The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has got to be a government operation. Only a federal effort could be this incompetent.
Here’s the list of 2008 nominees — and remember, they have the cojones to call this the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Madonna, the Beastie Boys, the Dave Clark Five, Leonard Cohen, Afrika Bambaataa, John Mellencamp, the Ventures, Donna Summer and Chic.
Madonna? Ma-freakin’-donna? Probably the most deserving on that list would be the Ventures followed by Mellencamp and the Dave Clark Five. Afrika Bambaataa is hip-hop, Donna Summer is disco, Cohen was folk/cabaret/synth-pop, Beastie Boys are white rap with a guitarist who could probably play a lot better if he’d take the mittens off, Madonna was and is bubble gum pop and skank techno, and Chic was disco/funk.
When the Hall opened in 1986, the inductees were: Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, Fats Domino, James Brown, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke and The Everly Brothers. Yes! That was how it was supposed to go. It’s been kind of downhill since, and it’s not because they’ve run out of rock and rollers, but rather because the Hall has started to resemble a Catholic school that is adjusting its curriculum in order to woo non-Catholics — and their dollars. In the process, the deserving are overlooked.
Who’s isn’t in the Rock & Roll Hall? Mostly people and bands with the audacity to play rock and roll. There’s Stevie Ray Vaughn, Deep Purple, Rush, Heart, Alice Cooper, Jeff Beck, Dire Straits, Genesis, KISS, The Cars, Moody Blues, Yes, Rush (the band, not the talk show host, though both still rock more than Madonna and Leonard Cohen), Steve Miller, Jethro Tull, The Hollies… the list goes on.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is doing what many other entities have done: They’re becoming more “diverse.” They’ll probably end up changing the name to the “Global Music Hall of Fame” in the coming years.
The entire point of rock and roll was rebellion. “Diversify? F*#k you! If you don’t like it, go home and turn on Lawrence f*$#%*g Welk!” Not any more. They used to say “if it’s too loud you’re too old,” but that has become “if it’s too loud it doesn’t belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.”
The Hall has become everything rock and roll was invented to bash, and now it’s a paradox operated by up-with-people bureaucrats who probably moonlight at the U.N. and hold a lighter in the air when Barry Manilow sings Mandy.