Monday, January 11, 2010

More On The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame ... And The Moron Who Runs It

I first got this story a little over a week ago and didn't run it for two reasons:

1) I had other articles already planned to run last week that, for continuity purposes, had to run in a specific order


2) I wasn't sure I wanted to give this idiot ANY more space and coverage than we already had.

Apparently, I wasn't the only one who felt this way. During the past week I have not seen, heard or read ONE SINGLE WORD about this new policy consideration other than the original email I received from FH List Member Ron Smith, which tells me that nobody ELSE out there really cares what this moron is doing either!

I mean let's face it ... MOST of the REAL music fans out there stopped caring a long, long time ago about what Jann Wenner perceives The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame should be, after years and years and years of RIDICULOUS nominations, all the while continually ignoring acts far more deserving. But now he's gone out and done something even dumber than normal, proving once and for all where his head is at regarding recognizing the artists who truly helped to shape our musical culture.

In a move to elect more of what he considers Rock 'n' Roll (and less of the veteran artists he apparently hates), Jann Wenner now wants to make the waiting period from an artist's first recording until elibility for "his" Hall of Fame 20 years, instead of 25:
-- Ron Smith

Here's an article Ron sent me. written by former Fox News Reporter Roger Friedman ... let's just say that there's no love lost between Friedman and Jann Wenner and his Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame (and I stress the word "his" because it certainly doesn't belong to the people or the fans!!!) Friedman is the guy who broke the story a few years ago about some possible last-minute vote-tampering that knocked The Dave Clark Five out of contention for Hall Of Fame Induction in favor of Wenner's preferred "we've just GOT to recognize a rap act" Grand Master Flash.

Rock Hall May Jump Ahead Five Years to Get Stars
By: Roger Friedman
Sunday January 3, 2010

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is considering a move not unlike “Desperate Housewives.” In fact, you might call Jann Wenner the “desperate despot” of rock.

Sources tell me that Wenner is considering doing exactly what the TV show did a couple of years ago — jump ahead five years.

Currently, the RRHOF charter says that in order to be inducted, a band or act isn’t eligible until 25 years have passed since its first record release. But now that popular music has passed into its retirement, the number of possible new inductees has thinned considerably.

This winter, the Hall will induct Genesis, the Hollies, Iggy Pop and the Stooges, Jimmy Cliff and ABBA. They’ve all been the on the ballot for a long time and have finally made it mostly because the choices are diminishing.

I’m told that Wenner has looked at the next group of possible inductees, for 2011, and it’s not good: The only superstar who’s had a major career and influenced rock and roll is Sting. Otherwise, the perfectly nice but not exactly big game changers are ‘Til Tuesday, Chris Isaak, Suzanne Vega and Simply Red.

Of course, Wenner could do what many consider the right thing and induct the many missing names from Chubby Checker, Billy Preston and Mary Wells to Chicago, the Moody Blues, Todd Rundgren, Linda Ronstadt, Carly Simon, Carole King, Neil Diamond, Neil Sedaka, Rufus & Carla Thomas and so many more it’s hard to list them. But that’s unlikely.

The new idea is to change the charter so that it only takes 20 years to get in. That would move up a lot of acts on the ballot that are more current and carry some name value, which would be good for TV rights. Believe it or not, the following would then be eligible for the 2011 ceremony: Guns N’ Roses, Green Day, Public Enemy, Nirvana, Kid Rock and Smashing Pumpkins. Also a possibility right away: Keith Richards as a solo artist.

The fear, of course, is that with these new guidelines, the artists who’ve been snubbed previously will now never get in. Of course, one other solution would be just to shut the doors, stop inductions entirely and make the annual dinner a revisit of inductees. But TV doesn’t want Nursing Home Rock, so Wenner — who has no one to stop him — will probably not do that either.

Why Wenner, a pretty knowledgeable guy when it comes to music, rock and otherwise, feels this need to cater to those acts that'll play better at the TV Dinner / Ceremony is beyond me. Quite honestly, the whole concept of inducting five new acts each and every year has already worn a little thin, especially since so much emphasis has been placed on rewarding the NEWEST "eligibles" while ignoring many of the worthy and deserving artists who've been eligible for decades. Instead of recognizing some of this long-overlooked talent, it seems that The Nominating Committee is more interested in finding ways to double or even TRIPLE induct members who have already been enshrined in The Hall ... or more RECENT artists who have barely made a dent in setting The Rock And Roll World on its collective ear.

Does ANYBODY out there TRULY believe that each and every year, FIVE revolutionary acts come along that change the face of rock music forever?!?!? Yet that seems to be the mentality ... we need to induct five new artists each year and here's the list of "new eligibles" so we need to draw from that. Five Revolutionary Acts Per Year ... each and EVERY year?!?!?

C'mon ... there haven't been five Elvises of five Beatles in the past 50 years!!! Is it possible that the most WORTHY artists are already IN The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame?

We haven't seen the likes of Chuck Berry, James Brown, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, Fats Domino, The Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Bo Diddley, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Bill Haley, Ricky Nelson, Roy Orbison, Carl Perkins, Jackie Wilson, The Beach Boys, The Drifters, Bob Dylan, The Supremes, Dion, The Rolling Stones, The Temptations, Stevie Wonder, The Four Seasons, The Four Tops, The Kinks, Bobby Darin, Simon and Garfunkel, The Who, The Byrds, Booker T. and the MG's, Johnny Cash, The Isley Brothers, Jimi Hendrix, Cream, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Doors, Sly and the Family Stone, The Animals, Duane Eddy, The Band, The Grateful Dead, Elton John, Bob Marley, The Allman Brothers, Janis Joplin, Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, Jefferson Airplane, Pink Floyd, The Rascals, The Bee Gees, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, The Jackson Five, The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, The Mamas and the Papas, Santana, Eric Clapton, Earth, Wind and Fire, The Lovin' Spoonful, Aerosmith, Queen, Steely Dan, Ritchie Valens, The Police, The Righteous Brothers, Bob Seger, Traffic or ZZ Top in the last twenty years combined!!! Sure, certain newer acts come along that TRULY do belong ... U2, Bruce Springsteen, Madonna, Prince ... but come on ... Til Tuesday?!?!? Simply Red?!?!? Seriously!??!? That's the best you can come up with for the next possible ballot?!?!? This is your definition of "revolutionary talent that brought rock and roll music to new heights and made life-changing, long-lasting contributions" ... Til Tuesday?!?!?

So instead they'll DOUBLE-Induct somebody like Sting (who's already IN The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame as a member of The Police) or Keith Richards (long inducted for his work with The Rolling Stones) rather than recognize any more of the "pioneers" who got us all here in the first place.

Wenner and his hand-picked committee of cronies continue to ignore and deny spots to artists like Neil Diamond, The Guess Who, Chicago, The Moody Blues, Linda Ronstadt, Hall and Oates, Yes, Neil Sedaka, The Zombies, Heart, Pat Benatar, The Doobie Brothers, Johnny Rivers, Electric Light Orchestra, Chubby Checker, Tommy James, Jim Croce, Glen Campbell, Paul Revere and the Raiders, Paul Anka, Three Dog Night, The Monkees, Pat Boone, Freddy Cannon, Bobby Rydell and Connie Francis, ALL of whom did more to advance and influence rock and roll music than legitimate inductees like Percy Sledge, Bonnie Raitt, Solomon Burke, Patti Smith, Leonard Cohen, Velvet Underground or Grand Master Flash ever did. Year after year after year we don't see ANY of these "Deserving And Denied" Artists showing up on the ballot ... many of whom have been eligible for 20 - 25 years now ... but we get The Rock Hall telling us that Afrika Bambaataa's name belongs there!!! And now Wenner wants to CHANGE the induction criteria to allow even MORE new artists on the list!!!

I thought the point of this organization was to recognize artists for their long-lasting contributions to rock music. How does ANY artist over the past twenty years compare with the works of the artists we've cited above whose music has stood the test of time for four and five DECADES?!?!? And how quickly would you push the button if it DID come on???

The music of these artists has never been OFF the radio ... it's part of ALL of us. How many times did you hear Solomon Burke, Leonard Cohen, The Velvet Underground or Grand Master Flash played last week?

Fact is, we really just don't care anymore ... and the ONLY point in today's latest raving is to let OTHER music fans out there know what's going on behind those coveted walls of The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. Go visit the Museum ... some INCREDIBLY beautiful stuff is on display there ... in fact, you'll find a number of items pertaining to artists NOT inducted into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, because the Museum seems to be more about the MUSIC ... but you need to turn a deaf ear to the practices of this nominating committee and its Head Of State ... because they REALLY don't seem to have a clue!!! (kk)