The Rock-N-Roll hall of Fame ceremony was last night. Don’t worry, the show runners will whittle the ceremony down to the most bland, predictable moments for mass consumption very soon.
Gene Simmons of kiss recently spoke out against NWA getting into the Hall of Fame, saying that rap is killing rock-n-roll and “I am looking forward to the death of rap,” he stated. He’s actually been bitching about rappers getting in for several years.
But Gene seems to forget that the spirit of rock-n-roll doesn’t die when you let rappers (or Chicago) into the hall of fame. It dies every time every one of these bands (of any type) agrees to be part of a bloated, political, mainstream mess that actually doesn’t give a shit about artists. My problems with the Hall of Shame echo my issues with the Grammys. The people voting and running these organizations are the same vastly out of touch members of the old guard that left blues, doo-wop and Motown artists penniless and destitute later in life, then “honor” them long after they’re mostly dead and profit off their inductions.
Ice cube said in a recent interview “…but I think he’s (Gene) wrong on this, because rock ’n’ roll is not an instrument and it’s not singing. Rock ’n’ roll is a spirit. N.W.A is probably more rock ’n’ roll than a lot of the people that he thinks belong there over hip-hop. We had the same spirit as punk rock, the same as the blues.”
The flaw in Ice Cube’s statement is that this is an oganization that doesn’t care about the spirit, it lets personal tastes, back room deals and whatever way the (usually minority) public opinion is blowing decide who gets in. The fact is if any of these 20, 30 & 40 year old bands still had any rock essence left in them, most of them would stop touring as a nostalgia act & break up (good move Motley Crue).
In fact, let’s be completely honest, if the 18 yr old versions of Gene Simmons, Ice Cube, Billy Joe Armstrong, James Hetfield, Iggy Pop, The Beastie Boys, Run DMC, Public Enemy, The Sex Pistols or The Clash, among others, were to see that most of these people actually cared about an induction into this Hall Of Shame, their younger versions would kick their asses. If rock is dead, it isn’t because Chuck D got in, it’s because he allowed it to happen at all.
I don’t really like Steve Millers music, never have. But he gets it pretty right with this statement. Nice to see someone say something.