Rockhall Nomination for 2012

When the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum was newly-established and first began inducting musicians, writers, producers, etc., back in 1986, the pool of contenders was like the selections in a really good candy store, and the first class of inductees was pretty much unfuckwithable. Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, James Brown, Jerry Lee Lewis, Sam Cooke, Little Richard, the Everly Brothers, Robert Johnson, Jimmie Rodgers, Sam Phillips, Ray Charles, Jimmy Yancey, John Hammond, Alan Freed… it’s difficult to even place that list in a hierarchical order. And the inductees kept being good for several more years.

But in recent times, just knowing the nominees are about to be announced makes me cringe. A little piece of my soul shrivelled up when ABBA was inducted, and don’t even get me started on Neil Diamond. But who am I to say these music creators who make my skin crawl don’t deserve a place in the Incongruous Semi-Pyramid on the Lake? I realized that I was rejecting these artists based on personal preference when I attempted to debate with someone that his disdain for the choice of Public Enemy as a representative of the best of rock was wrong-headed. Yes, hip hop is not, specifically speaking, rock, but neither is soul, and I would volunteer to smack anyone who would deny the rightful place of Otis Redding in those hallowed halls.

(I won’t get into my torturuously conflicted feelings on the very idea of the Rock and Roll Museum, but if you’d like to play at home, you can begin by combining the fact that the Rockhall is one of my favorite places to visit in the world [I’ve been there approximately seven times and my first visit was six hours long] and my strong identification with John Lydon’s observation that something honoring the true heart of rock music should not resemble an ancient mausoleum.)

So, what do you think readers? What would be your criteria for inductees? Can you remain objective about such an emotional art form?

Here’s this year’s list of nominees, followed by a few videos from some of my favorites.

· Beastie Boys
· The Cure
· Donovan
· Eric B. & Rakim
· Guns ‘N Roses
· Heart
· Joan Jett and The Blackhearts
· Freddie King
· Laura Nyro
· Red Hot Chili Peppers
· Rufus with Chaka Khan
· The Small Faces/The Faces
· The Spinners
· Donna Summer
· War








The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum Official Website

Bits: Music for Alabama, Mike Watt, Vic Chesnutt, Boston Spaceships, Urge Overkill, Rockhall

  • Artist from across the country have contributed to The Wind Will Carry the Voice of the People, a Bandcamp compilation to aid the tornado-ravaged areas of Alabama. All proceeds go to the Red Cross.
  • Mike Watt + the missingmen will perform Watt’s 3rd opera hyphenated-man in its entirety on KXLU on May 19 at 10 PM PST.
  • plan9films is making a documentary about the late Vic Chesnutt tentatively titled Vic Chesnutt – It Is What It Is. MusicFilmWeb reports that Michael Stipe has signed on as executive producer. The film is to be released later this year.
  • In 1986, Black Flag went on tour with Painted Willie and Gone. Painted Willie’s drummer, David Markey, filmed it. He’s now made his tour documentary Reality 86’d available to view on Vimeo.
  • Robert Pollard’s band Boston Spaceships will be release a new album, Let It Beard (how great is that title?), on August 2. Guttersnipe has a tracklisting, as well as a little commentary from Pollard.
  • Urge Overkill have released Rock & Roll Submarine, their first album in 16 years. You can check out a track, “Mason/Dixon”, at My Old Kentucky Blog.
  • Scene Magazine reports that, as promised, the next Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place back in Cleveland, Ohio, on April 14 at Public Hall.