Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The 2011 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Nominees

It’s an annual pastime-when the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame nominees are announced and then we all bitch about them and whine how our favorites aren’t included.

When will people understand that the RARHOF is merely a short list popularity contest that’s narrowed down further by a handful of rich dudes who ultimately answer to one Jann Wenner.

But Jann can be and has been overruled. How can you explain the Dave Clark Five’s admission into the hall. So maybe the Kiss and Rush fans can take a look at DC5’s lobbying committee to find out a plan for their success.

Make it quick because I’m tired of hearing you guys whine.

And it’s not that I’m down with their admission.

They both deserve to be in the Hall of Fame for sure.

It’s just that as long as you understand that the RARHOF is not a democracy and is not based on either commercial or critical merit, you will be disappointed on a yearly basis that these chuckleheads are completely out of touch with reality or logic.

It’s merely a good old boys club in the truest sense of the word.

So I’m changing it to merely add an opinion to the nominations and hope that someday the RARHOF will get their head out of their ass.

Joan Jett
“Cherry Bomb” is the number one song on my playlist according to, but you won’t find me lobbying for them to be included instead of solo Joan Jett. They weren’t very good and “Cherry Bomb” finds itself as the most played song only because my daughter would request it incessantly. Joan’s album output is choppy, but you cannot comprehend how popular “I Love Rock & Roll” was unless you were there in the summer of 1980 hearing it played every hour on nearly every other radio station. It was a song so epic that Jett gets a pass on getting into the Hall on her first attempt.

Rufus with Chaka Khan
Here’s where the guidelines at the Hall need to be addressed. Do we allow other genres other than rock gain entrance or do we allow some artists that may have influenced rock instead of actually being a part of the genre itself. Think deeply, because that may mean that Prince or Sly Stone wouldn’t get inclusion even though there awesome. And so is Rufus with Chaka Khan, but are they rock?.

Laura Nyro
When you have supporters like David Geffen and Clive Davis, you’re a shoo-in to the RARHOF.

Donna Summer
Love Donna Summer, but she isn’t rock and roll-even if you’re trying to make the case with Bad Girls.

They deserve to be first year nominees, but probably won’t get in on their first try simply because Wenner and company viewed them as Zeppelin followers (which they were and were quite good at it) with a pair of ladies for marketing appeal. Whatever. Little Queen is a classic and even that first record is considered a classic by some. If you overlook the band’s lame MTV period, those first few albums should seal their entrance. In a perfect world, at least.

Guns ‘N Roses
Holy shit, are they up?! Man I feel old! Aside from it being way too early, GnR will get first nomination acceptance into the Hall on the sheer fact that Appetite is one of those albums that changed the landscape of music. By prolonging the inevitable, there might have been a better chance of the original line-up getting on stage again.

Red Hot Chili Peppers
I followed the Chili Peppers up until Blood Sugar Sex Magic. I couldn’t tell you if any of their other stuff afterwards is any good. Up to that album, the Chili Peppers were a pretty good band-Uplift Mofo Party Plan was the shit in college-but I wouldn’t go so far as to say they were a great band. That would have been Fishbone. Let’s put them in first before we start talking about RHCP.

The Cure
Got to be in. Do you know how important this band is to the legion of eyeliners? Plus their early shit and mid-to-late 80’s shit is awesome. Sure, in a perfect world it’d go Roxy Music, Joy Division, Siouxsie and the Banshees, then the Cure, but my generation will take any scraps that Jann Wenner throws to us.

Eric B. & RakimI
know nothing beyond Paid In Full. Does Rap music belong in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame? For some reason, I have no problem with Run-DMC and Public Enemy being in there. De La Soul too.

Beastie Boys
Wow. Do the Beasties get a pass? Is it racist to think Beasties “Yes” and Eric B. & Rakim “No?” I’m inclined to say let them in based on the fact that a lot of rock ‘n roll knuckle draggers played Licensed To Ill out the wazoo. I hated them for that album. Then I fell in love with them for Paul’s Boutique. And Paul’s Boutique is so good that it almost makes the argument for automatic inclusion. True story: I got confirmed last week and in our little speeches in front of the Bishop, a lady about my age began her speech with “As the Three Wisemen…the Beastie Boys…once said” and then quoted a lyric from them. Kinda cool.

The Spinners
The Spinners were the first concert I ever went to. The brought out big rubber bands for “Rubberband Man” and had a huge Leslie rotating speaker that tripped out my 10-year-old mind. It was at Six Flags and I’m sure my parents used the event as a rest period. I would have preferred going on the Screamin’ Eagle again and I’m not sold that The Spinners belong in the RARHOF.

Small Faces/Faces
Sure. Might as well put Humble Pie up there too. Seriously.

I don’t know what to say about War. Why Can’t We Be Friends is a perfectly fine album and I have no complaints about their work with Eric Burdon. I would be happier with The Animals’ inclusion instead of War. Just sayin’…

I’m not good at this one thanks to a strong dislike of Donovan. Recommend some records to examine if you think I’m missing the boat. Otherwise, I’ll continue to view Donovan as a Dylan wanna-be who grew into a more psychedelic artist, responsible for the atrocious “Atlantis.” To be fair, I do enjoy a few songs, but I wouldn’t consider them HOF material.

Freddy King
Again, no issue with Freddy King-but I wish they had specific criteria that explains how roots stars are eligible. Even then, you have to ask “Is Freddy King on the same level of Robert Johnson, Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, etc-those blues acts that were automatically included based on their role in the development of the rock genre. I don’t think Freddy-or any of the “Three Kings” qualifies for this, even though they may have been influential to some rock artists.


Your Humble Proprietor said...

Trying to think which Beasties song would be appropriate for a confirmation speech. I'm assuming it's from one of MCA's later Buddhist ditties, though all I'm hearing in my head is lines from "Cookie Puss".

Todd Totale said...

Yeah, I couldn't place it-but you're right, it was a spiritual ditty. Me? I ended up using a bit from Chris Rock but felt stupid about it after the Beasties bit. Shoulda used a Mark E. Smith quote.

Jake said...

Re: Donovan recommendations. His albums are spotty, but Sunshine Superman is pretty great.

Hail Atlantis!

Todd Totale said...

I've used that phrase-"Hail Atlantis!"-in many a cynical reference to Donovan. I'm glad I'm not the only one who finds that fey declaration both irritating and amusing.
There was a local band around here in the late 80's-they did one record on Jefferson Holt's (R.E.M.) label-that used to do "Atlantis" in their early shows, just to fill out the set to 90 minutes. Every time they'd play it, I'd tell them afterwards "You gotta take that song out of your set list." "Why?" they'd ask. "Because it sucks."

Kiko Jones said...

I'm just gonna give you a brief answer regarding my views on induction of each your picks:

Joan Jett - Maybe.
Rufus with Chaka Khan - Don't think so.
Laura Nyro - No.
Donna Summer - No.
Heart - Maybe.
Guns ‘N Roses - Yes. (If the Sex Pistols got in on one ground-breaking album, then...)
Red Hot Chili Peppers - Maybe.
The Cure - Yes.
Eric B. & Rakim - Don't know.
(And yes, R&B, soul, funk, hip-hop belong on the HoF. De La Soul, sadly, does not.)
Beastie Boys - Yes.
The Spinners - Don't think so.
Small Faces/Faces - Maybe.
War - Sadly, no.
Donovan - No.
Freddy King - Yes. (And the other two Kings, as well.)