Thursday, January 16, 2020
And Speaking Of The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame....UPDATED
I promised myself I wouldn't weigh in this year, but I can't help it.
Every year it's the same thing. "SO AND SO IS NOT ROCK AND ROLL." What that really means is, "I don't like rap music or Whitney Houston." RNRHOF is a name, nothing more. It's the name of a big place that houses memorabilia of all the great people who made music. I guarantee the same people crying about Biggie Smalls and Depeche Mode have no issue with Marvin Gaye or Smokey Robinson or The Band. THE BAND? ROCK AND ROLL? Judas Priest? One of my faves. Rock and roll? Nope. White men with guitars is just not enough to call it rock and roll.
The real argument is whether or not the artists inducted deserve it for merit and influence and of course, sales. I am not a fan of Biggie Smalls by any stretch, but he did more for hip hop in his few short years than Def Leppard did for rock and roll...except sales. It's about everything, not one thing. That said, Whitney could sing. THAT'S IT! She didn't write, her last five records were flops and her career was too short to be an influence on anyone.
A common complaint is "Would the Beatles or(insert anyone who isn't rap)" be inducted into the Hip Hop Hall Of Fame? NO of course not. With the exception of a few songs...Public Enemy, Run DMC/Aerosmith...there hasn't been a real crossover the way, say... country and rock crossover, or blues and rock, or R&B and rock, at least not to my ears.
cmealha, you may see T. Rex as two hit wonders, but no Marc Bolan, no David Bowie and countless others. Bands since, from Thin Lizzy to The Sweet to the Clash to The Replacements to Nirvana and back again, all cite T. Rex as a musical hero. Hey, even some of Roy Wood's glammier tracks came after Bolan.
All of us who love music have to get over the name of the hall.
By definition: a type of popular dance music originating in the 1950s, characterized by a heavy beat and simple melodies. Rock and roll was an amalgam of black rhythm and blues and white country music, usually based on a twelve-bar structure and an instrumentation of guitar, bass, and drums.
Rock N Roll is all encompassing, as long as its root...also an African American euphemism for fucking, dating back to 1914...can be justified. Tom Waits said his favorite "rock and roll" album was "The Abyssinian Baptist Choir." YouTube it. It sure as hell rocks and rolls. Whitney, Depeche Mode? Not so much.
That's my two cents.
Posted by Sal Nunziato at 5:04 AM