Rock and Roll Hall Calls. Should We Pick Up?
The nominees for this year's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame class were announced last night and there's not a single Willie Mays in the bunch. More like a bunch of Orlando Cepedas. The biggest names are hard rock merchandising kings KISS (nominated after a decade of eligibility), Swedish pop icons ABBA, prog-rockers Genesis and punk/funk/inappropriately-worn-sock enthusiasts Red Hot Chili Peppers. Also nominated: Donna Summer, LL Cool J, the Hollies, the Stooges (yet again), Darlene Love, Jimmy Cliff, Laura Nyro and the Chantels.
The usual questions persist: Is is Rock and Roll or just music in general? Do they have really have to induct five acts every year? When AC/DC, Elvis Costello, the Righteous Brothers, the Clash and the Police are the five acts that get in (as in 2003) it's not an issue. A class like 2009 could dilute things ... but really, who cares? So who should get the call from the Hall?
(More after the jump.)
First let's eliminate some. Genesis? Sorry. Can't let that happen. LL Cool J? "Around the Way Girl" was the jam in fifth grade, but his presence in those horrible DirecTV ads I see 83 times each Sunday cancels that out. The Chantels? Not famous enough. The Stooges? Obviously deserving, but they want no part of your Hall of Fame anymore. At least that's what the late Ron Asheton told me last August. (" If we don't get it next year, we don't go in, we're not going in. I mean, what is it, five-time losers? I mean, if we don't make it this time ... And you know what? It won't break my heart. As everyone else says, it's not going to better your career. It'd be nice, but I'm not going to be heartbroken. And we kind of wear it as a badge of honor that we've been turned down.") The Hollies? Sort of like Harold Baines. Solid, long-lasting, but just not remarkable often enough while many peers were. Laura Nyro? Nah.
So that leaves KISS, ABBA, RHCP, Donna Summer, Darlene Love and Jimmy Cliff. One of them gets cut. Darlene Love gets in if only on the strength of her annual "Letterman" Christmas performances. Jimmy Cliff gets in for "The Harder They Fall." Donna Summer gets in because of all the hilarious drunk dancing I've seen at bar and bat mitzvahs while "Last Dance" gets played. ABBA gets in because, let's face it, they have more great songs than the rest of those acts combined, right? So it comes down to KISS and the Chili Peppers. On second thought, let's throw the Stooges in there, regardless of whether they want in or not, and let Gene and Flea wait another year. Or 10.
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