2013 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominees
10/4/2012 1:33:00 PM
It’s that time of year again, when all of us true rockers just shake our heads at the garbage that is constantly nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The only thing worse is when you find out which of the horribly non-rock nominees actually make it in and foul the pool. Therefore I ask the question – Is it really the ROCK AND ROLL Hall of Fame? Or just an odd collection of legendary musical acts being honored by a group of industry people who have absolutely no idea what ROCK MUSIC sounds like?
Each year a couple of rock groups and musicians are nominated that give us a brief glimmer of hope that perhaps things have changed. My God Rush has finally been nominated! Deep Purple! Procol Harum! Heart! Albert King! Hell yes! Could this be it? Perhaps the right people are now in the position of choosing worthy additions, real rockers; people like us… and then you see that N.W.A., Chic, Public Enemy, Randy Newman, and Kraftwerk(?!) are also nominated. (Insert sound of several turds being dropped into punch bowl)
I should be clear here. I’m not saying that most, if not all, of the acts that have been nominated shouldn’t be recognized for their amazing contributions to the music industry. I’m not saying that they haven’t had a huge impact on fans. I’m not saying they are good or bad. I’m just saying that they are NOT ROCK AND ROLL.
So, how do we define what is rock and what is not? Let’s face it, the lines are very blurry. We can not simply apply some formula that involves the musical instruments used, tempo, or date. Rock came from Gospel, Jazz, Blues, and even Country, yet it so much more. It is truly an almost impossible task, but somehow we must come up with a concrete guideline, a litmus test that an act or artist must pass – The Rock Test.
You and I both know that Rush is definitely ROCK.. but is Michael Jackson?
To a whole generation the Temptations were considered rock, and the Jackson 5 is only a couple of steps away from the Temptations, so are the Jackson 5 rock? Maybe. But does that make Michael as a solo artist rock? I say no. Yet, he’s in the Rock and Roll Hall of fame and so is the Jackson 5.
It seems that the big issue here is that Pop is often confused with Rock. Madonna is a pop star; her music is definitely pop/dance. Sure, she has used SOME rock elements in her tunes and stage show, but is Madonna rock? I say unequivocally NO! And therefore she really has no business being honored in a ROCK and ROLL Hall of Fame. She and several other inductees and nominees would be so much better suited for a POP hall of fame.
The big gorilla in the room these days is rap. NWA, Public Enemy, Run DMC are all RAP artists, and damn good ones too. But rap is NOT ROCK. Run DMC did 1 rock cover; does that make them deserving of being in the ROCK and ROLL Hall of Fame? I say HELL NO! The Hall really jumps the shark when it comes to nominating these types of artists. Come on man! And NWA?! Seriously?! And Flavorflav?! WTF!!
By placing these pop stars, folk singers, dance bands, and rap artists into the hall it drastically lessens the honor. It takes away the true meaning of what the hall should stand for – ROCK; and those famous few who deserve to stand out and be honored for their contribution to ROCK.
I know I speak for rock fans everywhere when I say we are excited to see many of the nominees for the 2013 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Bands like RUSH have been a long time coming, and I know we all are hoping that one day KISS is also nominated.
But does it matter?
Many artists will tell you that they also give the hall no weight. Last year Duff from GNR said “"And on THAT night, I will honor not myself or the chicken dinner they will most surely provide, but I will be honoring all those people who call themselves the fans of our group called Guns N' Roses.”
And there it is.. Because we fans give it weight, many artists simply play along.
Yet, others are extremely excited. Who could forget Flea’s touching acceptance speech in 2012. He was genuinely excited to become inducted.. and he should be right? They all should be right?
So, we can criticize the hall. That’s easy. Just look at the nominee list again. But when you really look at the list of artists who actually get inducted.. a couple are way off base, sure, but as a whole it’s a damn impressive list of outrageously talented artists who belong to this glorious family we call Rock and Roll.
Today, I honor and congratulate the deserved rock bands and musician nominees. I’ll simply ignore the outrageously off-base additions yet again. And I hope that one day soon, people who really understand what is true Rock and Roll become the gate keepers of a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame that honestly and thoroughly lives up to its impressive name.
Here are the 2013 nominees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame:
Rush, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Public Enemy, Randy Newman, Procol Harum, Paul Butterfield Blues Band, N.W.A, the Meters, Kraftwerk, the Marvelettes, Donna Summer, Heart, Deep Purple, Chic and Albert King.