Jann Wenner And Why The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Should Be Bulldozed!

Jann Wenner: "Oh, and by the way, FUCK Chicago!"
'Tis true that opinions are like a-holes - everybody's got one - but it is becoming more and more apparent that the selection process for inducting artists into the "esteemed" RRHOF is nothing more than handing a roomful of monkeys a stack of photos of the intended nominees and seeing which ones the monkeys throw the most poop at.

"Wow, that Percy Sledge head shot is already completely covered in monkey grease.  Welcome to the Hall, Percy!"

Crass, I know, but how else to explain Sledge's induction into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame?

First off, in what galaxy is Percy Sledge considered "rock & roll"?

Secondly, Sledge's "Hall of Fame-worthy" career consists of a paltry four Top 20 singles.  Can you name all four without Googling?  Didn't think so.

Meanwhile, a little band by the name of Chicago, with a measly TWENTY-EIGHT Top 20 hits to their credit, have not even been nominated.  How does that make ANY sense to ANYBODY?

And what about Tommy James?  Hell, he should be inducted into the Hall on the strength of "Hanky Panky" alone, but let us not also forget the other iconic jams he gave us: "Mony Mony", "Crimson & Clover", "Crystal Blue Persuasion", "Sweet Cherry Wine", "Gettin' Together", "Mirage", and, my personal favorite, "Draggin' The Line".

Most incredibly of all, these songs became huge hits despite the fact that the label James was signed to wasn't so much a record company as a huge money laundering operation run by Morris Levy, who would later be convicted of extortion and sentenced to ten years in prison.

And what about Cheap Trick?

Is having seven Top 40 albums to their credit and a host of recognizable radio singles ("I Want You To Want Me", "Surrender", "Dream Police", "Ain't That A Shame", "She's Tight", "If You Want My Love", "Don't Be Cruel" and "The Flame") not at least equal to Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, who gained admission to the RRHOF despite having NO Top 20 hit singles, and no Top 40 albums?  Oh, right, they recorded "The Message".  Yawn.

Much as I respect Jann Wenner for founding Rolling Stone magazine back in 1823, from our vantage point, the poor fellow is a raging cloud of drama and mean-spirited exclusion; a sycophant whose every misguided whim has turned an otherwise respectable endeavor into the fading dinosaur propped up by what remains of its once towering credibility.  It's obvious Wenner didn't get to sit at the cool kids' table in the lunch room until he bought said table and has never let anyone forget about it since.  That's all fine and dandy when creating a subversive rock magazine that challenged the old guard back in the late sixties, but it's a horrible way to build an institution meant to celebrate all that is great about rock & roll.

Johnny Rotten's letter to RRHOF.
What kind of reputable organization can you run if truly noteworthy artists are blatantly excluded simply because Wenner doesn't like their music, or holds some ridiculous grudge against someone associated with the band?  To operate in such a manner is ridiculously childish (a word Jann Wenner has no doubt heard screamed at him on more than a few occasions, I suspect) and has singlehandedly ruined the credibility of The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame, which Sex Pistols singer Johnny Rotten labelled a "piss stain" in his letter to the RRHOF explaining why they wouldn't be taking part in their induction ceremony.  Rotten must have seen the same Jann Wenner-penned five-star review of Mick Jagger's Goddess In The Doorway that I did.

Rather than suggest that Wenner be removed from any involvement with the RRHOF, perhaps the better solution is to accept the RRHOF for the joke it has become and to start anew.  Allow Wenner and his cronies to continue making their stunt inductions (how else to explain ) while a reputable Rock Hall pays proper tribute to those whose career accomplishments do not meet Wenner's strict whim-based criteria.

Superior St. Rehearsal Facility

1 comment:

  1. "As interest in rock and roll was beginning to subside in America in the late 1950s and early 1960s, it was taken up by groups in major British urban centres like Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham, and London.About the same time, a British blues scene developed, initially led by purist blues followers such as Alexis Korner and Cyril Davies who were directly inspired by American musicians such as Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf. Many groups moved towards the beatmusic of rock and roll and rhythm and blues from skiffle, like the Quarrymen who became The Beatles, producing a form of rock and roll revivalism that carried them and many other groups to national success from about 1963 and to international success from 1964, known in America as the British Invasion. Groups that followed The Beatles included the beat-influenced Freddie and the Dreamers, The Searchers, Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders, Herman's Hermits and The Dave Clark Five, and more directly blues-influenced groups including The Animals, The Kinks, The Rolling Stones, The Who and The Yardbirds. As the blues became an increasingly significant influence, leading to the creation of the blues rock of groups like The Moody Blues, Small Faces, The Move, Traffic and Cream, and developing into rock music, the influence of early rock and roll began to subside." From: Wikipedia / Rock and Roll.

    While Sid ("The Father of The British Invasion") is not the Father of Modern Rock & Roll...he is (at the very least) it's Favorite Uncle!.

    I had hoped, given the fact 2015 marks the 50th-Anniversary of the single most important event in Rock & Roll Concert History,
    the Rock Hall of Shame....would've given Sid at least a "So What" Ertegun/Non-Performer induction. Instead...as I understand it...
    there'll be no inductee!.

    In '14, Brian Epstein, (along with a less-than-thrilled) Andrew Loog Oldham were inducted. Two guys who may never have been heard of in America...if not for Sid's vision and dedication! At the very least...a 3-way would have been appropriate.

    In 2003, Terry Stewart assured me politics played no role in Ertegun/Non-Performer choices. I didn't buy it then. I'm not buying it now.

    Sid Bernstein rescued Rock & Roll!. Would there be a Hall without his efforts?

    Shame on you!