Well, not exactly.
The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame doesn’t interest me enough to really care about it. I don’t know how long the induction ceremony has been televised, but I can say I’ve never watched it for more than, like, 5 minutes. Nope, not even when The J5 or Michael Jackson was inducted (although, to be fair, I didn’t have cable at that point).
I happened upon the ceremony last night as I was channel-surfing. I saw Wyclef Jean at the podium talking and changed the station pretty quickly. No disrespect to ‘Clef-I just think some people are better suited to rapping and singing (although after that “We Are the World” remake, I’m wondering…) than speaking in public.
One common complaint about the R&R HOF is that the inductees are chosen due to popularity (as opposed to influence) or for television ratings. The popularity argument doesn’t really hold water when you consider the artists who have been passed over in recent years (Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, Janet Jackson, Kiss, Rush, Chicago, Hall & Oates) in favor of…say, this year’s crop of inductees. When the potential ratings pullers don’t show up to the ceremony (like 1/2 of ABBA and Peter Gabriel of Genesis) or can’t perform (Phil Collins), that kinda throws that argument out the window, doesn’t it?
The other common argument is that the inductees are not indicative of what “rock & roll” is. It’s one of those wicked nebulous terms that doesn’t really have one distinctive meaning, so it’s really not worth arguing. I do take exception to the common belief that “rock ‘n roll”=(usually white) dudes with guitars. That just ain’t the case. But that’s another argument for another time.
Actually, I just want to know if anyone watched and/or enjoyed the ceremony? I couldn’t find any clips from it on YouTube or the Hall of Fame’s website. I did see a BBC TV news brief encapsulating the ceremony in which Phil Collins tries to be funny (and fails), Frida and Benny from ABBA look ridiculously uncomfortable (Benny actually looks like he’s searching for the fire exit), Jimmy Cliff performs (sidebar=I still don’t get why he was inducted, nor do I quite understand Bobby Womack’s induction-I can understand why The Stooges and Genesis got in too, and I guess I can co-sign ABBA if I squint a little) and Iggy Pop remains remarkably well-preserved for his age and the shit he’s been through. It doesn’t seem as though I missed anything, but in the event that I did, clue me in.
(crap, I can’t find the BBC clip. Here’s a replacement, picked only because the newscasters are ridiculously goofy).