November 29, 2005

Sex Pistols, Black Sabbath, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Miles Davis, Blondie.

The new inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Do you approve?

Note that Black Sabbath and Lynyrd Skynyrd got rejected the first seven times they were eligible, and the Sex Pistols got rejected four times.
"It's about time," Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward told Reuters, adding that he had long ago given up on getting inducted.

"What bothered me was not necessarily that Black Sabbath was being passed over but that hard rock and heavy metal was being passed over ... Bands that created heavy metal music or brought it into the foreground ought to have gone into the hall of fame some time ago, quite honestly."
The injustice!

Related post: I visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

AFTERTHOUGHT: I'll bet Lynyrd Skynyrd was helped by the very nice presentation they were given on "American Idol" this past season -- backing Bo Bice.

IN THE COMMENTS: There's some questioning of why Miles Davis belongs in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. All I can say is: I saw him open for Neil Young & Crazy Horse at the Fillmore East in 1970.


Scott Wickstein said...

Yay Sabbath! C'mon these guys were legends.

Old metal sounds so mellow these days. When I listen to my old 'Motorhead' collection, you can almost feel the R & B influence.

I certainly didn't notice it as a young headbanger in the 1980's.

DB said...

Well, if they want to recognize the inventors of heavy metal, then there is at least 1 galring omission from the Hall. The Stooges!

XWL said...

Still no hip hop acts in the hall. I'm guessing Run DMC will be inducted next year and the press will make a big deal out of them being the first Hip Hop inductees.

But if a band that was more pioneer than successful from a career standpoint like The Sex Pistols can make it in then someone like Kurtis Blow who was huge for a time, but didn't last, and was the first rapper to break out nationally should be in the hall.

Also if Blondie belongs than so do Siouxsie & the Banshees and Bauhaus.

Plus where's the Prog rock, If Sabbath and Skynyrd qualify then I want my Yes, Rush and King Crimson (especially King Crimson).

Plus, with the opening of the hard rock gates, can a flood of L.A. hair bands be far behind? Motley Crue despite their musical limitations were pretty damn good and will be eligible next year.

And I guess Madonna will be the big name inductee in 08.

Oh, and It's an outrage that Spinal Tap hasn't been inducted yet, they've been eligible since the beginning of the hall and they are still the greatest hard rock band of all time.

But the whole idea of a Hall of Fame seems so NOT Rock n' Roll.

(and the Springsteen picture on entrance page of the website is disturbing (worst case of white man overbite I've ever seen))

michael said...

Umm ... Miles Davis? Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?

Don't get me wrong, I love Miles. "Sketches of Spain" is on regular rotation for me, but in what sense is Miles "Rock and Roll"?

As for the rest of the inductees, "hear hear" and "it's about time!"

Al Maviva said...

Ahh, the R&R HOF. The one HOF from which one will not be excluded for drug abuse, gambling, drinking and other scandalous behavior.

Speaking of which, Pete Rose's eligibility for the baseball HOF expired yesterday. He will get in, if at all, only through the veterans' committee. Good luck Pete.

Dave said...

Miles in the Hall of Fame makes sense.

Bitches Brew. Check that album out. Has a lot of rock and roll beats in it.

Gahrie said...

The term "rock and roll" has come to encompass almost all modern non-orchestral music. The only real exception is Country, and with the increasing number of cross over acts, that might change. Jazz, Rap, R@B, soul, pop, Punk, rockabilly...all are considered rock and roll now. Terms like hard rock, heavy metal, speed rock, death rock, grunge really have no established meaning anymore either.

Ron said...

God save the kinda blue iron man with the heart of glass from his sweet home in Alabama!

Matt Barr said...

Setting a record, I think, for number of inductees in one year who are bands often mistaken for single persons (2). Where's Jethro Tull?

It's a Hall of Fame, by the way, not a Hall of Merit.

SippicanCottage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bill said...

says it best and is why I don't care one way or another: It's a Hall of Fame, by the way, not a Hall of Merit. Thanks, Matt.

If it was a hall of merit, then this year's nominees the Stooges and Grandmaster Flash & and the Furious Five would definately be in and J. Geils Band would probably be in. And if Run DMC is elected before Grandmaster Flash & FF that's just ignoring history.

Other words to remember, from Johnny Lydon: The Hall, he said, is "a low-rent Las Vegas" run by "fat, useless (expletive)-wits who don't know anything about music." Asked if he would attend the ceremony, if inducted, he replied, "Don't be silly. Who cares? Really! Who created this preposterous penguin jet set of pop stars? It's for tossers, mate.

"Look -- I've been invited to do 'Hollywood Squares.' The center one, you know? And I turned it down."

reader_iam said...

What about Blue Oyster Cult? Based on Godzilla alone ....

'zilla--God ... 'zilla--God .... zilla. Godzilla!

History shows again and again/how nature points out the folly of man/(Godzilla)

Boy, does my guitarist husband love playing that song in his bands and just for fun. And my son could sing a good chunk of it by age two (rather disconcerting, I know).

Oh--C'mon baby!--don't worry, we were selective--we put the kibosh on him hearing "Fear the Reaper" etc.

reader_iam said...

Blondie actually makes sense to me, based on the "culture" and dance scene it helped usher in. That may be more from an East Coast perspective, though, given where I lived at the time and the bar/club scene with which I was familiar. The music in and of itself falls short of "Hall of Fame" material, however, IMHO.

(Plus, who can forget a young Richard Gere & the older, classy Lauren Hutton in that dog of movie, "American Gigolo?" So sexy, though, in parts--and "Call Me" was sort of inherent to that. Not that I think it's much of a song per se.)

Lynyrd Skynyrd: Getting out my lighter and firing it up.

FREE BIRD!!!!!!!! Any band the signature song of which becomes a catchphrase among musicians to signify a particular aspect of cover-band gigging deserves a spot in the Hall of Fame based on that alone. Trust me, I've spent my life around Those Who Gig.

The Sex Pistols: Yeah, they sort of need to be there. (Though personally, I haven't recovered yet from watching a seamy double-feature of "Sid and Nancy" and "Prick Up Your Ears" starting at 3 a.m. one night about 17-18 years ago. Talk about being sent into a coma of depression.)

KING CRIMSON. Oh, yeah! I sure do hope they get their turn someday. And Adrian is the man, a true "Member of the Tribe."
(I know, I know--there are Fripp people and Belew people. You can see where I make my stand.)

aquabahn said...

Miles Davis is curious. If this were a hall of fame of 20th century music, then Miles would obviously belong. But it's not. And while "Bitches Brew" and "On the Corner" and (best of all) "Tribute to Jack Johnson" all display prominent rock attributes--loud, electrified, a rockish rhythmic approach--they are in no way rock by any reasonable definition of the term. There's just as much Stockhausen in there as Sly Stone. The Stooges are an appaling ommission. So is the MC5. The Buzzcocks are probably the most influential yet unappreciated of punk bands. Oh and finally, where the hell is Link Wray (RIP)?

reader_iam said...


The funny thing is, rock (much less the hardest subgenres) isn't even my favorite genre of music.

So why am I finding this thread so mesmerizing? And why have I listened to so much of this music?

Wait! The Rock Nay-sayers must be right! It's an evil, hypnotic force that takes over one's mind and corrupts one's spirit!!!!


(Send help. Please)

Troy said...

If fame is the key then Shaun Cassidy, David Cassidy, The Bay City Rollers, and the schmoe who did "Pac Man Fever" should be in the hall of FAME (maybe not the last one). Hell, Rick Dees could be in there for Disco Duck.

Pavarotti recorded with half of U2 plus Brian Eno (The Passengers) -- he should be inducted -- he's famous.

SteveR said...

Since I don't know what qualifies for the Rock and Roll HOF, I can only speak to my own preference. For me, Lynard Skynard and Black Sabbath were significant in the prime of my music listening (late 6os to early 80s). The other less so.

I don't think you should qualify based on some singular or ancillary importance. Just like Don Larsen doesn't go into the Baseball HOF for a perfect game in the World Series.

But if you are interested in having a ceremony every year and creating an economic boost, go ahead and induct a few for that reason alone, the HOF designation does not affect my perception or taste.

Dave said...

"And while "Bitches Brew" and "On the Corner" and (best of all) "Tribute to Jack Johnson" all display prominent rock attributes--loud, electrified, a rockish rhythmic approach--they are in no way rock by any reasonable definition of the term"

So, Davis has recorded music that is evocative of rock...but it's not rock?

Under what system of logic does that apply?

This is like saying "Blondie used rap in some of her songs, but she didn't rap." Well, of course she did, or, more accurately, she had Fab Five Freddy rap in on of her songs (Rapture, as I recall). She used the conventions of rap as assiduously as Davis used the conventions of rock.

Why would we consider one to be an example of rap, but the other not to be an example of rock?

Dave said...

Continuing with my logic, do we not call Santana's seminal album "Lotus" jazz? Of course it's jazz, even if he is more well known for his blues/rock/salsa mixes.

Wade_Garrett said...

Personally, I think the idea of a Hall of Fame for Rock and Roll is just silly. I love Rock and Roll, and I pass through Cleveland relatively often, and I've never gone to see it.

Rock and Roll is cribbing off of major league baseball and the other professional sports, but it doesn't really work because the nature of what is being honored is so different. Baseball 1) celebrates and honors tradition 2) dates back to the mid-19th century, so a museum is necessary to allow contemporary fans to learn about the history of their sport 3) is far, far more selective in its voting process.

On the other hand, there is the rock and roll hall of fame. Rock music 1) has more of a 'burn out, not fade away' culture 2) has entirely existed in the past 50 years, so all of its important figures have been recorded, interviewed, and photographed to death, and 3) lets in just about anybody who has had a 15 year career.

I would argue that there isn't a single member of the baseball hall of fame who is not more important to baseball history than any of this year's inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I have enormous respect for Miles Davis, but I don't think he had much of an impact on rock music. A couple of his albums turn up on every critic's list of the top 50 or top 100 rock albums, but out of political correctness more than anything else.

reader_iam said...

Oooooh. "Rust Never Sleeps."

Still fascinated here. Y'all are good.

Icepick said...

I can't believe you guys are this worked up about the topic.

Worse, I can't believe I've read all the posts, and will continue to do so. Ugh.

Still, a R&R HoF is just stupid. A MUSEUM makes sense, but how the hell does one choose who goes in the hall?

It can't be longevity, because Hendrix had none, but was obviously a critical person in the development of the music. And there are acts that have been around forever that should never be allowed in. (I'll let you guys hash that out.)

It can't be influence, else Van Halen would be in.

It can't be sales either. Oh dear god, please let it NOT be sales. It's bad enough that everyone I grew up with thinks that Styx is the best band in all of music EVER, I couldn't stand it if the so-called HoF validated that opinion.

And of course, there have been persistent rumors that it has as much to do with record lables trying to push product as anything else. Some former elector wrote an article to that effect a few years ago. It appeared in Slate, or Salon, or Rolling Stone, or some damn thing.

And it's certainly not quality, as The Sex Pistols didn't know WTF they were doing.

So the whole premise is dumb. Make it a museum, and then everything can be put in, and it all makes sense.

reader_iam said...

If you were here, dear Icepick, I'd start singing "I'mmmmm sai-ling a-waaaaaay ..." at the top of my lungs just to annoy the living hell out of you (and, no, I'm not a Styxx fan--but I'm the precise age to be familiar with the band's entire oeuvre).

Leo Sayers' "You've Got a Cute Way of Walking" (ugh. what drek.) is a weapon I've used in the same way against my husband, for example.

A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do ...

Mickey said...

Well, they were all pioneers/ette`s from punk,gloom/doom,southern rock...I suppose they deserve the honor. Sex pistols just never 'jazzed' me but they changed "something." Miles?.. you bet, but I like Tommy Bolin best.

Icepick said...

Mickey, as best I can tell all the Sex Pistols did was steal the credit that The Ramones, The Stooges and others deserved. I get annoyed every time I hear/read a comment to the effect that The Sex Pistols invented punk. So many people are completely oblivious to the history of the music they love.

Icepick said...

Reader_Iam wrote: If you were here, dear Icepick, I'd start singing "I'mmmmm sai-ling a-waaaaaay ..." at the top of my lungs just to annoy the living hell out of you

You'd think I'd run over your dog or something! I'd rather listen to the entire catalogue of Army of Lovers than listen to any Styx. My hatred of them knows few bounds.

(and, no, I'm not a Styxx fan--but I'm the precise age to be familiar with the band's entire oeuvre).

Don't blame me for the crimes of your generation!

Leo Sayers' "You've Got a Cute Way of Walking" (ugh. what drek.) is a weapon I've used in the same way against my husband, for example.

You know that he could probably file for divorce on grounds of intolerable cruelty, right?

Charles said...

Blondie - Absolutely! Long overdue.

Hey wait a minute... Deborah Harry and Ann Althouse look a lot alike. Hmmm, Professor Althouse, exactly where were you during the 1970s and 1980s? Debbie did have that mysterious dropping out of sight for a while - maybe to get a law degree!?

Matt Barr said...

If fame is the key then Shaun Cassidy, David Cassidy, The Bay City Rollers, and the schmoe who did "Pac Man Fever" should be in the hall of FAME (maybe not the last one). Hell, Rick Dees could be in there for Disco Duck.

That's silly. "Fame" as in "great renown; reputation" doesn't actually include Shaun Cassidy under any formulation you can put together with a straight face. "He was on TV!" No.

You have these same issues come up in sports all the time. The Baseball Hall of Fame ballot was just announced. Statheads will wring their hands over Bert Blyleven's failure to be inducted again once the votes are counted. But please.

Buck Pennington said...

Damn you, reader_iam! Now I've got "Kwar-ter-to-FOUR in the morn-nin..." goin' through my head and it's likely to be there all freakin' day. You are a cruel, cruel, woman. :-)

Palladian said...

Charles, maybe you're onto something! Note Prof. Althouse's refusal to sing on podcasts. Perhaps it's because she knows we will recognize her!

I'm a baroque/classical/early music person, but in my teens and 20s I was absolutely a prog rock person. It began with the Beatles and their outlier work, then progressed to Jethro Tull, Yes (though Jon Anderson's wimpy hippy-ness drove me away) King Crimson, ELP, Camel, Van Der Graaf, Genesis, Gentle Giant... C'mon, who can resist a band that wrote a madrigal based on the work of RD Laing?!

I nominate Gentle Giant, King Crimson and Tull for this silly hall of fame!

Note: The only problem with being an early 70s british prog rock fan is that almost all of the band who defined that style ended up doing the most God-awful, unforgiveable work in the late 70s-80s. Gentle Giant screwed the pooch after "Interview", Tull went off the rails and into turgid Dungeons and Dragons ballad rock, Genesis shed Peter Gabriel and, fronted by the little drummer dwarf of doom, went on to record such classics as "Sussudio" and "Against All Odds". Yes went from "Relayer" (The pen won't stay the demon's wings, the hour approaches, pounding out the Devil's sermon) to "Owner of a Lonely Heart (There's no real reason to be lonely. Be yourself. Give your free will a chance. You've got to want to succeed.)

As an adjunct to the prog rock, I was also into early Bowie and Brian Eno, but the same thing happened to them as the 70s began to dry up. Bowie went from "Rock and Roll Suicide" to "Let's Dance" and Eno went from "Taking Tiger Mountain" to music to slip into a coma by.

Townleybomb said...

And it's certainly not quality, as The Sex Pistols didn't know WTF they were doing.

Put another way, they were a classic example of the inspired chaos that's pretty much the definition of rock n' roll for a lot of us!

Funny how the Pistols were considered the epitome of punk back in the age of music video, while it seemed like the Stooges and Ramones started to get more props right around the age of grunge. I'll still stick up for them-- I see nothing wrong with doing a bit of stealing from the bands that influenced them-- that's what great artists do, to paraphrase Picasso. Plus they had cool clothes and cursed on TV, which is what really mattered to me back when I was the target market....

Now what I wanna know is, when are the Shaggs getting inducted?

Jeff said...

Rock and Roll has got to go!

Icepick said...

Townleybomb, I don't mind if they stole some ideas and used them, I do mind that they have somehow managed to steal the credit. That ain't right. The Sex Pistols seem to be a product of Johnny Rotten's marketing genius.

Verification Word: thuud

paulfrommpls said...

What reader_iam said about Lynyrd Skynyrd. Plus they were just a great band.

Troy said...

I was kidding about the Cassidys back there.

How about Joy Division and Television (Joy Division will be approaching 25 years soon) and New Order will be getting there soon too. Hmmm....

I think Blondie deserves it, but the Sex Pistols did not invent punk they used it for publicity -- Madonna does it better and sustains (the publicity - not the punk).

XWL said...

Sex Pistols were Malcolm McClaren's baby, and really he should be the one inducted not the band.

He was the impresario behind The Pistols, Adam & the Ants, and Bow Wow Wow.

In the 80s he made a rap/opera album and a waltz/disco/funk album. That's pure genius.

The Pistols were just kids who hung about his shop (SEX) and he saw them as an opportunity to destroy and counter the whole glitter/prog/left over hippie scene that still infected London in the mid/late 70s. He's said in interviews that he thought the emphasis on musicianship and chordal structures was anti-Rock&Roll and why Punk was so well received, kids were tired of not being able to copy the sound of their favorite bands without years of music classes.

Oh, and judging from the current and past inductees I smell a Heisman like NY bias in the inductions, so no love for Motley Crue.

And why no love for Spinal Tap, come on, The Tap Ruuuuuules (and they go up all the way to 11).

The first real British New Wave band to get in will probably be New Order (even though they are descendents of Joy Division).

(Elvis Costello, and U2 don't really count)

Depeche Mode belong to, they are a definitive band of a style that continues to have major influence.

Townleybomb said...

In the 80s he made a rap/opera album and a waltz/disco/funk album. That's pure genius.

Don't forget his rap/ township jive/ squaredance album "Duck Rock". Hands down the best thing an ex-Pistol ever put out, apart from Metal Box.

Troy said...

Speaking of '80s music. Whatever happened to Erasure? Alison Moyet, Book of Love all those "alternative" bands. Who knew the Cure would be the last band standing? (even though New Order and DM are still putting out music).

btw -- the Alarm's Band Reunited show on VH-1 was great, but alas not a long term deal. Twist, the drummer is a DA's Investigator in San Fran.

miklos rosza said...

the rock & roll hall of fame is so un-rock & roll... why not put celine dion in? barbra streisand? patti page?

Townleybomb said...

Oh man 80s music. Pretty much 1/2 of the records that I bought during high school & college were old '80s LPs that I got from cut-out bins (I was indier than thou and thus had no CD player), and I am still totally down w/ say Men w/o Hats.

Any predictions for inductees in the next decade? I'd be willing to put some $$$ on:

Prince, U2, Elvis Costello, Run-DMC, Nirvana, Madonna: Pretty obvious.

Replacements: Might not have ever sold more than 100K records, but neither did the Velvets, and they got in. One of the truly great rough & ragged US bands.

Public Enemy: Yeah, boyeeee.

The Pixies: Put out a good 2 dozen absolutely amazing songs, were influential as hell for a while there, and have successfully reinvented themselves as hip middle age schoolteacher types. Will get in, but maybe not for a while, since they only started recording in 86 or so.

Icepick said...

TB you left out R.E.M., Sonic Youth (a band I don't particularly care for but lots of people seem to get boners whenever they're mentioned), and Jane's Addiction, amongst others. Can Keel or Krokus be far behind?


Sorry, really must get some sleep. That bit about Keel and Krokus was completely unwarranted. But at least I didn't mention Accept, Loudness, Striper or Grim Reaper.

XWL said...

Prince, Elvis Costello, U2 are already in, Run DMC, Madonna, Nirvana, Sonic Youth, REM, The Replacements won't be eligible for a few years (25 years after first wide release is a requirement for induction).

Sonic Youth is a sure thing if my theory about NY bias is true and other rock press darlings like The Replacements, REM, and maybe even Husker Du could slip in.

And I forgot about Buffalo Girls and Duck Rock, my bad, just more proof that Malcolm should be the inductee and not The Pistols. (one more example of his genius, his Paris album which had Catherine Deneuve singing/talking huskily in English over acid-jazz beats amongst other highlights)

It will be telling which 80s bands get in though (Include Eurythmics but forgo Depeche Mode, or vice versa, and will anyone give props to Culture Club?).

Or alternately I could care less since Rock should be anti-Nostalgia.

But, Taaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaap, Taaaaaaaaaaap, Taaaaaaaap, WE WANT TAP.

Wave Maker said...

I think they include Miles in R&RHOF because a JAZZ HOF would not be commercially viable -- so jazz musicians are folded in. Under any circumstances, Miles belongs in WHATEVER HOF you want to call it. A giant of a poineer, and every other musician who appeared with him on Bitches Brew too (especially Zawinul and Shorter).

I understood the popularity of Skynrd, but I never considered their work ground-breaking in any sense -- just the Next Great Southern Rock band.

I couldn't listen to BS for more than 30 seconds. Music is not biting the head off a rat. Go Ozzie, you freak.

Pooh said...

As both a baseball and music fan, the whole idea of a R&R HOF just, well offends me isn't quite the right word, but something along that track. To get us back to the beating lawgeek heart of this blog (not in Cleveland), you want to talk about standardless discretion...

Chris said...

Wave Maker, most of ozzy's ridiculous behavior was in the late sabbath and post sabbath era.

There is not much better music than early Sabbath, up to Sabbath Bloody Sabbath or so. The last three Ozzy era Sabbath albums don't quite measure up, but they weren't terrible. The post Ozzy Sabbath just doesn't work for me at all though. Not the same thing.

Even when ozzy's antics were at their highest, the music was still great too. Ozzy's first two solo albums are amazing. Granted that is mostly due to the playing of Randy Rhoads but still, regardless of any headless bats or doves or whatever, it's good music.

James said...

Dave: Most of your arguments are valid, but it's worth noting that the Baseball Hall of Fame has had periods (especially the early seventies, when one Veterans Committee member engineered the election of a number of his former cronies) when its standards have slipped markedly. I would say that the four bands inducted (but probably not the non-rock Davis) have had a much greater influence on rock and roll history than Pop Haines or George Kelly or Lloyd Waner had on baseball history.

Kev said...

"I think they include Miles in R&RHOF because a JAZZ HOF would not be commercially viable -- so jazz musicians are folded in."

There is a Jazz HOF here, kinda sorta...but it's nothing like the R&R one, obviously.

Here's a little piece of trivia concerning Miles and his rock forays: Had Hendrix lived, the two of them were slated to record an album together.

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