With each passing year, the R&RHoF further distances itself from any pretense at credibility. Artists who haven’t gotten the call should be proud.
It’s that time of year again, when the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (aka, the Mistake by the Lake, part 2) reminds us of the depth of their corruption and irrelevance.
That’s right – the annual list of nominees is out. Let’s have a look, shall we?
Category 1: Wait – you mean these people aren’t in already?
- ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA (ELO) – Should have happened years ago.
- JOAN BAEZ – Hugely important for that branch of the R&R tree.
- MC5 – I can’t believe the committee is even acknowledging the existence of a band with such utter lack of commercial appeal.
- PEARL JAM – I’m not a big fan, but absolutely worthy.
- THE CARS – I’d have bet the farm they were already members in good standing. How in the hell have they not made it in by 2016?
- THE ZOMBIES – Again, I’m stunned they’re just now being put forward.
- YES – Fucking Yes isn’t in yet? Oh well, at least Rock pioneers like Madonna have been duly enshrined.
Category 2: Really? Okay, I guess.
- THE J. GEILS BAND – I mean, they were fun, and talented, sure. It just seems like this is a marginal choice given some of the talents that aren’t in yet.
- JANE’S ADDICTION – Certainly a talented band, but again, this feels like a fringe choice.
- JOE TEX – Okay, I don’t know Joe very well. Seems like a reach, but I’m willing to be proven wrong.
- STEPPENWOLF – One or two good records and years and years of meh, right?
Category 3: Wow. Cool.
- KRAFTWERK – I constantly bitch that this artist or that artist is great, but is not Rock. Kraftwerk were in no way Rock, but the HoF honors influencers, and few bands that have ever lived have exerted a greater influence on the current state of the genre than these techo pioneers. I can’t imagine a lot of my favorite artists existing without them. So hell yes. Because damned sure Skinny Puppy ain’t ever getting past the bouncer.
- BAD BRAINS – The R&RHoF has heard of Bad Brains?
- DEPECHE MODE – Very important in the evolution of electro influenced alt.pop. I can’t say I have ever been a big fan, nor can I say that I think they’re nearly as worthy as some artists still waiting outside, but … whatever.
Category 4: Bring me Jann Wenner’s head.
- CHAKA KHAN – Bitch, you have got to be kidding. Nobody who had anything to do with “I Feel for You” should be allowed to visit the R&RHoF.
- CHIC – Now I’m a’fixing to backhand somebody. Chic was fucking Disco, which is to real music what snorting lines off a $10 hooker’s ass is to tender lovemaking with your soulmate.
- JANET JACKSON – “Black Cat” was a great Rock song. Also, the only one she ever did. Oh okay, “Rhythm Nation” was pretty good, too.
- TUPAC SHAKUR – I think there should be a Hip-Hop Hall of Fame. And while I’m not an expert, Tupac might well be one of the first inductees. Failing that, the abomination in Cleveland should be renamed the Popular Music Hall of Fame. In the meantime, there is nothing Rock & Roll about Hip-Hop (aside from the rare crossover moment). Musically it has less in common with Rock than do the Blues, R&B, C&W and even Gospel. I am aware that this is an argument I’m going to lose. Don’t mean I’m not right, though.
- JOURNEY – Just fucking bite me. Journey was the archetype for Corporate Rock. You know, overproduced, overprocessed Rock-like product without an ounce of nutritional value? Music’s answer to Cheez-Whiz. Rock is art. It is a passionate expression of intellectual and creative insight and social relevance that says I’m going over here and you should follow. Journey was the audial expression of suit-mongering marketing whores. The Beatles were the ultimate expression of Rock & Roll and Journey is the opposite of The Beatles. They are also a perfect illustration of what the R&RHoF is all about. How they weren’t the very first band inaugurated is beyond me.
Meanwhile, Warren Zevon, Graham Parker, The Doobie Brothers, The Replacements, Jethro Tull, Roxy Music, The Smiths, The Moody Blues, Judas Priest, The Cure, Big Star, T-Rex, Todd Rundgren, Eric Carmen, Joy Division, New Order, King Crimson, Motorhead, The Jam, Husker Du, Bob Mould, Blur, ELP, The B-52s and dozens more are waiting for the call.
Or not. At some point association with with Jann Wenner’s star-fucking, coke-slurping rim job probably hurts your legacy.
Knee pads and chapstick for everyone, bitches.