It’s only Rock N Roll…

Posted on December 23, 2013 9:00 am

20131223-080358.jpgWhile traveling this weekend, I was flipping around the radio, and ran across SiriusXM 26, which is normally classic rock from the ’60s and ’70s, but was dedicated to the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame this weekend.

I had heard there was question in some minds about a few of this year’s inductees, but I didn’t bother with it. Seriously, what does it matter?

Until I was alone in a car for over five hours listening to some radio station telling me why these people deserved to be in the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame. Now, it is my mission in life to see that place razed, paved over, and an Indian casino put up in its place.

I do not claim to be an expert in rock music. Yes, I was a radio DJ in the 1970s, but that speaks more about my age than anything else. And it’s that age thing that sorta matters. I was around then. I’m not being told what music was like and what the world was like. I was there.

When you look at the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame bio of Cat Stevens, it speaks of his bravery in converting to Islam. So, I guess they’ll be inducting Muhammed Ali soon? Born as Steven Demetre Georgiou, Cat Stevens did have some hits in the ’70s, but I wouldn’t call “Oh, Very Young,” “Morning Has Broken,” or “Peace Train” rock anthems. Hippie music, sure, but that doesn’t mean it’s rock n roll.

And, sure, it wasn’t a popular thing for a Roman Catholic-raised child of a Greek Orthodox and a Baptist (or anyone, for that matter) to convert to Islam around the time the Ayatollah Khomeini was putting together his return to Iran, Cat Stevens did that, taking the name Yusef Islam (which translates to Joe Moslem). But what’s that got to do with the music? It didn’t suddenly make “Moon Shadow” a rock song.

And Peter Gabriel? Seriously? Even the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame had a harder time coming up with a bio for him. So, they talked about other stuff:

The epic song “Biko” directly inspired the Artists Against Apartheid movement as he spearheaded the Amnesty International A Conspiracy Of Hope and Human Rights Now tours.

See. They shoulda just chucked Nelson Mandela in a hole in the ground and spent the entire ceremony playing Peter Gabriel songs.

Now, I will grant that his music is more rock that Joe Moslem’s, but putting him in the Hall of Fame? That’s like putting Mario Mendoza in baseball’s Hall of Fame. The real one, not the one in Mexico.

And, speaking of Mexico, it seems that her album of Mexican music was enough to grant Linda Ronstadt admission to the Hall of Fame.

I remember playing a lot of her hit singles in the 1970s. That list includes…
“You’re No Good”
“When Will I Be Loved”
“Heat Wave”
“The Tracks of My Tears”
“That’ll Be the Day”
“It’s So Easy”
“Poor Poor Pitiful Me”
“Tumblin’ Dice”
“Back in the U.S.A.”
“Ooh Baby Baby”
“Just One Look”

All cover versions of songs made famous by others. Which means that the band playing down at the Holiday Inn has a chance for induction next year.

I think I’ve calmed down now. I’ll worry about more important things now.

Until I get back in the car to head home, and turn on the radio. Then I’ll be ticked off again.

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16 Responses to “It’s only Rock N Roll…”

  1. Iowa Jim says:

    I’ll worry about more important things now.

    That shouldn’t be difficult. I can’t think of anything less important than the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame.

  2. Capitalist_B says:

    Now I wonder if his 4th Symphony makes Philip Glass eligible…

  3. Michael Hutchison says:

    Peter Gabriel is totally justified. He’s done a lot of creative, experimental things in music (such as “Rhythm of the Heat”, which is an awesome thing to crank if you’re driving), and he’s had some huge hits such as Sledge Hammer.

    But Moon Shadow and Linda Ronstatd? Rock and Roll? Hardly deserving. Weird Al Yankovic has done more to advance rock. (I’m not even being sarcastic. He has.)

  4. DamnCat says:

    It’s about what’s popular – not what’s good or what’s rock & roll.

  5. Conservatarian says:

    I guess that “…but it’s still rock-n-roll to me” applies to just about anything.

  6. jw says:

    i’m confused on one thing. are you against Rondstadt, or just against the use of the Mexican album for induction? i’ve got hours of her albums, swing by some time for a listen if you think she doesn’t belong. :)

    [It's that if she, Joe Moslem, and Peter Gabriel hadn't done all the non-rock stuff, they'd never have been inducted based on their music. - B.]

  7. Jimmy says:

    Basil was a DJ?

    MP3 post or it never happened!

    Which raises the question: why doesn’t IMAO do more with audio? Huh?

  8. Harvey says:

    @7 – Because audio takes 5 times as long to impart the same information as a transcript of that audio.

    And I’m lazy…

  9. Jimmy says:

    Too many cookies. ;-)

  10. Joel says:

    A few years ago I visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I was turned off by a lot of the quotes and video clips of the “rock stars” proclaiming how they were changing the world through their music. Most of them were people I don’t even remember, and I grew up in the 60′s.

    Since then I really don’t give a sh*t about who they induct. As far as I am concerned, they are all a bunch of pretentious self-absorbed assholes.

  11. jw says:

    basil, i’m not sure what “non-rock” stuff you mean for Ronstadt, unless you figure her for country. i guess we just have to disagree on that one. here are three reasons i disagree, all from Different Drum. lots of excellent singers don’t write there own stuff, btw.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=haZPPBJC8Ic

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDpKaL3PPSA

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zL6G17KFC_k

  12. c64wood says:

    10. Joel says: … As far as I am concerned, they are all a bunch of pretentious self-absorbed assholes.

    Oh, he got all of that one! He’s gotta be pleased with that! The crowd is just on its feet here.

  13. frogmouth says:

    The self-absorbed pretentious assholes” statement sums up about 94.7% of “celebrities”, whether they be musicians, actors, athletes or whatever. Can’t let that stop you from enjoying the exhibits at the RnR Hof, Cooperstown, etc etc.

  14. Doug says:

    Sixties music was some of the best ever produced, all across the board. It was primed by the fifties rock-n-roll. The seventies music went down hill fast and the eighties music shouldn’t even be called music. There were exceptions in those decades but for quality and quantity the sixties stand above and apart and truly were golden.

  15. GrumpyCat says:

    Spent Friday in the car which has SiriusXM and found Classic Vinyl wasn’t the station I had come to appreciate the past 5 years. Not to let a crisis go to waste I tuned through all my channels and ended up staying on one playing Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty for the next 4 hours. Thats how bad the “rock” station had become. Forced me to the Long Hair Heavy Metal Station playing Sleeping Beauty ballet.

  16. 4of7 says:

    I used to listen to “Morning Has Broken” by Cat Stevens in the car every morning on my way to football practice in the fall back in high school.
    If the road was deserted I’d sway back and forth between the lanes in time to the music as I drove.
    Years later, I learned that “Morning Has Broken” was an old Welsh hymn that Stevens just used and wasn’t his original composition at all.
    So now I hate him.

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