Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: Like or Dislike?

I’ll be honest.

I’ve never liked the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame very much.

The whole idea of a Hall of Fame for music has always just bothered me. I’m not really sure why I’m fine with Hall of Fames for sports; I think I enjoy music and sports in equal amounts, but they exist on entirely different planes, which may be the reason.

It also may rest in the fact the music has more room for innovativeness (spelled wrong). Musicians are constantly taking the music they like and transforming it into something different. Take, for instance, the progression of blues to rock n roll. The musicians motives never changed, but the music did.

With sports, the changes are much more subtle. In the ’30s, baseball was listened to on radios, and it really was the National Pastime. Today, baseball is watched on TV or the internet, and falls into about 1,000th place for National Pastime (when you average out all 300 million people that live here….if you polled males between the ages of 18-35, it would probably be at number 3, behind football and internet porn).

My point being….the way we watch the game has changed, but not the game so much. Sure, guys are bigger and stronger due to better vitamins, more vigorous training, and ofcourse, Steriods, but the game really hasn’t changed much.

With this in mind, its easy to see why Hall of Fames work in sports. With a medium that remains fairly constant over long periods of time, a few choice players stand out above the rest. These are the truly Great Ones, and they deserve to be in a Hall. Ofcourse, Steriods has thrown this all into a tangled mess: without the consistency of ballplayers strength being similar over these periods of time, we’ll truly never know if Babe Ruth would have hit more homers, than say, Barry Bonds, if they played at the same time.

Ofcourse, there was always the problem with comparing the Negro League and Major Leagues before steriods came about, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

The reason Hall of Fames work with sports is that, aside from such issues as steriods, players don’t change much, and the games they play don’t change much. So when someone stands out….they Really Matter.

But music is not sports. Music has never stayed the same: 10,000 years ago, some Cave Man (sorry Geico Guys) took a rock and started banging it, and all the other Cave Men and Women said, “Hey, Great Tune! Let’s Dance!” (or something along these lines).

Since then, music has never stayed the same. It is a contantly shifting animal. Which is why a Hall of Fame for Rock & Roll is stupid. There undoubtably greats in Rock that need to be recognized, but they’re all trying to accomplish different things: the plane is never the same.

All of this is illustrated by three of this year’s nominees for induction in 2009: Jeff Beck; Metallica; and The Stooges (of Iggy Pop fame).

These three respective musicians/musical groups could not be more different. But beyond that….it says something about an organization when it takes thirty years to even induct these legends.

Jeff Beck has been on par with Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Pete Townshend, and every other great British guitar player since the 1960s. He is EPIC. How in the Hell is he not being nominated until now?

Metallica pretty much were the godfathers of the Metal/Thrash scene in the 1980s, and produced record breaking album sales in the 1990s. How in the Hell weren’t they nominated already?

And then you’ve got The Stooges. Their front man, Iggy Pop, is the Godfather of Punk. These guys created Punk Rock, a genre with more sub-genres then any other genre. How in the Hell did it take this long?

But these questions can’t be answered, because Rock & Roll is so big, and so broad, and so damn evolving, that you can’t catorgorize it. Iggy Pop and Jeff Beck are two of the most opposite individuals in the world, and they both influenced opposite end of their respective genre, but they both belong among the greats. Its deeper than saying, “Well, one’s a catcher and one’s a pitcher.” These guys aren’t even playing the same game.

And that is why the R&RHofF bothers me. Will I stop by if I’m ever in Cleveland? Probably. But the problem is that there trying to put all musicians up to the same standard, like in sports, except sports and music are not the same.

(Note: I really rushed this one.  Might brush it up later).

Until Next Time,

Greg

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Scattered Thoughts, Al Davis vs. Kim Jong Il

Funny thing:

In the early ’90s, if you had a cellphone, you were assumed to be a drug dealer, unless you were a doctor, lawyer, or businessman.

If you used a payphone, you were probably just stuck somewhere or in need of help.

Today, if you use a payphone, you’re a drug dealer. And if you don’t have a cellphone….well, not only are you anti-social, you’re selfish. Because what if I needed reach you, but because you didn’t have a cellphone, I couldn’t? Huh….what about that?

So….yah. Things have changed.

Last week, it was announced that the absolutely AWFUL Detroit Lions GM, Matt Millen, was finally being fired. Only after the owner’s son publicly embarrassed his dad by announcing that if it was up to him, Millen would have been fired, did it go through. So its safe to say that if son didn’t make said comment, Millen would still be in charge.

Now, Millen was pathetic: his draft skills were atrocious, and he once called one of his wide receivers a ‘fag.’ Nice boss. But what surprises me more is the awful ownership. Millen obviously should have been fired years ago, but the aging owner, a member of the Ford family, never got around to it. Usually, I would chalk this up to old age/senile-ism. But its not; not at all.

Since this joker’s owned the Lions in 1964, the Lions have only won one playoff game.

You read that right.

Now, if you want the definition of pathetic, there it is. How in the hell is that possible? This team had Barry F**king Sanders! And Herman Moore!

Maybe Ford Motor Vehicles isn’t going broke because of the trend to not buy cars in this time of high oil prices and economic emergencies: maybe this knucklehead was sitting in on the board meeting at the wrong time.

Whatever the case, this guy sucks. I’m amazed he’s able to walk on the Mean Streets of Motown without bullets flying by him.

Speaking of Football Owners:

Throughout the first few weeks of this NFL season, the Oakland Raiders organization has been on fire. Like, literally; not in a good way. The whole place is burning to the ground.

Al Davis apparently hired Head Coach Lane Kiffin, but insists on implanting his own schemes into the defense, and won’t let Lane fire any defensive coaches. Yah, it pretty much sounds like a mess; this type of stuff usually doesn’t lead to greatness on the field.

But it got me thinking…..

The Oakland Raiders, for the last ten years or so, have been a lot like a country that you hear about in the news from time to time: North Korea.

Think about it….

The Raider Nation, located in Oakland, CA, is a rather unruly bunch, who paint their faces silver and wear ancient warrior type gear. They often snarl at the camera during games and generally try to intimidate us as viewers.

The Nation of North Korea’s population base is much more mysterious: we really don’t know anything about them, except that their impoverished, relie on foreign aid, and are Communist.

But these two population bases have a lot in common: their governments don’t take care of them very well. When was the last time any took a member of Raider Nation seriously? It’s like, “Dude, take off the war paint and put away the medieval mace….your team sucks. Really. It’ s not very cool.”

The highly militarized North Korean population has the same type of problems.

Ofcourse, this takes us to the leadership of each nation……which is remarkably similar.

Both nations are run respectively by Al Davis and Kim Jong Il.

Both men are old.

Both men have been in power for a long time.

Both men are vain, or atleast try to be.

Both men are extremely creepy, in the Howard Hughes type of way.

Both men are mysterious (ties in to H. Hughes).

Both men wear sunglasses at all times.

Both men have slick-backed black hair.

Both men have an unexplanable love for nylon jumpsuits.

Both men have been rumoured to be dead or on life-support.

Both men, in recent years, lost their intrigue as respectable leaders (if they ever were respected).

Both men like to pretend they are good at sports (Al Davis tries to call defensive plays from his penthouse; it was reported in North Korean newspapers that Kim Jong Il shot a perfect 18 while golfing recently).

And both men are openly poked fun at by the media, but also garner enough fear to earn them respect: remember, the Raiders made the Super Bowl a few years back, so you never know when they might get good again; and North Korea periodically makes headlines because they refuse to allow UN nuclear inspectors to visit their facilities, leading to speculation that they are, in fact, building nuclear weapons.

So there you have it……Raider Nation and North Korea, forever united in creating fear, loathing, chaos, and humor throughout their respective worlds.

—-

I have one thought on Jim Zorn, the Redskins coach, giving a “Hip-Hip Hooray!!” chant with his team after their win this weekend (which was a very good win, by the way).

Terrible. Atrocious. Preposterious (okay, its been more than one thought).

Seriously, does he know these are grown men? And that they play in the NFL? No offense, but I’m a pretty average joe compared to these guys, and even I feel, a little, how do I put it, silly, saying this phrase. I thought they outlawed after you passed the 5th grade.

Hip-Hip Hooray! Good Golly…..

Well, I gotta go. Peacers.
Until Next Time,

Greg