The Joker

Anyone catch Steve Miller in the news this week?  Boy, did he give it to the Rock Hall or what?

I’ve had mixed feelings about the RRHOF ever since they came up with the idea.  On one hand, I like the idea of a physical place that exists and houses so much great music memorabilia.  Although The Hall is only a few hours down the thruway, I have still never been there.  I want to go.  When #2 son is out of the house and off to college in August(gulp), I’ll have more time and going to Cleveland to visit the RRHOF is on my list.

On the other hand, it’s music, not sports.  Halls of Fame in sports make plenty of sense.  There is quantifiable data to determine who gets in.  Oh look, Ted Williams played 19 years and put up a batting average of .344 over that span.  Safe to say that he belongs in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Music can only be quantified by  sales.  Sales, as we all know, are not in any way related to quality(see for example, McDonald’s).  More importantly to me though is the fact that taste is subjective.  I happen to think that Warren Zevon, for example,  made unbelievable music and most certainly should be in the RRHOF.  You may disagree and think that Madonna is much more deserving.  You’re wrong 🙂 but I hope you take my point.  It’s subjective.  There is no right answer(unless you really think Madonna deserves to be in.  In that case you truly are wrong).

One other thing that has bothered me about the RRHOF is that there are so many people in it that were not rock musicians.  Why call it a hall of fame for Rock and Roll and and then add in so many Pop and Rap stars?  Maybe change the name to, I don’t know, the Popular Music Hall of Fame.

And anotha thing(Bernie voice), I can’t stand the people who run this thing and make the decisions.  Anyone reading this who knows me personally has probably thought of me, at one time or another, as a music snob.  Guilty as charged.  But if you think I’m a music snob, start really digging into Jann Wenner and his Hall crew.  Their musical snobbery knows no bounds.  Oh well, at least I can look forward to watching the induction ceremony. Oh wait, it’s only on HBO.  Music of the people, right?  Snobs.



4 thoughts on “The Joker

  1. I think a “HOF” for contemporary music is a joke to begin with. But, if you are going to do it then basing it on sales is the only viable statisical method imho. To me “fame” = “popularity” not “fame” = “quality”. If it was quality you could have more things to analyze. Something doesn’t have to be good to be famous as you point out with your McDonalds analogy. But.. it’s ridiculous to assert that McDonalds is not famous, successful, and has had a massive cultural impact. If I was filling a “food” hall of fame you can bet your ass that McD’s would have the center statue in the rotunda. You can argue what fits the category of ‘rock and roll’ vs the ‘popular music’ hall of fame. So.. as you know.. and much to your chagrin I like rap.. and specifically I like Dr. Dre. NWA was inducted .. so.. when you ask about “deserves” I look at it like this..
    1.) Their music certainly isn’t R&R so on that basis they shouldn’t even be considered
    2.) Are they better musicians than say “Steve Miller”? Probably not in any sense.. certainly not in the classical sense.
    3.) Are they more famous than Warren Zevon? By an rational measure they are far more succesful.
    4.) Have they had a more imporant impact in music than most? Certainly .. they transformed what rap was in every way.

    So… would I put them in the RRHOF if if was properly administered? No.. but.. I wouldnt have a RRHOF.

    Given the current criteria that is used then certainly they should have a plaque in a building in Cleveland. Zevon, Miller, etc, etc shouldn’t even be considered if NWA isn’t in given the current criteria. The entry of NWA right around the time that “Straight outta compton” gets to DVD is highly suspicious… I wonder if without the corporate pressure to support the movie if they “judges” find their way to put them in.


    1. As far as I can tell, there is no current criteria, other than the artist’s first album has to be at least 20 years old. Artists are inducted solely on the RRHOF’s critical opinion of their music. Sales and/or fame is not part of the equation.

      I don’t care if you or anyone else likes rap, btw. It just ain’t for me.


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