Thursday, October 17, 2013

Rant #1,065: Nothing Is New

"Beatniks and politics
Nothing is new
A yardstick for lunatics
One point of view"

That's a line from one of the great songs of the 1960s, "Incense and Peppermints," by the Strawberry Alarm Clock.

And it fits perfectly in describing what the yearly nominations for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame are all about.

Business as usual for this joke of a Hall of Fame that sits in Cleveland, Ohio.

Yesterday, the nominations for the Class of 2014 were announced, and while I will give it that it is an eclectic mix of performers, sorry, it still does not meet the criteria that I believe the HoF should follow.

The bar has been lowered once again.

We have the following acts nominated:
Hall and Oates
Linda Ronstadt
Paul Butterfield Blues Band
Deep Purple
Peter Gabriel
LL Cool J
Cat Stevens
Link Wray

Yes, eclectic, as I said.

No, vital, cutting edge, sorry, no, no, no.

If I had a ballot, I would give the nod to the Zombies--for their jazz influenced pop and rock, a sound that set the table for such later mixtures like that by Chicago, another band that should be in but isn't--Linda Ronstadt--more about her later--and perhaps Peter Gabriel and maybe even Hall and Oates, but that is about it.

But, of course, I don't have a vote, so all I can do is Rant and Rave here.

The rest either aren't rock and roll and/or simply don't deserve a nod, or a wink for that matter.

Now to Linda Ronstadt.

The criteria for the HoF is supposedly somebody who was a trendsetter with their music, and influenced countless others with this music, and certainly, Linda Ronstadt fits that bill.

But nominating her this year is going lower than low, as far as I am concerned.

Ronstadt has been making records since at least 1967. You might remember that her first big hit was "Different Drum," written by Mike Nesmith of the Monkees--two more HoF no-shows--while she was with the Stone Poneys.

Since the criteria says that a performer has to have been recording for at least 25 years to get in, she has been eligible since 1992.

Why has she been nominated now?

Well, as you know, she announced a few weeks ago that she has Parkinson's Disease, and that she cannot sing anymore.

So, don't you think the HoF is kind of exploiting this unfortunate occurrence by nominating her now?

Where have they been since 1992?

The other nominations are acts that don't belong in the HoF, but there are other acts that get snubbed regularly, and that list includes:

Moody Blues
Mike Nesmith
Paul Revere and the Raiders
Lesley Gore

And the list goes on and on ...

Jann Wenner, publisher of Rolling Stone magazine and the guy who oversees this nonsense, has a hatred for many of the acts that were popular from 1960 to about 1968. He feels that many of them were corporatively created, let's say, and that is why he started Rolling Stone anyway, as he thought this music was getting too corporate for its own good.

Thus, acts like the Monkees, in particular, and the Raiders will never get in, because he looks at them as tools of larger organizations, corrupting this music.

Of course, Rolling Stone has not been a relevant rock and roll publication for years, because it has, itself, caved into the pressures, and the money, of corporations, too.

So you have an interesting dichotomy here, not wanting to bite the hand that feeds you but biting it anyway.

The Hall of Fame is a joke, most music fans know it, and it will always be one, until the powers that be really make it into a true, rock and roll Hall of Fame, and not a place where favorites are picked over substance, and where the public is consistently shut out of the process.

And yes, I do enjoy the Strawberry Alarm Clock, but they, too, don't belong in the HoF based on the strength of a single, wonderful song ...

Although if they ever get a nod, it might be when pigs fly, or rabbis eat ham.

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