Are the 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees really HOF worthy?

The 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has some new inductees, and they are;

Guns N’ Roses

Red Hot Chili Peppers

Beastie Boys

Late singer-songwriter Laura Nyro

Scottish folk icon Donovan

The Small Faces (which later morphed into The Faces featuring Rod Stewart)

Guitarist Freddie King.

Are you like me, and said, “who” to this list?  Sure I think GNR are great and I’m okay with the Beastie Boys and the Small Faces, but personally I hate the Chili Peppers and have no idea who the others are.  I gather this being the “Rock and Roll” Hall of Fame means quite little and really it’s just a music HOF nowadays.

Here is a little about the bands;

I always felt that Guns N’ Roses were the band that took the glam rock era and moved it into the grunge era.  Their first album, “Appetite for Destruction” featured the huge hit “Sweet Child of Mine” in which the band were portrayed with a little make up, a little hair spray and a little glamorous, but as their success peaked, they went more towards the jeans, and leather which made them famous. 

The band was led by volatile frontman Axl Rose and lead guitarist Slash, whose wicked guitar solos drove many of the band’s early hits including “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” “Welcome to the Jungle” and “Paradise City,” the original lineup produced their debut album, Appetite for Destruction in 1987 which I’m pretty sure I bought on cassette tape.

After that album came the majorly disappointing G N’ R Lies, which produced only one song, “Patience,” which I refused to listen to until a few years ago.  Once I heard the whistling at the beginning of the song I would turn it off.  Fortunately for fans, quite soon after that disaster the band came out with Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II.  These albums produced a ton of monster hits including; 2 versions of “Don’t Cry” “Estranged”, “November Rain”, “Knockin on Heavens Door”, “Live and Let Die”, “Civil War”, “Garden of Eden” and “Yesterdays”.  Sadly, Axl pissed off the band and after no music for 15 years the new GNR put out the garbage that is Chinese Democracy, in 2008.

To me, the Red Hot Chili Peppers are vocalist Anthony Kiedis and bass player Flea.  The only stuff they did that I could stand was with guitarist John Frusciante on 1989′s Mother’s Milk, which featured a scorching cover of Stevie Wonder’s “Higher Ground”; Once their next album came out, Blood Sugar Sex Magik, and the songs  “Under the Bridge” and “Suck My Kiss”, I was sick of them.  Overplayed indeed.  I like the Rollercoaster of Love… Sometimes. 

As for the Beastie Boys, the trio of Mike Diamond (Mike D), Adam Yauch (MCA) and Adam Horovitz (Ad-Rock) are three Yids from the Bronx (sorry, don’t recall where they are from), but their most famous song, “You’ve got the right… To Party!!” was the one I hated the most.  The rest is okay, but also in the category like above.  Are they Hall material? 

Nyro, a gifted pianist and composer who hailed from the Bronx, wrote numerous tunes that were recorded by such artists as Barbra Streisand, Peter, Paul & Mary, and the 5th Dimension before striking out on her own in the late ’60s/early ’70s and skyrocketing up the charts with such singles as “Up on the Roof.”

Donovan is best known for his ’60s folk-pop contributions, including “Catch the Wind” and “Sunshine Superman” and influencing the likes of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, among others.

Famed music producer and promoter Don Kirshner, who died last January, also received a Hall Pass in the nonperformer category for launching the so-called Brill Building group of songwriters including Carol King and Neil Sedaka through his company Aldon Music.

Of course, what’s always fascinating about the Rock Hall’s selections is who got left out. Among the artists getting the shaft this year include Joan Jett and the Black Hearts, The Cure, Heart, Rufus with Chaka Khan,  Rush, Kiss, Bon Jovi, the Moody Blues?

I asked Supernova.com’s founder, Toronto’s own Elliott Hurst, his thoughts on who was left out…

He totally agrees that Rush need to be in there, probably the Cure, but none of the others really fit the bill for “Hall of Famers”.  Elliott also questioned the inclusion of lesser known artists, or the one-hit wonders.  Do people come to the Hall to see the barely known guitarists, or international performers or do they come to see the big bands, like GNR.  I think we all know the answer to that. 

I think the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame more closely resembles the Hockey Hall of Fame in that there are some questionable folks getting in diluting the reputation of the Hall.  In baseball, however, some very good performers are not included in the Hall and not every Joe Shmoe gets in.

Now having never been to the Hall, I would think there is a super-group area where the majority of the folks go to see the big bands of today and yesterday and there must be an area tucked away somewhere for the families of the lesser lights to come and see their stories, because if I had to walk through the Hall and sort through the displays based on who got in this week, for example, I’d be pretty disappointed.

So in your opinion, do all the inductees deserve to be there and who would you add if you could?

 

4 comments

  1. As for hip hop acts like the Beastie Boys representing Brooklyn being in the “Rock n Roll” Hall of Fame I get it. Rock n roll encompasses so much that it’s not just a “Rock” group but much more. From blues, country, folk etc. If you look passed the name “Rock and Roll” and look at the greater scope of the music and the history then it makes sense.

    What I wondered was what they were looking for to induct someone in because I like you had the same thought regarding the whole HOF and they let anyone in type of outlook. They say they should have “demonstrable influence and significance within the history of rock and roll.” So if that’s our meter where does Guns N Roses stand in the ethos of rock? I can see where a hip hop act like Run DMC who changed and influenced music would be inducted. Or a blues artist like Robert Johnson but GNR? What exactly did they do that influenced music? Did they change the game?.

    What about the Beastie Boys which I previously mentioned? Remember that at the time the BB’s came in it was mid 80′s and they were white. At that time hip hop was urban from the projects of the Bronx and here come a trio of white boys not only rapping, but rapping with hip hop and rock beats. Did they change the game? Did they brake the barrier? Where would they be without Rick Rubin? It’s endless but I think they do deserve entry.

    The sex pistols called the RRHF a “piss stain”. lol They might be right. I do know that if we’re going by demonstrable influence then we might need to cut that list in half. But like all HOF nominees from sports to music the list is always questionable. So I say stick to the standard of people who changed the game like your Paige’s , Clapton’s , Run DMC, Robert Johnson etc.

    Thanks for the post good read and what I think is great is reading up on the lesser known inductees and what they did to change history. The Rock n Roll HOF needs to slow it down and tighten up on who they let in and don’t for they risk the same feeling I get when I hear the NFL HOF. “Oh they let everyone in.”

  2. Here are the top 30 vote-getters at:
    http://www.rateitall.com/topic.aspx?topicid=2529&sename=deserving-of-the-rock-and-roll-hall-of-fame
    Only Red Hot Chili Peppers, Guns n’ Roses and Donovan made the Top 30.

    1) Rush

    2) Chicago

    3) Yes

    4) Deep Purple

    5) Doobie Brothers

    6) Moody Blues

    7) Dire Straits

    8) The Cars

    9) Electric Light Orchestra

    10) Jethro Tull

    11) Pete Townshend (solo)

    12) Heart

    13) Journey

    14) Steve Miller

    15) Carole King

    16) Styx

    17) Kiss

    18) Jim Croce

    19) Peter Gabriel (solo)

    20) Squeeze

    21) Red Hot Chili Peppers

    22) Supertramp

    23) Stevie Ray Vaughan

    24) Badfinger

    25) Hall & Oates

    26) The Guess Who

    27) Foreigner

    28) Guns N’ Roses

    29) Donovan

    30) Cat Stevens

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