Wednesday, December 16, 2009

More Idiocy From The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Photo courtesy Rolling Stone

Jann Wenner and the crew at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame have done it again. A year after Madonna (really?) got into the HOF, they have announced their new class. Take a squizz (British slang there) at the inductees:

- Genesis
- Jimmy Cliff
- The Hollies
- The Stooges
- Also being inducted this year as individual recipients of the Ahmet Ertegun Award will be David Geffen and songwriters Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil, Elle Greenwich, Jeff Barry, Jesse Stone, Mort Shuman and Otis Blackwell.

OK, then. Read those names again. From the famous bit "Which Doesn't Belong and Why", done by Bernard McGuirk on the Imus in the Morning program, you can probably spot a large discrepancy.




Now don't get me wrong, if there's a hall of fame for Swedish Pop Bands - or for POP Bands in general - then they are a no-brainer. "Waterloo." "Take A Chance on Me. "Fernando." Priceless Top-40 tunes! But once again, I'm astounded by the cluelessness (I'm creating a word here) of these people.

Now those who are uninformed could quarrel over Genesis. I won't. Sure, a lot of their output following Abacab was pop-driven, but I own it and can't tell you it's awful. Some of it stands up pretty well, and lord knows we were down with the Invisible Touch album (cassette, I suppose) in '86. Yet the Phil Collins-led years pale in comparison to the utter (and sometimes bizarre) brilliance of the era when Peter Gabriel fronted the band. Try "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway", "The Carpet Crawlers", and "I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)." They are just a few more familiar "hits" that the band put out.

The Hollies were a band with a fine legacy as well. Yes, I suppose we could argue that they were a pop band, but you stand a better chance of hearing "Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress" on a classic rock station, then you ever will "Dancing Queen."

I suppose we continue to discover that the Hall of Fame is a simple monument to Jann Wenner's ego, and he will let the acts in that he damn well pleases. Doesn't mean the likes of me have to like it, or agree. But I think the time is coming to change the name to the "Pop and Rock Hall of Fame." Or name it for Mr. Wenner and be done with it.

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