The Last Words I'll Ever Write About the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Music scribes have been scribbling about the terribleness of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame since its inception. Each year when the winners are announced, they are criticized, and folks ponder why we need an institution specifically designed to honor rock and roll in the first place. After all, rock -- not to mention hip-hop, which they've taken to sporadically honoring -- is supposed to be outsider art, right?
But despite these protests, the R&R HoF has wormed its way into the national discussion over the years, and now here I am announcing this year's winners: Nirvana, Cat Stevens, Peter Gabriel, Hall & Oates, Linda Ronstadt and KISS. Only, fuck these winners. And fuck the Hall. This is the last post I'm ever writing about it.
Don't get me wrong, I love a good Yusuf Islam ditty, and Nirvana did, you know, have a pretty good MTV unplugged performance. But the folks left out this year -- including Deep Purple, LL Cool J, the Meters, N.W.A., the Replacements, and Kraftwerk -- would have made for a better class.
Last year I complained when Public Enemy got inducted and N.W.A. didn't. Some east coast bias shit. Fact is, they both should be in, especially our hometown heroes, without whom the most vital form of American protest music of the last 25 years -- gangsta rap -- would not exist, at least not as we know it.
But what about the Kraftwerk, without whom hip-hop itself (and EDM) would be unrecognizable? Again this year, they're not in.
And don't forget about the Replacements, arguably the most important underground band in rock history, without whom, um, Nirvana would not have been who they were. (Ever heard of the Replacements song "Never Mind"?)
Oh, and The Smiths still aren't in.
L.L. Cool J may be an awards show goofball now, but he's an important early figure in hip-hop, and expanded its audience tremendously. Not including him is kinda like not including Chuck Berry.
The craptastic halls of shame also don't include MC5, Willie Nelson, New Order/Joy Division, The Cure, Gram Parsons, Judas Priest, Big Star, the Pixies, Afrika Bambaataa, Depeche Mode and a billion others. (Here's a good list, though it doesn't reflect the new inductees.)
But, you know what, it no longer bothers me. Because I'm done with this shit. And other music writers should be too. The folks doing the nominating are clearly 57 year old backwards-ballcap asshats who haven't done their homework. The only reason they're allowed to do what they do is because we publicize them. They're like that attention-starved kid on the playground who keeps pulling down his pants. The minute we cease paying attention to him is the minute he stops.
So adios limp dick Clevelanders. It's been
nice puketastic knowing ya.
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