Rock & Roll Yawn of Fame

Hey Everyone, SB here. The fine Media Morgue folks have allowed me some space to be the resident music guru and to post my occasional musings on the music biz and other things melodious. It's really great to be a part of the team.

It seems that the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony was held a couple days ago. I guess I had heard about it but I have to admit any enthusiasm I once had for these events has dwindled, complete apathy would be an understatement really.

I don't mean to diminish the talents of (some of) this year's inductees. Certainly The Dave Clark Five and The Ventures are great bands, and John Mellencamp has had a successful career, but are Madonna and Leonard Cohen Rock & Roll Artists? And is this really the best that they can come up with?

I think that the problem is that most of the no brainers are already in, you know the obvious ones like The Beatles and The Stones, Hendrix, Clapton, The Supremes, The Temps, Roy Orbison, Stevie Wonder. They covered all those bases early and did a fine job of recognizing some incredible artists and their contributions.

And then.. they actually had to think about it.

The problem is that the thoughts really don't make any sense. A small committee of folks make the initial nominations with really no criteria or rhyme or reason behind them. Technically an artist or band becomes eligible 25 years after the release of their first record and is based on the "influence and significance of the artists’ contributions to the development and perpetuation of rock and roll." Hmm, what the hell does that mean?

Rumors of voting scandals and the need for a commercial act to spice up the ceremony, and the fact that Jann Wenner and Dave Marsh are the primary deciders pretty much invalidate any significance of being chosen at this point. Rolling Stone Mag darling bands like REM get nominated and inducted right away while other hugely influential artists like Rush, Yes, Roxy Music, Todd Rundgren, Genesis, King Crimson, Jeff Beck, Joe Walsh, and even Chicago go unrepresented. And what about Alex Chilton, or Tom Waits, or John Hiatt, or Joe Jackson, or The Cure.

I understand that there will always be controversy over any sort of nomination process. I am certain that similar arguments are made about The Baseball Hall of Fame and such but the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is becoming a nonsensical entity, a joke of sorts. Rock & Roll is about attitude and the Hall of Fame should convey that. Dare to be different, recognize Alice Cooper and Grand Funk Railroad as the influential artists they really are - despite their lack of critical acclaim.

And no, having Iggy Pop sing Madonna isn't edgy - it's as much a cliche as the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame has become.

As an aside, I've been preparing my debut post here at Media Morgue for a few days now and want to tip my hat to RetroDan at Retroblog who apparently has similar feelings.

Read more of my ramblings at MyThermos

1 comment:

retroDan said...

cool. hey scott, thanks for the mention. :)

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