Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Once again, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame have neglected to induct The Stooges. It is such an egregious oversight, I'm embarrassed for the organization.

To be clear, there are lots of artists who I think deserve to be in who aren't. Tom Waits. The MC5. Peter Gabriel. Bill Withers. Emmylou Harris. Gram Parsons. Motorhead. The list goes on.

But none of them changed the course of rock music the way The Stooges did. This is tough to imagine, but imagine a given band had never existed. How different would music be? How different would music be, say, had The Eagles never existed? I think commercial country music would be very different. Would rock and roll be very different? I don't know.

But here's a short list of artists who would probably not be the artists they are today without The Stooges: David Bowie, Patti Smith, The Pretenders, R.E.M., The Ramones, The Clash, Jane's Addiction, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nine Inch Nails, Nirvana. That's off of the top of my head, there's so many more. And then imagine what music would be like without a Bowie, without a Patti, without Jane's Addiction. Hall of Fame voters, shame on you.

On the positive side, I'm happy to see that Run-D.M.C. and Metallica and Jeff Beck are going to get in. I am not one of those people who doesn't think hip-hop belongs in the Hall of Fame: I think hip-hop is rock and roll played on different instruments. I don't know how many hip-hop artists I think have the longevity and deserve to be in, but Run-D.M.C. certainly do.

I feel actual pride for some reason about Metallica's induction. When I was a kid, I felt like if you didn't understand Metallica, you didn't understand me. A lot of other kids felt that way too. Decades later, you realize how crazy that sounds, but when you're a teenager, that's the way it is. They belong in the Hall of Fame, no question.

And I've long been a fan of Jeff Beck - I love the first two Jeff Beck Group albums with Rod Stewart singing and Ron Wood on bass (for my money, it's the best stuff all of them ever did). I also love some of his instrumental stuff like Blow By Blow. Jeff's already a Hall of Famer as a member of The Yardbirds, but it's good to see him get his due for his solo career. If he performed at the ceremony with Rod n' Ron (who are working together again with The Faces), man would that be awesome.

I don't want to talk smack about the other inductees, Bobby Womack and Little Anthony & The Imperials, I realize they are both also influential artists.

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