A man named Alice and his excellent band.

Not long ago, this year’s inductees into The Rock And Roll Hall of Fame were announced. Among them were three of my favorites: Alice Cooper, Donovan and Tom Waits.

An eclectic trio for sure.

My first exposure to a national recording act was seeing Alice Cooper in the fall of 1971 in Cleveland, Ohio (not far from where The Hall of Fame stands today). Alice and his band had just released their second album, “Killer”, and the rock show’s line-up was a stew of styles–– Sha-Na-Na, The J. Geils Band and Alice Cooper in full theatrical regalia and pyrotechnics. Alice taunted the crowd with his boa constrictor (literally) and was hung from the gallows. Not bad, eh?

Alice and his band were incredible performers, charismatic and infectious. The music was hard driving and testosterone-fueled. It was a hell of an introduction for rock shows and still stands in my top five of all time.

Tom always delivers. Always.

The last great concert I’ve attended was Tom Waits at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta. Like Alice, Waits is a masterful showman. He just uses less mascara and 100% fewer reptiles.

Waits is one of my favorite songwriters; a man who’s voice is distinctive and extremely polarizing. There are very few people I spend money to see these days. Tom Waits is definitely in that short list. A must-see.

Hippy dippy hurdy gurdy man delivers songs of love.

As for Donovan, regrettably I’ve never seen him live but good gobs of gravy did the guy write some great songs that will endure forever.

Advertisers have discovered the power of Donovan. You can hear his work on spots from General Electric and Microsoft. Yes, his music that good.

It’s good to see these three transformative artists pass into the pearly gates in Cleveland. It’s certainly about time.

Remember your first? Your last great? Do share.