Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Well, it's that time again!  The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has announced the artists that are on the ballot this year, and they include:

Alice Cooper - and judging by the photo at the Hall's website, they are referring to Alice Cooper the group, not just the frontman. That includes guitarists Glen Buxton and Michael Bruce, bassist Dennis Dunaway and drummer Neal Smith. Rightfully so: the music wasn't as good once the original band split up. But the stuff that the original band did was incredible and influenced not just hard rock and metal, but punk and glam. Alice happily "sold out" years ago, and did so before everyone else was OK with being in commercials and on TV shows, but that has caused people to take him less seriously (in my opinion). But the band's early music is just incredible.

LL Cool J, one of the first artists on Def Jam, and he's still there today. I don't know if he is still considered relevant, but he was relevant longer than anyone else in the genre. And if you get him mad at you, you don't want him taking to the mix tape circut, he maybe be a Hollywood actor these days, but he will hand you your head. Obviously I'm not one of those people who think "rap isn't music" or "hip-hop shouldn't be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame." To me, LL is more rock and roll than lots of inductees.

The Beastie Boys is one of my favorite groups of all time, although they can be jerks. But they definitely deserve to be in the Hall of Fame. Their evolution has been amazing - from hardcore punks to Run-D.M.C. type hip-hop to a new kind of hip-hop on Paul's Boutique to playing hard rock and instrumental funk. And even their evolution from punky brats to semi-responsbile activists who retain a sense of humor... there's never been anyone like them, and they have at least four classic albums.

I've said this before, but Tom Waits is weird and "weird" belongs in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I would have voted him in way before Leonard Cohen.

Also on the ballot: Dr. John, The J. Geils Band and Darlene Love, who I have no objection to. Bon Jovi, Neil Diamond and Donovan who I do have objections to. And also Chic, Laura Nyro, Donna Summer, Joe Tex and Chuck Willis. I would argue that the ballot should include KISS, The MC5, The New York Dolls, Motorhead, Warren Zevon, Emmylou Harris, Rush and The Red Hot Chili Peppers.

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