Tuesday, December 16, 2014

2015 Rock Hall Reactions

The "5" Royales.  That's the name that stuck out the most when I saw the list of 2015 Rock Hall Inductees. I've championed this group in the past when they were nominees, so I was glad to see them get in.   I expected to see Lou Reed, Bill Withers, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Green Day.  It was the other 2 slots that were the tough ones.  I completely bombed on the Paul Butterfield Blues Band.  But Joan Jett I had initially picked and then pulled at the last minute.  My 2 misses were Sting and Chic.
So, I was 4 out of 6 on predictions.  Not bad.

But back to the "5" Royales.  Their first record came out in 1952, and in 2015 that's good enough for me to be an Early Influence.  Doesn't matter if they were nominated before in the performer category.  The timeline is moving forward and acts that had hits in the 1950's should all be Early Influence candidates.  Let's get the Chantels, Chuck Willis, Clovers,  Johnny Burnette and the Rock 'n' Roll Trio, etc. in as Early Influences.

Yet, the skeptic in me can't shake the Paul Butterfield Blues Band's induction.  Maybe they got more votes then some of the others.  Or maybe they didn't.  The Hall won't release vote totals, and unless someone leaks them, we'll be left in the dark.
Definitely a surprise.

Not much to add with the Chic saga.  Saw some anti-disco posts on Facebook that ticked me off, but I've learned to let it go.  The Hall could end all of this by putting them in under the Musical Excellence category.  Why not?  As with other Hall of Fame's, sometimes the voters don't get it right.  That's why there are Veteran Committee's in Baseball and Football.  No Chic are not old-timers like a 50's/60's act is, but no one knows what the Musical Excellence category is about anyway.  Nile Rodgers seems to be taking all of this in stride, but deep down it has to be getting to him.  All of these current Hall of Famers that Chic (or Nile Rodgers) have either worked with or have influenced.  And after 9 tries he's still the one that can't get inducted?  A travesty.

Which brings us to Ringo Starr.  Not really surprised about this.  I've seen his name brought up before.  But what is he getting inducted for in the Musical Excellence category?  For his solo career, session work or just because he's a Beatle and the Hall sees a good TV moment when it staring right at them?  Come on, you know what this is all about.  Now they can invite Paul McCartney in induct Ringo and have them play a couple of songs.  A future perfect TV moment.

After the inductees were announced the 3 topics that got the most space in my timeline were Ringo, Chic and Green Day.  Lots of people don't think Green Day should have gone in right away.  Not ahead of some of the better and more important bands of the 80's.   There was also a sense that this year's class is kind of ho-hum.  Certainly no KISS controversy or Rush fan base to get the conversation going for too long.  Beatle-fanatics can speculate for the next few months what will happen at the ceremony.  And we can all wonder whether Bill Withers will take the stage or not.

One thing not discussed much was the absence of any of the other R&B names besides Bill Withers (like I said when I predicted he'd go right in:  Who doesn't love Bill Withers?).  The Spinners, Chic, Marvelettes, WAR,  The list of worthy names continues to grow.  Also no Rap acts for the 2nd year in a row, even if we all expect NWA will get in eventually.

But that's the way it is with the annual nomination and inductee announcements.  I have my favorites that I root for every year, so if one like the Royales sneaks in then I'm thrilled.  But then my beloved Spinners get passed over and I'm disappointed.
Guess I'll just have to play my Spinners albums and hope that they'll be back third time lucky.  

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