Wyoming’s Connection to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
This morning, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced the inductees for the Class of 2015. While none of this year's honorees have Wyoming roots, there are several legendary artists who have called the Equality State home.
1. Neil Diamond - Before becoming one of the best selling artists in modern music history, Neil spent part of his childhood living in Cheyenne. In fact, the four years he spent in Wyoming would help shape his love for cowboys and western culture, which would later become prevalent themes in his music.
2. Garry Rossington from Lynyrd Skynyrd - When Jackson Hole Mayor Mark Barron was looking for an act to play the town's Centennial Celebration this summer, he didn't have to look far. Barron and the legendary Skynyrd guitarist met during a chance encounter in the men's room. For years, Rossington has called Jackson home when his band isn't on tour. Barron and Rossington formed a friendship, which led to Lynyrd Skynyrd's Centennial performance this past August.
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 Wyoming cattle rancher was once named by Time Magazine as one of the 10 smartest musicians in the world. 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.
It was Barlow who 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".