The Final Word On The Matter
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a big sloppy suckjob party of assholes slobbering each other’s cocks while patting each other on the back. Eric Clapton is a real big deal at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; he’s been inducted three or four times and that should tell you everything you need to know.
Important Rock Writers bitch every year about who’s getting in this, and gender equality in the Hall that, or rockism vs. popism; the Hall is just some rich white baby boomer asshole’s record collection with a snack bar and a gift shop and an annual party, so you get what was on the package.
At least they built it in Cleveland so no one would ever have to see it.
The nominees in no particular order:
Nine Inch Nails which is just Trent Reznor, really. A lot of bands are only one guy, but they’re not as upfront about it as Trent. He Henry Rollins-ed in the past few years and is now thickly muscled and that look does not work in my rock and roll. If you have a giant bodybuilder neck, I do not wish for you to rock me. I get distracted and start wondering if there’s a machine in the gym just for the neck, and then what kind of person thinks their neck is too puny and uses the machine and by this time, I am unrockable.
Nine Inch Nails made some good, aggressive music; the logo was also very good. He can be in the Hall of Fame.
Chic is another band that’s just one guy, except the one guy was actually two guys, Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards. They did Le Freak and Good Times. (Not the theme song; theirs goes “These…are…the..good TIMES!” over and over. The theme song to the sitcom is a far better and catchier tune.)
Chic brings up a problem that will arise a number of times more in this list: what if the act wasn’t technically a rock and roll act? Chic played dance music, not rock and roll. Is Frankie Knuckles in the Hall? Kraftwerk? No?
Then Chic can’t be.
N.W.A. is also not rock and roll, unless you want to have that argument about the spirit of rock or some twiddle and fiddle: I won’t have it. You can say that rap evolved from rock, which is true, but humans evolved from single-celled bacteria and it is against the law to make love to algae. Things turn into different thing, and then the things are not the things they were.
On the other hand, I like it when people yell “Fuck the police” at the top of their lungs in crowded areas, so N.W.A. can go in. Also, the group inspired a classic comedy called Fear of a Black Hat, which is to rap what Spinal Tap was to rock.
On the other other hand, they only put out one good record. N.W.A. were the black New York Dolls: discuss.
The Smiths are the opposite of N.W.A. in almost every way. Just about every cultural signifier each employed was the diametric opposite of the other. Eazy-E did not tell you about his feelings, unless his feeling was “I want to put my dick in your mouth.” Then, he would let you know his feelings. Both also wore black on the outside to show how they felt on the inside.
Putting aside Morrissey and his tweedy longings, The Smiths didn’t have any good songs. How Soon Is Now has that great bit (BWOW-wowwww) but Johnny Marr just repeats it a million times for seven minutes. Plus, Johnny Marr played a Rickenbacker and TotD has a Standing Pass on all offers of being rocked by a dude with a Rickenbacker.
Also, their name is imperialist: no Hall for The Smiths
Deep Purple went Space Truckin’ to hump their Woman From Tokyo and are you kidding me with Deep Purple, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? It is 2015 and there is water on Mars and the internet: we are in the very beginning part of the future. Let’s not bring Deep Purple with us.
Deep Purple didn’t even give a shit about Deep Purple: they let David Coverdale in the band twice. How can I be expected to care if they won’t? Nope, Purple.
Janet Jackson is going to get in and here’s where people will try to have a rockism vs. popism debate and OMIGOD shut the fuck up: the woman has an album coming out and Clive Davis is still alive, so she will be in the Hall this year.
Steve Miller should be in the Hall for two reasons: 1, anyone who annoyed Miles Davis so badly that Miles felt the need to mention it in his book two decades later is okay by me; and 2, in the 1980’s, if you dug a hole and planted a copy of Steve Miller’s Greatest Hits, a roller skating rink would grow overnight.
The fucker was everywhere and deservedly so: he wrote and recorded a dozen or so undeniably great rock songs. Steve Miller also had the prescience (or maybe there was just no more money) to not re-record Living in the USA with someone who actually knew how to play the drums.
Chicago was a killer horn band with a great guitarist who shot himself. Then, their bassist dueted with Cher for a while. Fuck off, Chicago: both the Average White Band and the Tower of Power did your shtick better.
Chaka Khan, let me rock you, let me rock you Chaka Khan. It is literally all I want to do, Chaka Khan. Why?
Because I feel for you. Not enough to let you into the Hall of Fame, though. The people at Chaka Khan’s regular bar and/or church should hold Chaka Khan in esteem, but Hall of Fame? Pshaw. Such and august and respected institution? The woman had dancing of the “Break” variety in her video!
That’s it: tear down the community center.
The Spinners sang this:
So they can be in the Hall of Fame.
Cheap Trick should be in the Hall, but they should also be much more famous and Robin Zander should get the recognition of, say, Steven Tyler or Paul Stanley. But they’re not, and he doesn’t. I think the industry likes them, so maybe they’ll get in; they’re the only ones I have any connection to.
The Trick’s (I call them that) first four records (plus the live Budokan album) are some fine rock and roll. They are solid albums with a huge bottom end and great guitars and lyrics that almost kinda make sense. (Except for Dream Police: it sounds noticeably shittier than the first three studio albums, which were recorded by Ted Templeman, the same guy who got Van Halen their sound, which if you go back and listen was the exact same sound as Cheap Trick.
They had a bunch of hit songs, and a long fallow period in the 80’s, then a comeback in the 90’s: they should be regarded like Aerosmith now, but they’ve been a little forgotten. Poor Cheap Trick: I still want you.
The Cars have my vote because one day in college, I was walking towards the Public Gardens on Commonwealth. It was the first day of the year you needed a coat, but Ric Ocasek seemed happy in his leopard-print robe, slippers. He was drinking coffee and there was no one else on the street.
I nodded at him and he raised his coffee cup an inch (“Yes, yes: we both know who I am and let’s not make a thing about it.”) and therefore The Cars should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The J.B.’s were the answer to the old show biz riddle, “What happens when you ask James Brown for a raise?”
The Godfather’s backup band had, in 1970, the temerity to ask for more money. James Brown went in the other room, hopped out the first-floor window, got on the bus with Bobby Byrd, and a new band waiting for him at the next gig: these would be The Pacemakers out of Cincinnati and the Brothers Collins, Bootsy and Catfish, were part of that band. They would join ringers like Jabo Starks and Maceo Parker and Fred Wesley.
All of them tire of James Brown’s bullshit very quickly and went across the street to P-Funk, where George Clinton was just as full of shit, but much more chills shit. It was bullshit you could put up with, whereas James issued fines for missing cues and sometimes beat the horn section with his sweat-drenched penny loafers for no reason at all.
But for the few years in the beginning of the 70’s, these guys–backing up James Brown–were in the race for Best EVAR whenever they played, especially in April ’71 when they destroyed Paris for a show thankfully recorded and filmed.
Los Lobos Get the fuck out of here with that Los Lobos crap.
Yes No. At least when the Dead played a song for 25 minutes, they had the excuse of not meaning to. They planned to play it for ten or twelve minutes and shit got squirrely and things ran long.
Yes, however, drove to the gig that night fully intending to play twenty-minute songs at people and for this they should not get into the Hall.
Counter: bassist Chris Squire (who does play the dreaded Rick) is a motherfucker, as is Bill Buford. Their album covers were–and still are–good to roll joints on. Their lead singer, while being a dreadful singer, is a hilariously un-self aware man; I always give points for delusional humans.
Also, original keyboardist Rick Wakeman once wrote a rock opera about King Arthur and staged it on ice. There were skaters lutzing here and axeling there, and they were in costume. But you can’t get horses on ice. (Willingly: big enough cattle prod and you can get anything anywhere.) So the skaters were in knight costumes, but they were all wearing horses. The thing where the cardboard horse goes around you, and it’s held up by suspenders? Those skaters had had childhood dreams of the Olympics and now they were doing salchows with fake horsies tied to them while a pothead played fourteen synthesizers at once.
In final analysis, it will be Regretful Pass for Yes; much like Chloe Sevigny, Vincent Gallo was the final straw.
For those of you whining about how this has not been about the Grateful Dead, I present this GIF of Bobby having a day of beauty at Big-Dicked Sheila’s.