Let’s Get Chet Helms into the Rock Hall of Fame!

In a perfect world according to yours truly, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame would have already inducted Richard Berry, the Kingsmen, Paul Revere & the Raiders, the (original) Wailers, the Sonics, Iggy Pop and the Stooges, MC5, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Dale Hawkins, the Ventures, and Davie Allan & the Arrows into this excusive little organization, taking priority over the big-money, music factory merchants that want to control what should be an honest appraisal of this highly-charge music form we call “rock and roll.” The Legendary Stardust Cowboy would be given an honorary award for outrageousness, and Hall of Famers- Steely Dan would be acknowledged as true pioneers in the search for the cure for terminal insomnia.

Yup, a lot of things would be different if I were in charge….

One that should be a no-brainer is the idea that Chet Helms should be a member of the Rock Hall of Fame. Here in San Francisco, the passing of this great man brought renewed appreciation for the one we call the “father of the summer of love.” It was Chet that organized some of the first events that brought national attention to the Haight Ashbury district of the city by the Bay. It was Chet that convinced his old friend Janis Joplin of Texas, to come out to San Francisco to join a band known as Big Brother and the Holding Company, launching a career for one of the greatest white female blues vocalists of all time. For San Francisco in the late 1960’s, there were two significant concert promoters making a difference outside the local region- Bill Graham and Chet Helms. If Bill was the “promoter with the business plan,” then Chet was the one that had the “vision,” pushing utopian hippy dreams of peace, love, and more free music whenever possible.

There’s an effort to get Chet Helms into the Rock Hall of Fame. If you’d like to sign a petition that promotes this concept, I have just the link for you…


I just signed this thing as signature #128. Hopefully, there will many more to add their names to this!

2 comments to Let’s Get Chet Helms into the Rock Hall of Fame!

  • I’m al for it, but it may actually be an easier sell to get Richard Berry in there first. However, since Chet did so much work and was the father of an event people have actually heard of he could certainly get in . The Rock Hall is a strange little place. No Cheap Trick? Harumph!


  • Chet & I were very close the last decade or so and spent time at various events across the country, i.e., Bonnaroo in 03, my showing at The Speed museum in louisville, Ky. last year and events all over San Francisco.
    We were to do a lecture series predicated on his progress from various medical problems but unfortunately that was not to be.
    His passing has left a void that will truly be impossible to fill but there are a precious few who are of that ilk that continue to carry the torch of his sixties ideology including David Freiberg, Pete Sears, Terry Haggerty, Peter Albin, Buddy Cage, Levon Helm, David Nelson, Tom Constanten and a few others.
    His business acumen was not that of Bill Graham’s but he is as desewrving as Bill for what he accomplished in terms of commonality through music and changing the face of music as we now know it.
    I will miss his 3 A.M. calls al of my life and think of humor on a daily basis.
    If ever a person deserved to be in the echelons of music immortality it would be Chesrer Leo Hems…Rock In Peace my friend and know that the knolls of the grassy meadows in Golden Gate Park will never be the same without your presence.

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