14 March, 2006

The Ridiculousness of Rock and Roll Recognition

Fucking Christ.

Can the music industry please stop with the inane nonsense that it puts itself and us through every year as it trots out a line of has beens to induct them into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Sure, it seemed like a good idea at the time. At the beginning, in the idea stages, the idealists thought, "Think of it: The Rolling Stones, Beatles, and Herman's Hermits all in one place so that generations can appreciate where the music they listen to came from!" I'm fairly certain they weren't banking on the kids listening to Marilyn Manson and 50 Cent back then.

The first clue that things had gone awry showed itself in the location picked for this venerable institution. Cleveland. As in, "HELLO CLEVELAND", the mistake by the lake. It is humorous to see these music people decend upon Cleveland every year. They wouldn't dream of being there otherwise. The problem came when all of the initial nominees were inducted. The Stones, Beatles, Prince, and even the Clash are gone so now they actually have to think about it.

This years inductees included Blondie, Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Sex Pistols, Miles Davis(!), Black Sabbath, and the A and M of A&M Records, Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss.

First, let me address Miles. I love Miles Davis, anyone who knows me knows this. It is clear that the RARHOF is stymied, though. They have no direction. When was Miles on the Billboard Rock and Roll charts? Sure he did a record with Prince, but it was never released. Is he getting the award for his fusion records? Outside of Bitches Brew they weren't all that great. Is he getting inducted as an influence? Then let someone like Prince induct him. As it was, he was inducted by Herbie Hancock, best known for "Rockit" which every 1984-85 High School dance team used for its routine. Understand, this is the least of my quibbles. A case can be made for Miles, but if he was to be inducted as a rock influence, it should have been years ago.

Ah, Blondie. I love Blondie. Who doesn't, right? Half of the original band, that's who. An onstage fight ensued when Debbie Harry, bloated cow that she is, refused to let Nigel Harrison, Frank Infante, and Gary Valentine (who wrote "X-Offender", and "I'm Always Touched By Your Presence, Dear" by the way) play with the Blondie cover band that backs up her, Jimmy Destry and Chris Stein these days. I mean, come on, Debbie... who the fuck cares? You're just gonna warble your way through "Heart of Glass", "Rapture", and "Call Me" anyway... why not throw the guys a bone? Nah... more important to stand by your principles... like not putting out shit product 20 years after you mattered, right?

Skynyrd belongs here, and if you don't agree, YOU'RE the racist. That said, the band should never be allowed to play again particularly if Kid Rock is involved. I have written volumes on the fairground band circuit elsewhere, so I'll leave it at that.

Sabbath also belongs here, but thanks for letting Lars Ulrich induct them. First off, the guy said "fuck" approximately seven thousand times in his speech. We know you're hardcore, Lars, money hasn't changed you... ask Napster. Now get some Kleenex and cry for me some more. Fuck Lars Ulrich. And fuck the Hall for making me look at him again. Ozzy came out and said some unintelligible stuff and Bill Ward (the DRUMMER, who lets the DRUMMER talk?) made a precient comment about metal being guaranteed a place in history. Uh huh, Bill... if Ozzfest doesn't kill it.

Sting inducted Alpert and Moss, which is pertinent because both Sting and Alpert made lots of records I never listen to.

Finally the Sex Pistols. Their grand statement, if you haven't heard, was to not appear and send a statement comparing the Hall to "urine in wine". Look, fellas, if rock is wine, it is largely Cisco, or Mad Dog, and cheap convenience store wine goes with urine like peanut butter goes with jelly. I guess the Pistols, too, have principles, but not principles so great that they won't reunite to play shows for cash every ten years or so. The best part is that the statement was read by Jann Wenner, who, I guess, had to find a way to get his ass up on stage somehow. Remember Jann, "Three stars means never having to say you're sorry."

Apparently the Stone no longer rolls, nor does it rock.

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