Hall of Fame… or Shame?
The RARHOF has been a pet peeve of mine for years. Any chance I get I have been vocal about it, either in open forums, print, etc. I won’t revisit my past rants, with the exception to highlight a few points. But the overall bottom line is that there are many artists/groups in the hall that should not be there, obviously taking up space from those who do. This year is no different. The following are the nominees:
The Beastie Boys The Cure Donovan Eric B. & Rakim Guns N’ Roses Heart Joan Jett and the Blackhearts Freddie King Laura Nyro Red Hot Chili Peppers Rufus with Chaka Khan The Small Faces/The Faces The Spinners Donna Summer War
Of those, Beastie Boys, Summer, Donovan, The Red Hot Chili Peppers and War are repeat nominees.
To understand how one qualifies, you need to know the requirements which are: “Artists become eligible for induction 25 years after the release of their first record. Criteria include the influence and significance of the artists’ contributions to the development and perpetuation of rock and roll“ (this is from the RARHOF web site). It also includes non performers, song writers and side men. The RARHOF was founded in 1983. Basically 500 rock experts make the list of nominees and those who get selected need to get 50% or more of the vote to get inducted.
That being said, I would like to know who the so called 500 rock experts are because obviously they don’t get it. Of the 15 nominees for this year, only 10 would be worthy, within that 10, The Beastie Boys and Freddie King are on the line. The Beastie boys because they kind of crossed over to rock stations at the time and Freddie King because he was a blues player that influenced people like Eric Clapton. Donovan was part of the Sixties movement so I can understand that. War, same as The Beastie Boys, crossed over. Guns and Roses, Heart, Joan Jett, The Chili Peppers, The Small Faces should be in there. The rest don’t belong at all. Donna Summer maybe helped inspire KISS’s I was made for loving you and the Dynasty album and sang on Gene Simmons’s first solo release but that would be a stretch. But I digress. I guess we need to define what rock and roll is to the hall of shame and see if they can get it right. Chaka Khan are you kidding me the queen of funk really, The Spinners were Motown, Erik B and Rakim, does Run DMC sound like rock to you? Sad and embarrassing is what I say. We can look over the years and see others that don’t belong: Bee Gees, why because they made the movie Sgt. Pepper? Blondie, Earth, Wind and Fire (they were also in the Sgt Pepper movie) a soul group and a great one at that but not rock. Madonna, seriously, she may have slept with everybody in rock, but no way does she belong there. I think you get the point.
Of the nominees this year Guns and Roses should be automatic, Heart, The Small Faces and the Chili Peppers should be shoe ins. But if Donna Summer makes it with the Spinners over of the actual rock groups/artists this year, the fans need to revolt and start writing, emailing, and phoning in their complaints. You don’t see Aero smith n the Country Hall of Fame even though they wrote and recorded with Garth Brooks, right. I find it truly funny and maybe even a bit ridiculous that KISS is in the NFL Hall of Fame and not in the rock one. Now let’s see the list of who isn’t that should be and really influenced and met all the other criteria that hall presented, KISS I already pointed out but they were eligible back in 1998. Here are my list of shocking misses:
Deep Purple Journey Judas Priest Foreigner Bad Company Cheap Trick Rush Moody Blues Bon Jovi The Monkees (Yes they should be in there, maybe even the Partridge family) Depeche Mode ELO Frampton Ted Nugent
I’m sure you can compile your own list, But what is sad is how can they miss these acts and call themselves a rock hall of fame. If you are passionate about a band or artist you should contact the RARHOF and let them know. Let them HEAR you and maybe, just maybe we can change the course and get them back on track. I for one, will be doing my part and spreading the word. Make it Loud And Clear, even Shout it out loud!