Rock and Roll Hall of Fame…my ass

The time has come. I really hate to use this blog to rant, but I can’t resist it anymore.

The latest list of inductees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was announced last week. Again, it showed what a piece of worthless crap the RARHOF really is.

Let’s start with the facts. I’ve never been to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum. Most likely, I never will. I would be far too critical. Would I love to see handwritten lyrics from Jimi Hendrix? Already have, at the Experience Music Museum in Seattle. Would I love to see “one of the most comprehensive Beatles Exhibits in the world”? I’ve been to Liverpool and London, stood in the lobby of the old Apple headquarters and walked across Abbey Road. You don’t get much more comprehensive than that. Would I like to see Del Shannon’s guitar? Well, ok…that would be pretty cool.

Let’s take a look at the 2012 inductees and, first of all, let’s see what they did right:

Donovan: Well, Donald “Donovan” Leitch isn’t exactly what I would call a rock and roller, but he did make some pretty good music. I always considered him England’s answer to Dylan. They needed someone who wrote deep, meaningful lyrics, played an acoustic and harmonica, and came along just in time for the “flower power” movement. They paired him with England’s answer to Phil Spector, Mickey Most, and the hits started coming, many of them featuring Jimmy Page on guitar. “Season of the Witch” should be enough to make him a legitimate inductee.

Laura Nyro: Laura is probably my favorite inductee this year. I LOVE the late Laura Nyro, who wrote some of the best tunes of the 60’s and 70’s for everyone from the Fifth Dimension to Barbra Streisand to Three Dog Night. “Stoned Soul Picnic”, “Eli’s Coming”, “And When I Die” and more. She played the Monterey Pop Festival at the age of 19 for cripes’ sake. If you want a good taste of her as a performer, check out “Eli and the Thirteenth Confession” or the classic “Gonna Take a Miracle”, an album of covers she recorded with LaBelle, produced by Gamble and Huff. Yeah, she’s RARHOF worthy.

The Small Faces/Faces: If you automatically think Rod Stewart when you think Faces, think back a few years. The original Small Faces featured Ronnie Lane, Kenny Jones, Ian McLagan, and a fantastic frontman/guitar player named Steve Marriott. “ItchycooPark” was just the tip of the iceberg. “Tin Soldier” is one of my all-time favorite tunes, along with “Afterglow” and “Lazy Sunday”. They were one of the best of the British Invasion bands. After Marriott left, Rod and Ronnie Wood entered the picture, and they still did some pretty great stuff, but were probably known more for their alcohol consumption.

Freddie King: I don’t know much about Freddie King, outside of what is considered his best-known song, “Hideaway”, and his mention in the Grand Funk classic, “We’re An American Band”. Don Brewer, who wrote “American Band” and included the line “Up all night with Freddie King…I got to tell ya, poker’s his thing” once told me the story behind the line. He said that they were on tour with King, who was an incredible poker player. According to Brewer, he would pay the members of his band in cash, then get them into a poker game after the show…and win all of his money back.

Don Kirshner: What can you say? He was the “man with the golden ear”, meaning he could hear a song and immediately predict if it would be a hit. 99 percent of the time, he was right.

Tom Dowd: Altantic producer extrordinaire.

They should have stopped right there, but nooooooooo. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame had to prove that they’re still suffering from an extreme case of head-up-their-asses-ness.

Guns n Roses: I know there are some GNR fans out there, but I’m not one of them. Never have been. Never liked “Sweet Child of Mine”. Never liked anything. Axl Rose? A wanker. Slash? Talentless. Izzy Stradlin? Really? The only thing that I think of when I think of this cast of idiots is a stand-up routine that Dennis Miller did several years ago. He merely said, “Izzy Stradlin got kicked out of Guns N Roses…what the FUCK do you have to do to get kicked out of Guns N Roses???” I know I may get some flack from people on this…all I can say is start your own blog and prove that I’m wrong.

Red Hot Chili Peppers: Never saw the attraction. Didn’t they used to go onstage occasionally in their underwear? What’s the point in that? The RARHOF website describes this band as “one of the most flamboyant, commercially successful and musically influential bands of rock’s last quarter century.” WTF? Who writes this crap? Who have they influenced? And if they’re so freakin’ commercially successful, where are they now? Why don’t you hear any of their music on the radio? Why why why?

The Beastie Boys: They suck, and they’re about as far from rock and roll as farting in the bathtub. In fact, I would probably rather hear the afore-mentioned flatulence.

In conclusion, look at it this way…should artists like the Beastie Boys and Guns N Roses stand next to Elvis, The Beatles and Little Richard?

Coming soon, who do I think should be in the hall of fame?  And who do YOU think should be in the hall of fame?

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About groovyrick

I live in a small town in Illinois with my wife and three kids. I am a part-time musician, part-time writer, and full-time dreamer.
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8 Responses to Rock and Roll Hall of Fame…my ass

  1. Jessie says:

    I’m starting my own blog!

  2. cristy says:

    RARHOF sucks!

    I don’t begrudge GNR’s, Red Hot Chili Peppers’ or the Beastie Boys’ success. I’m not a huge fan of any of those groups, but they have their place in popular music history. That said, I don’t think they belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Neither does Madonna, who I believe was inducted last year or the year before.

    There are so many overlooked bands/artists: King Crimson, Yes, Roxy Music (Brian Eno was nominated but won’t be inducted this year); hardcore punk pioneers Black Flag, the Minutemen, Bad Brains; Television; and even those super-weird but influential artists like Captain Beefheart, the Residents and the Fugs. (And I’m sure there are countless other artists, session musicians and producers.)

    I understand that time marches on, and over time the inductees won’t always come from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. But it’s obvious that the douchebags in charge of the RARHOF aren’t true rock fans. They’re just bloated, cigar-chomping businessmen.

  3. Glad to see that Donovan got in; always really liked that dumb song “Hail Atlantis” or whatever it was called where he yapped forever about some hippy-dippy crap about how great Atlantis was, then we got to sing along to the chorus: “Way down below the ocean, where I wanna be, she may be.” Simple, but fun. I have always wondered where people like Axl Rose get the money to support their lifestyles, when they hadn’t had a hit for many years. I read a few years ago that Sting makes something like 2 grand a day for songwriting royalties for “Every Breath You Take” alone, which I could live on, if I could only write a commercially successful stalker song, so…is that it, does Axl keep himself in shampoo by having helped to write some of their songs? I didn’t mind Sweet Child, but no, not really HOF material. And the Peppers wore only socks on their privates, if I remember hearing correctly. If you’re great, all you should have to do is stand up there and sing and play. Beastie Boys are rap, aren’t they? Rap is not music; you can call it “urban poetry” if you want to give it a description other than “crap”, but it’s not music.
    Glad you’re posting again.

  4. Artamus says:

    Laura Nyro certainly influenced many great Artists, and we all know of the hit cover versions of her songs, but the truth is, her own recordings are amazing, THEY should have been the versions that got played on the radio. No one ever put 1/100th the Heart and Soul into her songs that she did herself. And her album cuts that never got covered are just as good – check out “Beads of Sweat”, in which she rocks the piano alongside guest Guitarist Duane Allman – that song alone qualifies her for the RARHOF induction i.m.h.o. I’m very glad for her, maybe now the public will begin to understand what a fantastic Artist she was, is, and will always be.

  5. John Evans says:

    LOVE Laura Nyro! I heard “Gonna Take A Miracle” around ’72 and was drawn right in. Then I found out about the songs she wrote.

    Freddie King is to me the ultimate connection between the other two members of the King Family (Albert and B. B.). B.B’s a better singer, and Albert’s a MEAN guitar player, but Freddie (or “Freddy”, he spelled it different ways at different times in his career) is the meanest guitarist ever. And he had such a sweet singing voice too. And, as far as the RnRHOF goes, he was a tremendous influence on many guitarists. Eric Clapton once said the Freddie taught him “… how to make love to the guitar.”

    But the deal with the RnRHOF is lame on all counts. It’s pretty much what Jann Wenner defines as “rock ‘n’ roll”, and he’s the primary reason Rollng Stone ceased being related to real music so many decades ago. Now if Ralph Gleason’s spirit guided the HOF…

    But what do you expect from a “Rock ‘n’ Roll” organization that won’t put in Link Wray or The Ventures, but does put in Axl Rose’s pathetic whining?

    John

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