DDT's Pop Flies (56)

DDT (AKA Darryl Tahirali) is a freelance writer living in Orange County, California. Originally from Canada, DDT enjoys writing about music, baseball, and other areas of Western pop culture from the tasteful to the trashy. DDT can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Two generations of Britmetal slammed out their wares at FivePoint Amphitheater in Irvine, California, on September 27 as Deep Purple headlined the show that Judas Priest opened, with two different kinds of metalheads banging in support of each.

And while both bands have been presenting said wares for more than four decades, each demonstrated that it still had a trick or two up its sleeve even as both reliably fired off the hallmarks that eventually landed one band in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame while the other is on the short list of the Rock Hall's biggest "snubs." So, did one band justify its inclusion? And did the other further its case for inclusion?

You've heard the saying, "Every man has his price"? For me, it's $20. At least that's what I was willing to fork over to see Poison and Cheap Trick at FivePoint Amphitheater in Irvine, California, on May 18. And for one of those bands, it was worth it.

Earlier this year, concert promoter Live Nation announced National Concert Week, an online promotion offering tickets for $20 (US) to a wide range of artists touring throughout the 2018 concert season. Ever-alert for bargains, my friend Kathie tipped me off to this limited-time offer, and soon we were deep into negotiations.

Strategic voting. What you have to do when you have too many choices and not enough time or opportunities to realize all those choices.

Sounds like voting for the Baseball Hall of Fame for the last few years, doesn't it?

The good news is that since the Shutout of 2013, when the eligible members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) could not muster the 75 percent of the vote necessary to elect any one ballot candidate to the Hall of Fame despite a wealth of candidates from whom to choose (I counted 14), the BBWAA has sent a dozen players to Cooperstown. Based on that trend, and barring any unusual or unforeseen wrinkle, the writers are certain to elect at least one player for 2018.
With its second meeting under a revamped structure, the Baseball Hall of Fame veterans committee will convene to evaluate nine players and one executive whose impact was made primarily during the Modern Baseball era, defined as having occurred between 1970 and 1987, and perhaps elect someone to the Hall of Fame. Their ballot results will be announced on December 10 during the winter meetings.
Baseball immortality: Precious few attain it, most do not even come close—and some perch on the cusp of that immortality as signified by the Baseball Hall of Fame. Theirs are the test cases, players whose careers, accomplishments, and legacies form the threshold of what separates a Hall of Famer from the rest.

Baseball Hall of Fame voting in the last few years has been fascinating for a number of reasons, particularly the logjam of qualified candidates, which promises to remain an issue for the next few years. That logjam puts additional pressure on the borderline candidates—will they be overlooked, perhaps unfairly, because there are too many candidates from which to choose?
Before indulging in that ever-popular blood sport of listing all the reasons why the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame sucks, let's list all the reasons why it doesn't:

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This was a day that I dreaded to see, even though I knew it was inevitable.

Standing in the checkout line at Trader Joe's, I looked at the BBC News website on my phone to see what was happening in the world. The inevitable had happened.

"How you doin' today?" the young woman asked as she pulled in my cart.
With the second revamping of its veterans committee structure in the last six years, the Baseball Hall of Fame seems ready to address the twin challenges of the logjam on the writers' ballot and of an evaluation process that until now has given scant attention to candidates from the last few decades of the game.
On October 6, 2015, the Miami Marlins reported that they had re-signed Ichiro Suzuki to a one-year, $2 million contract for the 2016 season. The 41-year-old outfielder, the most successful Japanese player in Major League Baseball history, is just 65 hits shy of the vaunted 3000-hit plateau, a baseball hallmark that generally results in a Baseball Hall of Fame induction for those hitters who have reached it unless you've run afoul of baseball's proscriptions against gambling (see: Rose, Pete) or performance-enhancing drugs (see: Palmeiro, Rafael).
Does anyone go out to the movies any more? Ticket prices are through the roof. A snack costs as much as the ticket. You sit through a quarter-hour of trailers before the film even starts, and depending on what you've come to see, those trailers may pique your interest—or quash it. Other filmgoers irritate you with their talking and their mobile devices. The RunPee app notwithstanding, if you get up to go in the middle of the film, you are bound to miss something—and why would you want to miss anything considering what you paid for the ticket?
As we gear up for the 2016 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting and announcements, the overriding question is: Have we returned to normal?

To put that into perspective, how's this for abnormal? In 2013, with a ballot overstuffed with Hall of Fame-caliber candidates (I counted 14), not one candidate was elected to the Hall. Adding to the debacle was the first appearance on a Hall of Fame ballot by Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, both of whom brought the bubbling issue of players suspected or confirmed of having used performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) to an apoplectic, moralistic boil.
This month, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will be announcing its 2016 inductees. Judas Priest, who gives a fat rat's ass any more, anyway?

I'm not kidding. No one is ever happy with the selections. There is no definition of what "rock and roll" is, which means that there is no consensus on which artists are appropriate candidates. Apart from the need to have released the first recording at least 25 years previously to qualify and a vague suggestion of "musical excellence," there are no criteria that can be universally applied. And with only fragmentary glimpses of the Hall's nominating committee and its selection and voting procedures, sustained mutterings about how the entire process is an industry charade stage-managed by driving force Jann Wenner and his cronies are approaching whispered revelations about the Freemasons, the Illuminati, and other occult conspiracies.