Understanding the Rock Hall's 2013 Nominees: Chic? Kraftwerk? Butterfield?
Wednesday night The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation announced their 2013 nominees for induction next year. These names will be voted on by a committee of guys in bad weaves, rich people who know the right people, and tenured music writers with axes to grind.
The names are as follows:
The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Chic, Deep Purple, Heart, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Albert King, Kraftwerk, The Marvelettes, The Meters, Randy Newman, N.W.A, Procol Harum, Public Enemy, Rush, and Donna Summer (who just passed away this past May).
As I just finished that paragraph, a friend texted to me to say that "The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame can eat a dick."
That seems to be the sentiment every year around this time when the Rock Hall list comes out, and the hate train doesn't stop until just after the induction ceremony in the spring.
Sorry again, Cheap Trick. One of you has to die to get in I guess.
Why do we keep complaining, when we know that the powers that done be won't listen anyway? Go back to bed, Rock America.
"Our favorites will never make it, the bands that populate our prized record collections will never see themselves on a plaque in Cleveland (CLEVELAND!) and the Hall is for old fuckers anyhow," goes the argument.
Let it also be noted that EPMD, Jane's Addiction, and the Pixies were also newly eligible this year. For further frustrations, please visit the Future Rock Hall eligibles list, by year. Next year, Nirvana comes to bat.
The Rock Hall is opening up the ballots to the public, but that is with only 0.17% of the total vote. So in this voting instance, it doesn't really even matter.
People can't even agree on whether or not rap, disco, dance, or electronic music belongs in the Rock Hall either. The argument that rap and rock share the same essential spirit falls on deaf and def ears most of the time.
For the Rock Hall to honestly not infuriate you, reality has to be suspended. Rationality has to be thrown under the bus.
Let's look at the names on this year's ballot, using the tool of objectivity. The arguments are not my own, but pulled from the crevices of my mind unclouded by fandom. Farce time.
The Paul Butterfield Blues Band: Who?
Chic: The "Good Times" band? Why? Because everyone loves Nile Rogers? Put him in as an innovator, sideman or something else for his guitar and production work while he is still living.
Deep Purple -- Yes, we can check off another classic-rock dino act. Let them in, let the hair pieces and black dye jobs have some fun.
Heart: I guess Journey and Foreigner can't be far behind either. After all, Journey is still one of the biggest rock bands in the United States, sales-wise at least.
Joan Jett and the Blackhearts: But not The Runaways? Or is this a "induction" for them? If you let Jett in, let in Lita Ford next year too.
Albert King: He should have been in before most of today's Top 40 was even born, but at least he's here.
Kraftwerk: Sure they influenced rock, but aren't they sort of overrated by people who only like them because they are supposed to? I could be wrong.
The Marvelettes: Seems like an excuse to bring some new-school R&B people to the ceremony for better ratings, no offense to the group at all.
The Meters: Why not give them an "Early Influence" award instead?
Randy Newman: Not a rocker, and fuck, even he would tell you his buddy Harry Nilsson deserves the honor waaaaay before he does.
N.W.A.: Oh, the Rock Hall is being sassy and PC with this one. Had Eazy-E still been alive, this wouldn't be happening.
Procol Harum: THEY HAVE ONE SONG.
Public Enemy: One of the most rock and roll rap groups that ever was, and everything they stood for goes up against everything the Hall has previously championed. I wish Chuck D would pull a Johnny Rotten and write them a biting screed -- but he won't.
Rush: Fine, just do it and shut everyone up. People say they are a cult band, but that's not true. If people can suspend their snobbery for a hot minute they can see that Rush's discography and influence isn't something to snort at. Believe it or not, it's possible to appreciate an artist without jerking off to them.
Donna Summer Rest in peace, disco lady. Sadly, this had to happen five months after you died.
Get the Music Newsletter