Category Archives: Rock Hall Inductees

Rock and Roll Hall of FameClass of 2007

Well, they inducted them last night, so I guess I should choke up my annual commentary on the latest group of inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. This year offered slim pickings, and may be the most lackluster class I’ve commented on yet…

Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five – Not being into rap much at all, I could almost not comment here… except that this appears to be a good choice just because this is the group that later spawned Kid Creole and Melle Mel. I suppose if rap was to make inroads into the Rock Hall, this is the place to start.

R.E.M. – This is the toughest to comment on of this whole group. While I have some of their stuff in my collection, it consists of their greatest hits collections. For me, R.E.M. will always be a singles band. I always liked their hits, but never enough to commit to an album. And I was put off early on by a televised live performance that was almost as boring as the Moody Blues show I had seen a year or two before. They tried to grab for the Importance ring, but were beaten by U2. And they’re the most obscure band that could fill an arena short of Phish. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I can’t think of any good reasons to keep them out, but I can’t think of any really good reasons for including them, either.

The Ronettes – Probably the most deserving folks on this list, except that they have been permanently ruined for me by Monty Python: “‘The Ronettes Sing Medieval Agrarian History,’ please.”

Patti Smith – 1) What, the Rock Hall doesn’t have enough proto-goth poetry priestesses? 2) Okay, so the Angry Chicks have started to make inroads into the ‘Hall.

Van Halen – A couple of years ago, I said I didn’t think that the Sex Pistols should be inducted into the Rock Hall. When they turned up on the list of nominees for ’06, I found that I had changed my mind. When they refused the nomination, it was perfect, very much in character with the entire band. And the whole point of this digression is: if the Sex Pistols won’t be in the Rock Hall as representatives of a group built on hype, then it might as well be Van Halen.

Overall, the Class of ’07 is a big yawn. And while they do have some inductees that I think are worth the trouble (I’m traveling up there next week to see their exhibit about The Clash), they’re going to remain a joke in my book as long as they keep Brian Eno out.

(And at least they’ve laid off of inducting eight hundred artists at a time.)

(Read my previous commentaries on Rock Hall inductees here.)


The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Class of 2006

Here’s my annual sojurn (which gets later and later every year), in which I name and give commentary on the latest list of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees, in a manner that only I can.

Keeping in mind that this and $3.20 will get you a latte at Starbuck’s, I proceed:

Black Sabbath – I have to give this one a grudging thumbs-up. I was never into these guys nor what they allegedly stood for, but you’ve got to admit that they put the Devil back in The Devil’s Music. I just hope this means that they’re not going to induct Ozzy the solo act in a couple of years.

Blondie – I like some of Blondie’s stuff (including their killer live version of Bowie’s Heroes), but do they need to be in the Rock Hall? I don’t really think so. Okay, I was happy when the first few New Wave acts were inducted, but now I think that representation is approaching overkill. Who will be next – A Flock of Seagulls?

Miles Davis – Never into this guy at all. I’ll take the committee’s word for this one.

Lynyrd Skynyrd – Does this mean that Southern Rock is getting as over-represented as New Wave? I suppose this is a pass, but I’m going to draw the line when the talk turns to Molly Hatchet.

Sex Pistols – An excellent choice. There are some who would disagree because the Pistols were all hype (specifically Malcolm McClaren’s), but that’s exactly why they should be in the Rock Hall. Something has to exemplify the hype of rock and roll, and if it hadn’t been for that, they may not have even been a blip on the radar. I think the problem was that McClaren did everything right in the way he promoted them. By doing so, he opened them up to accusations of hype, and that’s part of what caused the Pistols to implode (that and their self-destructive behavior, which was completely in character with what they were all about). On the other hand, if McClaren had been as big a screwup as Colonel Tom Parker or Brian Epstein had been, then maybe the Sex Pistols would have been as big as Elvis or the Beatles. Seriously.

Herb Alpert & Jerry Moss – Another overdue induction – the brains and passion behind A&M Records, home to everyone from the Carpenters to Nazareth to The Police. Especially delicious is the fact that they’re being inducted in the same year as the Sex Pistols. A&M was one of the two labels that signed them and then abruptly dropped them before they ended up signing with Virgin.

Commentary on Previous Classes:

<a href="
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Class of 2004

Class of 2005

These boys have got this down ought to be one of these in every town
These boys have got the touch It’s clean as a whistle and it don’t cost much
Wham bam don’t wait long, shake fries plenty of gum
How about that friendly name, heck, every little thing gotta stay the same

(via iPod Shuffle)

The Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame Class of 2003

Now how about some commentary on something that you can’t vote on, namely the announcement of the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame Class of 2003?

The Righteous Brothers – An excellent, excellent choice. Long overdue.

The Clash – Another excellent choice. If the Sex Pistols started punk, The Clash made it an art form by giving it soul and a purpose (yes, I happen to love this band; I was just listening to London Calling two days ago).

Elvis Costello and the Attractions – A very good choice. One of new wave’s three angry young men (the others being Joe Jackson and Graham Parker), and the best known. Also a daring musical innovator (although not as daring as Joe Jackson).

Every class has at least one clinker in it. Last year’s clinker was Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (a competent band, but not HOF worthy). This year’s class has two:

The Police – A new wave reggae band that turned into Genesis. Why not just nominate Genesis, whose Peter Gabriel era work deserves recognition for creating theater rock? Or for that matter, Peter Gabriel for being one of the most innovative musical voices ever?

Note to Toni, if you’re reading this: Peter Gabriel = “Excuuuuuuuse meeeee!”

AC/DC – My good friend Mike would disagree with my disagreement here. Okay, they’re a better choice than Kiss, but as the bookkeeper at the agency said, how about nominating Alice Cooper instead? What an influence and innovator he was. Hey, even I saw an Alice Cooper show in the ’70’s.

NP – The Clash, London Calling
(Celebrating the election and The Clash; although The Clash would’ve hated the results of this election…)