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.)