Five acts that should be in the R&R Hall of Fame

We have new members for the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame.

Rush, Heart, Public Enemy, Albert King, Donna Summer and Randy Newman were added to the Cleveland landmark today. The selection of Rush comes years late, too late for the Hall of Fame to avoid exposing itself as occasionally musically irrelevant. ABBA was in. Rush was out. End of conversation.

The winners were chosen by 500 musicians and music industry veterans, and this year the hall included — but not very heavily — an Internet poll of fans music fans.

Who’s not in? Plenty of people more talented and meaningful than a few of the musicians who are.

Here then are five musical acts and the categories under which they could justify their nomination:

BEST ARTIST STANDING ON A BEACH WHILE A HORSE RIDES BY… AT NIGHT

ronstadt_album.jpg

Linda Ronstadt. Haven’t seen the Hasten Down The Wind cover? Look in any record stash of anyone over 55. It’s there. By the way, that album is worth $38 now. She was the premier woman singer in the ’70s — at one point the highest paid, too. Critics say much of her career wasn’t about “rock.” Now that disco is considered “rock,” that should be the end of that excuse. Her 11 Grammys, if you’re keeping score at home, is 11 more than ABBA. Her career mostly ended after she was booed off the stage for her “unpatriotic” remarks (she endorsed Fahrenheit 9/11). If the R&R HOF committee were the Nobel Prize committee, she’d be in by now.

BEST USE OF PUNCTUATION

It doesn’t matter to us that Hüsker Dü — did we mention the Minnesota roots? — wasn’t a commercial success. Introduced a new sound era. Also should get in just for Turn On The News.

BEST MAKEUP

KISS. Laugh if you will, but pure musical ability is only part of Rock ‘n Roll. It’s theater. KISS was great theater. And name me one other musical group that can make State Fair attendees dress up. Can also make it in the “But The Dave Clark 5 Is In” category.

BEST ARTIST WHO CREATED A DANCE

Chubby Checker. The Twist was Rock ‘n Roll. You couldn’t have American Bandstand or Hullabaloo or Shindig (if you don’t know what those are, I don’t know you) without the Twist and Chubby Checker was the Twist. So if the Twist was Rock ‘n Roll and Chubby Checker was the twist, simple grad standards math reveals that Chubby Checker was Rock ‘n Roll. He’s 71 now. There’s some more math the nominating committee should do.

Chubby Checker-Lets Twist Again from musicki24 on Vimeo.

BEST USE OF “DO DO DO DO DO DO and LA LA LA LA LA” WHEN THERE ARE NO WORDS TO SING

In their time there were two killer bands. The Eagles and America. Even today, people get the two bands mixed up. For every hit The Eagles had, America had one, too. The Eagles were inducted in 1998. America is still playing, and even today people are moved to tears by the sheer beauty of a lyric that includes, ” There were plants and birds and rocks and things.” The test of greatness? Go listen to any classic rock station and just wait a bit. If you’re my age, by the third recognizable note, you’re back in high school trying to work up the courage to ask Becky Slater to the junior prom. They won’t get in, they say, because the critics didn’t like them. Well, la la la la la la la la de dah.

Your nominees below. Don’t forget the categories

See also: Not In Hall of Fame

  • Mike

    Johnny Winter, for tearing it up at Woodstock, for his furious attacks on the strings, for his well-crafted solos, for going back to the blues, and for bringing Muddy Waters back to life. Check out his perfomance of Highway 61 Revisited at the 2007 Crossroads Guitar Festival, backed by Derek Truck’s band.

  • frightwig

    Praising Michael Moore is “unpatriotic”? I get that Republicans tend to dislike him and what he represents, and that many denounced Bush critics as “unpatriotic,” or worse, but your casual adoption of their framing seems to endorse that term, from your own point of view.

  • Bob Collins

    “Unpatriotic” should’ve been surrounded by quotes, and should be read with sarcasm.

  • Jake

    FYI:

    Bob, you can get decent used copies of the Linda Ronstadt vinyl album, Hasten Down the Wind, starting at $1.99 (before shipping) on Amazon.

  • John P.

    //Now that disco is considered “rock,”

    Only when War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, and Ignorance is Strength.

  • tboom

    IMHO the R&R Hall is just a made up tourist attraction. Certainly no correlation to (my) reality.