If you have not heard,( and until yesterday while plowing through a third Advil, I had not), the 2012 nominees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame were announced. To be eligible, an artist must have either released their first album no sooner than 1987, been on the masthead at Rolling Stone or have been consistently passed over for people like Percy Sledge and Madonna. Let the teet suckling begin......
Here are the 15 Nominees with my comments following in Bold Type.
The Beastie Boys: No. See the nominees for Hip Hop Hall of Fame..right after Russell Simmons establishes it and names it after himself.
The Cure: The influence is there, as Mr. Smith inspired a "look" that got lifted and used by everyone from Ed Scissorhands to Ledger's Joker...but that's not in the music category...that's in the Slightly chubby ambiguous goth boy Hall of Fame category.... besides Love Song or even Love Cats...whaddaya got?
Donovan: Great choice, as far as folkies with a slight lisp and a penchant for smoking banana peels go, but methinks he'll get passed over.
Erik B. and Rakim- See number one, then add my rule. Nobody with One letter for a surname gets in. Ever. This includes titans like Kenny G, Jay Z, Ice-T, and Sheila E.
Guns N Roses- Yes. A no brainer. Even with only 4 albums and the one Mr. Rose blew a 13 million dollar wad on, they made hard rock, top hats and bloated videos with wind and white pianos cool again in the 80s. Besides, I'd like to see Izzy Stradlin have to leave the house for something. And Hey show producers! When you send Axl the invite, tell him the show tapes at 4, so when he shows up at 8, he'll be right on time.
Heart-Absolutely. An unstoppable female force, a shitload of hits, and the unmistakeable one of a kind voice of Ann Wilson. They always had a fantastic band. Just listen to the drums on Barracuda, that shit still holds up. Ok, so we'll let the aqua net schlock like" Alone and Never" slide, but they're in for being two bad ass babes bigger than just their boobs. I'm crazy on 'em.
Joan Jett and the Blackhearts- Hmmm. You want to induct Joan Jett and the Blackhearts before you induct the Runaways? Or even Suzi Quatro? Yeah, Joan was in both, but there's no "Blackhearts" without the all female, completely groundbreaking Runaways. Joan's biggest hit is a cover...Joan should get in, but if they give this to her and the Blackhearts(whose line up has changed a fuck of a lot since 1981)...i feel the Runaways will not get their due.
Freddie King- A monumental blues picker and fantastic showman, I say yes. But he'll get in as the token "old, lost in the shuffle" category.
Laura Nyro- Well, I'll be the first one to admit I know very little about Laura Nyro. So I have no opinion. I should offer her fans an idea. Enlist someone(in the music biz) with a high profile who really really gives a shit about her. Have that person gush over her in concert and in interviews.....it worked for Kid Rock having a hard on for Bob Seger and it will most likely work for Elton and his current raging one for Leon Russell.
Red Hot Chili Peppers- No.The Chilis are an amalgam of their influences..Fishbone, Funkadelic, Fear...but I don't think they've influenced anyone who didn't want to play anywhere but in a Fraternity basement in the Northeast. I think the high points of their legacy will include many references to socks, heroin and tattoos. Not much beyond Under the Bridge and Give it Away, really. Sure they've sold millions and have one of the best rhythm sections in modern rock history(when Flea isn't doing all of that white boy slapping). Sure they've stumbled onto a smattering of genius in the Frusciante years, I just don't think its time yet.
Rufus with Chaka Khan-Tell me something good besides "Tell Me Something Good".
The Small Faces/The Faces-Yes. Ron Wood. Ian Maclagan. Kenny Jones and fucking Steve Marriott. ....errr, and Rod Stewart. The Faces are responsible for everybody else that the Stones weren't responsible for. Immense influence and great hair that that pesky tool Liam Gallagher has been plucking for years. Steve Marriott is never going to get in on his own or with Humble Pie. Tragic. Steve Marriott is in the top five rock singers of all time. Steve Marriott makes Rod "soccer sperm and standards" look like a rank amateur. Plus he probably died passing out with a lit cigarette in his mouth and a guitar in his hand. That's hall of fame material right there. This is his one and only chance. For all of you idiot dreamers who keep thinking that those rock actors Kiss are ever going to make it in...put your energy here.
The Spinners- From the desk of Jann Wenner: Guys, who's left in the well dressed, uniformed soul groups with choreographed dance moves from the 70s category.? The Spinners. Ok lets put them in. Then we're done with that and we can finally start getting all of those festering prog rock fans off my back.
Donna Summer-No. Bad Girl. Bad Music. Bad choice. Don't Love to Love You Baby.
War-" What is it good for? Absolutely nothing. Say it again ."
So Five Will get in. I say The Faces, Heart, Freddy King, G and R, and The Spinners.
But the Chili Peppers have been on the cover of the rolling stone at least five times and will bump the Faces or Freddy King. Blood Sucking Suck Magnet.
Glaring omissions: Yes...cmon already. Cheap Trick..sure. The Smiths...hate them, but immensely influential. Thin Lizzy ...for the twin lead guitar harmonies alone. Gram Parsons.This guy was in the Byrds, the Flying Burrito Bros. and Keith Richards invited him everywhere. Oh yeah.. he was pretty much single-handedly responsible for country rock. All before his druggy death at AGE 26! Devo-massive influence and great hats. and Jethro Tull- because bringing the flute to rock and roll is an outstanding achievement.