Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Rock Hall Inductee Ballot

Hey Soul Mates,
now I'm not a voting member of the Rock Hall, just a charter member of the museum, but boy if I were... The potential class of '05 was revealed when the ballot for the Rock Hall came out yesterday. I'm not going to recant my previous statement about Run DMC, but I was wrong. This year we have our first Hip Hop act up for election: Grandmaster Flash and the Furious 5. They should be a lock. Although they weren't the first rap act, nor the first to chart (Sugarhill Gang and Kurtis Blow came before) but no one had as lasting an impact. The Message? White Lines? This is elemental hip hop. Grandmaster Flash was the first DJ to be a household name. His turntable skills are unparalleled. And his group, the Furious 5? Nasty! In fact, one of the first 12" records I purchased, back in the day was It's Nasty by GMF&TF5.

The other no brainer on the ballot is U2. Easily the most important group of the last 20 years, although I'd listen to arguments supporting Public Enemy. I didn't become a U2 fan until they fell off with their original core audience. Yep, I thought The Fly was something else. Since then I've seen them in concert several times. I used to mock friends who liked them. Bono seemed too self-important for me: "3 chords and the truth." Two Hearts Beat As One has a great hook; I felt Pride was a decent single, as was Desire. But it was Achtung, Baby! that made me see the light. Rock on, U2.

I'm not so certain about the other nominated acts. J. Geils Band, Randy Newman, The Pretenders, Conway Twitty, Buddy Guy, Sex Pistols (on the ballot, again), Percy Sledge and Wanda Jackson. This could be the smallest inductee class yet. J. Geils had a nice run in the late 70's/early 80's, but I'm not feeling it. The Pretenders have made solid pop/rock for years and Chrissie Hynde is one of the most important female rockers, so they may make it. I'm a Buddy Guy fan, and he represents the last of the great blues guitarists who aren't in the Hall. I'd like to see his induction.

The others are too fringe for my taste: Randy is a great writer; Conway had a long country run; Wanda's reward is nomination; Percy (When A Man Loves A Woman) Sledge is a class act, but a one-hit wonder to many. I hope nobody blames him for Michael Bolton. The Sex Pistols bring up a good argument. They made one real album, but influenced a generation. Do they deserve in? I'll leave that up to the voters. I won't cry either way. When the voters had trouble with Steely Dan and Bob Marley, that was just silly. But the Pistols? Debatable.

Gotta get dinner. Then to see a great local group, Orson.
Love, Power, Peace.


Blogger DP5150 said...

Although I agree with most of nominations, I am sorely disappointed with absence of Van Halen from the ballot. Though they have had 3 lead singers in their storied 26 year career, Eddie created a whole new sound of rock guitar that has been imitated but never duplicated. In addition, the band is listed as one of the 50 most influential bands in music. Take it for what it's worth, but I think they deserve a nomination before U2.

9:32 AM, September 15, 2004  

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