September 23, 2009

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominees

Thank goodness I don't have to bitch about the stupidity of these "rock and roll" nominees this year and list all the bands that have been ignorantly overlooked.

Just go read Seano's blog.  I would have said the exact same thing, but of course in a much more ladylike and much less witty way.


bob_vinyl said...

The worst decision the RnRHoF has made is to exist in the first place. Last time I checked, rock n roll wasn't a sport. The whole notion is as thoroughly un-rock n roll as it could be. Screw that place. I have a rock n roll hall of fame in my basement. I see the rock n roll hall of fame every time I go to a show. That's where rock n roll really is, not in some musty museum full of old has-beens. I'd say induction there means that you can safely assume you're no longer making music that matters.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

How is it that Kiss is going in before Alice Cooper?

Bond said...

The RARHOF was a good idea...but WTF????

Donna Summer????? WTF?????

They are turning it into the music hall of shame is what they are doing.

bob_vinyl said...

Why is it a good idea to turn rock n roll into a sport with winners and losers where the tangible score is something (commercial success) we know often has nothing to do with what really matters?

What ends up in a museum? Old stuff. If it's old, it's not rock n roll. Stuff that was young 40 years ago is still young today. You could put the last 30 years of Rolling Stones albums in a museum, because they're old, but you can't put something like Exile or Aftermath in there. Rock n roll is wild and free. Don't close it in behind walls. Don't display it for tourists to gaze at. Live it.

Perplexio said...

It's not even about commercial success... Chicago, the 2nd most commercially successful American rock band (after the Beach Boys) have been eligible since 1992 and have never even been nominated let alone inducted.

It's actually the Jann Wenner Hall of Fame as it's a reflection of his personal musical tastes. The selections are quite arbitrary. For the first handful of years of its existence Ahmet Ertegun was reining in Wenner a little bit so many of the nominations and inductions when he was around at least made SOME sense. After Ertegun's death there's been no one to rein in Wenner, knock the coke spoon out of his hands and yell in his face "WHAT THE F*** ARE YOU THINKING?!"

I've been to the RRHOF twice, the museum is acutally quite well done as Wenner has little to do with the museum itself (his focus is more on who does and doesn't get nominated and inducted). He leaves that stuff to people who actually know how to run a museum.

It's worth going to see at least once.

Oh and having lived in Ohio for a couple of years I don't share in Seano's low opinion of the state. Although I tend to agree with my wife's opinion of Cleveland. Before I moved out to Chicago she came to visit me and we inadvertentaly ended up in downtown Cleveland in the wee twilight hours of the night her reaction, "This is IT?!"

Barbara(aka Layla) said...

I knew this topic would strike a chord (no pun intended) with some of you :)

Bob, I have to disagree with the last statement you made: Many of the inductees are truly great and still making significant music (U2 for example).


Bond, I agree. They need to change the name of it. Don't they realize what a joke they've become??? Donna Summer, sure she deserves recognition for a disco queen but all true rockers agree that "Disco Sucks", I had the bumper sticker! :)

Bob, once again I agree with part of what you said - living it, feeling it, experiencing it is what its all about. BUT on the other hand, I think its fun to see some of those items. Yes, F-U-N. Its cool to see a guitar Jimmy Page played or the jacket Bruce wore or the Platinum record from your favorite band....I admit I even got a kick out of seeing Madonna's bustier at the Hard Rock Cafe recently - how the hell she wore that thing is a mystery to me. So yes, I take my music seriously but also have a lot fun.

bob_vinyl said...

Would U2 really matter based on their last three albums? Would Springsteen really matter based on the last 20 years? Their legacies are based on things they did 20 or more years ago. Recent albums may have slightly enhanced or diminished their legacies, but only negligibly. On top of that, those artists are the exception. Most who just go on and on like that (see the Stones) are just old men wasting our time.

Also, I don't have any issue with the informality of the memorabilia at Hard Rock Cafe. I don't get a particular charge out of it, but I agree that it's fun. However, formalizing it as a true museum is almost as much a polar opposite of rock n roll as creating some exclusive club where someone decides who's in and who's out. The RnRHoF is strictly about celebrity and not music.

Anyone who knows me knows that I love music, but I can't think of a place I'd rather see less than the RnRHoF. It just seems to against the grain of what rock n roll is about. I know there's some degree of naiveté in that statement, because music is and always has been about money (which in turn is about adults), but that's its worst side. I want to celebrate its best side.

The issue isn't who gets in, but that there's an in and an out.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

I live about an hour away from the RnRHoF. I've been there twice. Once would have been enough. The 2nd time was fun though in that my fiance got to see it for the first time. I think she read every plaque in the place.

I love music and much of it rock, but I pledge allegiance to no genre. I ignore awards for the most part, though it is nice to see some actually talented people get some awards on occasion.

While the RnRHoF was fun it's not really my cup of tea. I'd much rather sit at home and listen to music or go see a show.

Bond said...

Sorry Bob I totally disagree. The concept of the RARHOF was to have a place where future generations could learn about the people who influenced those making music during their lifetime.

To be able to learn about The Stones, and The Dead, and Bruce etc etc...who will be gone someday and this was a way to hopefully not forget them.

Which is why the old blues musicians are included. The baseball hall of Fame serves the same purpose.

I never got to see babe Ruth play or Joe Dimaggio...but by visiting the HOF I get to learn about them. Taking my son to Cooperstown is something neither of us will ever forget.

I do not think it is about winners and is about enshrining those who influenced the future generations.

What Mr. Wenner is doing now is an abomination and I totally feel like there should be a committee put together of artists already enshrined and people who have written about music for longer than 15 years.

This committee would then be the soul arbiter of who is enshrined...not who wins.

bob_vinyl said...

"The concept of the RARHOF was to have a place where future generations could learn about the people who influenced those making music during their lifetime."

That's what records are for. You don't learn anything about the musician by looking at his guitar or some stupid stage outfit he wore. You listen to the records and do a little reading and trace your way through. The RnRHoF is for the lazy and superficial who just want the Cliff's Notes version of rock n roll without the experience. It will never expose all the great stuff that's under the surface. It can never express why Elvis or the Beatles or the Clash of the White Stripes matter. It can just offer a semi-intellectual explanation of the artists, but that doesn't touch the heart, only the head.

bob_vinyl said...

Also, I found the Beatles and the Who and the Velvet Underground just fine with any "museum." If kids listen to the stuff they're told to listen to, doesn't that defeat the purpose? Isn't all about discovery? There's no discovery in received opinion.

The Mad Hatter said...

Okay, here's my take, and I'm already a late-comer to this, I think. I wasn't alive when most of my favorite music came out. When people see me gesticulating widely about a Gilmour solo, they say I look 14 and how do I know who Gilmour is. I didn't hear music in a museum, or from MTV, or even on classic rock radio, which is just more corporate shilling anyway, and I certainly never will. I heard it from my parents, and from neighbors, and barbecues. I heard it with friends. I felt it at concerts; I heard it in clubs in NYC even if I was just walking past.

I'm wholeheartedly against the RnRHoF. I'm written several nasty filthy mentions of it on my blog somewhere, and I'm not going to skewer it in that fashion any more than I already have. I don't believe it has any real use and I wouldn't enjoy seeing relics of band's fabled yesteryears. Would I kill to see Floyd circa 1973? Would I have loved to have heard the national anthem exploding from Hendrix's strat? Absolutely, and those are moments I have missed due to circumstances beyond my control, and nothing in a biased museum is going to change my feelings from that or for that.

I'm completely with Bob in that I feel there is something like no other when you hear music, on a record, in a club. I don't hear music as much anymore, though. U2 is an institution; they're not a band anymore; they don't seem to love to make music. Are they good actors, or are they just apart of that system? I don't know, but it's still a business to them, and all of their actions for at least the last decade have been to that effect. Be careful when they say a band has "made it" -- that they've achieved U2 status; it bodes ill for all of us. The RnRHoF tries to only recognize institutions; they don't like those who don't do it their way.

Bond, I'd like to think the RnRHoF was constructed for that purpose, but here's my thought: if the idea is to introduce, preserve, instruct, etc. new fans and old fans alike of those who influenced music, why is their an induction process? Why even have such a thing? Why can't they include everyone from the start, because then they're really just making the museum an incomplete puzzle. The baseball hall of fame has a different purpose: to enshrine the very best of the game. The RnRHoF doesn't even induct rockers anymore. It's completely lost focus of its purpose. Is it a music hall of fame, a history of music? No, it's an institution of exclusion. The best rock, the best rap, the best jazz -- is about spirit, about celebration. I don't see any of that.

Bond said... first comment in this thread stated what you did...that it is no longer a R&R HOF, but a Music HOF...

I still think it is necessary to have a place where some can go and see the history...

I love music as much as anyone here and got to see Floyd in 70 and the Allman Bros in 71 and Zeppelin and the rest LIVE.

I disagree with Bob's assessment..but that is what makes it so much fun I guess.

"The RnRHoF is for the lazy and superficial who just want the Cliff's Notes version of rock n roll without the experience. It will never expose all the great stuff that's under the surface."
Why can it not add to the experience. I never said it was the only thing needed...but I feel it is part of the equation.

And finally, I still have not been to the R&RHOF, but will go someday I hope.

Starrlight said...

What is wrong with the HoF and frankly virtually every single comment on here is that you can not enforce what music matters to another person, only yourself. Your opinions in no way shape or form have any influence on what anyone elses gets or does not get out of a bands and/or institutions.

Frankly it's rank music snobbery ponitificating bullshit. Your opinion - and mine - hold no more weight than Wenner et all or sais museum.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

Well put, Starrlight

drewzepmeister said...

My take on this is yeah, the RoRHoF is a nice museum to represent rock music. It really doesn't compare to the wealth of memories of your own experiences in your album collection. But of course, I've been dismayed their latest selection of inductees...

bob_vinyl said...

Starrlight, we've disagreed on this in the past, I believe, but I don't think you can just chalk everything up to be totally subjective. While you can like whatever you want, that doesn't make every band you like actually good. It doesn't take a whole lot of thought to figure out that Led Zeppelin is better/more important than say Poison. Both bands\ have sold millions of records, but you can objectively look at Zeppelin's influence and innovation versus Poison's desire to water down their influences for pop success. That doesn't mean that Zep has to resonate with everyone, but I think if "I Want Action" or "Unskinny Bop" really connects with someone, that person may want to take a closer look at their own shallow life!

However, I don't think we need a museum or HoF to tell us the difference. Some things are clear and other things are best hashed out by music fans (as I believe we did with Nirvana at some point). At any rate, even this isn't about who's in or who's out. It's about music fans figuring out and discussing what makes this band great and that band not so great. Often how we each view the importance of different bands says a lot about us.

Starrlight said...

Bob...guess what? I like Unskinny Bop. Feel free to mock my shallow life.

The word "good" applied to anything is subjective.

bob_vinyl said...

Well, you do think Nirvana was great,

I didn't say liking it made you shallow. However, I don't see anyway you could argue that the song is truly as good as say Zep's "Immigrant Song" or the Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again" or the Clash's "Guns of Brixton" get the point. But "Unskinny Bop" is just a pop soung like a million other pop songs that happened to be a hit. For you, maybe the song caught you at a particular time and it stuck with you. I dunno. Maybe you are shallow. I don't know you well, but based on the things you've written, I suspect the former is more likely.

What I'm really trying to say is that music isn't entirely subjective, not that it isn't subjective at all. Tying this back into the HoF, the trouble there is that they create this "you're in, you're out" mentality. When I say that it's true that Zeppelin is better than Poison, I'm not saying Poison has no place, I'm not excluding them. They're a dumb band, to be sure, but no dumber than something like Bill Haley and the Comets. All of it, from multi-platinum artists to local bar bands make up rock n roll. They're all in. That doesn't mean one is as good or as important as the other.

Thunderbass86 said...

Hey Layla. New blogger here (started first blog earlier in the week). I like what you've got here. Nice job.

"The Rawk Show"

Sean Coleman said...

Very entertaining group of comments, with great points made on all sides.

It's a shame that many of the real innovators (early blues players) died penniless or were ripped off by everyone and their dog because of the racist climate that existed (and sadly still does). It's nice that they have been recognized, posthumously, for their vast contributions to modern music and the RHOF, in part, gives visitors a chance to see that.

On the other hand, it has become cluttered with personalities who have as much of a connection with rock and roll as Amish groups have with the internet.

Barbara(aka Layla) said...

I am too tired to join in this conversation. I knew it would spark a debate. I respect all your opinions and love hearing different views.

The Mad Hatter said...


Yeah I got lost in all the comments and didn't see that.


Well, if we weren't pontificating we wouldn't be commenting. That said, you're still right. Wenner et al can do their thing; I personally won't ever visit or donate a dime. It's too exclusionary, too broad and honestly, I tell myself this every year when I see Layla post this, but it's a joke and I'm perplexed at why I keep commenting on it, hahahahaha!

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

I just hope Kanye gets nominated. ;-)

rockin rick said...

they blow off the moody blues every year. what a shame

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