Tuesday, March 13, 2007

More Rock Hall of Fame Ranting

Here's another quote from later in that USA Today article I cited yesterday. This wonderfully idiotic nugget of crap comes from someone introduced to the reader as "New York writer Roger Wade," who contends: "This is supposed to be a hall of fame, and denying both the fame and influence of Rush and Kiss makes the institution look ridiculous."
Wade is being entirely too literal minded and completely missing the whole point. (Maybe he should come to Columbus and write for The Other Paper.) Perhaps he would prefer that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame change its name to the Rock and Roll Hall of Achievement or the Rock and Roll Hall of Accomplishment. Those are what the "Hall of Fame" concept, whether it be the Rock Hall, or the Baseball or Football Halls of Fame or whatever "Hall of Fame" you care to cite as an example, is meant to recognize and honor. Being popular and influential is not an achievement or an accomplishment. As most people learned in high school, any idiot can be popular and influential. Nobody gets inducted into a "Hall of Fame" just for being famous. (Unless it were the Fame Hall of Fame, which would honor people who are famous simply for being famous, like Paris Hilton. It would be the only Hall of Fame in which any tangible accomplishment would actually count against you.)
Now, once again I ask you, besides selling a lot of records, what did Van Halen really contribute to history of Rock and Roll or its growth as an art form? Not much of anything, to tell the truth, and that's why I was against their induction into the Hall of Fame. However, they're in now, and Poison (who actually aren't eligible 'til 2012) can't be far behind.
Meanwhile, according to a sidebar to the USA Today piece, Guns N' Roses also comes eligible for induction into the Rock Hall in five more years. (God, has it really been two decades since Appetite For Destruction came out? I feel old all of a sudden.) Given my railing about Van Halen's admission, I bet you're thinking that I'm going to say that GN'R should be left out of the Hall. But no, I'm all in favor of letting them in.
Sure, to be totally honest, Guns N' Roses' career consists of one good album followed by twenty years of mediocre, or worse, crap. Then there's the decade or more long wait for Axl Rose to finish the Chinese Democracy Album. Not exactly a "Hall of Fame" showing.
Until, that is, you consider that their one good album was actually not just a good album; not just a great album; Appetite For Destruction was, is, and shall be for all eternity a freakin' bloody brilliant album and quite possibly the best heavy metal/hard rock record ever made. It might seem wrong to admit a band to the Hall of Fame on the strength of one album, but when that album is Appetite For Destruction it is absolutely mandatory.
By the way, when/if Chinese Democracy does come out, it will, of course be a huge disappointment, even in the unlikely event that it's better than Appetite For Destruction, because expectations will have risen so high over the interminable period during which Axl was recording it that absolutely nothing could meet them. It's sort of like when Tom Schultz of Boston took nine years to put out the album Third Stage, and while the result was a fairly good album, most people who heard it thought, "I waited nine years for this crap?"

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