To Be Or Not To Be… What Does The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Really Mean?

I have never been to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.  It’s on my list.

I have watched the induction ceremonies and they can be a lot of fun.  Watching a bunch of different artists jam can either be a great joy, or a muffled disaster.  I have not yet made it through the 12-12-12 concert, but I have heard there may have been a few misses… But hey, you gotta try, right.  Sometimes rockin’ by the seat of your pant can be amazing!

Hello Cleveland!

Welcome to the world-famous Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.  There is a lot of great music out there, and plenty of legacies that need to be protected and cherished and passed down the line.

But there is a cloud over Cleveland.  A confusion over who should be in the hallowed halls and who should not.  Okay, so maybe these halls ain’t hallowed… but you know what I mean.

Some of those passed over baffles the mind, rallies the troops and gets people REALLY PISSED OFF.  Some of those who are in are a joke… and not because they are not talented or deserving of recognition… but because it is called the ROCK AND ROLL Hall of Fame… not pop or disco, but Rock.

Madonna???  Abba???  And look, I love Donna Summer, but say what?  Either change the name to the Popular Music Hall Of Fame… or start adding separate wings for each genre…

This is rock, baby!

What spurred me on to delve into the Hall was the seemingly ongoing battle against Prog Rock bands.  How has Rush NOT been inducted years and years ago?  They said they don’t care about it… but it would be special to get in for the fans.  Were they posturing?  Putting on a bravado to hide the hurt and frustration?  Perhaps… Or do they truly just not give a shit?

How sad that the Hall itself has made superior musicians and rock legends feel this way… Kind of like a twist on the famous Groucho Marx line “Please accept my resignation.  I don’t want to belong to any club that will accept people like me as a member.”

As I started pondering my next series of posts… to be designed around who is in, chronologically… (and yes, I’ll try to get to the huge MISSES, as well)… Rush was a potential inductee.  This year, for the first time, they were putting out a survey, asking regular Rock n’ Roll Joes like us, to vote for our tops… Kind of like letting us rack up opinions on Dancing With The Stars… NOT!

Anyway… almost clearly our voices were heard… Rush… Heart… Randy Newman… hell yes…

Okay, so maybe some of you balked at Randy, but look at the genres he has covered.  His solo albums are great… 1970’s Nilsson Sings Newman… Are you kidding me?  And 1972’s Sail Away, which gave us the song every one of us wants to play in the bedroom… “You Can Leave Your Hat On.”  This and Dave Matthew’s “Crash Into Me” alternate as my Top Two Sexiest Rock Songs of All Time!!!

And while not Rock n’ Roll, his soundtracks are some of the most stunningly beautiful music ever composed.  All I need to say is The Natural.  Done.  You’re with me now, aren’t you???

So… Starting tomorrow, come back and check out just who is in the Rock n’ Roll Hall Of Fame… and we can debate their merits…

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5 Comments

Filed under Life... Plain and Not So Simple, Marc's Mixed Bag - A Little Of Everything, Marc's Playlist - Music That Moves Me

5 responses to “To Be Or Not To Be… What Does The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Really Mean?

  1. Why wait for tomorrow? 🙂

    My concern in these debates is not so much the merit of any particular artist deserving Hall admission as much as the tendency within the debate to define rock. The process inevitably serves to narrow the definition of rock in an exclusionary, (dare I say) reactionary way. In the early years of the induction ceremonies there were an overflow or artists deserving of enshrinement. Off the top of my head I think the first year was:

    Elvis
    Buddy Holly
    Ray Charles
    James Brown
    Chuck Berry
    Jerry Lee Lewis
    Little Richard
    Everly Brothers
    Eddie Cochran (oops that wrong, the next year)
    Sam Cooke
    Fats Domino

    I would maintain that the lines of influences that precede these artists, move through them and on to their descendants encompass rock (hard, soft, prog, punk), soul, r&b, pop, disco, dance, country, folk, electronic, you name it. It is the whole universe and as we know, that is EXPANDING.

    I agree that there are too many people in the Rock Hall. Just had this discussion with Steve Hochman on Facebook. Rock writer and classmate at Occidental. We think it was is former boss Robert Hilburn who suggested that the Hall should also honor specific records in addition to artists. That way you honor greatness and history of the individuals who made those records but keep the actual Hall members at a more exclusive number. For example: Percy Sledge probably doesn’t belong in the Hall for a career. But When a Man Loves a Woman sure does! I can hear Steve Cropper’s guitar accents right now. Or maybe (this hurts a bit) Dusty Springfield doesn’t but no doubt Dusty in Memphis does. I think you can find a lot of these examples of records that stand the test of time. What records charted 25 years ago in 1987 that have stood the test of time and were recorded by artists that might fall short of Hall inclusion. I will have to look that up.

  2. http://www.musicoutfitters.com/topsongs/1987.htm

    Above is a link of top 100 from 25 years ago. Doesn’t seem that long ago. Looking at the list it seems that by my formula Suzanne Vega’s Luka is a great record by an artist who might not be a Hall of Famer.

  3. trh

    Saw RUSH at the Irvine Amphitheatre oh so many years ago. No idea what to them so long. Great band.

  4. trh

    Oh, and saw Randy Newman play with the cleveland Orchestra a yea ago, What a gem he is.

  5. Awesome! Its really amazing piece of writing, I have got much clear
    idea concerning from this post.

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