The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a Joke

Categories: Depressing

Could Hall and Oates be your next Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees?
By: Nick Keppler

Whatever illuminati votes on inductees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is undergoing its deliberations for the class of 2014. The process apparently includes much backstage lobbying, as induction can lead to a real spike in sales of back catalogs and "Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee" looks good on the obituaries some of these people are no doubt expecting to be written soon. But the fact is, entry into the Rock Hall is the most worthless music honor this side of a Grammy Award. Luckily, there's a way to fix that.

The Rock Hall is a nice enough as a tourist destination. If you are a certain kind of person, it's hard not to get a nerd boner in the presence of a real Beatles drumhead or the remains of the bass smashed on the cover photo of London Calling. Particularly affecting is the Hall's chronologically ordered wall of Jim Morrison artifacts, starting with a birth certificate, ending with a death certificate and including in between a Cub Scout uniform, a few arrest warrants and a letter from his dad telling him to get a job. The Rock and Hall of Fame is pretty cool as a physical place in the world. And what else is there to do if you're visiting family in Cleveland?

Yet, as an honorific, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee has been watered down. It's way too easy to get in, especially for a certain kind of act. Over the years, 295 artists have been inducted. The first class included Elvis, James Brown, Chuck Berry, Ray Charles and Sam Cooke. This year, the Hall's voting body is considering Deep Purple, Hall and Oates, The Zombies, LL Cool J and Chic. Those are all respectable artists, but the Hall used to be for legends among legends.

As with most things in life, the fault lies with baby boomers, the most nostalgic generation ever. In the Rock Hall's first decade or so, of course most inductees came from the boomers' prime record-buying years. The marquee names of the '50s, '60s and early '70s were the only ones who met the edibility requirement of 25 years since an artist's first release. But more recently, it seems like two or three unavoidable acts that debuted in the '80s get in shortly after they become eligible (this year, it will be Nirvana and maybe The Replacements) and then the no-doubt middle-aged music industry insiders who make up the Hall's voting body throw in a bunch of semi-forgotten leftovers from their own wonder years. Case in point: The non-backing band performers of 2012 were the Beastie Boys, Guns 'N Roses, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Donovan, the Small Faces and Laura Nyro.

There are now a glut of second-tier doo-wop acts, soul singers, British invasion bands and folkies in the Hall. Really, all it takes is one song oldies stations love. How else do you think Percy Sledge got in? And the Hall even passes up hugely influential people from the '60s and '70s that are more popular today with 20-something hipsters than they are with 60-something twice-divorced winos. The Hall has ignored Nick Drake, Roxy Music, Big Star, The New York Dolls and Lou Reed (as a solo artist) for acts that lack their lasting appeal and multi-generation influence--like The Dells and The Young Rascals--but who made it into baby boomers' prom memories.

See also: Live: Hall & Oates Do The Hits (And A Few Christmas Songs!) At Beacon Theatre

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RocketJ topcommenter

It's a crying shame
What they did to our thing
All of the spirit
How to live they did drain
On the shores of Lake Erie
Man, there is a committee
It's a corporation, don't know nothing about fornication
A sick abomination ought to be cast out of our nation

It's a Rock and Roll Hall of Lame
Rock and Roll Hall of Shame
Rock and Roll Hall of Lame (Rock n' Roll, Rock n' Roll, Rock n' Roll Hall of Lame!)

Why'd they put it in Cleveland?
Well you know, it was because of the money.
Should be down in Memphis
You know that in your heart, sonny
Black tie, limousines,
Sure is a real hoity toity scene
Yeah, but spirit's all wrong
it's uptown and mean
Let me tell ya
Real Rock and Roll's about cheap electrical guitars
and master secret places that serve underage kids in bars

Not a Rock and Roll Hall of Lame
Rock and Roll Hall of Shame
Rock and Roll Hall of Lame (Rock n' Roll Hall of Lame!)

If it was really Rock and Roll
They'd have a drug ATM (I'd be there)
There'd be a drive-in movie theater
showing Thunder Road and Vanishing Point
It'd be a monument to teenage sex
They'd be handing out free copies of "On the Road", "Fear and Loathing" and "Steal This Book"
They'd be giving fake IDs to teenagers
cause if your under 21 but over 18 you should be able to drink
It'd be a Rock n' Roll, Rock n' Roll, Rock n' Roll, Rock n' Roll, a really Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but that ain't what it is
It's nothing but a big lie
Don't believe the big lie
Rock and Roll will never die (Bring it way down, boys)

As long as there's a 13 year old kid
As long as on the planet Earth there's a 13 year old kid who wanna masturbate on the playground and start singing like Little Richard, Rock n' Roll will be here
Cause Rock n' Roll is in the air, in your underwear, it don't care
Rock and Roll is not in limousines
Rock and Roll's not rich and mean

Rock and Roll Hall of Lame
Rock and Roll Hall of Shame
It's nothing but Rock and Roll Hall of Lame

1, 2, 3, 4!

Rock and Roll Hall of Lame
Rock and Roll Hall of Shame
Rock and Roll Hall of Lame (Nothing but, nothing but, nothing but, nothing but a Rock n' Roll Hall of Lame!)
(keeps repeating)

The Eagles? The Eagles! Who are you kidding?
These putrid pop pukes belong in the Whore Hall of Fame
That's where I'm going to put The Eagles
Oh do you think Otis Redding is going to be happy to see The Eagles?
He's gonna kick Glenn Frey's ass!
Fleetwood Mac? Fleetwood Mac! Jesus Christ!
What is worse than Fleetwood Mac? The Archies or something?
Oh Christie McVie, she's so Rock and Roll
She looks like a damn housewife
Why don't you go to Celine Dion's house and get butt naked and I'm gonna get on top of both of them, make a videotape, and make a lot of money!

Rock and Roll, Rock and Roll, Rock and Roll, Rock n' Roll, Ro... Rock n' Roll's in my soul!)

(That was pretty fucking cool!
They ain't coming to take Mojo)


"The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a Joke"

I don't disagree with you...but why the diss to "Heart"?

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