol’ Ronnie Wood is the only Stone pulling double duty. It helps when you get to join the Stones after being in Faces, and kicking ass/taking names on every style of guitar in existence.
While Stone Ronnie primarily “weaves” guitar parts with Keith, he was the lone ax-man in Faces, allowing him to stretch out and showcase some insane lead, slide, and acoustic guitar skills. Plus, he actually sings lead on this classic tune. In case I haven’t stressed this enough, go listen to some Faces music!
Hall Pass – Faces: “Miss Judy’s Farm“
Hall Pass – The Rolling Stones: “Black Limousine“
11. JIMMY PAGE
What He’s In For: The Yardbirds (1992); Led Zeppelin (1995)
It’s no surprise that the Yardbirds have multiple entries in this list, considering the caliber of their replacement lead guitarists. However, Jimmy Page deserves to be in the hall dozens of times over for his early session guitar work alone, appearing oncountless iconic tunes, completely anonymously. Of course, Page’s fantastic guitar work with the Yardbirds was really a warm-up for what he was about to create with his own band, The New Yardbirds. I should probably mention that the New Yardbirds quickly changed their name to Led Zeppelin, and became a nice little band that took over the world.
Hall Pass – The Yardbirds: “Dazed and Confused” (You read that right)
Hall Pass – Led Zeppelin: “The Ocean“
12. ROD STEWART
What He’s In For: Solo Career (1994); Faces (2012)
Say what you will about his albums of American standards and tunes about legs that are hot, Rod Stewart, in his prime, is one of the greatest white soul singers ever. There are few outputs better than Rod’s between 1969-1976 with both Faces and his solo career. Just take a listen to “Stay With Me,” “Every Picture Tells a Story,” “Handbags and Gladrags,” or “Gasoline Alley” and Rod the Mod’s double-induction suddenly seems like too few. Plus, Faces might be the best 1970s rock band that nobody talks about. The family of double-inductees is a tighter knit group than you might initially realize. For instance, Rod’s first major gig was as lead singer for the Jeff Beck Group!
Hall Pass – Faces: “I’m Losing You“
Hall Pass – Solo Career: “Cut Across Shorty“
13. LOU REED
What He’s In For: The Velvet Underground (1996); Solo Career (2015)
Lou Reed might be the entire reason we have weird music. From the outset, The Velvet Underground was singing about stuff nobody else was in the mid-’60s; “Heroin,” “Lady Godiva’s Operation,” and especially “Sister Ray” reflect a seedy New York City lifestyle that couldn’t have been further apart from the Summer of Love, occurring simultaneously on the other coast. As the old adage goes, not many people bought Velvet Underground albums, but everyone who did started a band. Lou’s solo career continued the wonderfully dangerous trajectory started by the Velvets, peaking with his perfect 1972 LP, Transformer. Glam, psychedelia, noise rock – Lou had a hand in it all.
Hall Pass – The Velvet Underground: “I’ll Be Your Mirror“
Hall Pass – Solo Career: “Vicious“
14. PAUL SIMON
What’s He In For: Simon and Garfunkel (1990); Solo Career (2001)
One of our greatest living songwriters, Paul Simon’s career contains more great tunes than Graceland itself. It’s near impossible to find a less-than-great song by Simon and Garfunkel (“Voices of Old People” doesn’t count, fella) and an argument for their best song could last for days – “The Boxer,” “I Am a Rock,” “Sound of Silence,” the list goes on. Then, you move onto Simon’s solo career and find an amazingly consistent catalogue, with peaks that match anything during the S&G days. Also, how many sixties artists can say they had a late-career renaissance with a Ladysmith Black Mambazo collaboration?
Hall Pass – Simon and Garfunkel: “America“
Hall Pass – Solo Career: “Hearts and Bones“
15. MICHAEL JACKSON
What He’s In For: Jackson 5 (1997); Being The King of Pop (2001)
Huh, we couldn’t find much on this guy to write about.
We hate to short change anyone on this list – they are all masters of their craft more than worthy of making the HoF twice. However, we have things to do and we assume you do too. So here are the rest in a quick list. We highly recommend you check them out for yourself.
Clyde McPhatter (Solo Career 1987, The Drifters 1988); Johnny Carter (The Flamingos 2001; The Dells 2004); Sammy Strain (The O’Jays 2005, Little Anthony and the Imperials 2009); Jeff Beck (The Yardbirds 1992, Solo Career 2009); Peter Gabriel(Genesis 2010, Solo 2014); and Curtis Mayfield (The Impressions 1991, Solo 1999)