The Rock and Roll Hall of Shame?

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I’m not able to take credit for the title of this post, although I’m sure it reflects what a lot of rock fans have felt and probably expressed regarding the institution in question.

I came across an editorial piece on the Times Herald website written by Gordon Glantz who used the above title for his article, which I borrowed for this post.

I’ve had a little contact with some of the folks at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and they seem like nice people. I’m not talking here about any of the decision-makers or higher-ups. Instead, just the regular folks that staff the place and probably do a good job doing whatever it is that they do out there to earn their paychecks.

I’ve given the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame a little attention here from time-to-time, and to be perfectly honest, I never really took the time to do anything more than a little superficial research on the place. What started to grab my attention, and cause me to look a little bit beyond the outer walls of the institution was prompted by some of the negative responses from readers who were clearly not impressed with the reputation of the place.Do these guys look like rockers?

After hearing recently about the recent batch of inductees and then happening upon the editorial by Mr. Glantz, I was prompted to say a few words regarding the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame myself.

In a nutshell, I believe Mr. Glantz is quite correct. After hearing that Run-D.M.C. was to be included in the next batch of inductees, it became very obvious that the Rock Hall is seriously off course. In case they were not aware, Run-D.M.C. is a rap group and has little or nothing to do with rock and roll, save for a collaboration with Aerosmith on “Walk This Way.” Hardly an accomplishment worthy of induction into an institution that is supposedly devoted to rock and roll. At least that’s what the name suggests.

Then there’s the issue of some incredibly talented groups who have apparently been shunned by the Rock Hall, despite the fact they they are actually rock bands with legions of dedicated fans. Among those excluded thus far include Rush, Bad Company, Foreigner, Journey, Supertramp, Kansas, Jethro Tull, The Cars, ELO, Heart and Boston.

Those are just a few of my personal favorites that Mr. Glantz called attention to in his article.

Although there may be no way to be sure why such obviously bad decisions have been made at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Gordon Glantz speculates that it is those who are tasked with casing the votes. He says, “The main problem is the voters, largely made up of a group of self-important wannabe rock stars turned critics who take out their frustrations on those who were better musicians and ‘made it.’”

That sounds like as good an explanation as any I could come up with.

A while back I was offered some media passes to the Rock Hall whenever I happened to be in the Cleveland area. I was told I could just show up at the information desk and pick them up. Although, that was a nice gesture and likely did not involve the approval of any of the higher-ups, I believe I will have to pass on those particular passes.

Someone pointed out recently that it is more of an honor to be excluded from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame than it is to be inducted. In light of recent and past developments, I’m feeling hard-pressed to disagree.

7 Comments

  1. Mitch Dickler January 26, 2009 at 4:59 pm

    I completely agree. I was in Cleveland to vist family and because there is nothing to do in Cleavland I had to go to the rock and roll”Hall of Fame”. As you said there are so many bands missing. The funniest thing I noticed was the absence of “YES” however they did sell “YES” memorabilia!? What’s up with that? They are not good enough to be inducted, but what the hell, no reason not to make a couple of bucks off their fans!

  2. doon January 27, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    THE ROCK-N-ROLL HALL OF FAME IS A JOKE. IF MY BAND WAS INDUCTED I WOULD BE ASHAMED. THE HOTTEST BAND IN THE WORLD (KISS) HAS BEEN SHUNNED FROM THE HALL FOR YEARS NOW. WHY U ASK? BECAUSE NEXT TO KISS, THERE ARE NO OTHER BANDS. JUST DO ABOUT A MONTH OF KISS RESEARCH, REAL RESEARCH. YOU’LL BE AMAZED. KISS FOUGHT TO THE TOP, LITERALLY. AND ARE STILL ON TOP. LIKE I SAID, IF U DON’T BELIEVE, TAKE IT FROM A TRUE KISTIAN, ALL OTHERS JUST PLAY MUSIC.

  3. Mike McFarland January 27, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    You forgot to mention KISS in your article. A band that has sold in excess of 85 million albums worldwide isn’t good enough for the Rock n’ Roll Hall Of Fame? What a joke!

  4. Simon Cook March 17, 2009 at 11:33 am

    I’m perhaps biased as I am a huge Rush fan, but it does seem that certain bands (ahemmm) will never get in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame despite the fact that they’ve influenced so many modern stars and have been around for 30+ years. I’ve even started my own ‘fan’s rock and roll hall of fame’ to try and see what real fans actually think.

    I also have been to the Hall of Fame and note that many deserving artists (who are not inducted) do have equipment etc in the HOF – I was lucky enough to see Neil Peart’s amazing drum kit there!!!!

    I also agree that it’s starting to become a badge of honor to be ‘excluded’…..

  5. Rusty June 29, 2009 at 6:47 pm

    Well said. Furthermore, these ‘Hall of Fame’ institutions do nothing but exclude instead of celebrating achievement.

  6. joseph hynes December 20, 2010 at 10:48 am

    what the f— is leonard cohen doing in the rock hall of fame? he wrote zero good songs,janis joplin sucks,jefferson airplane sucks,the doors deserve to be in,but jim morrison is a butthole….also,madonna(then you might as well put in lady gayga too),what the hell..where the hell are the monkees,paul revere and the raiders,the kingsmen,sam the sham and the pharoahs,leslie gore,junior walker and the all stars,frankie ford,alice cooper,the searchers,the shadows,and freddy cannon too…maybe someday…

  7. R September 2, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    Madonna, Run DMC, Abba IN – Boston, Deep Purple, Kiss, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Rush OUT.

    These people are on drugs. I just read that one of the “judges” for the Rock and Roll Hall of Shame has been associated with Rolling Stone magazine… why am I not surprised? Both are clueless; one doesn’t know how to induct the right musicians, the other can’t make a top-100 list that makes sense.

    Learning of the ties between Rolling Stone and the R&R Hall of Shame, I am also not surprised of their blatant disrespect of Stevie Ray Vaughan. Rolling Stone magazine trashed almost every single one of his albums, failed to dedicate him upon his death by putting him on the cover, and has failed to rank him in the top-5 on their guitarist’s list. Eric Clapton called SRV the greatest guitar player he ever heard, but the R&R Hall of Shame and Rolling Stone magazine aren’t listening. To hell with them both.

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