Next year’s class of inductees for the Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Fame was announced a couple of days ago, and my overwhelming response to the motley crew of artists inducted this year is: huh?
Well, not totally. Madonna’s a gimme. While those that argue that “rock ‘n roll” music (as in: white guys playing guitars) has nothing to do with Madonna, most people with sense are fully aware that the term “rock ‘n roll” encompasses just about every form of American popular music post-1955. Hell, would folks consider Bill Haley and Little Richard rock ‘n roll nowadays because they don’t sound like The White Stripes?
Anyway, Madonna’s a legend. She was a gimme. Next.
I love John Mellencamp, but he’s always been a poor man’s Bruce Springsteen to me and a whole bunch of other folks.
Leonard Cohen? From the little bit I know of him, fantastic songwriter. We’ll file Mellencamp and Cougar into the “this could have gone either way” pile.
Maybe I’m salty about the Dave Clark Five and The Ventures being inducted because they’re not of my era of music. But, seriously, I can list a cross-genre list of at least 50 artists currently not in the HoF that made better music, made interesting music for a longer period of time, and had greater influence on music and popular culture at large than these two bands. We could start with bands that were on the ballot this year and not voted in (The Beastie Boys, Donna Summer and Chic chief among them), and then head off to Yes, Metallica, Genesis, Hall & Oates, Electric Light Orchestra…and that’s just to start…Depeche Mode, New Order/Joy Division, The Go-Gos, Devo, and that list just came from a sideways glance at my CD collection. A lot of folks are teed off at the fact that neither Rush nor Kiss is in the Hall of Fame, and I might even make the case for Luther Vandross and Janet Jackson (both of whom are eligible) before including those two inducted bands.
Much like the Grammy nominations, you’ve just gotta roll your eyes when it comes to things like these. Congrats to the inductees.