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Kids in the Hall

March 15 will mark the 18th induction ceremony of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame official. But, you might ask, what makes 2004’s inductees so special? There are plenty of places online where you can find out.

March 15 will mark the 18th induction ceremony of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame official. But, you might ask, what makes 2004’s inductees so special? It’s a reasonable question; seeing as how the Hall got all of rock’s true giants in the door during its first few years, some have argued that the quality of the inductees has diminished.

But there are plenty of places online where you can get a wealth of information on this year’s honorees, perhaps helping you to judge for yourself whether they deserve induction. And as is almost always the case, each artist’s official site (if they have one) is only a departure point.

Jackson Browne’s official site is a bit fluffy, but Russ Paris’s fan site is a nice supplement. It boasts regularly updated news, a full discography, audio clips, a photo gallery, tour updates and reviews, links, a FAQ page, and even a trivia quiz (in true Hollywood fashion, Browne’s demo was fished out of the trash by a secretary, leading to his first recording contract).

The Dells are probably the least known 2004 inductees among mainstream rock fans, and they’re accordingly underrepresented on the Web. The closest thing they have to an official site is mostly a pitch for concert dates (yes, the 50-year-old soul combo still tours). A loving fan tribute is on the Soul Patrol site, and while proprietor Bob Davis’s gushing gets a little weird at times (at one point he congratulates the Dells for being heterosexual), the site’s heart is in the right place.

It could be argued that George Harrison, on the other hand, gets far too much recognition on the Web, based mostly on the work he did with his old band way back when. Harrison’s official site is mostly a commercial for his most recent album, but there are fan sites galore to provide substance. A notable effort is Frank Daniels’s discography, which provides lots of background and trivia about Harrison’s solo releases.

And then we have Prince. Even as his popular appeal has waned, Prince is still one of the most-discussed musicians on the Web. There are all sorts of places to read about the man and his many quirks, but if you’re all about the music, there’s also plenty of data to pore through. Prince is one of the most prolific entertainers of his generation, and the obscure songs he’s had a hand in (whether under his own name or not) number in the hundreds. The most visible fan site is an exhaustive news source, but Jonas Warstad has done a fine, no-frills discography. And for real trainspotters, there’s a page that lists many of the Purple One’s voluminous rarities and outtakes.

That leaves us with the meat-and-potatoes classic-rock wing of this year’s inductees: Bob Seger, Traffic, and ZZ Top. The Seger File is all you should need for information about the veteran Detroit rocker; serving a similar function for ZZ Top is That Little Ol’ Web Page From Texas; and while most sites about Traffic tend to focus on its most visible member, Steve Winwood, has lots of information and analysis about what made Traffic run.

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