Rock and Roll Hall of Famers with Wyoming Roots
This morning, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced the inductees for the Class of 2016. While none of this year’s honorees have Wyoming roots, there are several legendary artists with strong ties to the Cowboy State.
1. Neil Diamond – Before becoming one of the best selling artists in modern music history, Neil spent part of his childhood living in Cheyenne. The four years he spent in Wyoming helped shape his love for cowboys and western culture, which would later become prevalent themes in his music.
2. Garry Rossington – When Jackson Hole Mayor Mark Barron was looking for an act to play the town’s Centennial Celebration, he didn’t have to look far. Legendary Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Gary Rossington has been a Jackson resident since 1982. Mayor Barron and Rossington met several years ago and formed a friendship, which led to Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Centennial performance in August of 2014.
3. Robert Di Lorenzo – Although this Wyoming resident isn’t in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, he has shared the stage with one of the greatest guitarists of all time. Back in the 60’s, Di Lorenzo played drums in Chuck Berrry’s band. After retiring from the music business, Di Lorenzo settled in Emblem, Wyoming, and began a successful law practice.
4. John Perry Barlow – This longtime Sublette County cattle rancher was once named among the 10 smartest musicians in the world by Time magazine. The noted poet and writer met Bob Weir from the Grateful Dead when they were students at a Colorado prep school. Their friendship would later have an impact on the counter culture movement of the late 60’s.
Barlow introduced Weir and the Grateful Dead to famed Harvard professor Timothy Leary, who encouraged the band and their fans to “turn on, tune in, and drop out”. Barlow went on to write lyrics with Weir and the Dead for nearly 25 years, a partnership which resulted in songs such as “Mexicali Blues”, “Cassidy” and “Hell in a Bucket”.
5. Michael Hossack - 'Big Mike' was the Doobie Brothers' drummer for over 25 years. He served two stints with the band, from 1971-1974 and again from 1987-2010. When he wasn't on the road or in the studio, Hossack spent time hunting and fishing on his ranch in Wyoming, In March of 2012, he passed away at his home in Dubois after a battle with cancer.