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What's Next: Real, live classic rockers
Lou Gramm and band

Two of rock ‘n' roll's all-time great vocalists will split the bill Oct. 17 in Richmond Hill. Neither of them is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which continues to be the gas-bag of the music awards shows (more on that in a minute).

The event is the Great Ogeechee Seafood Festival, and it happens in J.F. Gregory Park. The performers are Lou Gramm and John Waite.

Gramm, of course, was the lead singer for Foreigner, which has recently re-formed, without him, to predictably unimpressed reviews.

Whatever the rock cognoscenti think about classic Foreigner (not much), there's no denying that the Gramm-fronted band made some great records. That's him on "Cold as Ice," "Head Games," "Hot Blooded," "Waiting on a Girl Like You," "Feels Like the First Time," "Jukebox Hero" and the iconic "I Want to Know What Love Is."

Gramm is a heavy-duty rock ‘n' roll vocalist who belongs in the same category as the British greats Paul Rodgers, Robert Plant and Freddie Mercury.

John Waite happens to be British, and he was the lead singer for one of this writer's favorite heavy/pop bands, the Babys ("Isn't it Time," "Back on My Feet Again," "Every Time I Think of You," "Head First").

For a time in the 1980s, Waite had another band, Bad English, that included Journey guitarist Neal Schon ("When I See You Smile" was a big hit). He had a solo No. 1 with "Missing You."

I saw Waite do an acoustic show about two years ago in Florida. He's still got the pipes, and he is an engaging performer.

The Great Ogeechee Seafood Festival is Oct. 16-18; the big concert is Saturday night (the 17th). It's a family-friendly "three days in the park" deal, with seafood (natch), a midway, classic car show and more. Saturday admission is $5 (10 a.m.- 4 p.m.) and $10 after 4 p.m. Kids 12 and under get in for $3.

Festival hours are slightly different each day. See

So why aren't Foreigner or the Babys in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, you ask?

Allow me to editorialize. The HOF nominating committee seems to have its own agenda, and it's absolutely not the recognition of merit or influence. Among the other artists who still aren't in: Jethro Tull, the Moody Blues, Yes, Chicago, Cat Stevens, Alice Cooper, Todd Rundgren, Emerson, Lake & Palmer.

You better believe the Eagles are inducted. And Madonna. And Bob Seger and ZZ Top. They all sold a lot of records. More importantly, appearances by these artists make for guaranteed TV ratings.

The HOF has just announced that it's considering the following artists for 2010 induction (the final five nominees will be revealed in January): The Red Hot Chili Peppers, KISS, Donna Summer, Genesis, LL Cool J, Laura Nyro, ABBA, the Stooges, Darlene Love and the Chantels.

What? Huh? What do Donna Summer and LL Cool J have to do with rock ‘n' roll? I don't think I've ever heard of the Chantels. Nyro was certainly a gifted songwriter, but I always thought other people cut better versions of her songs.

And KISS is a well-greased marketing machine, not a real band.



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