Cut Journey a break. Here’s the real problem: The Hall of Fa

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Cut Journey a break. Here’s the real problem: The Hall of Fa

Postby tater1977 » Thu Dec 22, 2016 1:49 pm

Cut Journey a break. Here’s the real problem: The Hall of Fame is running out of geezers.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/art ... 3407e74255

Geoff Edgers / December 21, 2016


“Who gives a [expletive]?” So declared former Modern Lovers guitarist Asa Brebner, as the annual backlash to the latest Rock and Roll Hall of Fame class got underway on my Facebook page.

Sorry, Asa. We all give a [expletive], though we pretend we don’t. How can selections like Yes, ELO and Joan Baez not start a fight?

Personally, I don’t feel outraged. I feel inspired that there are actually other old folks out there who really care about music enough to squabble over it. Those are the ones who remember when Steve Perry, with that feathered hair and those sausage-tight jeans, belted out “Open Arms” to packed arenas.

On that note, let’s get this out of the way: Why do all you people hate Journey? What did their rock anthems ever do to you? It’s not like they broke up the Beatles.

I asked Journey guitarist Neal Schon this question. It was clear we have different Facebook friends. He told me he heard only love.

“We’re selling out everywhere we’ve been playing,” he said. “If there was so much hatred, we wouldn’t be selling tickets.”

So as we prepare to celebrate Journey — and sorry, kids, but slap on “Infinity” with a clear mind and just try to deny its brilliance — along with Tupac and Pearl Jam and the other new inductees, we should remember that all awards are legit and deserved when the right people get them and when they don’t, there’s a cabal of backstabbing insiders hell bent on dismissing great art. There should be debate and passion and bitterness, and not just from Jon Bon Jovi, who contends that “two [f——]” are keeping his band out (even when the title of their biggest record, “Slippery When Wet,” was inspired by a visit to a strip club and the original cover (nixed, thankfully, by the record label) was an almost headless torso modeling a pair of bazongas in a torn t-shirt).

The question, for me, is how long the Hall can continue without serious changes. Namely, we are running out of geezers. What do you do when your nominees are no longer popular? Check the numbers. Green Day’s No. 1 album, “Revolution Radio,” sold just 90,000 copies when it debuted earlier this year. “American Idiot” sold 267,000 copies when it hit No. 1 in 2004. By 2021, you’ll be able to land in the top-10 by handing out a few thumb drives outside the local Shop & Save.

There simply aren’t enough eligible rock heroes around to keep the inductees list growing.That is going to force the Hall to lower the bar for what constitutes a Hall of Famer, letting in critical faves like the Meat Puppets and Television as well as Bachman-Turner Overdrive. Some of you will be pleased, particularly the MC5-agitators on my feed. But I’m not sure how this will play in the Barclays Center during the induction ceremony. Maybe it’s time to remove the 25-year wait for eligibility so Wayne Kramer can be on the same bill as Beyonce, for example, who can’t be nominated until 2028.

To understand all of this better, I called Chris Molanphy, the pop critic and chart analyst for Slate and Pitchfork. He’s an expert at this stuff and, as an added bonus, is one of the thousand-or-so folks who vote for nominated artists. He said my geezer theory had to be refined.

“Are we running out of acts? No. in fact, it’s getting worse year after year. What we are running out of are centrist, undeniable, white guitar acts. That’s what we’re going to run out of and it’s going to get worse.”

By that, he means the supply is going to dry up.

“And then you’re going to have to ask, is Creed going to be nominated? Nickelback?”

That gets to the heart of the problem, which is the way the Hall now works. It is the disconnect between the elite, nominating committee – the cabal of perhaps a few dozen insiders including Springsteen manager Jon Landau, Questlove, and Metallica manager Cliff Bernstein – and the larger, voting body that Molanphy is part of. There are other critics in that larger group but they’re far outnumbered by artists and industry figures. Steven Tyler votes. So does Clive Davis.

So you get the discriminating/snooty nominators – who push Chic forward 11 times and watch helplessly as the group is nixed by the popular vote. The cabal only begrudgingly seems to bring forward Chicago, Journey and Steve Miller as candidates. All make it on the first try.

Molanphy, for the record, had an o-fer year. He voted for Chic, Kraftwerk, Depeche Mode, Janet Jackson and The Cars.

“This is going to continue to be a problem as the Hall moves into the ’90s,” he says. “That’s why Pearl Jam became eligible. Rage will become eligible. Soundgarden. They’re going to have one more good wave of really straight up the middle, meat and potatoes rock acts. And then by the time they get to the late ’90s – does Moby get nominated? The Chemical Brothers? Daft Punk? – you’re going to see fewer and fewer meat and potatoes rock acts that are incontrovertible.”

I say let the debates continue. It was frankly a relief, after the endless political scrolls, to find people arguing about what really matters. Whether King Crimson or Yes should have been voted in. Schon was also up for a healthy discussion.

“Roxy Music,” he says. “I’ve always been a fan. MC5. I saw them when I was a kid and barely playing guitar and I thought it was the loudest, nastiest music I ever heard in my life. They all should have gotten in about four decades or so ago.”

Tim Sommer, in another passsionate take in the Observer, ticked off the list of groups he can’t believe are still on the outside. Poor Joan Baez, who as far as I can tell has never toured with Bruford, Wakeman or Howe, suddenly was a lightning rod. I mean, is she rock?

Industry vet Danny Goldberg argued that she deserved induction because of her social conscience, namely adding a “moral political component to mass appeal musical culture.” Bill Janovitz, the writer and Buffalo Tom front man, wasn’t buying, particularly if you don’t include MC5. “This is just mostly white baby boomers who grew up reading Rolling Stone deeming who is worthy of being singled out for the honor of being included in “THE” HOF,” he wrote.

For now, we can eagerly await the induction in April. Last year, we got Steve Miller turning into the angry space cowboy. This year, we can wonder how Nile Rodgers will reference Chic when he receives singular recognition and they were, once again, rejected. Does Steve Perry join his former band to belt out “Open Arms”? Schon said he would love to play with Perry again and tried to reach him after the vote, but hasn’t heard back. (A Perry representative said he isn’t doing interviews.)

These are important questions and at least put off the real dilemma. That will come in 2022. Creed is eligible.
Perry's good natured bonhomie & the world’s most charmin smile,knocked fans off their feet. Sportin a black tux,gigs came alive as he swished around the stage thrillin audiences w/ charisma that instantly burnt the oxygen right out of the venue.TR.com
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Re: Cut Journey a break. Here’s the real problem: The Hall o

Postby bellairepark73 » Tue Jan 31, 2017 2:20 am

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