Sunday, April 21, 2024

Rock and Roll Hall of Shame: Nominees So Bad Press Release Issued After Midnight


You want press for your nominees list? Release it at 4pm. You want to hide it and keep it out of newspapers, let alone web reporter who are awake>? How about midnight? The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame put out its list of possible inductees after midnight this morning because it is so freaking embarassing they’d rather not discuss it. It’s a pathetic selection that includes rap groups Public Enemy and NWA, followed by mediocre (to say the least) rockers Deep Purple and Rush (I didn’t think this was possible).

Many of the nominees were already on the short list as recently as last year including the late Donna Summer (disco), Chic, and Heart.

The only people who should make it from the list are singer-songwriter Randy Newman and original Motown group the Marvelettes.

Paul Butterfield Blues Band is a nice idea, however odd at this point.

But not on the list, and far more worthy are Sting (individual artist), Bon Jovi, Chicago, Hall & Oates, the Moody Blues, the late Mary Wells and the late Billy Preston. Female pop stars Carly Simon and Linda Ronstadt are also missing. Cyndi Lauper would have been appropriate. How about a true original and influence like George Clinton? or the Eurythmics? Or if you’re so into rap, how about Kurtis Blow, or the Sugarhill Gang, the original rappers?

But at this point, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a joke. They’ve painted themselves into a corner by skipping almost completely over the 1970s and then starting to include rap groups who sampled rock and roll had no absolutely no influence over anything. At least Nile Rodgers and Chic have had a worldwide influence with songs like “We Are Family” and “Good Times.”

But I dare you to name a “song” by Public Enemy or NWA (can you remember what this stood for? The N is a play on the N word.) Chuck D from Public Enemy is a nice guy, but really…

This is what Joel Peresman, who runs the Rock and Roll Hall Fame Foundation here in New York, gets a salary of $400,000 a year for. To come up with these names.

The other names are Joan Jett, Kraftwerk, the Meters (sort of New Orleans R&B– and a good vote), Procol Harum (beloved for one hit–“Whiter Shade of Pale”), and blues artist Albert King.

Rush? Rush? Can Kansas and Styx be far behind?

Jann Wenner must be hanging from a chandelier. This group, no matter how it turns out, will not be selling seats next March at the Waldorf Astoria.

But the fact is, this thing is over. The original purpose of the Hall of Fame was long ago achieved. Early rockers, British invasion, singer songwriters, early R&B, the people who invented rock and roll–they’re mostly in. Only Chubby Checker and Bill Haley and the Comets have been locked out.

Sad, sad, sad.

Oh yeah: who would I choose from this miserable collection? The Meters, Randy Newman, Paul Butterfield, Chic, and Joan Jett.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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