Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Journey and REO Speedwagon in the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame

Not yet. Maybe next year.

The latest crop of nominees for the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame was released yesterday. Heading the list (are you ready for this?): John Mellencamp. Heading the list. I don't hate John Mellencamp. But he's a distinctly second-tier rocker whose music doesn't even begin to hold up against similar and better roots rockers such as Bruce Springsteen, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and Neil Young. Of course, those folks are already in the Hall, so we're now down to the second-tier artists across the board. I'm telling you, Steve Perry's day will come.

Other nominees: Miles Davis, Blondie, Cat Stevens, The Stooges, and The Patti Smith band.

Miles? Miles is a giant, no question. In the jazz world. Yeah, I know, he invented jazz-rock fusion, and he occasionally employed rock-oriented folks such as John McLaughlin in his band. But if "Bitches Brew" is rock 'n roll, then I'm Mick Jagger.

Blondie? A couple big hits. A very photogenic lead singer. Deserving of a place alongside The Beatles and Dylan? Are you kidding?

Cat Stevens? Actually, I'll buy that one. I suspect it's only dear Yusef's ties to Islam and the Salman Rushdie fatwah that have kept him out this long. But at least he's musically deserving.

And here's what I love: The Patti Smith Band and The Stooges. I do love them, truly. But we're now at the point where the vast majority of Americans, even those who follow music to some extent, will be completely unfamiliar with and underwhelmed by inductees into the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame. Ask Bubba and Wanda to name a single song recorded by either The Patti Smith Band or The Stooges. You'll either get a blank stare, or the comment, "I didn't know those guys made music, but I love their movies. Nyuck, nyuck, nyuck."

So how many years before the real musical versions of Moe, Larry, and Curly (Michael Stipe) can be inducted into the Hall?


Anonymous said...

While John COUGAR Mellencamp was one of my very first vinyl albums, I agree withh you about being inducted.
When I read that I just said, "What?" Blondie? Are you kidding me? I think I won a Blondie mirror wall hanging at the fair when I was a kid.
Cat Stevens I think actually deserves it as well as the genius (in my opinion) Patti Smith band. I'm a huge fan of both.

Mark K. said...

Patty Smith hit: Because the Night.

Most Obscure Patty Smith Album: Radio Ethiopia.

I don't know if I'd put her up there with Dylan but I think she deserves a shot at the hall of fame.