Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Who Belongs In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame?

FoxNews' Roger Friedman -- a serious soul historian and the producer of soul documentary "Only The Strong Survive" -- backs up one of my reader's comments below. Friedman writes about the Hall of Fame shortlist:
Five of the following nine acts will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year: Chic, The Dave Clark Five, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, R.E.M., The Ronettes, Patti Smith, The Stooges, Joe Tex or Van Halen.

I love Chic, but they ain’t rock and roll. Neither is Grandmaster Flash. (Chic, on the other hand, might get in because everyone loves Nile Rodgers....) Joe Tex is dead, and sadly, the Rock Hall doesn’t care for R&B anymore, let alone dead R&B, although I will vote for him. Still absent, shamefully: Billy Preston, Mary Wells, Carly Simon, Linda Ronstadt, Chubby Checker, The Moody Blues, Todd Rundgren, Yes and so on....
I'm sure if Friedman thinks Joe Tex is worthy that he is. And just like my reader, Friedman thinks Chic and Grandmaster Flash don't belong. (Check my comments on the link to see my defense of them.) As for the people who are missing, Linda Ronstadt is the most egregious error in my book: her ability to excel in so many different genres is truly remarkable. (Todd Rundgren is a close second among the names he mentions.) And personally, the Hall will remain a popularity contest (based a lot on record sales) until Richard and Linda Thompson are included. He's a musician's musician, one of the greatest guitarists of all time, a brilliant songwriter and mastermind behind numerous masterpieces with Fairport Convention, his duo work with Linda and his solo albums of the last 20+ years.

On another note, Friedman quotes a GE head who says "Studio 60" shouldn't be cancelled because they have "too much invested in it." Actually, the fact that the show is expensive is a very good reason for cancelling it sooner rather than later, frankly. Friedman also says last night was the start of November sweeps but according to MediaWeek's Marc Berman (who knows better than me), they begin in "two days" -- meaning either Wed. or Thur.


Signtopia said...

The idea of a "Rock & Roll" Hall of Fame was a pretty good one. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to actually BE a "rock & roll" hall of fame. The honoring of artists that may have had minimal or no relevance to rock and roll is an outright insult to those artists that have been pioneers, setting the standards by which all others are influenced. Without question, Todd Rundgren should be in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. In its small history, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame seems to have gone astray. Imagine the Country Music Hall of Fame honoring Andrea Bocelli. It is nonsense. Surely there could be a R & B Hall of Fame or a Soul Music Hall of Fame. Nobody would ever accept Elton John being installed into a Jazz Hall of Fame. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame needs to deal with those artists that have actually had alot to do with rock and roll. Otherwise, its as bogus as the Grammy Award given to Jethro Tull for Heavy Metal Group.

Michael in New York said...

Elton John in the Jazz Hall of Fame -- that's a good joke. and we all remember the horror of Jethro Tull winning heavy metal Grammy (beating out Metallica, no?). So you'd have a Pop Hall Of Famje, Dance Hall of Fame, Country Hall of Fame, Soul Hall of Fame, Blues Hall of Fame and Rock Hall of Fame? Is there anything wrong with a Hall Of Fame for Popular Music? Once upon a time radio used to play a rock song followed by Motown followed by a country hit followed by folk, back when Top 40 covered a broad spectrum. I've always thought of this one as covering Popular Music, from Ray Charles to Johnny Cash to the Beatles and Led Zep. But I suppose if you include Johnny Cash (pretty rock and roll in his way) do you then include Dolly Parton (lots of Top 40 hits in her day)? It's a slippery slope and trying to discern between pop and rock could make for endless arguments. In any case, keeping out Todd Rundgren is crazy.

Signtopia said...

Michael in New York,
I would have no problem with a "Pop Music Hall of Fame". Perhaps the "Rock & Roll Hall of Fame" needs to change its name. Better yet, why not something called "Music Hall of Fame" and cover everything from Beethoven to Tiny Tim. Some like the buffet, others like specifics. Have a great day!