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Future Fame

May 25, 1997|Steve Hochman

A couple of other potential trouble spots loom in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's near future, the most immediate being the question of just who will be representing the Eagles and Steely Dan if they are inducted in their first year of eligibility next year, which seems pretty much a sure thing--alongside other likely inductees Paul Simon and Jackson Browne, and perhaps Lou Reed and Pete Townshend.

The Eagles were founded in the early '70s by Don Henley, Glenn Frey, Randy Meisner and Bernie Leadon, who were joined by Don Felder in 1974. But, after conflicts within the band, Leadon was replaced by Joe Walsh in '75 and Meisner was replaced by Timothy B. Schmit in '77. Differences apparently were never patched up, and neither Leadon nor Meisner was asked to join in the group's lucrative 1994 reunion.

Will all seven be inducted? And if so, will they all agree to join in a musical performance? Or will there be a repeat of the Creedence Clearwater Revival debacle of 1993, when Creedence members Stu Cook and Doug Clifford walked out after not being invited to perform with leader John Fogerty, who instead played the group's songs accompanied by Bruce Springsteen, Robbie Robertson and a house band?

In Steely Dan's case, Walter Becker and Donald Fagen are clearly the core members of the band, but such figures as guitarists Jeff "Skunk" Baxter and Denny Dias were important parts of the group's key, early hits.

Evans says that it's up to the individual inductees to work out performing arrangements, but that a determination of which members are to be inducted comes from the Hall's nominating committee.

"It's decided on a case-by-case basis," she says. "The committee examines each group and determines which members were most important to the body of work for which they are being inducted."

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