Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Rock and Roll Hall of Shame, or The Crock and Faux Hall of Disco, Soul and Rap

Here is a little trivia game I have devised. It starts with a series of trick questions that you probably already know the answers to (as well as where I am going with this line of questioning).

Question #1: What do these six recording artists/bands have in common:
ABBA
The Bee Gees
Grandmaster Flash
The Jackson Five
Madonna
Run-DMC


Answer: They have all been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Question #2: What do these six recording artists/bands have in common:
Alice Cooper
King Crimson
Jethro Tull
The Moody Blues
Rush
Yes


Answer: They have not been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Question #3: Which set of six artists/bands would you consider as great (or even good) rock bands/artists:

Set #1 -- ABBA, The Bee Gees, Grandmaster Flash, The Jackson Five, Madonna, Run-DMC

Set #2 -- Alice Cooper, King Crimson, Jethro Tull, The Moody Blues, Rush, Yes

If you chose set #1 as a list of great rock artists, congratulations! you are qualified to be one of the muddled revisionists who vote for inductees in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, located in Cleveland, Ohio (the nonexistent and wholly mythical capital of rock-and-roll). As a parting gift for playing our trivia game, here is your Rock-and-Roll gift bag, which contains a DVD of the movie Mamma Mia, a CD of the soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever, an alarm clock autographed by Flavor Flav, a patch of Madonna's pubic hair and Michael Jackson's spare nose.

I don't get it. I just don't get it. As an avid fan of rock-and-roll for more years than I wish to recount, I was always sure what music was considered rock-and-roll, and what was not. Certainly, rock-and-roll is an amalgam of different musical genres, such as blues, country, folk, R&B, jazz and even classical, but I always knew what artist fit where. For instance: Willie Dixon was a legendary blues man and Led Zeppelin were not, they were a rock band that played some Willie Dixon blues tunes; Mussorgsky was a classical composer and Emerson, Lake & Palmer were not, they were a rock band who covered Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition; Al Green is a great soul singer and The Talking Heads were a rock band who covered Green's Take Me to the River. But in these days of stilted political correctness, rampant revisionism and wholesale homogenization, everything is now rock-and-roll, and what I once thought was rock-and-roll is no longer even considered in the same musical equation.

Please allow me to elucidate.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a sham. Was that statement too equivocal? Did I stutter? Do I need to be clearer? All right then, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a canard, a fabrication, and those who control the nomination process have an obvious agenda. It is a publicist's idea of a good marketing scam. It is a manipulative ploy by elements of the recording industry to validate and sell certain types of music. It neither perpetuates good music and good musicianship, nor the elements of rebelliousness that once were what rock-and-roll was all about. It is a selection process that sells table space at $25,000 a shot. Put simply, it is a joke.

My primary irritation with the selection process for this Rock-and-Faux Hall of Lame is that there are many artists inducted who simply have nothing to do with rock-and-roll, or at best have a vestigial association with the genre, whereas a sizable segment of what any musician or casual listener would consider actual 'rock music' is utterly and completely ignored. First, I must say it makes perfect sense that there is an inductee section for 'Early Influences', a category reserved for performers who shaped rock-and-roll, but who were not what would be considered rock 'n' rollers. That way, we can honor influential artists such as hall-of-fame inductees Robert Johnson, Howlin' Wolf, Pete Seeger, Les Paul, Woody Guthrie, Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, etc., and recognize their extraordinary musical achievements. And although they deserve inclusion into such an august body, they are, nonetheless, separate from rock, particularly considering many of the folk in the 'Early Influences' category would have either never heard of the term 'rock' in their lifetimes, or would not have considered themselves, even remotely, as 'rock stars'. The problem then arises when the Hall inducts non-rock-and-roll artists into the 'Performer' category, and by inclusion indicates that the music these artists perform is rock-and-roll.

This none-too-subtle machination by the Hall of Fame is a smarmy but mendacious bit of all-inclusiveness that has nothing to do with what the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame website alludes to as their principal voting agenda: "Criteria include the influence and significance of the artists’ contributions to the development and perpetuation of rock and roll." If that is the case, what influence has a pop band like ABBA had on rock and roll, except to instill other bland facsimiles with tepid pop tunes like The Ace of Base? It was ironically appropriate that Barry and Robin Gibb of The Bee Gees presented ABBA's induction into the Hall, because they have no business being in the Hall either. Face it, without disco music, The Bee Gees were a washed up and irrelevant 60's band. Their popularity had nothing to do with rock-and-roll, but with John Travolta pertly prancing in a polyester suit under the diffuse light of a mirrored disco ball.

Additionally, Motown acts such as The Supremes, The Temptations, The Four Tops and Smokey Robinson, The Jackson Five and Gladys Knight and the Pips, although stellar artists of the soul and R&B genres, just aren't rock-and-roll by any stretch of the imagination; yet there they are -- all Hall of Fame inductees. And don't get me started on Rap music. Rap and its illegitimate progeny 'house music' and 'hip-hop' were never and are not rock music. This genre of 'music' (and I use the term in the broadest possible sense), did not rise, historically speaking, from the rock form, nor does it maintain a sense of rock music on a consistent basis. It may have occasionally grafted elements of rock into its recording process (hip-hop artists will sequence any bit of music into their songs, rather than composing their own), and bands like Run/DMC, Eminem and Kid Rock have incorporated both rock and rap into their performances; however, if one were to have a sentient dialogue regarding music, rock and rap would certainly be separate topics of discussion.

If one were to take the argument to its most illogical and over-the-top conclusion, then according to how the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame chooses its inductees, Bach, Beethoven, Stravinsky, Wagner, Mozart, Liszt, Grieg and other classical composers should all be inducted as 'Early Influences', because countless rock bands (including Hall of Fame inductees Chuck Berry, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Genesis, The Velvet Underground, Stevie Wonder, Queen, Frank Zappa, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and U2) owe just as much to Johann Sebastian, Wolfgang and Ludwig as they do to T-bone, Sonny Boy and Muddy. Then, they should select Paderewski, Van Cliburn, Itzhak Perlman and Segovia as rock performers. You might as well throw in Irving Berlin, John Phillip Sousa, Stephen Foster, Liberace, Robert Burns, and Henry VIII (a noted composer during his reign). Am I being ridiculous? Actually, not really. How can R&B, soul and rap acts warrant inclusion in this alleged 'Rock and Roll Hall of Fame', but classical musicians are not? Or country musicians, for that matter? They've already inducted Johnny Cash and Chet Atkins. I suggest they induct Kenny Rogers immediately! Like the Bee Gees, he had failed in rock circles after his band, The First Edition, folded. But he had a few psychedelic hits in the 60's -- such as Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In) -- and like the Brothers Gibb he made it big in another music genre. Doesn't 'The Gambler' deserve to be included too? No, he doesn't. I was speaking rhetorically.

Which brings me to the six rock bands I referred to in my snarky trivia game at the beginning of this prolix diatribe. There is no getting around it, the supposed 'Rock and Roll Hall of Fame' hates hard rock music of the 1970's in general, and progressive rock in particular. Except for a few notable super groups and artists like Zeppelin, Floyd, Bowie, Elton John, Black Sabbath, Queen and, most recently, Genesis, the Hall seemed to skip right over the 70's, going from psychedelia and protest songs to punk and power pop. What is it about superlative musical ability, meticulously crafted compositions, witty or enlightening lyrics and enormously entertaining concerts that this purported 'Hall of Fame' despises? It's not that these bands lacked a significant following; on the contrary, except for one notable exception (King Crimson, which I will expand and expound upon shortly) these bands had consecutive albums in the top ten, their concerts were among the highest grossers, and their music continues to be played daily across the world -- in some cases, more than 40 years after their songs' initial release. You can't point to lack of album sales for the Hall's intentional snobbery and snubbery:

Alice Cooper -- Over 50 million albums sold worldwide
Jethro Tull -- Over 60 million albums sold worldwide
The Moody Blues -- Over 50 million albums sold worldwide
Rush -- Over 40 million albums sold worldwide
Yes -- Over 30 million albums sold worldwide

Nor can you deny their influence and continuing mass appeal. Here is a resume of each band, offered for review to the five-hundred alleged 'rock experts' who vote for the Hall of Fame -- and, more importantly, the 'Star Chamber' committee that sits in judgment of the selection process -- in hopes they will see the fundamental errors in judgement they have collectively heaped upon the tarnished institution for which they continue to bungle, botch and bollix-up. Not that I expect any epiphanic reconsideration from such an inept group of cynical product-pushers. But one can hope, even when such hope amounts to pigs having wings and monkeys flying out of one's buttocks.

ALICE COOPER
Would there be a Marilyn Manson or MTV videos without the pioneering theatrical work of Alice Cooper? In fact, isn't Marilyn Manson just a tarted-up version of Alice for a new generation? And then there are the other bands who name Alice as an important influence: KISS, Twisted Sister, Rob Zombie, Megadeth, The Flaming Lips and the Sex Pistols (John 'Johnny Rotten' Lydon named the Cooper release Killer as the greatest album of all time). With such legendary songs of teenage rebellion and angst as I'm Eighteen and School's Out, and platinum platters of hard rock like Love It to Death, Killer, Billion Dollar Babies and Welcome to My Nightmare, it makes little sense from a rock perspective that Alice is left at home holding his boa.

KING CRIMSON
No, King Crimson was never an album-selling behemoth. They never had an album make it to the top ten, let alone the top twenty, in the U.S. (although Court of the Crimson King made it to #3 in the UK). But King Crimson is as influential as any other band in the Hall of Fame, and particularly those bands who made it on 'influence' alone (Iggy and the Stooges never made it into the top 100, and The Velvet Underground never had an album that placed south of 171). That being said, the effect of King Crimson's innovations -- early contributors or progenitors of progressive rock, jazz/rock fusion, heavy metal, new wave, electronica, acid rock, psychedelia and minimalism -- cannot be overstated. Bands that have cited King Crimson as an influence include Dream Theater, Iron Maiden, Mudvayne, Nirvana, Porcupine Tree, Primus, Rush, Tool and Voivoid. In addition, former band members Greg Lake (Emerson, Lake and Palmer), John Wetton (Asia and UK) and Boz Burrell (Bad Company) carried along certain aspects of King Crimson's sound to their next bands.

JETHRO TULL
Jethro Tull is the only band to have two concept albums hit #1 in the U.S. without any single for radio airplay; as a matter of fact, Thick as a Brick and Passion Play had no discernible separate songs at all, just continuous music on both sides of the records. How's that for free-spirited rebelliousness? Despised by critics (including Jann Wenner and Dave Marsh, who are on the diabolical nominee selection committee) but loved by fans, Tull's eccentric mix of progressive and hard rock, classical music, electronica, jazz, folk and world music, has endeared them to a wide variety of listeners, so much so that they have 14 albums with gold or platinum status (placing them in the top 100 best-selling artists of all time). Songs like Aqualung, Locomotive Breath, Bungle in the Jungle and Living in the Past have been fixtures on rock stations for the last four decades. Oh yes, and they stole a Grammy from Metallica for their album Crest of a Knave. The look of shock on the members of Metallica's faces is alone worth induction into the Hall of Fame.

THE MOODY BLUES
The Moody Blues had albums that reached the top ten in sales in the U.S. in three different decades: Days of Future Passed (1967), A Question of Balance (1970), Every Good Boy Deserves Favour (1971), Seventh Sojourn (1972), Long Distance Voyager (1981) and The Other Side of Life (1986). The album Days of Future Passed was the first pop recording to completely integrate a symphony orchestra within a rock format, a conceptual day in the life of everyman, and the results were stunning. The song Nights in White Satin was rereleased in 1972 and became a #1 hit five years after it originally appeared on Days of Future Passed. Their follow-up album In Search of the Lost Chord is one of the best examples of psychedelia ever recorded, with landmark songs like Ride My See-Saw, Legend of a Mind (to Timothy Leary) and Visions of Paradise.

RUSH
What can one say about a band that continues to sell-out arenas and stadiums over 40 years after they formed in 1968? A band with the best drum solo (Working Man) in rock history (sorry Mr. Moon and Mr. Bonham, you got owned)? Did you know Rush has more consecutive gold and platinum albums than any band in history except The Beatles and the Stones? Were you aware Rush has had gold and platinum albums in the 70's, 80's and 90's? Well, if record sales and sold-out concerts are not criteria for induction, why are Madonna and ABBA in the Hall? If stellar rock albums like Fly By Night, 2112, Hemispheres, Permanent Waves and Moving Pictures (each a platinum album, mind you) do not warrant inclusion, what exactly does?

YES
Eclectic, innovative and musically superb, the band Yes is as apt to go off on extended space jazz riffing as they are to emulate classical composers such as Bach, Grieg and Stravinsky. Superlative recordings like The Yes Album, Fragile and Close to the Edge defined the progressive rock movement in the early 70's and are essential albums in any rock collection. Reformed and retooled in the 1980's, Yes returned to platinum status with the albums 90125 and Big Generator. Much of the work of Yes, particularly the period between 1971-77, makes most other rock bands sound like teenagers practicing basic three chord progressions in their parent's garage. Either that, or it was the Hall of Fame induction ceremony for The Ramones or Blondie.

In conclusion, I have another musical trivia game for you.

Question #4: What do these bands/artists have in common?
Boston
Blue Oyster Cult
Canned Heat
The Cars
Harry Chapin
Chicago
Joe Cocker
Jim Croce
Dick Dale
Deep Purple
Dire Straits
Donovan
The Doobie Brothers
Electric Light Orchestra
Emerson, Lake & Palmer
Fairport Convention
Foghat
J. Geils Band
Peter Gabriel (solo career)
The Guess Who
Ian Hunter (solo career)
Humble Pie
Carole King
KISS
John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers
Jefferson Airplane/Starship
Mott the Hoople
MC5
The Pogues
Procol Harum
Roxy Music
Steppenwolf
Cat Stevens
Rainbow
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Supertramp
T-Rex
Uriah Heep
Stevie Ray Vaughan
Warren Zevon


Answer: They are not The Four Seasons, LaVern Baker, Martha and the Vandellas, Dusty Springfield, Solomon Burke, and Earth, Wind & Fire, none of whom have anything whatsoever to do with rock-and-roll, but who have all been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and are thus deemed more important to rock-and-roll than all the rock bands and artists I have listed.

P.S. Send your hate letters to Jann Wenner, Publisher of Rolling Stone Magazine and one of the select few in an evil little cabal who control the nomination process, and thus omit bands and entire music genres (like progressive rock) that they do not care for personally.

P.P.S. On a positive note, The Sex Pistols refused to attend their induction ceremony in 2006. In a hastily scrawled, hand-written letter, they stated the Hall of Fame "is a piss stain", calling the museum itself "urine in wine". Here is the letter:



Rock 'n' Roll is alive and well, but not at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.













P.P.P.S: 11/9/12 Well, it has been over two years since I wrote this first rancorous article regarding the dubious RRHOF, and since then only Alice Cooper has been inducted from the group of worthy performers I offered. I've done a few follow-up articles, the most recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Endorses R&B Hall: Half of the Inductees Leave! spells out the hypocrisy of the RRHOF, and settles any debate from muddled revisionists who argued that R&B music has somehow transmogrified into rock music. It is a different genre and has a separate Hall of Fame to recognize extraordinary performers playing and singing that form of music. But it aint rock and roll!

34 comments:

AC said...

I've often had a lot of the same doubts about the RRHF. I was looking at a website that details the inductees by year several months ago and left with a serious case of 'WTF?' Like you, I kept asking what so many of the people you listed have to do with rock music at all.

I didn't know that Alice and Rush hadn't gotten in, though. And I mean, I really can't stand listening to Rush, but I recognise their impact and I know they deserve to be in a helluva lot more than ABBA.

I did remember hearing about Jethro Tull winning the Grammy over Metallica. But that Grammy was for 'Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance', wasn't it? And since Tull is hardly a metal band, I can understand the controversy. Not a big deal, but I do find it funny that the people judging that apparently didn't know what metal was. Apparently they still don't, looking at the winners by year. If Slipknot won, they obviously have no clue.

Morthoron the Dark Elf said...

One has to take the RRHOF in context, AC. It is controlled by Jann Wenner of Rolling Stone magazine. The RRHOF mirrors the Rolling Stone in that the magazine has sold out years ago and lost its rock-and-roll roots in an effort to appear hip and up-to-date, giving 5 star reviews for hip-hop albums and generally trying to be an all-inclusive infotainment periodical. I lost whatever shred of respect I had for the rag when I saw a star from 'High School Musical' on the cover.

Therefore, the RRHOF must have rap stars and R&B groups and other music genres in the Hall to add further relevance to the magazine's tawdry turn from rock to rap in order to sell subscriptions. The magazine has become a parody of itself over the years, although the satire is lost on them.

Additionally, the cynical RRHOF inducts performers based on how many tickets it believes it can sell for its yearly induction ceremonies, and if you believe the scathing letter from the Sex Pistols (and there's no reason not to), tables on the main floor go for $25,000 a pop and nosebleed seats for $15,000. This eliminates many worthy performers who had stellar careers in the 50's, 60's and 70's, but who are currently out of fashion or not on the A-list for Hollywood and New York schmoozers.

Finally, Rolling Stone magazine has always denigrated progressive rock and hard rock of the 70's. In particular, Dave Marsh and former RS reviewer Robert Christgau have gone out of their way to slam them. Christgau has even stated in print he despises the genre. But what does he know. The man considers the New York Dolls to be among the 5 greatest recording artists of all time. Obviously the man has a tin ear and an obsession for New York.

As far as the Tull/Metallica Grammy controversy, I believe the Grammys separated the Hard Rock and Heavy Metal categories the year after the whole thing blew up. You can consider Tull to be hard rock, but not metal. Humorously, Tull took out a full page ad in a British trade paper after it won, proclaiming: "The Flute is a Heavy

Tom Lane said...

This has to be one of the stupidest Rock Hall posts ever written.
Uriah Heep, Supertramp, Rainbow, Harry Chapin, Humble Pie and some of the other laughable bands named that you want inducted had me thinking this whole post was satire.
It was, right. Humble Pie!!

Morthoron the Dark Elf said...

Actually, Tom, if Humble Pie, Uriah Heep or Rainbow are bad examples of rock and roll, What does that say about many of the asinine choices made by the Hall of Fame? Or do you own every album ABBA ever made and have gone to the musical 'Mamma Mia' on Broadway? I see, you must sing 'Dancing Queen' in the shower. Do you have an ABBA blog where you and a few other old ladies share their ABBA sightings?

If you had been able to read the essay in context, you would have perceived that I rattled off a list of over 35 rock acts that weren't in the Hall as an example, Tom. 'Rock acts', Tom. Not R&B, not Disco, not Hip-Hop, but rock bands and performers. If you had read the entire piece, you would have noticed I chose six bands that deserve to be in the Hall and described their achievements. That, obviously was lost on you.

And I certainly could make a case for either Supertramp or Harry Chapin being inducted into the Hall.

Thanks for coming by. Come back when you have something constructive to add, or actually have suggestions as to what bands you think should be in the Hall. If you need help with the bigger words, I will be glad to offer assistance.

Morthoron the Dark Elf said...

P.S.

Tom, I finally looked at your blog and saw your choices for selection in the Hall of Fame. You have a lot of damn gall to call someone else's essay 'the stupidest' ever written. The choices you mentioned in particular:

Donna Summer? Barry White? These performers have what to do with rock music? Nothing. They added nothing to rock music. You must be one of the 500 voters who got huge erections for Madonna and the Bee Gees.

Depeche Mode? The Cure? Rather emo of you. I suppose if I was fifteen year-old girl that cut myself because my parents wouldn't let me get a belly ring, I'd be absolutely giddy over their selection -- in dark, goth manner, of course.

But not to worry, Tom, I won't be posting insulting attacks on your site. In fact, having seen your lack of taste, I guarantee I won't ever be back.

Anonymous said...

OK then, genius, PROVE to us all how the F the candy-ass, dated likes of Supertramp and Harry Chapin belong in ANY Hall of Fame (more like Hall of LAME!) without mentioning record sales (because NOBODY cares anymore except aging hippies and defective classic-rock radio programmers)...and how in the green HELL can you possibly tout them, seeing how you've trashed the Ramones (like em or not, they DID fit your narrow parameters of what constitutes a rock act)! And honestly, WTF is up with THAT name of yours???

Morthoron the Dark Elf said...

Anonymous? like in lack of individual qualities? Without personality? Mundane and unimportant?

Well, as far as either Chapin or Supertramp, they of course would not be my first choices (I listed six). Again, reading the article would aid you in making that determination -- reading is fundamental, after all. I wouldn't even put them in the top ten on the list of 35+ that ends the article. Actually, the acts ahead of them on that list would be Joe Cocker, Peter Gabriel, Carole King, KISS, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Cat Stevens, Red Hot Chili Peppers, MC5 and Deep Purple.

But again, I listed all rock acts -- I feel that if you name something "The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame" it should be about rock. Your boy Tom Lane wants the likes of Donna Summer and Barry White next year, and the year after that he'll probably want KC and the Sunshine Band and The Village People. Next thing you know, we'll see him in a conga line with a cowboy outfit singing 'Y-M-C-A'.

But back to Chapin and Supertramp. Chapin has written some superb songs like 'Taxi', 'Cats in the Cradle' and W*O*L*D, all superb examples of songcraft. The albums 'Heads and Tales', 'Snipers and Other Love Songs', 'Verities and Balderdash' all received critical praise for composition and lyrical quality. His songs have been covered by acts as widely different as Ugly Kid Joe, Johnny Cash and Cat Stevens. In addition, he was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his humanitarian work. Chapin was a musician with substance.

Regarding Supertramp, wouldn't you say that both 'Crime of the Century' and 'Breakfast in America', in addition to being phenomenally popular, were also immensely influential? 'Crime' is one of the best albums of the 70's. You don't want me to mention record sales, but why else would ABBA or the Bee Gees be in the Hall? You want your cake and eat it to. Selling albums can sometimes indicate a great an important band, like The Beatles, or Pink Floyd, whose 'Dark Side of the Moon' was in the Top 100 in sales for something like a century and a half.

Did I trash the Ramones? Hmmmm...well, I do appreciate other bands that have more than three chords in their repertoire, but I never said they shouldn't be in the Hall. Ever. Based on their influence, there really isn't an argument. But they wrote as much terrible trash as great thrash. So did The Stooges, Velvet Underground and the MC5, but I think they're important enough to warrant inclusion.

Again, my problem is with non-rock artists plopped in the 'performer' cartegory. Pop, disco, rap, soul, R&B -- if you want a damn "MUSIC HALL OF FAME" then let's drop the pretense of using the term 'Rock and roll'. Run/DMC and Grandmaster Flash are in the Rock Hall but Stevie Ray Vaughan, Robert Fripp, Ritchie Blackmore, Steve Howe, Robin Trower and any other number of great rock guitarists are not?
That, my friend, is F-d up. That is a joke.

My name? Long story. A character in a novel I wrote. Is Anonymous Dutch? Is your full name Hieronymous Anonymous?

Thanks for stopping by. Your writing style is intriguing.

P.S. For your information, the Hall selects only artists that have been in the biz for over 25 years; therefore, every artist would be considered 'dated' by someone on that list.

virtuella said...

You must be joking, Morth! Cat Stevens is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Carol King? Donovan? That is indeed beyond ridiculous. If they want to include these people, they should call it "Music We Rather Like Hall of Fame."

AtomicCrimsonRush said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AtomicCrimsonRush said...

Oh Come on! Are you telling me Kiss aren't in the HOF??? I thought you were joking but its true. The most influential rock band in history are not in the HOF. I mean, Simmons by himslef absolutely impact the rock industry even if its just in merchandising a band. No band in hostory has been merchandised more than Kiss, they are the Star Wars of Rock and Roll. The music is influential to just about every 4 piece rock band in existence. Thier stage show made other bands sit up and take notice. They were integral to popular bands success using them as opening acts. What is the reason they are not in?

Furthermore Deep Purple are not... repeat NOT in the HOF. Its supposed to be Rock n roll and the progenitors of Heavy Rock, the inventors of heavy metal are not there. That's just ridiculous.
THEY ARE ROCK AND ROLL!!!!

AtomicCrimsonRush said...

Wow, I wrote a lengthy rant about Alice Cooper NOT being in the RNRHOF which is a travesty, and then I checked out the website and it stated:
http://rockhall.com/inductees/alice-cooper/

he was inducted in 2011 by Rob Zombie!!! I had written, "I cannot believe that Alice Cooper is not in the R N R HOF!!! I saw him live recently and he is a legend, every song a classic, his albums are enormously influential , he was esential to Kiss' success, among other make up oriented bands and Marilyn Manson etc. Without Alice there is no shock rock! He was the first along with Arthur Brown."

Well, i am glad to see that Alice is in - It's about freakin' time!"

Ok so, why isn't Rush in the HOF??? Thats just criminal. Consider their influence, their impact on rock - the documentaries say it all and the bands and artists that hail them as quintessential to their existence. Rush are a definitive rock band and need to be included.

Uriah Heep are also deserved of induction. You didnt mention The Runaways - it is a crime they are not in the HOF. They had a massive impact on girl rock bands, even Joan Jett b herself shoul dbe acknowledged. Suzi Quatro and other 'rock chick' artists owe The Runaways a lot when it comes to it.
Oh well theres hope, If Alice can wait decades to be inducted there is hope.

AgProv said...

They invented the heavy metal ümlaut. As well as the cowbell. But not in the HoF?

As one with a strong and abiding passion for the thinking man's heavy rockers, the Blue Öyster Cult, I'm incredibly surprised that Long Island's finest are not in the Hall of Fame.

Leaving their music aside for a second or two, let us consider that this group pioneered stage presentation, way back in the middle seventies, by having faith and making an investment in a live laser show. This is so commonplace now that it barely rates a mention - but just imagine the sheer impact this had on stage when it was used for the first time and turned up to the max. Especially since seventies laser tech was by all acounts primitive, expensive, and recquired its own very big truck to haul itself around in - think of the difference here between the first computer that occupied four floors of Manchester University, and the compact desktop item on which you are reading this speil. This band were laser pioneers - this in itself deserves recognition?

And then there's the music, the tight harmonies implicit in having up to four gutiarists fronting a song, the way lead guitar and vocalist duties switched efortlssly and without ego between two equally talented and able pefomers (Eric Bloom and Donald "Buck Dharma" Roeser). Now there's another tale: Roeser would make anyone's list of ten best rock guitarists, but when mentioned, elicits a response of "Donald Who?" or "Buck... Rogers?"

Songs with imaginiative, erudite, deep and witty lyrics; musical harmonies that rarely fall from perfect; five extremely talented musicians; a wider "family" that included sci-fi novelist Michael Moorcock and rebel queen Patti Smith (at least until she left the keyboards player for Fred Sonic Smith) - and a track record of fine rock albums, the lacklustre "Mirrors" excepted (everyone's entitled to one turkey).

Blue Öyster Cult to the HoF now, if you please!

Anonymous said...

I agree with this to the extent that the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame is a joke, but, honestly, disagree with everything else here.
I stumbled on this piece because I was basically looking around the internet for anything rleated to the Hall of Fame, since I just wanted something to piss me off, having seen a full list of all the bands inducted. I found the exclusion of Joy Division and The Smiths incredibly egregious for plenty of reasons, and I was quite surprised that Kraftwerk were absent, considering they're probably more influential on the course of popular music than literally anyone already in the hall. Basically, I found the list of inducted musicians to be just absurdly pandering. However, the enemy of my enemy is not my friend, and I find no redeeming qualities in your argument, honestly.
I do agree with you that bands like Jethro Tull, Rush, King Crimson and Yes warrant inclusion, as they are, indeed, hugely important in the scheme of pop music, even if I personally don't care for them. However, I can't imagine how any of them could be called "rock and roll" more than ABBA or Grandmaster Flash or whatever. I don't see how flutes and multi-part suites and lyrics about Tolkein novels, to genrealize prog, bear any relation to Chuck Berry and Buddy Holly and whatnot. At least Hip Hop artists had the whole "write songs about girls and parties" thing down, so I figure they lay as legitimate a claim to being "rock and roll" as Rush or whatever.
Basically, your central thesis, which is a semantic argument, is just incorrect. "Rock and Roll" isn't intended to refer to a specific genre in the hall of fame, as, if you were to apply that standard with any rigor, you would be limited to 50s rock n rolers and bands that were derivative of them. Properly understood, "Rok n Roll" has basically come to be undrestood as a stand-in for the term "pop," which some very stupid people have some sort of an aversion to, because they associate it with Eurovision and Christina Aguilera (which a) is incorrect, it's a broad term for all music l;istened to by common folk in Europe/ North America, ie. pretty much everything and b) what, other than personal taste, is really wrong with Eurovision and Christina Aguilera?) So, really, you're straight-up wrong on that count.
You also bring up Jethro Tull's infamous best metal aclbum grammy victory over Metallica, a tactical error on your part. I'm not a Metallica fan by any stretch of the imagination, but I can see why it would've seemed odd that Jethro Tull, never classified as hard rock or heavy metal, would win over Metallica, whom we can safely say are a metal band. By your logic, that should be kind of a big deal. "Rock and Roll" is really a very broad term, to the extent that it's become almost meaningless, whereas "Metal/ Hard Rock" is a rather specific term, and obviously does not apply to Jethro Tull. I notice you don't complain about that.
What really infuriates me, though, is that you constantly bash genres other than 70s rock, and are clearly ignorant of said genres. You bring up "Saturday Night Fever" and the Village People, and other shitty, commercialized examples of disco. GThat would be completelyh analagous to someone saying rock is bad because Journey and Styx are lame and corporate. I highly doubt you\ve heard any underground disco or funk from the era, so don't get on your "disco isn't real music" bag. You alsio make the tacit suggestion that hip hop isn't real music becuase it just steals from other music, or something to that effect, and, honestly, nothing p;isses me off more than that whole argument. I've heard some fairly crass sampling where a hook is just lifted from another song (MC Hammmer, Vanilla Ice, etc.) but i've also heard plenty of sampling as innovative as anyone playing an instrument. So, please, you're out of your element on that one.

Anonymous said...

Basically, I just have a problem with people who think that whatever music they listened to when they were a teenager is somehow objectively surperior to all other music. That kind of shit is incredibly prevelant among 70s rock fans, who seem to think disco, hip hop, punk, indie, whatever, is garbage compared to the glorious music of their past. Which is, clearly nonsensical. I'm not even one of those people who thinks that all opinions should be treated with equal respect, and I do think people should be able to back up what they liksten to, but I also recognize that musical taste is basically a product of social conditioning, and no entire genre is outright "better" than another. I've read intellegent, reasinable arguments from music critics that ABBA were brilliant, and, even if I find them anodyne and boring, I can respect that they have some appeal that just happens to be lost on me, just like, say, that of Jethro Tull.
One more point you make is something about the lyrics of all these rock bands being good or whatever. They're fucking not. I like Pink Floyd on a musical level, but their lyrics are godawful, the kind of embarrassing shit a brooding teenager would scribble in a notebook and think are really deep and shit. The closest parallel I can think of is Bad Religion. I'm sorry, but at least the lyrics of bands like Modest Mouse or The Smiths, whom I assume you'd consider fags or whatever, have literary merit. Oh, and, if you want inventive wordplay, arcane refernces and good lyrical structure, I'd suggest you listen to hip hop. Seriously.
Also, Humble Pie? I like slow, loud, monotonous music as much as the nest guy, but fucking Humble Pie? Black Sabbath or Electric Wizard.
You neglected to bring up the fact that hardcore has been completely ignored too. Black Flag certainly fit every imaginable criteria of inclusion, plus I can't see how they wouldn't count as a "rock" band.

Morthoron the Dark Elf said...

IN RE: ANONYMOUS, 10/8/11 1:56 AM

"I found the exclusion of Joy Division and The Smiths incredibly egregious for plenty of reasons, and I was quite surprised that Kraftwerk were absent, considering they're probably more influential on the course of popular music than literally anyone already in the hall."

I could have listed perhaps 100 bands that deserve at least some acknowledgement from the RRHOF, let alone inclusion prior to many that undeservedly got in. I rattled off over thirty, mostly from the 70s and mostly from rock genres that are completely ignored. Completely ignored - a point many readers blithely dismiss before ranting. And I will say that Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream, The Smiths (although I can't stand them) and Television (although I can't stand them) all should recieve invites - just as soon as they delete many of the non-entities that do not belong.

"Properly understood, "Rok n Roll" has basically come to be undrestood as a stand-in for the term "pop," which some very stupid people have some sort of an aversion to, because they associate it with Eurovision and Christina Aguilera (which a) is incorrect, it's a broad term for all music l;istened to by common folk in Europe/ North America, ie. pretty much everything and b) what, other than personal taste, is really wrong with Eurovision and Christina Aguilera?) So, really, you're straight-up wrong on that count."

Properly understood? What a load of revisionist malarkey. When you make the subjective comment "it's a broad term for all music listened to by common folk in Europe/ North America," you merely buy into the homogenized bullshit packaged by media (and the corrupt clique that manipulates the RRHoF vote in order to sell tickets and commercial time). There is a reason why there is a separate

Country Music Hall of Fame...
http://countrymusichalloffame.org/

Blues Hall of Fame...
http://www.blues.org/halloffame/#ref=halloffame_index

Jazz Hall of Fame...
http://www.jazzhall.com/jazzhalloffame/jazzhalloffame.htm

R&B Hall of Fame...
http://rbhalloffamemuseum.com/site/

As you peruse each site, please note that, amazingly, each Hall has *GASP* performers noted for that specific style of music. Black Sabbath is not in the Country Hall, The Sex Pistols are not in the Jazz Hall, The Beatles are not in the Blues Hall, and the Ramones are not in the R&B Hall.

Yes, there is and should be a separate designation for rock, rock and roll, hard rock, blues rock, prog, etc. There are bands and performers known for being rock or rock and roll performers (and Grandmaster Flash, Aretha Franklin, The Temptations, et al, for all their immeasurable contributions to music in general, were never, ever considered rock and roll performers - never). Why is that so hard for you to comprehend?

But in the ridiculous context of how performers are selected, then merely name it the "Pop Music" Hall of Fame, and drop the pretense of the word Rock and Roll altogether. And that's all I have to say about that.

Anonymous said...

Your qualm is a semantics issue. You're not necessaruly proposing a "rock and roll" hall of fame, you're proposing a "music classified as a preface followed by rock" hall of fame. Genres as widely divergent as hard rock, soft rock, progressive rock, indie rock, country rock, folk rock, punk rock, rockabilly and such would all be eligible, but funk, soul, country, bluegrass, electronica, ambient, hip hop and singer/ songwriter artists would be excluded because no one thought to call them (insert adjective) rock. Anf would heavy metal count? It's not exactly rock, but it's definitely on the same road as rock.
I agree with you that Rush, King Crimson and Yes, if not some of the more arcane prog groups, are very notable in their absence, since they were genre-defining, influential and continue to have a large, devoted following. As with bands like Black Flag, Kraftwerk and the B-52s, among others, they were basically snubbed because Jann Wenner is an asshole who thinks that because he's old and ran a shitty magazine for forty years he has good enough taste in music to dictate what goes into the hall of fame. But prog, in p;articular, just doesn't sound like "rock" to me. How can the Moody Blues or Emerson, lake and Palmer really be considered inheretors to Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, et al. more than, I don't know, Public Enemy or Michael jackson. Answer: They can'r. Even relatively mainstream prog groups like Yes owe a far greater debt to classical virtuosos than they do Elvis. I don't see how the arbitrary "rock" after "progressive" makes them entitled to entry into a strictly enforced ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME more than ABBA.
As for your argument that other genres have theirf own respective halls of fame, those halls actually stick to a pretty limited range of artists by genre, whereas, the rock anmd roll hall of fame stepped outside those bounds when it decided to go beyond Chuck Berry, Led Zeppelin and The Ramones. Furthermore, it is far more well-known than those other halls, and has a cultural position as an arbitrator for all pop music that those other museums do not.
You also mention that 70s rock is represented by icons like Elton John, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. Really, punk is represented by The Ramones, The Clash and The Sex Pistols, and REM are the only "alternative" band in there. That's because all of the above-mentioned bands are somewhat ubiquitous. More marginal examples of any genre may be just as "good" as their more successful counterparts, but they don't necessarily belong in the hall of fame.
In closing, I agree that Rush should be in there because they can fill an arena with adoring herd of people I think are pretentious assholes just as The Smiths should because they can fill an arena with and adoring herd of people you (presumably) think are pretentious assholes. But so can ABBA (well, maybe thirty years ago.) And Madonna. and Run-DMC. Unless you wanna limit it to bands that played catchy dance numbers with electric guitars. Which I'm all for, actually. But that's another can of worms entirely.
And good job shooting some props at Television. Good band.

Morthoron the Dark Elf said...

IN RE: ANONYMOUS, October 8, 2011 8:59 PM

"Genres as widely divergent as hard rock, soft rock, progressive rock, indie rock, country rock, folk rock, punk rock, rockabilly and such would all be eligible, but funk, soul, country, bluegrass, electronica, ambient, hip hop and singer/ songwriter artists would be excluded because no one thought to call them (insert adjective) rock. Anf [sic] would heavy metal count? It's not exactly rock, but it's definitely on the same road as rock.
"


You just readily identified several forms of rock. Then you identified specific forms of music that are not rock (country, bluegrass and soul, specifically) that are defined differently by the performers themselves, and globally recognized with separate Hall of Fames (please review the Country Hall of Fame, The Bluegrass Hall of Fame, and R&B Hall of Fame for the plethora of funk and soul acts, then go to Hitsville, USA in Detroit to further your education). And heavy metal has been rock ever since Steppenwolf penned the term "Heavy metal thunder".

"As for your argument that other genres have theirf own respective halls of fame, those halls actually stick to a pretty limited range of artists by genre, whereas, the rock anmd roll hall of fame stepped outside those bounds when it decided to go beyond Chuck Berry, Led Zeppelin and The Ramones."

Rock has evolved from its blues, country and R&B roots in the late 50s. In the early 60s it was given a folk infusion by Bob Dylan, by which time it had a completely separate identity from its progenitors (just as Dylan left his folk roots and picked up an electric guitar - much to the consternation of the folk crowd). The Beatles were the first rock band of note to infuse classicism into a rock song ("Eleanor Rigby" is indeed a rock song, but with a string octet - novel, but still rock).

The British invasion pushed the boundaries of rock from their original blues base to progressive rock when four chords would no longer do (and a band like Jethro Tull is certainly representative of that leaning). Funny you should mention Led Zeppelin. Can there be any doubt that what was a blues-hard rock band on Vol. I and II, should suddenly offer a more acoustic rock set on Vol. III and then totally break from blues altogether on Vol. IV (ZoSo)? English folk, hard rock, and even the one blues tune "When the Levee Breaks" is so progressive as to alter the simplistic blues original so much that it is nearly unrecognizable.

Rock evolved and R&B evolved on a separate path: from Motown to soul to funk, and eventually to rap (which has literally nothing to do with rock or rock and roll in its origination as street music by young urban African-Americans, nor in its slick formulation into hip-hop). Sorry, different paths of evolution. Your argument fails to satisfy the actual historical basis for these separate musical forms.


"How can the Moody Blues or Emerson, lake and Palmer really be considered inheretors to Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, et al."

Have you ever heard the Moody Blues prior to their psychedelic and prog albums? A song like Go Now" is "rock and roll" in t6he strictest sense, and then listen to, say, something from 1972s Seventh Sojourn, such as "I'm Just a Singer in a Rock and Roll Band". They certainly believed themselves to be a rock band. As far as ELP, they put rock parameters on classical music, one of the many English groups who added classicism to the rock genre. But they were not classical musicians, they were rock musicians ("You gotta see the show, it's rock n roll!"). Are you trying to say the Bach-influenced "Whiter Shade of Pale" by Procol Harum is not rock? That's just silly.

Continued...

Morthoron the Dark Elf said...

...continued:

"How can the Moody Blues or Emerson, lake and Palmer really be considered inheretors to Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, et al."

Have you ever heard the Moody Blues prior to their psychedelic and prog albums? A song like Go Now" is "rock and roll" in t6he strictest sense, and then listen to, say, something from 1972s Seventh Sojourn, such as "I'm Just a Singer in a Rock and Roll Band". They certainly believed themselves to be a rock band. As far as ELP, they put rock parameters on classical music, one of the many English groups who added classicism to the rock genre. But they were not classical musicians, they were rock musicians ("You gotta see the show, it's rock n roll!"). Are you trying to say the Bach-influenced "Whiter Shade of Pale" by Procol Harum is not rock? That's just silly.

"Furthermore, it is far more well-known than those other halls, and has a cultural position as an arbitrator for all pop music that those other museums do not."

Then drop the pretense of rock and roll altogether, and refer to is as the Pop Hall of Fame. And by the way, I believe the Country Hall of Fame in Nashville has far more visitors than the RRHoF in Cleveland.

"You also mention that 70s rock is represented by icons like Elton John, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. Really, punk is represented by The Ramones, The Clash and The Sex Pistols, and REM are the only "alternative" band in there. That's because all of the above-mentioned bands are somewhat ubiquitous. More marginal examples of any genre may be just as "good" as their more successful counterparts, but they don't necessarily belong in the hall of fame."

You mentioned Jann Wenner, the revisionist par excellence, who has decided what "rock and roll" is and what is important in the Hall. If you recall, I listed six bands King Crimson, Jethro Tull, The Moody Blues, Rush, Yes and Alice Cooper (who since the publishing of the article has actually been inducted) as bands that have been ignored due to Wenner's personal preferences. I pointed out that each (with the exception of King Crimson, who I chose for influence) has sold 30 to 60 million albums worldwide, and that King Crimson is a huge influence on such mega-bands as Tool and Nirvana.

There are bands and performers in the RRHoF that have sold less albums. Hell, there are performers in the RRHoF that very few outside of a coterie of pretentious NY critics have even heard of, let alone listen to or can be identified by the public at large. So what then is the process? Given the noted dislike of certain genres and performers by Jann Wenner and Dave Marsh, it is obvious the entire process is a sham. I despise KISS, but god-damn, they took marketing in rock to ungodly levels - isn't it odd they haven't been chosen? Stevie Ray Vaughan, the greatest guitarist I have seen play personally is not in there?

But I noticed that Joan Jett is one of the nominees this year. Why? Because she was in a god-awful girl band called The Runaways, or is it because she had two friggin' hits ("I Love Rock and Roll" and "I Hate Myself for Loving You"). Some resume. Definitely Hall-worthy. Is is because she has tits? Because if that is the case, I can pick out some far more talented performers with tits worthy of the acknowlegement: Pat Benatar, Linda Ronstadt, Sandy Denny of Fairport Convention - hell, I'd even go with Siouxsie and the Banshees over Joan Jett.

It's a joke. And I will not be publishing any further articles on the subject. I'm hoping that if enough people ignore it, it will go away, like an unwelcomed guest or a pesky zit.

Anonymous said...

Hate to nitpick, but I still take issue with your conception of "rock." You acknowledge that rock music has delineated into many, many different subgenres, and acknowledge that it has also splintered off into genres that aren't ondidered rock. You assume some thread that keeps every individual subgenre part of a whole that is "rock." The problem arises in the fact that what constitutes "rock" changes gradually and inevitably, picking up formal tics and influences from other genres along the way. Thus, by now, some sixty years since its birth, it has evolved into an entirely new genre, if one follows a strict interpretation of genre politics. Which is why I don't. Not only that, different subgenres of rock evolve as well, often to points where they're no longer considered rock. Metal would be a good example. Something like Motorhead is unquestionably rock music, but plenty of grindcore and symphonic death metal bands have well and passed the point where they sound anything like "rock." Again, this is simply because heavy metal delineated from rock, and has come to be an entirely different classification, not to mention subculture. The same has happened with folk rock groups, experimental groups and punk bands, to name a few, who have diverged from rock and eventually evolved as genres so much that they more or less shed the trappings of "rock." Where do you propose the split occurs? And how do you justify the idea that rock itself hasn't evolved beyond itself, oh, forty years ago?
Another point I'd like to note is that you actually do allow for some fairly eclectic, non-"rock" inclusions. Specifically, Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream, neither of whom are commonly considered "rock" groups by fans, critics, or the bands themselves. You seem to have a bone to pick with disco, hip hop and ABBA, as I understand it. As far as disco and ABBA, I was born more than a decade after disco demolition night or any of that stupid shit, so I don't see how any of that was any more substantive than any other trivial, culture-wars type shit. ie. It wasn't. Anyway, I like a lot of disco. Obviously some of it is just campy and bad, but some ofm it's legitamately engaging,so at least give it that. As for hip hop, I know your type. The greatest era for rock music, therefore all music, was the 1970s. Which happened to coincide with your teenage years. Thus, hip hop is nothing but a bunch of stupid kids stealing other music because they can't write their own tunes, and yelling inspid minutiae over it. Anyway, it violates the sacrosanct nature of Bad Company, Grand Fubk Railroad and Uriah Heep, so it ought to be resisted and complained about. I get it. It's like e.e. cummings's "old age sticks" come true. Life imitates art. k. As for ABBA, and all other anodyne pop? Come on, it's catchy. What do you want? Profound? then read a book. Or listen to the Smiths. Morrissey could actually pen a witty, insightful lyric or two in his time.
Finally, I'm curious as to what your opinion is on the 25 year wait for a band to be inducted. I don't have a huge problem with it, since most bands do have to wait that long for their impact to be felt, but I can think of bands that have been canonized and then some already. Radiohead, My Bloody Valentine, Nirvana and Sonic Youth spring to mind. Hey, wait a minute, it's been thirty years since SY's first release. They've been eligible all this time. |Fucking Jann Wenner.

Morthoron the Dark Elf said...

"Metal would be a good example. Something like Motorhead is unquestionably rock music, but plenty of grindcore and symphonic death metal bands have well and passed the point where they sound anything like "rock." Again, this is simply because heavy metal delineated from rock, and has come to be an entirely different classification, not to mention subculture."

Checking with my friends over at Prog Archives, they concur that metal is still rock, and symphonic death metal is a variant of progressive rock. I know you'd like to think that heavy metal is something different, but it aint. I am not even sure where you came up with that. Although I will say that a band like Kayo Dot has reached a level of dissonance, eccentrism and a mix of influences that leaves the rock strata altogether (if you haven't heard them, you should check it out - they were formerly members of Maudlin in the Well). That is, to my ears, is a part of the post-rock movement.

As for hip hop, I know your type. The greatest era for rock music, therefore all music, was the 1970s. Which happened to coincide with your teenage years. Thus, hip hop is nothing but a bunch of stupid kids stealing other music because they can't write their own tunes, and yelling inspid minutiae over it.

That is a rather simplistic bit of rhetoric, and if it helps you sleep at night, so be it. I do think that rock as a musical form did have its heyday in the late 60s and the 70s, but then again I think jazz reached its zenith about that time as well with the collaborations of Miles Davis. Yet I have a deep appreciation for Django Reinhardt, Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong (as well as owning several of their albums). As far as rock and its antecedents, the same holds true. I have more blues albums from the 40s, 50s and 60s than I do from the 70s on.

Yet I do have a very low regard of hip-hop, and do not, in the strictest sense, consider it a musical form. It's that whole thing about musicians playing, singers singing and composers writing their own music. As a musician myself, I can readily understand the use of a cover song to emulate and pay reverance to musical influences (hell, classical musicians have been playing covers for 300 years). But as far as lifting someone else's music wholesale and using a drum machine and some doggerel verse? That's simply bush league. And I am very comfortable stating that fact.

But there's plenty of great music still being played that more than makes up for the inane onslaught of hip-hop. Aside from Kayo Dot, there is Tool, The Decemberists, Magma, The Future Kings of England, Sufjan Stevens, Porcupine Tree, Xing Sa, Devin Townsend, Phideaux, Neal Morse, Riverside, and a host of others to keep me amused in my "old age". After all, you're never too old to rock and roll if you're too young to die.


Continued...

Morthoron the Dark Elf said...

...Continued:

"As far as disco and ABBA, I was born more than a decade after disco demolition night or any of that stupid shit, so I don't see how any of that was any more substantive than any other trivial, culture-wars type shit."

You miss the point. Disco albums were demolished because disco, besides being utterly tacky and plasticine, was simply not rock and roll. You fail to see the substance because you wish to ignore the delineation. Disco was never considered rock when it was being produced (along with powder blue leisure suits, incredibly bad hair and clown-like shoes). The revisionist tendency wishes to homogenize musical forms, when historically-speaking that was not the case. I don't know how to make it any clearer to you.

"Finally, I'm curious as to what your opinion is on the 25 year wait for a band to be inducted. I don't have a huge problem with it, since most bands do have to wait that long for their impact to be felt, but I can think of bands that have been canonized and then some already. Radiohead, My Bloody Valentine, Nirvana and Sonic Youth spring to mind. Hey, wait a minute, it's been thirty years since SY's first release. They've been eligible all this time. |Fucking Jann Wenner."

25 years is a good thing and a bad thing. It disallows the flavor-of-the-month and allows for perspective, but I think many of the voters might have missed out on the impact of a band or performer when they were truly great (like Tull, Chicago, Yes, The Moody Blues, etc.).

Unfortunately, the ringleaders of the RRHoF have no perspective, only an agenda. And there is an agenda, as The Sex Pistols pointed out in their rejection letter and their dissing of the hall.

I assume Nirvana and Radiohead will be a first ballot choices (although why The Red Hot Chili Peppers have been ignored is anyone's guess). Sonic Youth may eventually get in. Hell, I'd even cast a vote for The Pogues and The Dead Kennedys. But all this is academic. At this point I no longer care. Obviously, the choices of the RRHoF in no way meet my expectations, and I am sure once the selection process gets to whatever era of music you feel is sacred, you will be as equally dismayed. I am still wondering why Captain Beefheart and The MC5 have been ignored. Really a travesty considering their enormous influence.

But as I said previously, I won't even mention the RRHoF in future articles. I pointed out a sham, and whether you agree or disagree with my reasoning is the reason we all have blogs. If you don't have a blog, make one up and I will argue with you there till the cows come home.

Anonymous said...

I fail entirely to see how symphonic death metal is, even in a backdoor way, rock. I tried playing the first few tracks off Emperor’s “In The Nighttime Eclipse,” and then proceeded to listen to “The Chirping Crickets.” Different instruments, different sound, different lyrical themes, different song structures, and very different fanbases to boot. If that doesn’t constitute two entirely different genres of music whole and distinct from one another then nothing does. If Symphonic Death Metal is considered an outgrowth of Prog Rock, which ios considered an outgrowth of Rock n Roll, that’s too arbitrary and abstract to suggest a similar parent genre, since genre is, theoretically, supposed to give people an indication of what a band sounds like, and what style of music they play. Emperor have eveolved way, way, way beyond Buddy Holly. 40 years and the Atlantic Ocean will do that.
As soon as you brought up Kayo Dot, I thought to myself “damn, I forgot about post-rock wntirely.” A couple sentences later, you made that point yopurself. Do you consider post-rock to be rock? There’s really no consensus definition for what post-rock is, although the old “playing non-rock music with rock instruments” is probably one of the more manageable ways of looking at it. I’m familiar enough with Godspeed You! Black Emperor to hear that there is a rock influence, probably as much with, I don’t know, Fairport Convention. But there’s also a clear avant garde bent, and ideas lifted from modern classical and jazz. Plus, the whole “non-rock mujsic” part in the definition. So that’s all just part of my point. It’s way too subjective to decide what constitutes “rock” culturally or otherwise, especially when you follow rock’s digressions as far down the rabit hole as Emperor (on one hand) and Donna Summer (on the other.) Just using the “this is culturally consumed as a sort-of bastardized form of a subgenre of rock” formula to conclude something is a “rock” record in the same way that “Electric Warrior” or “Love it to Death” or “LedZeppelin II” would generally be considered to be, is nonsensical bullshit.
As far as hip hop: Uuuuuuggghhh. I don’t really have a problem with you not listening to it or not liking it, but it infuriates me to no end when you (and you’re not alone among baby boomers) take some condescending position that rap music isn’t even real music. Obviously “Ice Ice Baby” and “U Cant Touch This” are really crass, ands just directly lift the hooks from already successful songs, but, if you made the effort to listen to less retarded examples of the genre (I really have to recommend you download ansd play GZAs “Liquid Swords.” It’s a fabulous album) you’d recognize that there is a level of skill, creativity and innovation in sampling. If you gave Kanye West, RZA or madlib a guitar, they wouldn’t be able to play as well as any famous guitar god (that I know of,) but let’s see David Gilmour or Eddie Van Halen come up with a good hip hop track. Anyway, rock isn’t better than hip hop, nor is the opposite true. They are different. They have to be taken on their own terms. Judging one genre by the specific standards of a separate genre is silly. Take a listen to the Specials’ “It’s Up to You” for a good calling out of that sort of behavior. Actually, fuck that. “Roll Over Beehtoven” will do fine.

Anonymous said...

As for the suggestion that I will be “equally dismayed” when the selection process hits “whatever era of music [I] feel is sarcred,” fuck that. I do find it stupid that Joy Division, the best band of the 1970s aren’t in there, and I’ve said on numerous occasions that omissions like The Smiths, Kraftwerk and Black Flag are just dreadful. And, in a perfect world, yes, The Dead Kennedys and The Pogues would take their rightful place. Maube they’d replace Tom Petty and Bob Sgeger. Uuuggghhh. But I’m not proposing that, say, Big Black get a spot. Why? Because they’re a cult act, and my love for them cannot somehow make them important enough to be included. Anyway, I don’t feel any era of music is sacred. Statistically, my iPod probably favors the 70s and 80s, but I also listen to a lot of current music, and I do love warhorses like Dylan, the Beatles, the Velvets, et al. Nostalgia is bullshit, there was no “golden age” of rock, deal with it.

Jet Jaguar said...

And, as a matter of fact, I do have blog now. It's called Uuuuugggghhhh. give it a looksie.

Anonymous said...

As much as you'd like to convince yourself otherwise,a number of the prog bands listed are as far away from rock and roll as ABBA were and they don't have the strong song writing resume of the Gibb brothers(Main Course,Children of the world and Spirits having flown were disco? Good grief! And yes,let's just completely disregard their work of the late 60's/early 70's,which produced god knows how many top 40 hits)

It was bands like Yes,King Crimson and Jethro Tull that led to the decline of prog in the first place.Their ridiculous,cringe-inducing gimmicks so bad that even their own fans became ashamed of them.And it's bands like those that resulted in prog having such a bad reputation that remains to this day.Ambitious? Perhaps.Pretentious? Without question.Regardless,it's not the Rock and Roll that you think that it is


I don't care for the RARHOF and there are a number of acts that I like that haven't been inducted and aren't likely to ever be,but I'm not going to cry,whine and post one long,bitter post about how my favourite chin stroking bands haven't received from some establishment that I don't think highly of in the first place.

Morthoron the Dark Elf said...

Dear Anonymous,
I really do appreciate your comments, particularly because it must have been difficult to drag yourself away from summer reruns of "Glee". But I do believe you missed the gist of my "bitter post" which was to point out that rock bands were routinely ignored while performers from other musical genres or pop idols were inducted. I chose six and gave pertinent reasons. I could have easily chose 10 or 20 more.

Not to belabor the issue, but the fact that you brought up ABBA and the Bee Gees proves my point. To be honest, I have never heard ABBA or the Bee Gees' music played on a rock format radio station in the past 30 years, have you? Why do you think that is? Perhaps it's because the programmers would be laughed off the damn radio for playing peurile pop where it doesn't belong.

But for all that, I am really uninterested in producing further articles regarding the Hall of Shame. I said my piece, and choose to ignore Jann Wenner & Co. here on out. Here's hoping they go bankrupt!

Anonymous said...

Likewise,I appreciate you for taking time out from chatting with your fellow "middle earthlings" on whatever LOTR based fan-site you're signed up to.I wasn't aware of any re-runs of Glee; I'm somewhat surprised that you were aware of that,though - thought that sort of thing was beneath middle-aged Tolkien fanatics.



My comment in relation to ABBA was how they were about as far away from rock and roll as a band like Jethro Tull were.In fact,there's an argument to be made that they were more "rock and roll" than Tull,which probably says more about Tull than it does ABBA,mind you.



I doubt you've heard much of the Bee Gees music,period - particularly their earlier work,where even the most ardent of chin strokers aren't so dense as to dismiss.Those people have heard "1st","Odessa" and "Trafalgar" - you haven't,obviously.


And judging by your username,I don't think you're in any position to be dismissing anything else as being "puerile".

Morthoron the Dark Elf said...

Dear Anonymous,
Perhaps it wasn't "Glee" reruns, but more likely a "Mama Mia" marathon on cable, right after a midnight watching of "Saturday Night Fever".

Obviously you are unaware of why The Bee Gees are in the Hall. It is because of their disco pablum. It had nothing to do with really good songs like "Lonely Days", "To Love Somebody" or "New York Mining Disaster 1941". They never even had a #1 album in the US or the UK until 1979 disco period. And in the UK, the majority of their albums didn't even chart in the 1970s. They were done in a rock and roll sense, but used the disco fad to prop up their flagging careers.

As far as your defense of ABBA as "rock and roll", I am wondering if you somehow skipped the entire era when great bands like Tull, Deep Purple, Yes, Rush and the like were piling up hit albums. To say the ABBA is more rock and roll than Tull tells me just about all I need to know about your utter lack of musical taste, or knowledge of composition for that matter. Tull was a blues-rock band that integrated classical and folk elements into the rock form to create something special. Hell, Ian Anderson at 66 years old just released "Thick as a Brick 2" which has been critically praised. Tull songs are still played on rock radio (unlike ABBA or the Bee Gees).


But let's try a little test, shall we? I will rattle off several names of RRHoF inductees and you tell me the first thing that pops into that pointed head of yours.

Now, try to be honest! Here goes:

Aretha Franklin.

Did you think "Queen of Soul" or something along that line? good.

How about The Bee Gees?

If the first thought that popped into your head wasn't "disco", you're a liar.

How about Grandmaster Flash?

Did you think "rap"? See, there's hope for you yet.

If you answered honestly, not once did the words "rock" or "rock and roll" pop into your head.

The issue is 'rock bands ignored' while other genres never identified as "rock" or "rock and roll" are being foisted on us, and it irritates the hell out of me.

As I have stated previously, my one great hope is that the farcical Hall in Cleveland (Cleveland!) finally goes bankrupt, and we won't have to hear about the farce any longer.

Anonymous said...

You seem an awful lot more familiar with this schedule than I am.Don't worry,we live in far more tolerant times; I'm sure your fellow chin stroking,tolkien-obsessed prog heads wouldn't judge you too harshly for such tastes.

I know perfectly well why the Bee Gees were recognized and inducted.In terms of songwriting catalogs,theirs is up there among the most prolific.Countless covers - spanning across many different fields of music - of their songs exist and they continue to be covered to this day.That alone qualifies them for any induction.And as already stated,you've quite obviously not listened to much of their material from the 70's(and you're not really familiar with their late 60's and early 70's material,either),so you're not really in any position to be accusing them of jumping on any fads.


Reading comprehension doesn't seem to be your strongest asset,because I never once described or defended ABBA as being "Rock and Roll".I stated they were as far removed from "Rock and Roll" as Jethro Tull were.Silly,self indulgent flute solos(snorts and grunts and all)and other court jester-type behaviour might be your idea of "Rock and Roll",but it sure as hell isn't mine.It's funny and can be amusing,much like a clown or a drunken uncle at a child's party.And creating something "special" is an entirely subjective(one might argue highly questionable)statement.



Most people have wised up to the fact that,despite it's name,TRARHOF isn't exclusive to rock acts.It's been that way right from the start and it will continue to be so in future.And as much as I enjoy Deep Purple,I'm not bothered about their exclusion because they don't need some voting panel to validate their influence and legacy.


And if the rock and roll hall of fame serves any purpose,it's pissing off sensitive rock fanboys who will continue to whine and complain for years to come,regardless of their insistence that they don't care about the issue anymore.

Morthoron the Dark Elf said...

“I'm sure your fellow chin stroking,tolkien-obsessed prog heads wouldn't judge you too harshly for such tastes.”

You use the facetious term “chin-stroking” far too much. Of course, with the erection you get talking about the Bee-Gees, I would assume a chin is not what you are stroking. It’s amazing you can type!

“I know perfectly well why the Bee Gees were recognized and inducted.In terms of songwriting catalogs,theirs is up there among the most prolific.Countless covers - spanning across many different fields of music - of their songs exist and they continue to be covered to this day.That alone qualifies them for any induction.And as already stated,you've quite obviously not listened to much of their material from the 70's(and you're not really familiar with their late 60's and early 70's material,either),so you're not really in any position to be accusing them of jumping on any fads.”

We even wouldn’t be having this discussion if the Bee-Gees didn’t go disco. Their remaining catalog prior to disco reflects a middling band of faux-Beatle crooners (and recognized as such during the 60s). They had a few hit singles, but they are altogether meaningless in a discussion of important 1960s groups. Post-disco their catalog becomes even more vapid and meaningless. Sorry, without disco, no Hall.

And since you denigrate Tull throughout your little diatribes, I believe that the band has spanned more musical genres than the Bee-Gees: rock, blues, jazz, classical, folk, progressive, world-music, metal, etc. And if I walk into a bar and a band is covering “How Deep Is Your Love”, I am walking right out again. Maudlin excrement, and a mirror into the soulless Hall's election process.



“…Jethro Tull were.Silly,self indulgent flute solos(snorts and grunts and all)and other court jester-type behaviour might be your idea of "Rock and Roll",but it sure as hell isn't mine.It's funny and can be amusing,much like a clown or a drunken uncle at a child's party...”

Looking up current statistics, Jethro Tull has sold over 60 millions albums. That’s more albums than literally two-thirds of the bands currently in the Hall. If album sales do not predicate entry into the hall, then why are ABBA and the Bee-Gees in there? It’s certainly not because they were musically gifted instrumentally-speaking. It’s not because they wrote anything profound, because they didn’t. They haven’t really influenced any important performers. You say Tull is clownish, but what about the gimmickry of Alice Cooper, Elton John, David Bowie or Madonna (all members of the Hall)? Acting like assholes got them into the Hall, so what’s your point? Even a pedophile like Michael Jackson made it in. But of course, Michael was all about rock and roll.

As far as the "snorts and grunts", Ian Anderson's biggest influence was jazz great multi-instrumentalist Rahsaan Roland Kirk. Obviously with a disco-centered album collection like you have, you wouldn't be aware of other genres and their impact on actual musicians and not banal pop entities.



“And if the rock and roll hall of fame serves any purpose,it's pissing off sensitive rock fanboys who will continue to whine and complain for years to come,regardless of their insistence that they don't care about the issue anymore.”

And yet, here you are, commenting on an article I wrote nearly two years ago. This is my blog, so I reply to people when they comment, what’s your agenda then? It’s rather asinine to dredge something up from back then and try to project like you are. I wrote an article about the ludicrous nature of the alleged Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and all its electoral absurdities, and I stand by it. But I haven’t written another article regarding the Hall since 2010, because I'm not interested in even mentioning it with negative views.

Anonymous said...

I can use it because it's appropriate in describing a stereotype like yourself.You embody virtually every single characteristic of your typical prog head.Being so elitist and dismissive of anything you don't like,in spite of the fact that you're quite obviously a socially inept sci-fi/fantasy geek...well,that's just the icing on the cake.And you've gone from Glee.to Mama Mia,and now you're talking about erections - is there something you're trying to get out into the open?


Haven't influenced any important performers? Never wrote anything profound? Not as versatile as Jethro Tull? Jetho Tull,metal? LMAO.The last one gave me right a laugh,but all of these statements are amusing in their own way.

The likes David Bowie and Elton John knew out to actually write a good song,something Jethro Tull wouldn't know how to do if his life depended on it.Anderson has to rely on acting like a goof on stage because it's the only way he can keep the audience awake.It's funny,I recall Ian Anderson criticizing the Rolling Stones a couple of years ago for being poor musicians and the guy just doesn't get it.And neither do you,for that matter.Tragic.really.


And you're right,the hall of fame doesn't discriminate against pedophiles.If proven pedophiles like Chuck Berry and Jimmy Page can get in,then nothing was ever going to stop a suspected one like Michael from getting in.

Morthoron the Dark Elf said...

"I can use it because it's appropriate in describing a stereotype like yourself.You embody virtually every single characteristic of your typical prog head.Being so elitist and dismissive of anything you don't like,in spite of the fact that you're quite obviously a socially inept sci-fi/fantasy geek"...and blah, blah, blah...

You use the term “prog-head” as if it’s some negative connotation. I’ll accept being called a prog-head, thank you. You can also call me a blues dog, folkie, classicist or fusionier if you’d like, as I love each of these genres or musical forms and have written about them extensively here.

And if your derisive term “elitist” means that I am dismissive of banal music and pop tripe, right again. If it smells like bullshit, one needn’t step in it to verify the fact. Usually when insipid folks use the term “elitist” they are feeling ineffectual, with a grudging sense of inferiority. I don’t deal with complexes here, try a self-help blog to break your disco addiction. Disco doesn't belong here, and it certainly doesn't belong to anything purporting to be rock and roll.

Thanks for stopping by. Have a nice life. “You should be dancin’, yeah!” Dolt.

Morthoron the Dark Elf said...

Congratulations, Anonymous! Your last post was the only comment I've ever had to delete due to unnecessary crudity, basic ignorance, and references to female body parts.

I must say, I am surprised you were aware of the "c-word", but since you didn't use it in the proper context, I understand your confusion. Based on your preference for ABBA and the Bee Gees, I am sure the only body part you've used in the proximity is your "mangina".

Anonymous said...
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