Let me be honest and let me be frank. I’m not the sort of person whose going to describe myself as faultless or without bias. Indeed no human can allow themselves those attributes.
As such I don’t expect people to be faultless or unbiased. But when somebody, or a group of people, repeatedly defy the laws of probability and get stuff wrong time after time, I’m almost impressed. Because how can you be wrong so much, while maintaining enough prestige to make people, like myself, continue to check on what you do?
That group of people, if you didn’t read the title, is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame voting committee. I’ve never hidden mydislike for them in the past, and I’ve also never hidden my high hopes. So here are my simple, and late, comments on the 2016 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees.
To be honest this isn’t their worst year, with only one of the acts being one I vividly disagree with. The others are more a case of, they belong but not before (Insert name of one of the multitude of great bands ignored by the behemoth hall).
Anyway, let’s go
We all love Cheap Trick, they’re like our nerdy brother. Sometimes we pretend we don’t like you. But really we do.
The greatest flaw with their intrusion is their lack of relevance, they are not a band in the zeitgeist and they simply haven’t influenced enough acts. They are good, but they are not innovative. If they came as a band out of the late 60s they would have the same fame as The Raspberries or Badfinger.
Maybe it’s because I’m not American but I can’t understand why they are deemed more worthy than other nominated acts like Yes, who pushed every field, while Cheap Trick pushed every chord they knew (I count about two handfuls.)
This isn’t me hating the band either. I really do love them, they were a good band, but being a good band isn’t enough. It’s the same case as many inductees in the past, they were popular with the voting committee when they were young. Thus is why they are inducted.
Fair enough. They deserved it. They pushed boundaries, sometimes not for the greater good, but at least they did something. I don’t disagree with them being inducted.
They may have turned soft, but I don’t consider that a mark against them.
My entire argument against them sits on the fact that they don’t belong in the canon of Rock nearly as much as many of the great 80s bands do, whom the Hall routinely ignores. The Smiths, The Cure and The Pixies are just 3 bands that belong in it more than Chicago.
However I won’t complain because this was a surprising addition to the hall, and it was a righteous one, but it should have been done sooner or later.
Here’s where I lose all the classic rock readers. N.W.A. were one of the most important musical acts of the 20th century. Love them or hate them they changed popular music, and as such they belong in the Hall (Let’s not bring up the name game about the hall, we all knows it’s just about critically regarded popular music post-1954)
They were innovators, influential and also are still huge. They had a film about them released last year, and if you say their name in public everyone knows who your talking about (Even if they don’t understand what the acronym stands for). Those are all crucial features to a act that belongs in the hall.
From one I think deserves admission to one I think should be barred. Steve Miller is the creator of may good records, he is proficient player of many records, but he is not one of the greatest musicians of all time.
He falls into the same category as the Paul Butterfield Blues Band amongst inductees, good but not canon. Both are good but neither are talked about, neither were groundbreaking and both are just linked to the circle-jerking of baby boomer Hall voters.
The question is how long will these boomers live and profligate the golden era of music myth?
This band aren’t inducted for their greatness, instead they are simply in for a riff. Much like if Derek and the Dominoes were inducted or Golden Earing. However they have stuff those bands don’t.
They are great musicians and are one of the most important bands of the early 1970s, they stand next to Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath and their induction is long wished for,
However it’s just a shame that they are inducted under the shadow of a 4 note riff.