and Roll Hall of Huh?
March 16th, 2006
This week, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted more members into its prestigious club. But for some reason, not many of those honored seemed too happy about it. The Sex Pistols refused to show up. Ozzy Osbourne refused to perform. And Blondie fought with each other onstage. Is this a case of defiant rock stars fighting against a system that initially rejected them? Or are they just hypocritical crybabies looking for another way to prove their egos are bigger than any honor bestowed upon them?
This kind of defiance is expected, I guess. Just cuz they’re here to rock and it’s not about the awards and praise, man. But think about this. Most rock stars have very little morals, are drug addicts, cheat on their wives, touch little boys, attempt to murder people...When did egotistical, self-centered musicians ever say no to anything? Or feel like they’re upholding their dignity by refusing to receive praise? Come on. These guys would license their music to a commercial endorsing the clubbing of ugly babies if the money was right, so it can’t be upholding artistic integrity. Ozzy Osbourne will act in Little Nicky, but he refuses to perform at a museum honoring Rock and Roll! Something is obviously wrong here. When the Sex Pistols tell you to piss off, that's expected. But when the Whore of Hard Rock says no, you've got a real problem.
I think the basis of this Hall of Fame rejection is the fact that no one respects the Hall itself. Blondie fought onstage this year while being inducted, for God’s sake. Most people cry and thank their parents when they win an award. But really, no one knows what the hell the Rock Hall of Fame is. There’s no true indicator of what makes a band hall-worthy. Is it album sales? Cuz Hootie & the Blowfish will be in there one day. Is it musical impact? Why the hell is Percy Sledge in there? From the website they claim, in vague terms, that a committee of 'historians' select nominees, which are voted on by 1,000 'rock experts.' Who these historians and experts are remains a mystery, which makes it all conveniently blameless as to who gets in and who doesn't.
I guess the other problem with the Hall is that unlike Canton, Cooperstown, and other sports Halls of Fame, music is a creative endeavor not wholly based on statistics. For instance, the Sex Pistols had one album. Is there a sports figure in any hall of fame who played for one ridiculously good season, and made it into the Hall of Fame? Prrrrrobably not. Especially if he spent the rest of his life being a complete asshole.
And really, why couldn't the Hall of Fame just be a museum? Why does there have to be a hall of fame? Every person has an individual Hall of Fame that they cherish - it's called their record collection. As fans, we don't need validation from some invisible "rock experts" as to what bands are good. All a band wants is for people to listen to them. And to have lots of sex with anonymous, skilled women. I'm sure if being inducted into the Hall came with a bordello of misled Spring Breakers accidentally sent to Cleveland, bands would be murdering to get into this thing.
So maybe bands have a right to refuse the accolades from a mysterious institution. But maybe they should also start refusing other things that actually hurt their reputation, like errant licensing, or buckets of heroin-loaded syringes. Refusing the Rock Hall doesn’t make you a fuck-the-system rebel. It shows that even though you're washed up, your ego’s still riding the wave 20 years behind you.
If you're starting a list of who would make the Drug Users Hall of Fame, compare candidates with Guerrs and his 100 experts.