First let me say that the best part of the Rock n Roll HOF Induction Ceremony was Billy Joel’s speech for John Mellencamp (whether Mellencamp is HOF material is another topic completely). The second highlight was Iggy Pop reintrepreting Madonna.
But wouldn’t you know all the Baby Boomer muckety-mucks sat there in their tuxedos and designer ball gowns just staring at bare chested and flailing Iggy like someone just loudly farted during their sit-down dinner?
Shoot, even Madonna, who told stories of dropping E with her A&R; guy, and seeing her publicist smoking pot behind her desk, was reserved when she saw Iggy backstage. They were all polite and shook hands, posing for pictures and all ADULT-like, lead to the press room.
Allow me to describe what I would’ve been like had I been Madonna in this situation. (Hell, this applies if I were myself and somehow fortunate enough to be at this event):
1. I’d be doing the slutty rocker girl dance right in front the stage during Iggy’s entire set. Then I’d crawl my Betsy Johnson wearing ass up on the stage just so I could dive off.
2. Backstage (technically in the corridor between the kitchen and the I-don’t-know-what of the hotel), the moment I saw Iggy down the hall, I’d take off running, high heels be damned, yelling “You Fucking ROCK!” then launch myself at the guy, wrapping all four limbs around his body and not worrying if his sweat would stain my dress.
Cuz dammit, THAT’S Rock n Roll!
Every year at this time comes the discussion of who the Rock Hall is missing. Here are my choices for most egregious omissions, in chronological order:
1. Carole King and Joan Baez.
2. Cat Stevens. Harry Chapin. Jim Croce. Yes, I’m putting them all one line, and yes they were eligible the same year (1991). How the hell do you NOT include the men who wrote “Morning Has Broken”, “Father and Son”, “Cat’s Cradle”, and “Time in a Bottle”??
3. Neil Diamond. Do a songwriting search. You will be amazed how many stellar, hit records this guy has had his hands in, and not as an artist.
4. Alice Cooper. What the fuck? Seriously. Without Alice there IS no Kiss, Mushroomhead, Gwar, or anyone else who fancies a little theater with their rock n roll. Poor Robert Smith of The Cure wouldn’t know what to with himself if he hadn’t had Alice to emulate just a little. Not to mention The Crow…
5. Yes. We have Pink Floyd but no Yes or Genesis?
6. Todd Rundgren. I would expect the average rock fan to not know all that Todd has contributed to music and the technology and business of music, but the fucking rock hall should! This is a guy who tried to work with cable companies and major music labels back in the early 90’s to stream music over your tv. (yeah, those music choice channels you have now….) He was one of the very first artists to embrace the ‘net and know what it could do.
7. The New York Dolls. Again, without them there would be no Kiss and no Motley Crue (Read “the dirt”, Mr. Sixx mentions them by name. And I know Rikki Rockett from Poison is a big fan too.)
8. Rush. There is not a rock drummer that I know that does NOT cite Neil Peart as an influence. They are considered by many, and I do many, to be the godfathers of alternative rock as we know it. Without Rush, there is no Seattle sound from the early 90’s.
9. Tina Turner. Proud Mary, nuff said.
10. Judas Priest. Not one, but TWO guitars. If you don’t think that influenced a whole genre of metal, you haven’t been paying attention.
11. Kiss. I don’t even like Kiss’ music. I think 85% of it is total crap. But I can’t find a single friggin musician under the age of 40 that isn’t inspired by them in some way! Not to mention their cross-marketing savvy which was far ahead of their time.
12. Heart. I curse Nancy Wilson every time I play Guitar Hero. They are truly magnificent. They inspired a whole generation (or three) of women to pick up the guitar and the microphone and wail as hard as any man.
13. The Cars. What they did with synthesizers revolutionized popular music. The songwriting and videos weren’t too shabby either.
14. The B-52’s. If you give it to Frank Zappa, you give it to The B-52’s.
15. Ozzy Osbourne, solo artist. Crazy Train, Crazy Train, Crazy Train.
16. Bad Religion. Because dammit, they’re Bad Religion.
17. Duran Duran. Make fun all you want, and yes, I have a ‘thing’ for Simon LeBon, but ask yourself where the art of music videos would be without them? All those multi-million dollar rap videos in the 90’s owe themselves to Duran Duran’s lush exotic locales and designer name outfits.
A few non-artists that should be considered as well:
Wayne Isham (video director)
Mutt Lange (producer)
Bob Rock (producer)
Rick Rubin (producer, label owner)
Desmond Childs (songwriter, aka, the hitmaker)
What do you think? Let me know.