Saturday, March 08, 2008

Off The Cuff RRHOF Induction Rant Pt. Infinity

The big question that arises now that the 2008 RRHOF is about to be put to rest is what will the Nominating Committee do about 2009. Will they bow to the pressure of the "Hall should be for Rockers only" and put out a mostly Rock oriented ballot, or will they continue to play hard ball and do whatever they want even if it makes little sense to anyone, including them. Dave Marsh, who is a member of the Committee basically blames all the problems on the ignorance of the 600 or so voting bloc. But he also mentions that sitting in a room full of other members means you have to compromise to get names on the ballot. It all seems like a stalemate to me. But I still wonder why the Hall and whoever can skip over worthy names year after year. Regardless of whether someone in the room (Marsh, a noted Kiss hater) doesn't like the group, how can you have a Rock Hall without them. These members hate prog-rock, but millions of people still buy that genre's records. Marsh is right that Disco gets short-shrift, even though Chic and Donna Summer are mostly R&B acts. But I was also surprised to see him diss the induction of Leonard Cohen because Marsh is big on singer-songwriters.
This year's most controversial induction is of course Madonna, much like last year it was Grandmaster Flash. For me she was a no-brainer, and I'm glad the rest of the voting bloc felt the same. But because she was product of the MTV generation, old school Rock critics are using her as this year's whipping post.
I've often wondered if the Rock Hall should change its name or thought of something different when it first bandied about names for its Hall. The Music Hall of Fame would've put to rest all this talk of whether Disco, R&B, rap, Country or the Jazz-Rock era of Miles Davis belongs in a Hall that has "Rock and Roll" at its head.
Oh, and speaking of Marsh, I emailed him asking him about his comments and what R&B acts he thinks should be in the Hall (it's a sore spot with him). Unfortunately, I forgot what a pain in the butt he is to correspond with, surprising considering how long-winded Marsh can be, and he gave me a one sentence reply basically saying no comment. No wonder the RRHOF, the nominating committee and the voting bloc is so ripe for critical disdain.
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