Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Cleveland Snobs: The Rock and Roll Hall of Lame

Rolling Stone recently asked its readers who they thought the next ten bands inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame should be. Here are those poll results:

10. Nirvana
9. Chicago
8. Gram Parsons
7. Warren Zevon
6. Cheap Trick
5. The Moody Blues
4. Yes
3. Kiss
2. The Smiths
1. Deep Purple

Nirvana are already eligible because their first single, "Love Buzz," which was a cover of a song by The Shocking Blue, a Dutch band most famous for their 1970 hit "Venus," was released in 1988, but it would be ridiculous to induct them this early in my opinion.

From Wikipedia: "According to Billboard Chicago was the leading US singles charting group during the 1970's. They have sold over 38 million units in the US, with 22 gold, 18 platinum, and 8 multi-platinum albums. Over the course of their career they have had five number-one albums and 21 top-ten singles." I might not be a huge Chicago fan but that's impressive.

Gram Parsons was a member of The Byrds for a short time and fronted the highly influential country rock group The Flying Burrito Brothers, who opened the infamous Altamont show. Parsons also released two acclaimed solo albums before his pointless death in 1973.

Warren Zevon was a creative, unique, and talented guy.

What more needs to be said about Cheap Trick? My favorite band and undeniably one of the best and coolest rock bands ever. They are also greatly admired by their peers.

The Moody Blues have sold more than 70 million albums worldwide. They had three number one albums in the UK and four top ten albums in the US.

Yes were a very original and influential group.

We all know it's a travesty that KISS weren't inducted years ago by those elitist pricks.

The Smiths are a much beloved band and were quite influential in their own right. I'm not a huge fan but I don't dismiss or despise them the way some of you out there might.

And last but certainly not least Deep Purple are a monumentally important band in the history of rock and roll, it's an absurd joke that they weren't inducted twenty years ago and everyone involved should be ashamed of themselves.

Personally I wouldn't argue with the merits of any of those ten artists being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at some point, but the eternal question remains: do some of them deserve to be inducted before a slew of others I could rattle off? Rolling Stone's readers got it very right when they chose Kiss, Cheap Trick, and Deep Purple, but beyond those three here are, in my opinion, the most glaring omissions:



New York Dolls


Big Star

Thin Lizzy


Judas Priest

Iron Maiden

Def Leppard

Who have they inducted instead? Let's see. They inducted Ricky Nelson in 1987. Pretty boy TV star, wannabe Elvis, not an important or influential artist but I guess he was popular. The Allman Brothers in 1995. They have a couple platinum albums but give me a break. Joni Mitchell in 1997. I can't stand her music. Santana in 1998. I despise their music. Bonnie Raitt, James Taylor, and Earth Wind & Fire in 2000. Give me a fucking break with these three. Steely Dan in 2001. I truly hate their music. Isaac Hayes in 2002. What exactly is rock and roll, anyways? Jackson Browne and Traffic in 2004. Boooooooooooooring. Jann Wenner inducted him-fucking-self in 2004! Beastie Boys and Red Hot Chili Peppers in 2012. What an insult. This year it's Donna Summer. Are you fucking kidding me? 

I like the Pretenders a lot, but should they be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame before Deep Purple? How the fuck is Leon Russell in there before Kiss? It's completely ludicrous. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a haughty clique. It's a pathetic disgrace. Now should I tell you what I really think?

More important bands they've missed:

Blue Cheer

The Raspberries


Blue Oyster Cult



T. Rex


The Runaways

Joan Jett



Ozzy Osbourne/Randy Rhoads

Ronnie James Dio

Mötley Crüe

Bon Jovi

A strong argument could also be made for: Styx, Boston, Foreigner, Pat Benatar, Bryan Adams, The Knack, and I hate to admit it but obviously Ted Nugent. Also since Patti Smith and Talking Heads are in, among others, how about the rest of that CBGB's scene (Richard Hell, Television, Dead Boys, etc).

At this point the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a sad joke. I think it would be a great thing to have a Rock and Roll museum that chronicles the history of one of humanity's greatest cultural achievements, and it seems to me that's what the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in theory, aspires to (or should aspire to) be. The problem is they are doing it wrong. Way wrong. There is a clear bias against hard rock and heavy metal. They don't have a problem inducting Earth Wind & Fire and Run DMC but not Judas Priest and Iron Maiden because they don't respect Priest and Maiden, they don't get it, personal preference and snobbery clearly play a role in the charade. It's 2013, Judas Priest should be in the fucking Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. There is no debate to be had. Judas Priest are not in because the dickheads running the show think Bonnie Raitt was more important and influential to the history of rock? They couldn't possibly believe that. They are either woefully ignorant, living in a box, or pretentious assclowns. I can only assume that the disrespect shown to such undeniably historically significant bands as Deep Purple, Kiss, and Judas Priest is the result of some sort of twisted rock puritanism. The Rock Hall comes across as pompous and condescending. That is why so many rock fans despise the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and what it appears to stand for. It's an exclusive club and heavy metal bands are the outcasts. Fine, if they want a lame ass museum that caters to tourists who need plaques to help them differentiate between the Beatles and the Stones, that's what they'll have. It's too far gone to ever gain the respect of real rock fans anyway, but I think that's very unfortunate. I would love to see a real rock and roll museum devoted to the true history of rock instead of a contemptuous sham devoted to one biased, limited version of that history. Instead of a real tribute to rock we get this trite mausoleum. Smug, vain, imperious, insolent--yeah, I googled synonyms for arrogant.

According to their website: 

"The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum exists to collect, preserve and interpret the impact rock has made on our world." 

Exactly how huge does the impact of heavy metal have to be on the world before these cavalier turds figure out that it deserves its rightful place in their dubious shrine?

I know you didn't ask, but here's how I would have responded to the poll if I was a Rolling Stone reader. In a perfect world these bands would already be in, but here are my next ten that should go in since they aren't in already.

10. Def Leppard

9. Iron Maiden

8. Slade

7. Judas Priest

6. Thin Lizzy

5. MC5

4. New York Dolls

3. Cheap Trick

2. Kiss

1. Deep Purple

In all honesty my list is biased as well. I just like Slade and Def Leppard too much not to include them but I will concede that a band like Badfinger really should be inducted before Slade or even Maiden.

In the end the real response to any story about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame should probably be...Who cares? But they've gone too far in their dismissal of heavy metal. I think we should make a stink. Mike McCready said on That Metal Show that if Pearl Jam are inducted before Kiss they might refuse the honor. I'm hoping for a Ticketmaster type battle, but with a better outcome.

Who are your ten? Come tell us at https://www.facebook.com/DecibelGeek?fref=ts

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