Friday, October 3, 2008

Please Take A Moment To Vote In the Current RRHOF Poll... Thank You

For this week's Thursday Thirteen, please either scroll down or click here.

On Monday Sept. 22nd, the nominees for possible induction into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame were announced. The inductees will be announced in January 2009, with the ceremony scheduled to take place on April 4th, 2009.

Over the years, I have had a love/hate relationship with the RRHOF. I understand that's it's next to impossible to have everyone agree with who should be/shouldn't be in the RRHOF. However, there are some things that piss me off about the nomination process:

1. The passing over of well-deserving older artists in favor of fairly recent "name" acts. Although artists such as Queen and Talking Heads are worthy of being inducted, there's no way they should have gotten in before acts like The Dells or The Dave Clark Five.

2. With the exception of Pink Floyd, the bias the nominating committee shows towards progressive rock. Although I am not a big fan of the genre, I think that at the very least acts such as Yes and The Moody Blues are worthy of consideration.

3. Accomplished R&B acts from the 60s and 70s who haven't even been nominated. Labelle/Patti Labelle, The Spinners, The Chi-Lites, and The Stylistics are just a few of the artists who haven't even made the ballot. Again, we can debate whether or not these acts belong in the RRHOF. However, I think they should at least get on the ballot.

Last year I wrote a post about the RRHOF that included a 2001 letter by a former RRHOF board member that was sent to Fox News. You can click here to read the post.

Because of the evolution of the music, one of the debates about the RRHOF that has gained steam over the last few years is which artists are considered rock and roll. Here are a few of the definitions of "rock and roll" that I found:

The American Heritage College Dictionary: A form of popular music arising from and incorporating a variety of musical styles, esp. rhythm and blues, country music, and gospel. A genre of popular music originating in the 1950s; a blend of black rhythm-and-blues with white country-and-western; "rock is a generic term for the range of styles that evolved out of rock'n'roll."

Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary: Popular music usually played on electronically amplified instruments and characterized by a persistent heavily accented beat, repetition of simple phrases, and often country, folk, and blues elements.

Because I belong to the school of thought that rock and roll is an umbrella term encompassing a variety of musical styles, I don't have a problem with artists such as Bob Marley, The Bee Gees, Isaac Hayes, and Madonna being enshrined in the RRHOF. However, I sometimes wish The Hall would change its name to something like "The Popular Music Hall of Fame" so that people could shut the hell up about "what is and isn't rock and roll" and concentrate on whether or not a recording act's artistic merits and influence make them worthy of induction.

Below in alphabetical order are the 2009 nominees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Of these nine artists, only five will be inducted. Following each artist are my thoughts on who should/will get inducted. For the 4 that I feel shouldn't be inducted in 2009, it's not that I don't think they are worthy. I just feel that the other 5 should go in ahead of them. If you are curious as to why I feel that an artist will or won't be among the five to be inducted, feel free to ask me about them in the comments section.

Jeff Beck- Should and will get in.

Chic- Shouldn't and won't get in.

Wanda Jackson- Shouldn't, but will get in.

Little Anthony & the Imperials- Shouldn't and won't get in

Metallica- Should and will get in

Run-DMC- Should and will get in

The Stooges- Shouldn't and won't get in

War- Should and will get in

Bobby Womack- Should, but won't get in.

Let the debates begin...


pjazzypar said...

Malcolm, You know I am a huge fan of War, but how do you figure they will get in before Bobby Womack? I will bet Bobby gets in by virtue of his being a Cleveland native. I actually thought Run DMC should have been the first rap act admitted if you are going to call this genre "Rock & Roll". We have this debate every year about who should and should not be a nominee, should and should not get in and who is actually deserving of admittance in the "Hall".

In a true RRHOF. Little Anthony & The Imperials are deserving. I was there in the early 60's and they were really big among the teenaged girls. Clarence has three older sisters who were teenagers during that time and he always jokes about how his father would refer to Little Anthony and the boys as slick head punks".

I agree with you about people shutting up about what is and what isn't Rock and Roll, the genre has evolved to be inclusive of so much music. Even among the very first inductees, there was a big difference in style. I mean can you really make a comparison between James Brown and the Everly Brothers? No, but they both fall under the umbrella of Rock and Roll. Anyhow I know I can get ready for yet another year of foolishness from the committee....Fasten your seatbelt it is going to be a bumpy ride!

Malcolm said...

Pjazzy: The reason I think that War will make it in before Bobby Womack is the mainstream appeal factor. Because War songs like "Low Rider", "Why Can't We Be Friends", and "Cisco Kid" receive more airplay across the board than Womack tunes such as "Harry Hippie, "Looking For A Love", and "If You Think You're Lonely Now", I believe that will resonate with the RRHOF voters. You may have a point about the Cleveland factor giving Bobby the edge. We'll see how things play out.

There is still a large group of people who feel that rock and roll consists solely of artists like Kiss, AC/DC, and Alice Cooper. I know I'm preaching to the choir, but I figure I'm already on the pulpit so why not. If it was called the Hard Rock Hall of Fame, those people would have a beef. Since it's not, they'll have to deal.

I can hardly wait until the 5 inductees are announced.

pjazzypar said...

The original Rock and Rollers were Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Ray Charles, and you know the rest. KISS, AC/DC, and Alice Cooper are not Rock and Roll, thet are Rock artists and there is a big difference. I ain't mad though, they are all welcome in the RRHOF as far as I am concerned. Just don't try to claim that the Hall should be so rigid and not respect all genres that fall under the broad category that is considered Rock and Roll.

Bud Weiser, WTIT said...

I voted for Jeff Beck. Great post. You make valid and interesting poits!

Candy Minx said...

These are tough ones. I like it that you have this discussion all the time with friends and family...I haven't and now I'm thinking...why haven't I heh heh...that's why I need your blog in my life! I thought The Imperials should get in...I have to reconsider now.

I guess the museum tends to mix up time frames and eras in an order that will keep tourists coming rather than just in a "historical" order. In some ways I think they should have had a base grounwork of artists in the museum...then slowly add to it. I can see Metalica bringing in a lot of visitors though.

Stagg and I had discussed how long it would take for the museum to get anywhere near "caught up" with acts that should be included when we were there this summer.

In some's kind of an interesting perspective to analize the birth of a museum...and watch how it develops. For instance I suspect there are growing pains with many museums and galleries but since they were created a 100 years ago...the history of their development isn't something we think about or's too specialized a topic.

I have a couple friends who work in the administration of huge gallery...and when they travel paart of their job is to study exhibits and how museums design catalogues and brochures and display artifacts or memoribilia.

It's like it a whole subculture of pop culture. I wonder what the birthing years of the Met looked like? I mean...people have even changed their ideas about what art is...and the perspective on culture and societies around the world has changed and broadened since it's first years.

Here is from Wikip[edia:

"The museum first opened on February 20, 1872, housed in a building located at 681 Fifth Avenue in New York City. John Taylor Johnston, a railroad executive whose personal art collection seeded the museum, served as its first President, and the publisher George Palmer Putnam came on board as its founding Superintendent. The artist Eastman Johnson acted as Co-Founder of the museum. Under their guidance, the Met's holdings, initially consisting of a Roman stone sarcophagus and 174 mostly European paintings, quickly outgrew the available space. In 1873, occasioned by the Met's purchase of the Cesnola Collection of Cypriot antiquities,"

To me the idea that their value on art was "european" seems so gross and took a long time for "world art" to become part of the popular imagination or for donations to come into the collection.

Maybe the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame needs more space...I can imagine a huge donation or money and if they added more space the curators could up the bands included. The thing there is a kind of ceremonial attainment associated with the inductions. If they had more space they could have the inductions twice a year for five years and maybe get "caught up"?

The Rock Chick said...

Music is so subjective. I really like Jeff Beck, but I can't stand Metallica. I'm probably the only one on the planet who doesn't like them, but I just don't. Not really a Pink Floyd fan, either. Don't dislike their stuff, just not my thing, I guess.

I think this is totally so subjective that it really is an honor just to be nominated.

JohnH985 said...

I'm curious why you think the Stooges shouldn't get in. I'm really not that big a fan of them, but from a historical viewpoint I would imagine they would be inducted. Lots of people point to the Stooges as the beginning of punk rock.

David Amulet said...

Progressive/art rock has indeed been all but ignored. No Genesis, no yes, not even King Crimson, which really started it all (on the true prog side). Sigh.

The Mistress of the Dark said...

Metallica getting in would be further proof that the rock hall of fame is a bigger joke than the industry its part of.

When Duran Duran get inducted I will throw in the white flag.

Pop Art Diva! said...

I agree with you wholeheartedly on this. That's why I don't even pay attention to the announcements anymore. Did they ever get the Monkees in? I always wondered about that.

Malcolm said...

Bud Weiser: Thanks! When I first saw that Jeff Beck was one of the nominees, I was surprised that he wasn't in the RRHOF already. I then realized that he is an inductee (as a member of The Yardbirds).

Candy: I used to be of the mindset that the early performers should get in before the later ones. I now feel that if a later artist has had a huge impact on the music, when they debuted shouldn't be held against them.

I hope the RRHOF Museum expands someday. You'd think that they would have to at some point.

The Rock Chick: Being that you are "The Rock Chick", I just assumed that you liked Metallica. :-)

Johnh985: Please keep in mind that I feel all the nominees this year are worthy of induction. Since only 5 are being inducted, The Stooges were one of the acts who I put in the "shouldn't get in" category for this year. Their influence on punk is undeniable. However, I feel the five I selected have had more of an impact on music as a whole.

David: It really is unfair. I'd love to hear the reasons (aka excuses) the RRHOF nominating committee will give as to why more prog rock acts aren't considered.

Mistress of the D: I'm confused. Do you think Duran Duran should or shouldn't be inducted? I ask because I've heard you say in the past that you are a fan.

Pop Art Diva: Nope... The Monkees are not in the RRHOF. According to Peter Tork, Jann Wenner is singlehandedly keeping The Monkees out of the RRHOF. There will always be people who will slam The Monkees because of the prominent use of studio musicians on some of their albums. However, these same people overlook the fact that RRHOF inductees such as The Byrds and The Beach Boys used studio musicians as well.

Whether or not The Monkees belong in the RRHOF is up for debate, but I don't see the harm in the voters at least considering them.

X. Dell said...

I actually think Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is appropriate, although I think the whole idea of voting for artist enshrinement is kinda silly.

Otherwise, I think if there is a rock and roll hall of fame, and you really wanted to use it to say who's important to know in the history of rock, then every single person listed has to be included. I simply voted for all of them.

Malcolm said...

X. Dell: I can see why you voted for all of them. Like I said, every nominee this year is worthy of induction.

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