Thursday, December 13, 2007
CONGRATS TO JOHN MELLENCAMP
I've previously complained about The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's ballot for this year. Today, they announced the inductees for this year, and the one artist who I thought was a lock - The Beastie Boys - didn't make the cut. Then again, the genres they represent - hip-hop, punk and funk - don't get a ton of love from the Hall. It took Grandmaster Flash and George Clinton years on the ballot before being voted in.
But I am happy to see John Mellencamp being inducted. I've been a fan forever. He just has so many classic songs - and there's lots of great things he's written that never got airplay for some reason: I'd cite "Minutes To Memories," "Between A Laugh And A Tear," "Life Is Hard" and "French Shoes" as some songs that deserved more radio time than they got. I think that "Walk Tall" from his greatest hits album is one of his finest moments. I know he loves his current band, but man, it would be cool if he played at the ceremony with his current band, but also some of the guys from his earlier days, like drummer Kenny Aronoff and violinist Lisa Germano.
Like I mentioned earlier, I don't have a problem with Madonna getting in, I just might not have voted for her. Leonard Cohen? I know he's influenced some of my favorites, like U2 and R.E.M. but I don't know. Great poet/lyricist, no question. But I wouldn't have voted for him either. I think someone like, say, Willie Nelson or Peter Tosh is more deserving, if you want to go outside the rock and roll norm.
I once did a long interview with Little Steven about why The Dave Clark 5 deserve to be in. In fact, I bet his ceaseless campaigning is why they finally got voted in. I don't know enough about them or The Ventures to really comment on them. Other than to say that you can't really overstate the value and influence of the artists who were forging the path in the early days.
I'm also glad to see Philly songwriters/producers Gamble & Huff and the amazing blues harmonica player Little Walter being inducted.
It doesn't seem like the most exciting induction class, but I'll be watching spinner or whoever airs the ceremony. Meanwhile, I remain hopeful that these voters get a clue and induct The Stooges at some point. (And KISS, and Alice Cooper, and Motorhead, and The Beastie Boys, and Run-DMC and Metallica...)