Tuesday, May 31, 2022

A LOOK AT THE CONTROVERSIES OF THE ROCK & ROLL HALL OF FAME... A DEFENSE OF THE INSTITUTION..., despite the fact that, it actually has A LOT OF PROBLEMS....!

 

Hmmm.... Man..., Taylor Hawkins...- 

(Forlorn sighs)  

Dammit.... So, like, there were two rock & roll bands last year, and I mean, bands, a group, with instruments, inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, The Foo Fighters, and The Go-Go's, and both bands had all their members live long enough to all be inducted together, which, y'know, for many obvious reasons, is pretty rare,... and like not even a year later, maybe six months, we lose one, and it's the Foo Fighters who lose a band member first!!!! The Foo Fighters! The band that like, doesn't have any bad habits; they lose the band member!!! And it's not like I love one band over the other; I love them both, but like, all the drugs and sex and parties, and drugs, and debauchery, and drugs, seriously, all the drugs that The Go-Go's did, and they're the band that's still all survived, and we lose, sweet, likeable, talented Taylor!? 

The world likes to laugh at us somedays y'know....

(Sighs)

One of my annual television viewing traditions that I try every year to watch, is the Inductions/Concert for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. I don't talk much about music here, mostly because it's not my area of expertise, which is of course, mainly film and television, but if I may go on a slight detour from those typical areas of media discussion, while I don't consider it my expertise, I definitely am knowledgeable about music, and especially rock & roll, and naturally, I like the history of music as much as the history of anything else, so yeah, if I've been able to watch the inductions and the concert, I will watch the concert. And participate, for a while now, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame includes a fan vote, and every year, I not only participate, but I post my thoughts and my ballot on Twitter and on Facebook. 

All I'll say this year is that, this is one of the most difficult ballots I ever filled out, and I think, easily, most of the nominees should be in the Hall of Fame, if not already, eventually, but for those curious, in alphabetical order, I voted for Kate Bush, DEVO, Eminem, Fela Kuti and yes, despite her insistence that she didn't want to be inducted, I voted for Dolly Parton. 

This was the big story that first got reported in that, that is the first time that Dolly Parton has ever even made the nomination ballot, which, on one hand is crazy, she's been around, for like, Jesus-, she's been recording music as far back as when she was a teenager in the late '50s, and yet, she's only now on the ballot!? On the other hand, she doesn't think she belongs in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, because she's primarily promoted and thought of as a country artist. I'll get into why this argument is just bullshit, but most people who complain about the problems with the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, inevitably, have points of argument revolving around the idea that so-and-so artist, or music is not rock & roll. 

(Sigh)

Look,- I'm gonna detail a lot of, actual issues with the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and trust me, there's a lot, and the more you actually dig into it, you begin to really question, who exactly is in charge here and why, and I don't really want to go into this triviality of what is or isn't technically Rock & Roll, mostly because I don't care, also because, whatever somebody thinks Rock & Roll actually is, they're probably wrong to begin with. I'm gonna end this now, country music, basically is rock & roll. So is rap, so is New Wave, so is Pop music for that matter. So is jazz, to an extent.... Like, if you actually know the history of rock & roll, 99% of any argument that says something modern isn't rock & rock, sounds really stupid, and yes, that includes from you, Dolly! Sorry. I love you, but sorry, if you're not rock & roll then I don't know who is. 

Quick history lesson, rock & roll and country, both evolved from the Delta Blues, they literally have the same musical roots, and basically started evolving into their modern forms, at around the same time, and they often did this together, and not just on separate branches of the this roots tree. And delta blues, itself evolved from an evolution that started from slave pastorals and they evolved from African genres of folk music...- look, trying to pinpoint, what exactly rock & roll is, and where exactly it (finger quotes) "started", is kind of a fool's errand. I've heard some people argue that Elvis Presley's song "That's Alright, Mama" is the first "rock & roll" song, I remember at the height of Elvis, seeing footage of Fats Domino talking about how he's been doing his music for ten years, and then they started calling it rock & roll. VH-1's original poll of musicians listing their 100 Greatest Artist of Rock & Roll, had Robert Johnson on the list; who died in 1938!!!!!!!!! If rock & roll Artists say he's rock & roll, then, I'm sorry, short of classical composers from centuries ago, I think rock & roll is vastly more all-encompassing then some people actually think it is, or want to believe it is. And if you still want to say, Rock and Country still aren't close enough, there's already several artists, including Elvis, in both the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the Country Music Hall of Fame! Hell, one of the first people the Rock Hall inducted was Hank Williams! (Sure, as an early influencer, but still....) Look, I'm not a country guy, like, at all, but c'mon, these claims just don't hold up. I mean, "Rock & Roll" itself is a made-up term by Alan Freed a DJ looking for a way to describe, what was then, this new kind of music; it's basically like how there's like fifty different variant words to describe trap music now, whatever the fuck trap music is- I don't really-, 'cause I can't tell myself what differentiates that from any other EDM or whatever.... Rock & Roll's just a term that stuck, and was controversial at the time, because it was an African-American slang word for sex, (It had others noted uses too, but that was the big one that mattered at the time) and that, along with everything else, inevitably, was "scandalous" about the so-called Devil's music. So yeah, I don't like these arguments; they're very narrow-minded and unknowing about what rock & roll actually is. That doesn't mean I think every great modern artist from every popular modern genre should be in the Hall of Fame, or is rock & roll enough to be in, but no, that argument that one genre isn't rock & roll, that only exists if you still think rock & roll has to only be four chords and backbeat, and I'm sorry, that's just dumb.

So, yeah, all that did, was make me literally vote for Dolly more.... And she got in this year. She was seventh in the voting apparently, according to Amy Linden, the music writer and culture critic who is a voting member, and is a member of the Hall's Nominating Committee... (We'll get to them...) who announced the placement results on the podcast "ImmaLetYouFinish" despite her temporarily potentially hindering her own votecount, behind the top six inductees in order this year, Eurythmics, Eminem, Pat Benatar (along with her husband/guitarist Neil Gerardo), Duran Duran, Lionel Ritchie and Carly Simon. 

I do have a lot of thoughts on that list, who got in, who got snubbed, etc. etc., but I don't want to talk about my own musical tastes and whatnot, in that respects, it's not important what I think. That said..., um, how exactly, do they pick the people to be in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame? Cause,- there is some issues here.... Like, there's really some serious accusations about the corruption of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame selection process, as well as just, some very bizarre and outright concerning issues regarding the process and frankly, the whole institution. As well as just, a lot of other controversies behind the Hall of Fame, and again, none of these are gonna regard any particular opinion on who should or who shouldn't have been inducted. It's possible that I might toss out a penny's worth of a thought on some of these as we go down some of these rabbit holes and talk about them, but the issues with the Hall of Fame are definitely not the nominees or inductees. 

In fact, before we go through these, and really paint this, somewhat disturbing picture that will genuinely make you question everything about this organization to one degree or another, I want to add, one more positive thing about the Hall, and it's something that I think is a pretty indisputable truth about the Hall of Fame, and the music industry in general, and that is that, I consider being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, the single greatest honor given out in the music industry. 

(Shrugs) 

No really. And I'm actually surprised more people don't think this, and yes, in many cases, I'm gonna include actual members of the Hall of Fame, who, for very good reasons, have particularly negatives and even antagonistic thoughts about the Hall of Fame, but really, what else is there? What else is actually worth a damn? Here's an award honoring, not one song, not one album, but a lifetime's worth of a career, that says that you're not only one of the greatest, most important, most essential people in our genre, so much so that, your work is worth preserving in order to tell the story of rock & roll! I mean, that's pretty big, and it's not like any other music honor or award out there is worth a fraction of that! I mean, what else can you make the argument for, Grammys? C'mon even at their best, they're one of the biggest jokes of any award shows, certainly the least credible of the EGOTs and they're still more legit then the rest of the music awards out there! Billboard Awards? BET Awards? VMAs? I mean, I guess Bob Dylan can win the Nobel Prize for Literature, or there's the Gershwin Prize, or a Kennedy Center award, but those aren't- but those are limiting, and they're not simply honoring rock & roll;  what we're looking for is just an absolute true honor in modern music, and to me, that's where the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame still has a considerable amount of weight, and why we do care about who has or who hasn't been inducted and I'd say, the most weight of any other comparable recognition that's given to our greatest musicians. If you want to say that there's no honor that can be given, that giving out any kind of recognition or prize that supposedly determines a quality of art, I get that argument too, and some people have made this argument specifically with the Hall of Fame, I'm just saying that all things considered, of what we got, it's still easily number one, and that's after everything else, including everything I'm about to talk about. So yeah, I stand by this, being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, is the single greatest honor/award one can get, in modern music; the absolutely definitive standard of a artists' greatness, importance and contributions to the art of music.  

That all said, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is FUCKED UP!!!!. It's shielded by some charismatic-yet-questionable standard-bearers, a distressingly secretive and possibly corrupt voting process, one that seems to include a ridiculous amount of wheeling, dealing, or in the case of some people, claims of just, outright ignoring the results to induct people that some of the heads felt, either needed to be inducted more for either publicity, public perception, or perhaps just because, and reportedly there have  been reports of artists kept off the ballots and weren't inducted specifically at the behests and the biases of those "in charge" as well. Admittedly, I don't know how reliable or speculative some of these claims are, but they're happening often enough and usually involve the same people most of the time, that I gotta believe, even regarding some of the dumbest of these accusation, that there has to be a certain level of truth to everything I'm gonna bring up here, and a lot of other stories that I won't because, I could be here awhile if I did. 

For lack of a better place to "begin", let's start at the beginning. Why do we have a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame to begin with? Well, it started originally as the brainchild of Ahmet Ertegun, a legendary, promoter and songwriter who helped push the careers of, seemingly everybody from Duke Ellington to Frank Zappa, and was the head of Atlantic Records by the mid-'80s; he's the one who established the first Board and along with several other founders that consisted of other music industry executives, attorneys, and music media publishers, most notably on that last one, and the name that we're probably gonna here the most of, Jann Wenner, the famous co-founder and still, today, the publisher of Rolling Stone Magazine, Jann Wenner. (So, he's the guy responsible for those goddamn lists they put on the website every few months and those special double issues honoring, some artist from the past that you see in line at CVS but never buy.)

Now, they started inducting people right away, although most of the big deal regarding the early days of the awards, actually centered primarily around finding a location, and physically designing and building the Hall, inevitably, and somewhat controversially, ending up in Cleveland, Ohio. Believe it or not, there's still some people who are genuinely upset at this process, and the fact that the city paid out for this project. 

(Shrugs) 

I don't know, I think you could say that there's something to be said about bringing the government funding involved to finance what are private endeavors like this, and yeah, this does seem like a lot of money for a museum, but it's also, the only real reason I could ever imagine myself going to Cleveland. I would say that this is less important then some, but it strikes people the wrong way and yeah, the city actually still pays to help run the Hall of Fame, through taxes on cigarettes mostly..., you can definitely say it's manipulative, and it won't be the last time one can say that about something involving them, particularly Wenner.

Whether he actually technically is the guy (finger quotes) "in charge" or not Jann Wenner seems to have become the main arbiter of, what and who, inevitably gets inducted to the Hall of Fame, or for that matter put on the ballot. That doesn't mean that there's some illegitimate names that get in, but a lot of the names that get on the ballot, or don't seemingly...., ehhhhhh.... 

(Sigh)

So, the voting process of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, is,- well, it's not terrible on the surface, but...- anyway, in terms of an artist, the only real rule is that an artist has to wait 25 years after their debut released recording. That's the simple criteria. Now, as to how you get on the ballot, well.... This is where the voting procedure gets tricky.... There's no official public count, there's some disputed figures, Wikipedia there's about 500 voters; that about how many their were originally, but most other counts put it around the 800-1,000 members range, so we're gonna go the rounding up of around1,000 official voters for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, but not all of them have a say on who's actually on the final ballot. Apparently there's a select group, of, I don't know how many members, and from what I can find, it seems to be a rotating group, at least, supposedly a rotating group, that comes in with there lists of names and they decide who ends up on the final ballot. Now, this group,  again, there seems to be some who are apart of the group temporarily and then, there's some of the founders, and most notably, Jann Wenner, who seem to be permanent members of this group, and have at times been accused of some undue influence. This isn't specifically noted as the reason why certain artists who seem to never get on the ballot don't get on, or why others do, but in fact, the whole process seems to just be at Wenner's whim on some accounts.  

But, this nominating process to begin with, is kinda bizarre. Like, I can kinda think of some other voting groups in entertainment that have a similar structure, for instance, the Cannes voting panel is constantly changing and never consistent, but that's not like they're a permanent large group, it's only a panel judging a very limited number of film every year, and Cannes does it that way because they believe changing the panel every year leads to differing winners and decisions, so that no consistent group of the same kind of movies overtake the festival awards. But,-, like there's something weird here, like if somebody's good enough to be a voter for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, then, why aren't they good enough to select the nominees? Like, it's not like the Emmys or Oscars where it makes sense to have actors determining the acting nominees and not, who the best sound engineers were, but, there's only one honor here... And this, nominating committee, we don't really know who's on it, and what their process is, or who controls it. I mean, they talk about them being rock & roll historians, but even historians have some biases pro and against certain artists and subgenres of rock & roll, and by every other account, I can find, it seems like while this is supposed to be a rotating group, is mostly controlled at the whims, of Jann Wenner. So, if he doesn't like someone or something, then they are less likely to get in. 

And while we're at it, what does the nominating process entail. Are there votes gathered, is it a discussion, is it a combination of the two; there's never been an answer given that's like, totally accepted, and very few people have ever admitted to being voters and even fewer have talked about this part of the process in great detail, or for that matter any part of the process. I've found one or two varied anonymous voter ballots online, but those are on the after-nominations side and, even then there's issues that I'll get to, but it's actually shocking how little transparency there is here.

Full disclosure, I heard all this, many times before, and I still wasn't in the "Something's Really Wrong" Camp, until I was doing some research, and I decided to search for publicly-known Rock & Roll Hall of Famer voters, and while I suspect most of the people that we would think of as potential voters are in fact voters, but the first name I found, was-eh, well, kinda surprising to me.... 


Baby Booey. 

Seriously, Baba Booey, is a voter!!!!! In fact, he's one of the very few confirmed voters out there for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. This sounds like a bad joke.... (Also, Jon Heim, the guy who's created with the term, "Jumping the Shark"? Whaaa?!-) 

Ummm, okay, to be fair, fairer then Howard Stern's actually being, Gary Dell'Abante has spent most of his career as an FM radio producer, admittedly most for Howard Stern, mostly in his New York days for I think it was WNBC and later for Sirius Radio with him, and I'm certain you don't go into that line of work without some knowledge and expertise of rock'n'roll; I mean, if you were to ask me of a group of people who should be included as voters for this, radio people, the people who actually play the music for the masses, and probably have to listen to more of it then all of us, experienced people in radio, would definitely be near the top of my list. I'm gonna say, there could be worst voters, then Baba Booey?! I guess. 

(Shrugs. Big, big shrugs!)

Eh....

To be fair, I get it, if I got the opportunity that Mr. Dell'Abate, clearly has gotten, to be a voter, no matter how unqualified I might seem, I would absolutely take it, so-eh, I'm not blaming him, nor saying that he's the reason why so-and-so is in or out, or whatever.... I'm sure, there's worst honors with worst voters out there, but.... Oh-kay, so, not only are there a lot of problems with the Nominating Committtee voters, there's definitely skepticism of the regular voters now, so, exactly how does one become a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame voter? 

Well, as far as I can tell, you have to be sponsored by a voter and then approved, presumably by Jann Wenner and/or whoever else is on the Founding Board, and then, wham, you're a voter, and you're a voter, presumably forever!? I don't know if there's any guidelines, or if you can lose your votership, or what,- I think they have taken away voting rights to members who just abstained or didn't vote after a few years, but, if you're sponsored, then you can vote. Other then that, I don't really know what other important criteria there is?! I mean, I'm certain that, if Elton John said he wanted to submit a ballot, nobody in the room is gonna tell him, "No," but as far as, what makes somebody qualified to be a voter, there's very little specific guidelines, and therefore, very much a lot of room to determine who's in and who's out at the top. I mean, there's a similar process to being an Academy Awards voter too, but like, even then, almost always you actually have to have, at least a few noteworthy filmmaking credits, of some kind, even if it's in a studio's bookkeeping office, or even working like, as an agent or something, as far as I can tell, with the Rock Hall, I'm not even sure there's, like, that minimum. It seems like, basically if you know somebody and they like you, you can get a ballot. 

But-, here's the thing whatever makeup this voting body is, whether they have any actual control whatsoever, is, kinda debatable...? Ehhh.... 

(Sigh) 

There's several claims and accounts of the voting process that, shockingly seem to contradict each other at many points, and I'm gonna outline a couple of them, and try to make sense of them, but....- it's just aggravating, looking up some of these things. Like, the first one, here, this story is infamous, and I've gone through all the details of that I can scrap together, and, I don't get it. Like, I just don't get what happened here, or why it happened...; either somebody's lying, or there's information that's missing that would solve this, but....- ugh!

So, apparently, in 1994, the Hall of Fame, inducted John Lennon, and Wenner eventually convinced Paul McCartney to induct him. Now, Wenner, is a huge John Lennon, fan, like, he's definitely a fanatic for John Lennon, and with his position of influence at Rolling Stone, he had gotten close to Yoko, and was known for really propagating and promoting John's work and legacy. Now, I don't blame him for this, in theory, but in practice this was apparently pretty disturbing in the nature of his arrangements, and Paul and Linda McCartney, at first at least, were not particularly intrigued by him. Eventually, for whatever reason, Wenner eventually convinced Paul to induct John at the ceremonies, but apparently, and I still don't get this, Wenner convinced him to do so, under the promise that next year, McCartney would be inducted as a solo artist. (The Beatles were inducted several years earlier as a group, and famously McCartney skipped those ceremonies, so it was a big deal for Paul to induct John, on top of all the other obvious reasons that it would be so....)

Okay, one of the links to this story is here, if you want to look into it more yourself, go ahead, but like,- so, apparently Wenner, has the pull to just, induct people into the Hall of Fame, on his own whims? He has that much power? He can make such a promise, to a fucking Beatle!? And here's the kicker, apparently, he doesn't have this power, because Paul didn't get inducted the next year and in fact wasn't inducted 'til 1999, which notably, is the year after Linda's passing, for whatever that's worth.... Paul was pretty pissed off at this at the time, but apparently that's smoothed out; McCartney has shown up several times over the years to the Hall of Fame Inductions, including inducting the Foo Fighters last year, and also, a few years earlier when Ringo Starr was inducted in the Musical Excellence category, an induction that, apparently was orchestrated and arraigned, by Paul himself, according to some reports.... So, like,- I-eh,- whatever this was at the time, it's probably a lot different arrangement between all the players now, and all of them are somewhere high up, in the ether of determining the Hall of Fame.

But like still, this is so headscratching to me, because it either indicates that Wenner, did indeed just lie to Paul, and he has complete control over who gets inducted and who doesn't, or he thinks he did, and apparently the committee overrode him, for years? This is the story that I find the most bizarre because, clearly, something and somebody's corrupt here, but like either way, this story just, shouldn't have happened. Either he shouldn't have promised or he shouldn't have screwed over McCartney, and either way, Wenner shouldn't be able to do either of these things. 

You can't be allowed to predict or preannounce who's in or not, right?!

(Sigh) 

Well,- I know there's at least one account where a voter has confirmed that even before the ballots were counted, that three inductees were basically already confirmed for induction, which, also, how, why?! WTF!? You're only allowed to vote for up to five inductees, if for some reason three- 

OMG!!!!! 

I swear, I'm trying to sort through all this, just to get everything in, but, like-, there's seems to be like, a weird issue with everything....

So, there's question among who's overseeing the count and the inductions, and then there's how much control they have, they're questions about the legitimacy of the equality of the process,... there's a nomination process that is secretive to the point where we barely ever know who or anybody on the committee, other then Wenner, and occasionally another name or two, (Tom Morello is apparently, which, for some, might explain Rage Against the Machine's constant appearance on the nominees list the last few years [And I say that as a huge Rage fan who think they should be in sooner than later]) then, there's the controversies of the several artists who are typically left off.

I know, some groups are more vocal about it than others, members of the Monkees for instance have noted several times that they feel they've been overlooked severely for consideration, not because they think they should be in, but because Wenner is personally bias against them, over some dumb arguments from literally 50 years ago, over whether or not they should count as a group or act.... (Shrugs) 

See, this is where that "What is Rock & Roll" argument actually does come into effect into this, not only because of Wenner's singular taste having, perhaps too much of an influence of the process, in general, but also...,- So, we gotta talk about Grandmaster Flash.

In 2007, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five became the first rap act inducted into the Hall of Fame, and this was an important and groundbreaking moment in the Hall of Fame's history for many obvious reasons.... Or, were they? According to a few reports after the ceremony, apparently Wenner used, what can only loosely be described as a technicality to make sure Grandmaster Flash... was inducted. Wenner claims that not all the votes were counted because some of them arrived too late, and according to some anonymous voters with insight on the counting, The Dave Clark Five, counting those votes, actually had six more votes then Grandmaster Flash...., and technically finished in fifth place, which would've given them, the automatic induction slot, but Wenner was hellbent on making sure they inducted a rap act, claiming that it was time. Again, I have no idea whether this, when-the-votes-arrive-clause matters, whether this has come up before or not but it sounds like this was completely made up on the spot. And according to this report, it's not like people were campaigning against Grandmaster Flash, or for The Dave Clark Five, or vice-versa, apparently the room wanted Wenner to put both bands in, and for the record, there's a minimum of five, but there's often a maximum of eight performers inducted annually, but he claimed that there just wouldn't be time for both....

I- I don't know what-, I'm assuming he's talking about the television production, which is taped in advance, before being edited into the concert we see on television every year that currently airs on HBO and HBO Max; I mean, if it's edited, just edit it!- They've edited down whole inductions several times before;- I mean, Moby's speech inducted Steely Dan, was like 60 second, maybe on TV, and thank god it was, 'cause it went like fifteen agonizing minutes in real life..., and none of this was like, new at the time. This isn't like, impossible. There's very much a nonsensical manner in which these decisions are going about and being made, and it's very frustrating. Now, personally, without any other variables, if you were to simply ask me, who belongs in the Hall more, Grandmaster Flash or The Dave Clark Five, I'd pretty easily pick Grandmaster Flash, but that said, if The Dave Clark Five got more votes, then, shouldn't they have gotten in then instead? Clearly, there was support, they were inducted the next year! It's not even a matter of Grandmaster Flash, could've waited, he had an obvious out here! Just induct them both!? I don't know what their standard of how many votes, or how many people can be inducted, or any other such rulings are, but like, it's very inconsistent from year-to-year, especially without any real legitimate explanation on how many artists get inducted every year or not, this sounds insane!

That's another thing about this voting process, I don't know what exactly constitutes the results. I mean, there's voters and voting but the results, except for the fan vote, which, I swear, I'm getting to that, but except for that, none of the results are ever fully published, and more-then-that, we don't actually know what amount of the vote, constitutes induction. I was stunned when I ran across that Amy Linden podcast and she announced the order of the results; I literally don't know if that's ever happened before or since, but it's rare and it's not said out loud a lot, and even this is very incomplete. Like, let's give a comparative, example from the Baseball Hall of Fame, a generally much more-maligned Hall of Fame, even among sports Hall of Fames. Their rules are very rigid and yes their voters, which is the Baseball Writers of America, are very much under the extreme scrutiny of the public eye most of the time, but after the voting, there's a percentage of the vote that every nominee gets, and if a nominee gets a vote on 75% of the ballots for the Hall of Fame, then they're inducted, and every year, Cooperstown releases the results of the ballot. That's a surprising amount of transparency for a group that's pretty much decried by everybody who cares, and yet, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, as far as I know, has little or no such standard. 

Like, I assume, whoever gets the most votes obviously gets in, but like, is there a percentage minimum, or a minimum at all!? Some years, they put in five performers, other times it's many more.... Sometimes, lately, they basically put performers into the Musical Excellence category, which, was a category originally was intended for Sidemen, people who weren't necessarily the main performers, but the big behind-the-scenes names of people who made the music that most of the general public wouldn't necessarily know....  (Think, people like Scotty Moore, who was Elvis's guitar player, or James Jamerson who's bass was the sound of Motown, or Hal Blaine who's was Phil Spector's in-house drummer, or Johnnie Johnson, Chuck Berry's pianist who basically invented boogie woogie piano, or more recently Randy Rhoades, Nile Rodgers, Billy Preston, the E Street Band, etc.) Those kind of guys, not, necessarily somebody like LL Cool J. This year, this inducted Judas Priest under that category, which, eh-, whether you think they should be inducted or not, that seems weird.

Who does decide this, and how is this decided?! Some bands have been nominated for the Hall of Fame, several times, Chic most notably, has been nominated, like eleven times and never got in, but we'll never know whether they were ever one vote away, or a hundred votes away, not only because we don't ever know the full results, but we also don't know, what exactly the result they needed to get was to begin with!!!! And there's a bunch of other artists like that as well, not-to-mention groups and bands that perhaps did get in under dubious voting circumstances, that we just aren't aware of yet. And I don't know how many people, or even how many of the voters themselves are aware! 

So, like, okay, this is why nobody likes or trusts the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame voters, or voting process, fine. But, y'know, they put on a show, and the musicians they honor they treat well..., right?! 

(Sigh) 

So, there's several incidents involving musicians and rock & roll hall of famers themselves, who's basically just, outright disowned or rejected the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and called them out on some of their bullshit, and you'd kinda be a little surprised, but most of their criticisms, actually stem from the fact that, unless maybe you are, one of Wenner's pet projects, (and probably not even then) they're treated pretty lousily by the Hall. It might seem on the surface that they have the artists intentions and admiration at heart and on the surface, and maybe they do in the most abstract of sense, but in terms of actually treating the inductees, they're infamously shit. That's one of the reasons there's a long list of artists, who've either not showed up for their inductions, or just flatout rejected them over the years. My favorite is the Sex Pistols, mainly because, of course they rejected it; what else would you expect of them to do!? And while, it might sound like, the most prescient one that's worth noting, particular since, it was Jann Wenner who ended up inducting them by reading their carefully-worded rejection letter that the band faxed to the Hall of Fame, which you can watch here, and they actually do make some great points, but probably the most noteworthy criticism of how the Hall of Fame treats it's members and inductees, is probably from Steve Miller, who made many headlines after he scorched the Hall of Fame after his induction. You can find a brief description of his experience getting inducted as told by Youtuber Rock & Rock True Stories:

 

Okay, there's a lot here. Let's start with, the charging the artists for them to bring guests, what the hell is this about?! 

Well, I don't have a great answer here, but I imagine, they might defend this practice personally, by bringing up their non-profit status, and talk about all the things that the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame does, outside of just, their yearly, Induction concert. Which is true, they actually do have several other projects and charitable aspects to them, especially a lot dealing with locally as they're a major part of the Northern Ohio culture system. They have class programs for students, there's preservation efforts, they work with the local public library system; they have a lot going on. And that said, while they do make money, they are a museum and museums usually need people to, you know, donate to them. Especially if they're a contributing member of the community, and a non-profit. Think of the Induction Ceremonies every as they're version of the Met Gala, where even after you're invited, you still need to donate money to attend; it's a high-class affair, and events like that are thrown, in order for the museum to continue on with the work it's doing. That's, you know, it's steep, but it's understandable.

Except, it's not, because Steve Miller wasn't just invited, he was performing! He was one of the people being inducted! He was one of the Inductees, that they were honoring, and you couldn't give him a second seat?! WTF!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! And the way it was told by him, it seems like, nobody honored that year at least, was treated particularly well by the Hall of Fame! Like, c'mon, he's STEVE MILLER! Why aren't you giving this guy everything he needs! Like, I don't know, HIS BAND! Yeah, The Steve Miller Band, I think that's what they were called! You induct him, and not the band! He never recorded a solo album; he was always  Steve Miller Band; were you guys just cheap!!!!!! They've done shit like this many times before I might add. One year, they over-corrected and inducted a bunch of famous backup bands like The Blue Caps, The Comets, The Crickets, The Furious Flames, The Miracles and The Midnights, all famous backup bands and groups that were not inducted when Gene Vincent, Bill Haley, Buddy Holly, James Brown, Smokey Robinson and Hank Ballard were previously inducted, so like, shouldn't Steve Miller be inducted as a member of Steve Miller Band? I mean, there's a bunch of members, but it's not like you've taken groups with several various members and then narrowed them down to the most important and induct, several freakin' times before!!!!! (I'm not even gonna try to list those groups; there's a bunch) 

I guess the second argument, one could make on behalf of the Hall, is that, while, yes, they are honoring these musicians, but these are incredibly successful musicians who can easily afford these extra tickets if they want them, and this is a gallery ceremony, why can't they buy the extra tickets for the gallery for their family?! And sure, that's true....- kinda.... Like, um, you know, not every musician, is like, rich.... I mean, go through the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and- you'll basically every year find at least one person who got screwed by the record company, or doesn't own their own music's publishing rights, or master recordings; I mean, for Christ sake, didn't Taylor Swift just start re-recording and re-releasing all her own albums, specifically because of bullshit like this! And she's been one of the top five artists for like, forever now....  So, yeah, they- might have some money, but, some of them do not, and like even if they do, you know, just, pure decency, would let you know that, you probably should charge the people you're honoring extra money, and at least be a little more lenient on who else they might want to bring to their induction, y'know?! Two tickets per person, including themselves, really?! And you know, I'm fairly positive that they don't do this for everybody; like, I'll bet they didn't tell, all, what all eight members of the E Street Band, when they inducted them,... (Not the least of which, because Steven Van Zandt is one of the members of the board, so yeah, I'll bet a buck of two that they got a discount on bringing their loved ones....) 

Speaking of licensing, the-eh, the legal paperwork..., what is that about?! Believe it or not, I think most of that has to do with television. Ever since, 1997, starting on VH1, and inevitably ending up on HBO, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, has been a televised, and not everybody is a fan of this, believe it or not. This is one of those, where it's technically a television production, but also kinda, not, depending on who's legal definition you believe. But yeah, the licensing to use artists' images and music, and of course, paid to perform, on television, those are things that the Rock Hall has been notorious for skimming on. Neil Young, was the first one who really objected to this; that why he and the rest of Buffalo Springfield didn't show up for their induction years ago, and that was back when they were only $1,500/plate nights, and he's certainly not the only one. And yeah, apparently, in really bad years, this whole production, especially since it became an annual television event, can be a real shitshow behind the scenes. And Miller in particular, was just not having any of it.

There was also, the induction itself. Steve Miller complaining about The Black Keys and not knowing them as he inducted them. According to the Rolling Stone interview mentioned in the video, he wanted to call and ask Elton John to induct him, and apparently that was rejected by the Hall, and-um, I have no idea why. 

There's no real rule on who should/should've induct artists, into the Hall of Fame. There definitely appears to be, some kind of meaningless politics between some of this, as the Jann Wenner/Paul McCartney story foretold, but generally, sometimes it's a fellow similar musician from the same era and genre to induct the artist, often a friend of the artist, Mick Jagger famously inducted The Beatles for instance, other times, it can be a more recent musician that was heavily inspired by the musician they're inducting, Taylor Swift inducted Carole King last year, or Miley Cyrus inducted Joan Jett and the Blackhearts a couple years ago, occasionally, you get an older legendary great artist to induct somebody they inspired and in turn, they love and appreciate, Ray Charles for instance, famously inducted Billy Joel. Sometimes, it's just a famous fan, David Letterman inducted Pearl Jam a couple years ago, and last year, The Go-Go's got lifelong superfan Drew Barrymore to induct them. Occasionally, like, when an artist is dead, (or in some cases, the artist, just doesn't care enough to even acknowledge the Hall, like Dire Straits famous a few years back)  and long dead at that, the Hall of Fame kinda have to do their best to figure out who to get to induct people; I remember hearing stories of how nervous Melissa Etheridge was when she had to induct Janis Joplin for instance. The point I'm making here though, is that, y'know, if the band/artist is alive, maybe they should have a little more say in it then what Steve Miller apparently had...! 

Like, what would've been wrong with getting Elton to induct him?! He's Steve's friend, just let him make the phone call! It's not like Elton wouldn't do it, he inducted, The Beach Boys, Dusty Springfield, Elvis Costello & The Attractions, and Leon Russell; those last three were after he himself was inducted; I'm sure if there was no other obligation preventing him from doing it, he'd gladly do it. Nothing against the Black Keys, but did it have to be The Black Keys inducting him?! Like, I kinda get it, I can somebody arguing that The Black Keys are this generation's Steve Miller Band, but still, if he didn't want them or approved of them, and he was showing and giving a speech and performing....-!

Like, I don't know how, honoring the greatest musicians in rock & roll turns into, just, absolute dumpster fires like this;- and this is just Steve Miller account, there's several others, some have been made public, others probably have not that we may never know about. I mean, let's think about it, perhaps other artists have just not said, when they didn't want to sign away their public image, or got somebody they didn't want inducting them, inducting them.... Something wrong happened here. I don't know when or how, whether this enterprise was always this inept, corrupt and lazy, or if it was always this way, and while they put on a shiny surface it's just a complete and utter mess, whether it's all the influence of Jann Wenner, or perhaps several others of it's founders, or the people currently officially running it, but the Rock & Roll Hall of fame is a goddamn mess. An ancient, incestuous group of mostly dinosaurs who may or may not actually know about rock & roll and music, selling a brand, under a promise of preservation, and then treating the artists and history like dirt, in a vague effort to scam, literally everybody they could out of their money, that probably don't all go to all their education programs. Including the fans, who they claim to put on their annual shows and put up their exhibits for, for whom, their vote of who should be in or not, only counts for one vote, and can easily be ignored completely, depending on the mysterious voting committee that didn't release their full results, and probably fixes the results in some artists favor, or not, depending on the whims and feels of a even small, more incestuous group of sycophants run amok.  

Oh, yeah, I swore I'd get to the Fan Vote; the Fan Vote, while this year, it did eerily correlate with the overall votes for induction, the Fan Vote, only represents the equivalent of one ballot. Could be millions of votes for Duran Duran, or whomever, but that still only counts for one vote. So, even if an act wins the fan vote, with over a million votes totaled, it's only one vote and that act doesn't necessarily have to get inducted. (And this actually has happened, in 2020, The Dave Matthews Band won the fan poll, and they were not inducted and haven't been on the ballot ever since) 

I said this would ultimately be a defense of the institution, didn't I?! Ugh. Yeah, like I said, this gets a lot harder when you actually..., and yeah, I'm probably just scratching the surface. A lot of this is just what I can find out, and there's a lot of insinuation that there's a lot else that we probably should know, but don't.... I don't think it's anything vicious or like really despicably illegal; I don't want to insinuate any conspiracies that the wrong people will take out of hand, but just the general sense of incompetence that you get when you hear people who know, talking about how the organization is run.... Yeah, there's a lot of corrupt, questionable, and sometimes just odd choices that the Hall of Fame makes, sometimes seemingly randomly and with little or not much or not good explanation or reasoning. Like I haven't even brought up all the weird quirks of the Hall of Fame over the years, like that weird time they started inducting songs, and then stopped for no reason, all probably because Stevie Van Zandt was upset Link Wray didn't get inducted, this was after they already had a list of songs that they forget they had, and also previously added to...., how they may or may not remember to induct people in their other categories, and how in recent years, they've been back door ways to induct artists/people who don't get the votes as performers.... I mention how they sometimes induct backup bands, but sometimes won't and sometimes they'll induct new members of bands, but forget other past members of others.... 

Yeah, so in these lights, it amazes me when people complain about the Hall of Fame and their main argument isn't any of this but, how something isn't rock & roll in it or whatever,- like,- yeah, that's so not a problem with the Hall of Fame. Like, even if I agree with that line of criticism, like, no, that's nowhere near an actual problem with the Hall of Fame. Like, the real problems are so systemic within the organization, that like, really, these trivial aspects, just do not matter at all. 

I can think of a lot of ways to "fix" these real issues, but Steve Miller is right, first and foremost, there has to just be a complete and utter overhaul of the entire organization. I'll explain what I'd do, and how I think these changes would mitigate a lot of the problems they have, but like, even if I read tomorrow that the Hall is incorporating every single one of my recommendations, I'd bet money that they'd screw it up even more. So keep that in mind, like they can incorporate these suggestions, if they want, or not. but even if they did, at this point, there has to be a completely different regime with a different way of doing things, and has different priorities before I'd even start to say that they're on a more correct path. 

For convenience and sanity's sake, I'll skip the more obvious, "treat the artists better", and "don't put on a shitshow backstage", "don't charge the artists' extra for their families", give them more then two tickets, counting themselves,- like, Jesus, that's like a Brady Bunch plot with that one, WTF....-  the things that shouldn't have to be said, but yeah, all that shit needs to be fixed! 

Anyway, first of all, we have to stop with this lack of transparency and inconsistency with the voters. Also, there should be more of them then there are. I get the exclusivity idea, and yes there's definitely questionable standards for some of the people who are voters, but that actually makes1,000 still sounds pretty low in my mind, like shouldn't there actually be more people qualified enough then that by now?! Granted, for the most part, we can kinda made educational guesses and probably figure out who most of these voters are, but they should still be adding more names, and they should announce who all the new voters are every year, just like the Academy Awards do. And, don't just announce, who the new voters are, give an explanation of why they qualify for being one of these exclusive voters, again, just like the Motion Picture Arts and Sciences do. And it doesn't have to be complicated, it doesn't have to be conspiratorial or secretive, like, say Taylor Swift gets a ballot, write down, "Musician" next to her name. Or, Music executive, or Producer, or in the case of Gary Dell'Abate, FM/Sirius radio personality/producer, or Pop Culture Critic, or Music Journalist/Writer, Music Historian,... whatever. Something that shows that there's a reason of recognition that they're selected to get a ballot, and sure, it just might be that it's because Jann Wenner just wants to give out ballots to all his employees at Rolling Stone, but enough information, that you go, "Well, okay, that's why he/she's chosen as a voter." And if you can't come up with a decent bullshit explainer like that, then, perhaps rethink why they're getting a ballot. There should easily be like, y'know, 50-100, minimum new names like that, every year, maybe 200 or so. Groups like these, need fresh blood every now and then, so constantly fill it up, y'know! 

Second thing, get rid of the so-called "Nominating Committees", allow every voter, to submit a ballot of 15 artists every year, that they feel are worthy being nominated for the Hall. And the fifteen with the most votes, get on the ballot. That's simple. (And if you want to make it more, say, top 15 or so, and anybody who's vote count is within a predetermined percentage of the 15th/last slot, in the final vote count, then sure, that'll work too.) Stop with these rotating committees, that may or may not actually be rotating that much, and having this mysterious commission that picks who should be on the ballot. This is just dumb. Like, I do understand in certain situation such a group can be useful, I'm on board with recommending we bring back voting panels for the Emmys, but that's sorting through entire year's worth of television, which is bigger then ever, and even then, I'm not in favor of, just, the voting panels, and in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame's case, we've gotten at least 25 years of time to sort through all the possible nominees, so the appropriate time and available resources to determine a qualified entrant is actually already there for us, even those who aren't rock & roll historians or the like. It's not a step that's remotely needed here; it's an attempt to control the voting then it is an attempt to judge the quality of the works, and that just means it needs to stop. 

Now that said, while I don't think the Hall should reveal the complete results of the vote for the nominations, what they really should absolutely do, is after they announce their fifteen or so nominees, is also announce, every artist who receives at least one vote! You don't have to say how many votes they got, but if they really want to talk about their supposed transparency as an organization, then let's actually see it. Besides, wouldn't it be nice to know, that say, Slayer does indeed have at least somebody in there on their side? Or see if someone like Chic is still getting votes after all those times they fell short? Or maybe there's somebody like Johnny Ace, who hasn't been on the ballot since 1987, maybe it'd be nice to know if somebody's holding a candle for him. And, we'll find out if there's some asshole troll in the mix who keeps voting for Milli Vanilli or Vanilla Ice, or somebody like that. Wouldn't that be nice to know? Maybe they do this a couple years, and we see some names, we realize they're getting votes, the public looks back on them, and then they're like, "Oh, yeah, they were good, weren't they? They do belong in the Hall" and then the groundswell starts and then eventually enough voters start realizing they were good and eventually, they do get them in?! Or, that happens to somebody who, let's say, doesn't get any votes, who should. Like, what if turns out that nobody's voted for Foreigner, at all! That would be fuck'd up, and I'm sure somebody's gonna say something about it. I can think of a bunch of scenarios that we actually find out if this happens, and frankly it's in the Hall of Fame's best interest to really be as public and transparent with their process, as much as possible, and I don't think this is an unreasonable amount of transparency at all. 

Now, after we get to the final fifteen or so who are nominated; let's to the fan vote. Now, while I do like the fan vote, I usually am not particularly fond of fans having sway over honors like these. That said, that usually applies to other art mediums like film and television, and usually most of these honors are for yearly honors, and frankly, most people barely have the time or desire to look through every available TV show and/or film during that time period, and besides those are industry or critics awards mostly, and besides that, music is far less subjective than most those genres, but even if it wasn't, this is a narrowed shortlist of fifteen artists and we've had, a minimum of 25 years to sort through their work; I think even fans can sort through that with that much time, and you know what, the Hall of Fame is for the fans anyway. So, yeah, they should have a huge sway in this. Not all the sway, but I'll say this, if you have a fan vote, then the vote has to mean something, and something more then one single ballot. 

So, first thing's first, whoever in #1 in the fan vote, no matter what, should automatically be inducted. In my headcannon, this would retroactive induct The Dave Matthews Band, since they were first in the fan vote in 2020, and somehow were not inducted. Frankly, whether you think they belong in or not, that's ridiculous, so, yeah, congrats, Dave Matthew Band, in my mind, you're already in the Hall. (And yes, there's been some questions about the validity of the fan vote as well, perhaps some bot out there might be determined to bump up an artists chances or whatever, but I seriously think that's mostly minimum, but even still, like, there are defenses to identifying and considering such actions into the overall scoring,... yada, yada, yada, Fan Vote winner, gets in automatically, that should be a new rule.)

After that, then I think the fan vote should simply have more of a say in the overall total. Like, it shouldn't just be one ballot. So, my proposal would be that, for top five winners in the fan poll, they should receive one fan vote to be inducted, per every 100,000 voters. So, let's say ARTIST A got 1,000,000 votes, now he's the winner and is automatically in, but in that case, that should be ten votes for ARTISTS A. Now, let's say ARTIST B gets 900,000, and that's a lot, so they get nine votes. and so on and so forth, for the top five. 

(You can also count more then just the top five by giving leftover votes on ballots to the other artists based on how they finished. Like, ARTIST A got 1,000,000 ARTIST B gets 900,000, ARTIST C and D both get 700,000 and ARTISTS E gets 500,000. So, we get ten ballots, and the first five are the top five artitsts, but there's still a ballot slot open, so, let's say ARTISTS F, just missed, got 400,000 votes, then on the next ballots, ARTIST F, takes up the slot now empty because ARTIST E, didn't get more then that. And then go to ARTIST G and H, based on their vote count, when C & D finish up their seven, and so-on and so-forth. This way is arguably even better and gives the fan vote even more overall accuracy towards the true voting results represented in the overall voting, but either of these ideas are fine.)

Okay, so that's the fan vote, so ideally, how should they count the ballots? Like, how do you determine these results? So, first thing first, they should announce this process, and detail it.... Whether it's this process, or something else, they should say what it is, and explain why they're doing it this way. (This is also one of those rules I shouldn't have to say, but apparently I do....) Second, in terms, of my hypothetical, we're discounting votes for the fan winner, since they're already in. Now the current status quo for the Hall is that, a minimum of five artists, with the potential for more can get in every year. So, again, discounting the fan vote who's in already, the next five with the highest amount of votes in the total count, they should then automatically get inducted. (So, the minimum's gonna change from five to six, but there's still five elected, after the fan vote. So, the fans gain power, the official voters don't lose any of their choices.) Then, I would consider a rule that allows everybody else who can get within, a certain percentage, of the fifth place inductee's vote, would also get inducted. (A similar rule could/should also be applied to voting for the nominees as I mentioned earlier)

Let's say, in this examples, 2%. So, there's about 1,000 or so, ballots, including fan votes, let's that the fifth place finisher was on, 425 ballots. So, 425 divided by two equals 8.5, so anybody whoever else was on the ballot that got 417 votes or more, would also get inducted, and let's say it was closer this year and 6th place got 422, and 7th place got 418, they would also be inducted. but 8th place, got only 399, they'd be out. (Note: I wouldn't object to say, using 2.5% or even 3% as well, even 5% maybe; if you want this Hall to be as inclusive as possible, without everybody just getting in. I'm just using 2% as an example to show how it could work, but some small, but significant enough percentage.)

Now, maybe they do that percentage system already, maybe they don't; it sure sounds like they don't have a consistent ruling or standard regarding this. Consistency is definitely the first step. Whatever they want to do, their lack of consistency is just off-putting and frustrating to those who follow and confusing and scattered to those who only glance. Anyway, that's how I'd suggest they change, but again, none of these matter until there's some kind of real overthrow of the power in the organization and there's a complete reorganization of how this group is run, or else, none of these, or several other changes, like actually using the Musical Excellence category for people who fit the profile again, and instead of just as a backdoor way to induct performers, (And put the acts like LL Cool J and Judas Priest in as performers, like they should be....) 

I'd also recommend that for the Early Influencer, Ahmet Ertugan Awards, and the Musical Excellence Awards, there should also be a full vote from the voters for people to consider. Everybody should have the option of naming up to five artists/names/people, who should be considered for each of these categories, if they want to. 

Now, I don't think a fan vote, would help much here, and I also don't think there should be a full ballot for these category, especially a fan ballot for everybody would kinda miss the point of these categories, but I think all the voters should be able to come up with up to five people for consideration every year. Then, I think there should be committees that determine these honors; and we should know, generally who's on those committees. Ideally, I'd have primarily historians on the Early Influencer category, musicians on the Musical Excellence category, and-, well, generally you'd think producers when the award is named after Ahmet Ertugan, but that's- that's not technically all the category represents. 

Yeah, I was going to skim over this one, but before the award was named after Ertugan after his passing in 2006, the category was actually "Non-Performers"; now there are performers and musicians that have been inducted, but generally the category is for, basically anybody who's work is non-performing in the music industry. This year for instance, they're inducting among other Allen Grubman who is an entertainment lawyer.... (Shrugs) I mean, he is an important one, who happened to be one of the founders of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and he's far from the first member of that group to be inducted, but my point is that basically anybody from songwriters to disc jockeys, to journalists to record executives, qualify for this category. So, this category is a hodgepodge of a lot of different groups of people,- honestly as much as I like the tribute to Ertegun by putting his name on this award; I kinda wish they'd go back to calling category "Non-Performers". Every time I look through the list, I keep wondering why Phil Spector and Dick Clark's name are in the same field,- but- yeah, this is a category that needs a little bit of everybody involved. Producers, songwriters, executives,- just other people for whom the story of rock & roll can't be told without, even though they're contributions were often, outside the realms of performing. 

This is also an award that's ridiculously inconsistent; sometimes, like in 2010, they give the award to six different people, and then they'll go like, years without giving the award out at all!? Like, I kinda get how Early Influencer might not necessarily be a thing every year, (Although I think Kraftwerk and Wanda Jackson are some questionable entries in those categories..., especially Wanda Jackson, should probably be in as a performer instead....) but there's a lot of non-performers I can think of who probably should be mentioned and named in these categories and aren't, so yeah, like, I'm not sure who should be on these committees, but they're decisions should be independent from other main influential bodies within the Hall. (Or perhaps separate categories, for the types of non-performers.  Like, non-performers but people like producers who are directly involved with the creating of music, like producers or songwriters, and like a separate committee for others who weren't directly involved in creating music, but are still pivotal in telling the story of rock & roll.) Anyway, these categories themselves, are fine, as long as they're not just used by the heads who just want find some backdoor way to induct artists that those at the top want to manipulate into inductions, and yeah, to start that, all voters should be able to suggest/recommend up to five names every year for all these categories. 

And yet, all this said, I'm still gonna watch the special. Hell, I might even tweet it like I did last year. Despite all this bullshit with the organization itself, the honor itself, it still holds up, still legitimate, and I certainly don't think it's worth diminishing the actual accomplishments of the artists they honor. Even those who don't want it, or don't care, it's still nice to see them honored and their artistic contributions forever preserved. I don't begrudge the artists being honored and I don't think we should take away from their accomplishments because the people making the decisions to honor them are, sketchy as fuck. Besides, despite everything, I hope their actual goal is really sound and still pure. (I know, it's probably wishful thinking but...)

When I vote in the fan poll, and I don't know how everyone else votes, but the way I do it, is I think about the story they're telling. They're telling the story of Rock & Roll. It's a never-ending tale that's going to keep growing and evolving as the years go by, and sure, what that term means to some might not be reflected in the inductees to others, but it's a long story, with a lot of different end roads and evolutions as it goes on. When I fill out my ballot, I look at the names, and I try to decide, "Okay, of these names, if I'm telling this story of rock & roll, which of these names do I most need in order to tell a more complete story of rock & roll. Sure, some may think some names are more important than I do, we all have some biases, that would be the case if there was absolutely nothing wrong or skeptical or corrupt about the organization, but in terms of that overall objective, I think it's hard to argue that, they're at least trying to do their best. (I mean, their best still sucks ass, eh, it's not like there's anyway in the hall who I can't make an argument for their induction.)  

So yeah, as bad as the people running it are, and are in desperate need of a complete overhaul, I still think the Hall itself is a good idea, and maybe it's just because of their original strict 25 years afterwards original debut standard, but I certainly like the idea of a place where we can go and see and hear all of the most iconic images of rock & roll's past and in many case, it's present. Music is one of the few art forms that historically hasn't been able to be preserved; it wasn't that long ago, when most music preservation in the past, used to be in the form of sheet music. We'll never know exactly what it sounded like to actually hear what Mozart when he played piano. Even early movies were mostly silent, only had live music accompanying them, not recorded music; music is one of the least preserved art forms we have. Rock & Roll is one of the few genres where we really can document, pretty much to it's fullest, including a great deal of the music that directly influenced rock & roll. Any attempt at trying your damnedest to preserve that, and honor those who created it, and those who are the best of it, it should be encouraged. Like, I can kinda see the argument that putting any kind of standard of determining quality, especially in an art form as subjective as music is inherently flawed and just wrong, but I can't see the argument that that's not a good thing in general to honor and preserve those artists and their works that matter the most to us? Why the fuck not? In the grand scheme of things, there's no negative to this; there's no harm, why just be against it entirely? That I just don't get. 

So yeah, I don't like the people in charge of operating the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and it is absolutely fair that we call out them for all their bullshit, and I swear, I've barely scratched the surface of their bullshit; one of the reasons this post took so long is that every time I kept searching for something new, the more I dug, the more I found, but, y'know, we can still honor the artists and others who they honor. (Maybe honor them better then they do sometimes, it seems) We can still have the fun arguments about who should/shouldn't be in but y'know; we can take it seriously and have fun with it. Watch the ceremony every year, see how they put the show together, listen to some great music, see some performances you might never see again. You think just because of all of this shit behind the people putting on the show that I'm not gonna potential watch an Eminem and Dolly Parton mashup duet of "Islands in the Stream" and "Stan"; fuck no! I want to see that; you want to see that! And then I want to see Judas Priest perform after that, and I want to hear Annie Lennox doing a medley of her best songs. (Oh, Dolly, Annie and Pat, doing "Sisters Doing It For Themselves"!) I want to see what other artists or names get to induct them and possibly perform with them, or perform instead of them, if that's the case. And I like knowing that there's this strange pyramid in Cleveland of all places, I could visit and see the displays of some of the most iconic stuff associated with these great artists, and knowing that their music is getting passed down from one generation to another. That's how these people can get away with much of this bullshit, 'cause however they end up getting to there, that's really cool. 

So yeah, I'm watching the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductions this year again, and a lot of the Hall of Fame's past inductions and performances, especially ever since they started broadcasting the induction ceremonies and concert, is available to seek out on Youtube and other such places, I don't know, maybe I'm in the minority on this, but I appreciate it, for all it's faults, it's the best home we have for our music history and yeah, maybe some artists don't consider it much of an honor to be inducted, but, it's a museum that's supposed to be for the fans, and well, in this case, I think the fans have a better point, so... yeah, too bad. I'll say this in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame's defense, whether the artists have good points or not, and they very much often do, I think they've always been right to absolutely not care about their own wishes on their inclusion or inductions. You don't want to be honored by us, screw you, we want to honor you anyway, and we're gonna do it, and damn them if they don't care. The Hall of Fame ultimately ain't for the artists, it's for the fans, and in this case, I'm on the fans side. 

(Devil horns) 

(Sigh) 

Still, though, they should be treating the artists way the fuck better than they do. The people running this thing are atrocious-; we gotta get them the hell out of there. They really are ruining it for everybody, including the fans. Like, Jesus,- is there anybody they're not fucking over over then themselves? Where's Jeff Jarrett to smash a guitar over people's head when you frickin' need him....




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