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.
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.