A brief testament to RHOF

8 years 8 months ago #729 by andrew jackman
A brief testament to Jann Wenner’s debacle otherwise known as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,
to which when originally conceived seemed to be innocuously fresh, ambitious and compelling;
throughout It’s conception.

Howsoever, life as we know it; plus certain twists of social driven
intellectual foreplay have evolved due to a resulting biased outcome
favoring RHF inductees.

I did say that I would keep my mini dissertation brief.

Sincerely Andrew Jackman…..

P.S. There be many o’ talent not recognized in the Hall of Fame:

Remember the key words, It is “The Hall of Fame”

“will Joan Jet make the cut!”
Well! “ Del Shannon did”

“Where’s Jethro Tull”

Not one of my favorites. “Where’s Steve Miller”
Since the late 1960’s Steve Miller songs have been
in Pub & Bar juke boxes across the American
landscape up and including the present, “What Gives”

Just a brief example of Wenner myopic negligence.

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8 years 8 months ago #731 by Committee Chairman
Andrew, Welcome to our site!

The negligence, and dare i say, the arrogance of one Mr. Wenner is how this site came to being in the first place!

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8 years 7 months ago #741 by Kathleen Thomas
I do not know what Rock 'n Roll is anymore!! What the heck!!! Rap??? Folk??? Pop??? Motown ( some exceptions)??? YES & Joan Baez, huh? STYX and Sarah McLaughlin, wha? Moody Blues and Pointer Sisters, enough. I might vomit. My opinion and it won't be worth a hill of beans and probably suggested, definitive rules needed or dump it. How about dumping all HOF rolling into the current Musicians HOF with Billboard categories each with own inductee ceremony. (In the voice of Sam Kinison including expletives of choice)

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8 years 7 months ago #742 by Darryl Tahirali
andrew jackman and Kathleen Thomas:

Welcome aboard. What is your definition of "rock and roll"?

I keep asking this question but no one ever answers.

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8 years 7 months ago #743 by andrew jackman
Well! Darryl, one could answer your question just by singing

Do you like good music
That sweet soul music
Just as long as it's swingin'
Oh yeah, oh yeah
Out here on the floor now
We're going to a go go
Ah dancin to the music
Oh yeah, oh yeah
Spotlight on Lou Rawls y'all
Ah don't he look tall y'all
Singin' loves a hurtin' thing now
Oh yeah, oh yeah
Spotlight on Sam and Dave now
Ah don't they look boss y'all
Singin' hold on I'm comin'
Oh yeah, oh yeah
Spotlight on Wilson Pickett
That wicked picket Pickett
Singin Mustang Sally
Oh yeah, oh yeah
Spotlight on Otis Redding now
Singing fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa
Fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa
Oh yeah, oh yeah
Spotlight on James Brown now
He's the king of them all, yeah
He's the king of them all, yeah
Oh yeah, oh yeah


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8 years 7 months ago #744 by Committee Chairman
DDT.... is that an answer?

As for myself, i gave up trying to define Rock and Roll, the moment that i drunkenly decided to start this site.

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8 years 7 months ago #746 by Kathleen Thomas

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8 years 7 months ago - 8 years 7 months ago #747 by Darryl Tahirali
@Andrew: Thanks, Andrew. So, you're saying that it should be called the Rock and Soul Hall of Fame, as you've quoted Arthur Conley's "Sweet Soul Music" as a definition?

I've thought for a long time that at the very least it should be called the Rock and Soul Hall of Fame, as that describes the preponderance of performers and non-performers enshrined therein. However, I think it is more accurate to call it the Primarily Western Popular Music from the Mid-1950s to the Present Hall of Fame, although that doesn't fit neatly on any marquee.

I write the DDT's Pop Flies blog for this website, and I've written a lot about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame including an extensive "audit" of the performers the Hall has inducted from its 1986 inception through 2013. Defining just what is "rock and roll" is central to trying to understand the Hall. I get into a lot of discussions about the Hall, either in person or in online forums, and much of the time the discussion boils down to this: "I can't believe that [artist you like] isn't in the Hall of Fame but [artist you don't like] is!" And because music is such and intensely personal and intensely emotional experience, that is usually followed by descriptions of the Hall such as "travesty," "disgraceful," or "shameful."

So, when I ask people what their definition of "rock and roll" is, I usually get examples of artists they like or don't like, which are ultimately indications of their biases and limitations. It doesn't help that the Hall of Fame itself doesn't really define rock and roll, and that, unlike the sports Halls of Fame, there are no meaningful objective metrics you can use in pop music. Record sales, chart positions, and concert grosses only tell a small part of the story, and they don't always apply across the board. It would be like going to the Baseball Hall of Fame and finding not only players from other sports there, but criteria used to justify why they are there that do not apply to all of them.

Does it matter? I don't think that anyone can criticize the Hall without at least having a baseline to work from, which includes a working definition of "rock and roll" along with criteria for why an artist should be considered Hall of Fame-caliber. The RnRHoF has essentially one criterion: "musical excellence"; however, they never define what that means. (Believe me, I've scoured the rockhall.com site looking for it.) My criteria are: innovation, influence, popularity (critical and/or commercial), crossover appeal, and legacy. I think that an artist must rank highly in as many of those five criteria as possible in order to be a Hall of Famer. Of course, the "rankings," as with the criteria themselves, are subjective, but at least they identify areas for evaluation.

And that evaluation should be as impartial as possible. Here, the Hall actually has some good information, as it explains the terms "aesthetic reflection" and "aesthetic judgment." The former is an individual's determination of why an artist's music appeals--or doesn't appeal--to him or her along with attempting to explain why it's "good" or "not good." The latter, aesthetic judgment, is more involved as it is the individual's attempt to determine why other people think an artist's music is appealing or not, or is "good" or "not good." In other words, the latter asks you to look beyond what you like or don't like to look at a broader view of music. That is where a definition of rock and roll would help.

For what it's worth, in my audit I determined that about 75 percent of the inducted performers deserved to be in the Hall. That's a passing grade, but it's not the honor roll. And of course it's ultimately based on my own biases and limitations. However, I tried very hard not to let my "likes" and "dislikes" cloud the analysis, and, quite honestly, at this point that's not too hard to do. There are artists whose music I like but I don't think they should be in the Hall, and there are artists whose music I don't much care for personally but who I think are "Hall-worthy."

It's aesthetic reflection and aesthetic judgment, and it's a baseline from which to operate. Otherwise, these kinds of discussions wind up resembling barroom rambles with one side of the table drunkenly bellowing "tastes great!" and the other side yelling back "less filling!" The kind of discussions the Committee Chairman enjoys. And speaking of whom . . .

@Committee Chairman: No, not really, but it's a pretty cool song.

@Kathleen: Huh? Huh? Huh?

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8 years 7 months ago #748 by Darryl Tahirali
@Kathleen: You raise a very good point about "Balkanization," or the division of a large group into smaller parts, with those smaller parts often "hostile" toward each other. (Thus the term Balkanization.)

Popular music has become so expansive, so diverse, and so diffuse--to put it simply, so big--that it is difficult to keep a handle on it now. So, one solution is to break up pop music into separate groups and treat them as separate groups, as you suggest.

However, we run into the same problem of definition. If defining "rock and roll" is problematic now, what about its component parts? Is War "rock" or "funk" ("soul")? Is Massive Attack "rap" or "electronica"? That's probably why everybody gets lumped into one bucket now.

As for the Musicians Hall of Fame, I'm having a tough time trying to figure out what its rhyme or reason is for the inductees it has already in its short existence. It seems to favor unsung instrumentalists (no pun intended) regardless of musical form (e.g., rock, soul, country, etc.), and a few of these are already in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, either as name performers (Duane Eddy, the Crickets, Booker T. and the MGs) or as "sidemen" now considered eligible for the Ahmet Ertegun Award (Hal Blaine from the Wrecking Crew, James Jamerson and Benny Benjamin from the Funk Brothers, et al.). However, I'm not sure I'd consider Billy Cox or Toto to be "Hall of Fame-caliber" either in influence or ability--and if you're including Toto, why not the Atlanta Rhythm Section, which did the same thing Toto did: a bunch of studio musicians deciding to form their own working band? Ah, but my biases are showing, as I'll take ARS over Toto any day.

All part of the discussion of why the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame sucks, I suppose.

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8 years 7 months ago #749 by Kathleen Thomas
Another do not discuss topic to include with religion and politics right? RnR IS hard to define. Everyone has their own opinion. Any HoF is an honor for the inductee. A longer waiting period to see how the musician(s) material survives would be better. I honestly never heard of some of the nominees. With my comparisons I actually like the ones I wouldn't consider rock and roll. Bands like Yes and Moody Blues are probably more artistic. I also like classical, bluegrass, big band, new wave, spiritual, country, and so on and so on. I'm not too fussy. I just love and appreciate music. What we think unfortunately doesn't really matter. The producers with the money that rule these organizations could care less about what the public option is. It's a conspiracy to get us po'd! We probably would have been happier with our memories.

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