Tuesday, December 17, 2013

I CAN GO FOR THAT (YES CAN DO):  For 2014, the Non-Country Popular Music of the 1950s and Beyond Hall of Fame will induct Nirvana, Kiss, Peter Gabriel, Hall and Oates, Cat Stevens and Linda Ronstadt.

In addition, the heart-stopping, fun-loving, earth-quaking, love-making, record-breaking, air-conditioner-shaking, Viagra-taking, history-making, legendary E Street Band will be given the "Award for Musical Excellence" (the former "sidemen" category, where Leon Russell and Glyn Johns were recently recognized), and Beatles manager Brian Epstein and original Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham are being enshrined as non-performers.

[Based on our votes, there may be some disappointment about N.W.A., The Replacements, and Yes missing out.]


  1. Adam B.12:21 AM

    Yes, the only reason I am mentioning Glyn Johns is so I can note that "Fever Dog" was a big step for Stillwater because they produced it themselves, instead of Glyn Johns. And the guitar sound was incendiary.

  2. Joseph Finn12:29 AM

    I'm OK with that list. Well, Kiss seems odd but you can't deny the fame part there.

  3. Benner9:45 AM

    Except for Nirvana, Nope. The only thing unifying them is popularity, not particularly influence, certainly not quality. Stevens and Ronstadt represented musical dead ends, unless you want to give Ronstadt credit for the Eagles (speaking of Stillwater). But I hate the fucking Eagles, man. Kiss, Hall and Oates, and Gabriel solo career sucked. I mean, Gabriel came in handy for slow dances at CTY, and deserves some credit for ending apartheid, but that's about it. I voted for Yes even though I hate them, but what does it say that a prog rocker gets in only when he takes off the Noh masks and releases albums whose singular feature is a lack of bass guitar? Nirvana is a no-brainer to induct, obvies, but honestly, when's the last time anybody listened to them, apart from maybe cuts off the unplugged album on shuffle. The teenage stuff was good because I happened to be 13 when Nevermind was released -- a bit young to appreciate the significance of deplacing Jackson at the top of the charts and not really realizing how odd it was that the Smells Like Teen Spirit cassingle was a door prize at my friend Hal's Bar Mitzvah, along with "Good Vibrations" by Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, but into the "i hate teachers" vibe nonetheless. Upon further reflection, I do not hate teachers. Here, we have too much bass, and the result being musical sludge. With age, I learned that the Pixies, Pylon, and, yes, the Replacements did it better. Arpeggios > power chords.

    Which is to say, the concert is going to suuuuuuuuuuck. I mean, maybe Hall and Yusuf can harmonize on some Ronsdadt tunes; and I'm sure Grohl and Simmons can be counted on to play rather loudly, but maybe it's time to blow it up and start over, like the rest of Cleveland.

  4. Adam B.9:52 AM

    I do not understand the case for Peter Gabriel. He had some nice songs. Okay. Give him some small props for joining Talking Heads and Paul Simon in promoting African musicians and music. And?

    Also, we didn't do slow dances when I deejayed at CTY (JHU, 93-94). Always closed with the Joe Cocker "A Little Help From My Friends," however.

  5. mikeski1:36 PM

    "Hold me close, young Tony Danza."

  6. Andrew2:47 PM

    The sheer number of film trailers set to Solsbury Hill.

  7. Alex_Gordon3:00 PM

    I think with Gabriel you have to look at all he brought to the table, including the music videos and the live performances. The Hall, like all great institutions of its ilk, is a mess, but that's part of what makes it fun to argue about. Gabriel I would argue had a real Hall-worthy run from 1977-1992. While I can't stand Sledgehammer or Big Time, it's hard to argue with Solsbury Hill, Biko, Games Without Frontiers, Shock the Monkey, In Your Eyes, Red Rain, Don't Give Up, and Blood of Eden.

    And denying the Replacements again, well, that is a crime .

  8. Adam B.4:44 PM

    Those are some nice songs. And I saw Gabriel live during that era (the Amnesty tour), and it was great. I'm just not convinced yet.

    By way of contrast: should Sting be inducted as a solo artist?

  9. StvMg5:31 PM

    I'm just excited that Daryl Hall and John Oates finally got inducted (and after sharing a room with my brother for most of my childhood, I'm sure he's psyched about Kiss' selection as well). Whle I was happy to see Springsteen and U2 get inducted in previous years,; those selections were no-brainers. I was always skeptical Hall & Oates would get in since they never got nominated before now, even though they were my favorite act through middle school and most of high school.

    I also was stunned it took Linda Rondstadt this long to get in. I figured she would have been selected years ago.

  10. Kiss is a fascinating one, because you've got massive sales/popularity (at least for some time), longevity, and influence (without Kiss, concerts would probably look MUCH different than they do now) all weighing strongly in favor, and the fact that the music (with a few exceptions) is pretty terrible weighing strongly against. (It's also going to be interesting which members of Kiss are deemed worthy of induction--I would submit only the "classic" lineup, but there's a lot of bad blood there.)

    Ronstadt is partially there to pave the way for some future calls--Sarah McLachlan, Alanis Morissette, Aimee Mann (solo), and Sheryl Crow are all nearing eligibility. Ronstadt is THE precusor to all of them (in different ways). Not saying they should or will get in, but it's a factor.

    Next year's class looks a lot like this year's--one lead pipe cinch (Green Day), a couple of niche possibilities (Nine Inch Nails, Pavement), and a bunch of low-range acts with intense followings. Next year also gives the Hall a tough definitional call--Garth Brooks is eligible, and on "bigness," he has a strong case. But is he "rock?"