Tag Archives: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

“Ain’t it hard when you’ve discovered that. . .”

I’ve been getting solicitations from Rolling Stone to subscribe in a way that brings to mind donation appeals from the likes of the World Wildlife Fund and National Public Radio. The logos on the tote bags on offer aren’t the only things that are different. After all, the WWF and NPR are not in the business of making a profit (yes, they need money to exist, but there is another reason for their existence other than something measured in terms of EBIT).

Rolling Stone, however, is owned by Penske Media Corporation, which owns what can be thought of as a frightening number of properties including:

  • Variety
  • The Hollywood Reporter
  • Billboard
  • Rob Report
  • ARTnews
  • Artforum
  • Art in America (clearly they’re big on art)

And in the non-publication space:

  • American Music Awards
  • Dick Clark Productions
  • Golden Globe Awards
  • SxSW

There are more.

It is in the profit-making business. (Which could be redundant.)

The company unapologetically proclaims:

Our Mission:

To be the world’s premier publishing and media organization through delivering superior and innovative content, with a commitment to upholding journalistic excellence and driving today’s media evolution, all while offering the finest opportunities to the industry’s brightest talent.

As mission statements go, it pretty much checks the boxes.

Continue reading “Ain’t it hard when you’ve discovered that. . .”


As Ron Burgundy would end his broadcasts, “Keep it classy,” and arguably that’s what Dolly Parton, whose exaggerated presence is such that it provides a whole extraordinarily level to that state of being, proved she lives in that manner as when, this past week, she gave a pass to her nomination to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The first definition for “Hall of Fame” in the Cambridge Dictionary is:

“a building that contains images of famous people and interesting things that are connected with them:

You really know you’ve made it when they enshrine you in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.” [italic in the original]

Which seems rather unusual from the intuition that numbers Stephen Hawking, Lord Byron, Charles Darwin and Sacha Baron Cohen among its alums.

You might think that they would have had it “when they enshrine you in the UK Music Hall of Fame.” The problem there is that the UK Music Hall of Fame, founded in 2004, ceased to exist in 2008. However, it wasn’t a real building on the Thames or the Cam, but, rather, simply an awards show that was broadcast on Channel Four.

Perhaps the Brits know something that those in Cleveland don’t.

Continue reading Classy

Rock and Roll Eating the World

“What about ‘9 to 5’?”

And so it began.

Let’s face it: Not doing this would be a heck of a lot easier than doing this.

Even Sir Isaac Newton’s laws open with: “An object at rest stays at rest.”

There is something to be said for inertia.

There is a tendency for us not to do things.

To stay at rest.

There was no way that I was going to pay any attention to the announcement of the 2022 nominees for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The list includes: Pat Benatar, Kate Bush, DEVO, Duran Duran, Eminem, Eurythmics, Judas Priest, Fela Kuti, MC5, New York Dolls, Dolly Parton, Rage Against The Machine, Lionel Richie, Carly Simon, A Tribe Called Quest, and Dionne Warwick.

And yes, the Melrosian taunting or goading, for that’s what it was, came from the inclusion of Dolly Parton in the accumulated nominations for the honor, if that’s precisely what it is.

Continue reading Rock and Roll Eating the World

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Pales in Comparison

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is inducting its latest “class” this evening (of course, not the evening you are reading this, but on the evening of October 30, 2021, or, for those of us who are in Detroit, “Devil’s Night”). It always seems as though there are pissing and moaning associated with who gets “in” and who doesn’t that goes to a high level of overall pissiness, which Spell Check wanted me to spell “prissiness,” which is also to the point.

Apparently there is a nominating committee that comes up with a list, with the fundamental qualification that the person or group in question having put out their first recording at least 25 years ago. They draw up a list of the people they want to be considered, then that is distributed to some 600 people who are in “the industry” who vote on the names; there is a “fan” quotient that is part of the mix.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation named its first class in 1986, before there was a physical building in Cleveland, which opened in 1995. The first group of musicians? First do the math and recognize that these had to be performers circa 1960, which makes it pre-Beatles and Stones. So those who were named is probably a more eclectic group than this year’s, and this year, according to the organization, is “the most diverse list of Inductees [sic] in the history of the organization. The first group: Chuck Berry, James Brown, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, Fats Domino, The Everly Brothers, Alan Freed, John Hammond, Buddy Holly, Robert Johnson, Jerry Lee Lewis, Sam Phillips, Elvis Presley, Little Richard, Jimmie Rodgers, Jimmy Yancey. Although there is a distinct absence of women, it is hard to imagine a group of musicians of that eclecticism.

This year’s: Tina Turner, Carole King, The Go-Go’s, JAY-Z, Foo Fighters, Todd Rundgren, Kraftwerk, Charley Patton, Gil Scott-Heron, Clarence Avant.

Putting aside the charitable aspects of the organization—it has 501(c) (3) non-profit status—it seems strange that rock and roll, which is arguably about tearing down monuments, not building them, has a building designed by I.M. Pei—the man who designed a portion of the Louvre, no less—full of memorabilia and such.

And all of the sturm und drang associated with the who made it and who didn’t seems antithetical to the spirit of rock and roll.

But it has been in place now for 35 years, so let’s consider it stare decisis.

That said, there are other halls of fame that are less famous and really deserve more attention.

Continue reading Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Pales in Comparison

Of Artifacts & Artists

Lillie P. Bliss was an art collector and patron of artists. Mary Quinn Sullivan was an America art teacher and textbook author. Abigail Green Aldrich Rockefeller was, yes, a Rockefeller; she married John D. Rockefeller, Jr., the only son of the oil magnate.

In the late 20s those three women got together and created the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, which opened in 1929. According to MoMA, Bliss, Sullivan and Rockefeller wanted to “challenge the conservative policies of traditional museums and to establish an institution devoted exclusively to modern art.”


In 1983 the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation (RRHOF) was established by Ahmet Ertegun. Among other things, he was the co-founder and president of Atlantic, perhaps the most influential rock label of all time; he sold his interest in the label in 1967. He made millions. Not petro wealth. But comfortable.

Joining Ertegun on the board of the foundation were Jann S. Wenner of Rolling Stone; Seymour Stein, who co-founded Sire Records; Bob Krasnow, whose resume includes being the chairman of Elektra Records, and three others.

The foundation decided it needed a home base. It decided on Cleveland, with a groundbreaking in 1993, with participants including Pete Townshend (did he windmill a shovel?), Chuck Berry and Sam Phillips. Architect I.M. Pei was engaged to design the building, which includes a glass pyramid (it is worth noting that in 1983 Pei designed the pyramid that is part of the Louvre).

The building was dedicated two years later, with the ribbon being cut by, among others, Yoko Ono and Little Richard.

Since 1986 the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has selected inductees. The first class included Chuck Berry, James Brown, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, Fats Domino, The Everly Brothers, Alan Freed, John Hammond, Buddy Holly, Robert Johnson, Jerry Lee Lewis, Sam Phillips, Elvis Presley, Little Richard, Jimmie Rodgers, and Jimmy Yancey.


When I looked at the women who founded MoMA, I have the sense that they were in it to promote modern art and artists. Let’s face it, in 1929 the world economy was tumbling into a morass that required years to extricate itself from. Perhaps there was some notion of raising the visibility of modern art and thereby increase the value of whatever pieces they may have individually had, but somehow I think there was more selflessness involved.

When I looked at the people who established RRHOF my first sense of things was that this was largely a play to sell more records. But when you look at the lists of the first class of inductees, that clearly wasn’t the way things worked, at least not at the start.

Now I am not so sure.

Continue reading Of Artifacts & Artists

Shocker: Rock Hall inducts terrible bands

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has announced its 2017 class and–as usual–it’s disappointing. In a year when musical revolutionaries such as Bad Brains, Kraftwerk, Jane’s Addiction, and the MC5 were nominated, we somehow ended up with guilty pleasures Electric Light Orchestra, Journey, and Yes.

“Besides demonstrating unquestionable musical excellence and talent, inductees will have had a significant impact on the development, evolution and preservation of rock & roll.”

Sure, I suppose you could made drunken arguments that those three bands are worthy of respect. In fact, I’m pretty sure I have made those arguments myself after a few too many rum and cokes. But they suck. It’s cheese. It’s garbage. And even if those bands had an influence on other performers, the performers they influenced sucked even harder.

Of those three, ELO is obviously the least awful and Yes is the worst. And just like in real life, Journey is the mediocre one in the middle. I mean, come on. I enjoy Journey as much as the next guy who grew up in the arcade era. “Wheels in the Sky” is a badass jam and I can still close my eyes and picture Steve Perry’s pixelated head bouncing from drum to drum in the videogame. [It was actually the drummer’s head on that level, not Steve Perry. -ed.] But they’re fluff. Just because you have a song featured in a key scene in an “important” tv show doesn’t make you an important band.

Other performers inducted in this class were Joan Baez, Pearl Jam, and Tupac Shakur. Fine. Whatever. I don’t listen to any of that stuff, and in the case of Pearl Jam I don’t even like it, but I recognize the “musical excellence and talent” blah blah “impact” blah blah blah.

Continue reading Shocker: Rock Hall inducts terrible bands

Rock Hall Nominates Donovan, Diamond

Every year we throw a hissyfit, but there are actually a bunch of cool bands among this year’s list of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees, including first-timers Donovan, Dr. John, Alice Cooper, and Neil Diamond. And Tom Waits! Of course, then there’s Bon Jovi. Who sucked 25 years ago and continues to blow today. I saw them live at Soldier Field this summer (free tickets…with Kid Rock…) and was shocked by just how lame they were. And frankly…how gay Jon Bon Jovi seemed in person. He not only sports Jack Wagner’s haircut from 1984, but the dude was rockin’ the “Frisco Jones” dance moves! That’s not rock and roll. Not even close.

The list of previous nominees: Darlene Love, LL Cool J, Donna Summer, Beastie Boys, J. Geils Band, Tom Waits, Chuck Willis, Chic, and Joe Tex. I can’t imagine Waits getting in, but it’s fun to imagine his acceptance speech.

Update: Billboard was wrong. Tom Waits hadn’t been nominated previously.

Continue reading Rock Hall Nominates Donovan, Diamond

Stooges Finally Make Rock Hall

Stooges at Lollapalooza, 2007Looks like the Stooges will finally be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Iggy’s response is classic:

“We’ve been rejected seven times, and we would have set a record, I think, if it happened again,” the Stooges’ frontman tells Rolling Stone. “It started to feel like Charlie Brown and the football. I had about two hours of a strong emotional reaction after hearing the news. It felt like vindication. Then I kind of scratched my head and thought, ‘Am I still cool? Or is that over now?’ “

I’m equally excited that Abba made it too. I hope they collaborate at the ceremony.

“I didn’t think this would happen, because we were a pop band, not a rock band,” says Benny Andersson, who helped found the group in 1970. “Being a foreigner from the North Pole, this feels really good.”

In addition to those two awesome bands, the Hall will also induct Genesis, the Hollies, and Jimmy Cliff. Acts who were nominated this year, but didn’t make the cut: Kiss, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, LL Cool J, the Chantels, Darlene Love, Laura Nyro, Donna Summer. Bet Gene Simmons is pissed.

It’s a shame that Ron Asheton didn’t live to see it happen. Nice timing, Wenner, you prick. You gonna wait until Peter Tork dies before letting the Monkees in?

Photo by Alan M. Paterson for Glorious Noise.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominees Announced

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has announced its nominees for 2010, and before I even start getting indignant again this year, I’m just going to take a breath and let it slide. As my man Sab pointed out last year, “It’s called the Rock and Roll Hall of FAME, not the I’m Punk Rocker Than You Hall of Obscurity.”

KISS, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Genesis, the Hollies, LL Cool J and Jimmy Cliff are first-time nominees among a dozen finalists for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, according to a list released this morning by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation. They join returning candidates ABBA, the Chantels, Darlene Love, Laura Nyro, the Stooges and Donna Summer.

The five inductees will be announced in January, and the Induction Ceremony will take place March 15. Artists are eligible 25 years after their first single or album release. Please check out who’s already in before you start bitching about who they left out.

Yawn: 2009 Rock and Roll Hall of Shame Nominees Announced

Billboard: Metallica, Run-D.M.C. Up For Rock Hall Induction.

Metallica, Run-D.M.C. and the Stooges lead the list of nine acts up for induction next year into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Five will be chosen in January for enshrinement during an April 4 ceremony at Cleveland’s Public Hall.

Also on this year’s ballot are Jeff Beck, Chic, Wanda Jackson, Little Anthony and the Imperials, War and Bobby Womack. Acts are not eligible for the Rock Hall until at least 25 years have passed since the release of their first single.

Does anybody even care if the Stooges get passed over for the third year in a row?

I love rockabilly as much as anybody, but you know you’re scraping the bottom of the barrel when Wanda Jackson gets nominated. This travesty of an organization has outlived its usefulness. Put a fork in it.

Jann Wenner is still a douche. The Monkees were far more important and influential than the Dave Clark Five.