It's hard to take the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame seriously. Besides the flippant snubs of classic rock legends over the years, the final straw for me was when Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner and his merry band of music critics and industry insiders finally managed to induct disco queen Donna Summer. Disco! The antithesis of rock 'n roll!
Look, I get that they can't induct all the great classic rockers in one year. If they did, what would keep the Rock Hall in the news? What would we have to be pissed off about every year? But when groundbreaking rock artists like Deep Purple are passed over for Public Enemy and Beastie Boys, it just shows how out of touch these "experts" are with the essense of rock.
As writer Max Read put it in Gawker under the title, "The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Is So Goddamn Embarrassing," a few years ago:
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame still thinks it's cool. This is why it's so embarrassing. You can tell it still believes in its own coolness because it inducts rappers: rap is not rock and roll, and a good, uncool, establishment museum would stick to its charter. But the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame wants to be cool. It tries to be cool. It knows that rap is cool, and so it pretends that Run-D.M.C. and the Beastie Boys makes rock music.
And there you have another connection to Wenner's Rolling Stone magazine. That rag may no longer be what most of us classic rockers like, but it has understandably evolved to remain relevant to the 18-34 market. The problem is that Wenner, co-founder and chairman of the Rock Hall, has tried the same strategy with the museum and in the process has made the very name of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame a joke.
Who do you think should have been inducted by now?