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Monday, January 31, 2005

The Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame (cont.)

I've done some reaserch; the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation is responsible for the induction process. Their mailing address is:

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation
1290 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10104

You can write them, and I urge you to do so, to implore them to induct those acts that have been passed over. My list so far:

Black Sabbath
Lynyrd Skynyrd
Brian Eno
The Pretenders
Ted Nugent

I am going to ask them to impliment some sort of recognition or archive for influential bands and artists that, for lack of sales, won't ever be inducted, but none the less have contributed to the art form in a substanial way, i.e. Captain Beefheart, UFO, Thin Lizzy, Nazareth, Kraftwerk, Bauhaus, Motorhead, Arthur Lee (Love), The Ventures. Please help me build the list, as I'm sure I'll leave some out. I will ask for it to be named for Tony Alva, who's idea it was. I may even use his given name.

Screw the rock and roll hall of fame. Yes, they inducted the Velvet Underground, but only because they were afraid of Lou, like everyone else. What real rock and roller would want to be a member of any club that would have them? Screw it. If Lemmy ain't in it it ain't rock and roll.

Let's start our own Hall, based outside of Atlanta. "Alvaville."
Indeed, that is plan B, but I want to annoy those ass-wpies a bit first.
I can imagine that being inducted into the R&R Hall of Fame is sort of like getting an Oscar. Most actors will shun the attention publically, but they are humbled when given the award. I'm ambivialant about the Hall in the same way I am about the Oscars. I'm happy when they get it right, and outraged when they get it wrong.

The R&R Hall is still young enough to become credible with the right emphasis. Jackson's efforts are good ones I think. We should try to influence it to become more credible if we can. If it goes the other way, than mocking it is in order.

I like Chris's comment re: "...what real R&R'er would want to join a club". True to the nature of the art form that's for sure, but the induction ceramonies that I have watched have been truly entertaining TV. The harder the powers that be try to normalize this room full of misfits, the more comical the results. A room full of extremely creative and chemically damaged brians. They might be able to get the actors to behave, but it's just never gonna happen with the musicians. Bringing all these folks together is like inviting Hunter S. Thompson to my wife's bookclub. I think they're enjoying themselves from what I can see. No harm in that.

Overall, I think everybody likes to be recognized for their work, even Lemmy, and I'd vote the lovable wart faced animal into into Alvaville anyday.

Having helped to draft P.Funk's nominating petition on behalf of a buddy of mine who does catalog development at Polygram, I can tell you that the rock and roll hall of fame is basically a record industry marketing gimmick.

With the PR attendent upon nomination and induction comes a spike of orders from record stores for catalog material, where a re-order of old material might not otherwise be coming. (Why do you think they put out a new "Who's Greatest Hits" every year or two? Because stores will make X number of orders of a new release but not necessarily a reup on an old one).

I can't say how artists feel about it. But who likes love and adulation more than a professional performer?

I do think the idea of rewarding the likes of Capt. Beefheart is a very good one, and one that I think it would find a good reception w/in the industry which would love to promote acts like that. For cult artists that it's still profitable to keep in print getting national press and a patina of prestige from the HOF would be huge promotion.

You MUST post your nomination draft here or on your blog. If all you say is true, it may be never that Bootsy and Co. get the nod into the Hall. P-Funk would be a first rounder into Alvaville HOF.
P-Funk: George, Bootsy, and Bernie et al, are comfortably residing in the Hall, inducted in '94. I think what Jason means, is that his experiences in forwarding that nomination brought him close to the stink of the process.
I would like to hear some of his thoughts on who's been robbed thus far....Donovan anyone?
Black Sabbath, Black Sabbath, Black Sabbath, Black Sabbath, Black Sabbath, Black Sabbath, Black Sabbath, Black Sabbath, Black Sabbath, Black Sabbath, Black Sabbath, Black Sabbath, Black Sabbath, Black Sabbath,
I wouldn't call it a stinking a process. It just is what it is. I don't think too much about it. Couldn't even tell you who is in the HOF.

If the HOF can move back catalogue to a new, possibily younger audience for acts like James Brown, P.Funk, the Velvets or yes Capt. Beefheart--who on his merits is clearly deserving of induction, then I'm all for it. But I can't get worked up about it.

Tony, I actually didn't do too much on that nomination. Harry Weinger at Polygram wrote it up and at some point passed it to me (as well as others) to make sure he had gotten all the appropriate names in or to see if I had anything to add.

But I have written a fair amount about PFunk over the years. Even did a 9 hour radio documentary back in the early 90s. And once thought about writing a book.

I've always wanted to do a cross licensed box set w/ all the acts from all the labels for which they recorded--Parliament, Funkadelic, Brides, Bootsy, George Clinton, P.Funk All Stars, etc. But George has left such tangle of disputed rights behind him that it's scared people off.

Also the box set runs from a record-booth doo wop acetate made by the teenage parliaments in newark in the 1950s to hip hop, the whole story of post war black pop.

It could be a great and illuminating listen. And some of the live stuff from the mid 70s through the early 90 that has never been commercially released is monstrous.

I did glance at the list of the HOF because of this conversation. Like the baseball hall of fame, it's over stuffed with good but not great talents. Lloyd Price? The Flamingos? Brenda Lee? Bonnie Raitt? C'mon. Dylan's a Hall of Famer. The Beatles. But Bonnie Raitt? Charming, great stylist, good slid player. Hall of Fame caliber?

I'll tell you who should be on there and is not. The Monkees. The whole Krishner-Rafelson-Colgems undertaking with all that talent among songwriters--boyce & hart, king& goffin, neil diamond, and some fine performers as well. Great records. Influential band despite itself, and deeply influential rock business undertaking. The HEAD soundtrack would make one hell of a cover album.

Also J Mayo Ink Williams---the first great black record industry exec, a Brown grad in 1920. Played in the NFL. Basically instituted the Paramount race record series that recorded Ma Rainey, Charlie Patton and Son House, et al. Set up one of the first and perhaps THE first black owned labels in Chicago--never really got of the ground w/ his own labels over the years, but manged to record an early version of Stagger Lee and wax seminal records by RH Harris & the Soul Stirrers. Produced Mahalia Jackson.

Maybe the Smiths--I saw them at the Beacon behind their second album without really knowing their music and I was stunned. Saw 'em a few times after that and they were never as good. Clearly the were a huge influence in England, less so here. Very short career, the last of the great singles bands, never really did make a great album (I don't think The Queen is Dead has aged well, my favorite remains Hatful of Hollow, a collection of singles, radio sessions and quirky bits, perfect for this, the quirckiest of bands). But This Charming Man and How Soon is Now were quite a pair of singles.

I dunno what early hip hoppers are in there, but clearly Run-DMC, Public Enemy, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, De La Soul, Beastie Boys, and maybe Eric B & Rakim.
Sabbath's not in there? That's shocking. It's interesting to think of Sabbath and Donovan together. In the mid 70s both were kind of charming, guilty pleasures as goofy as they were great.

Today the sound like towering influences. Weird how that happens.
Sabbath is where we came in with this convrsation Jason, but I agree with you on the Monkees and the Hip Hop founding fathers, I know Tony will agree with Eric B. & Rakim, and nobody can deny RUN DMC or the Beasties. Mt feeling is that RUN MC will get in in a few years.
Well to this day no one can rhyme like Rakim, but I dunno if the Eric B. & Rakim career is enough. Same thing goes for Cypress Hill. Black Sunday is probably my all time favorite hip hop album, but I dunno if the career is enough. It's the old Roger Maris argument--is the one great moment enough to make a solid player a HOFer, or does it take a sustained body of greatness.

A lot of early hip hoppers fall in that boat. Afrika Babatta is a towering figure in the emergence of the music, but his career output is neither enormous nor particularly great.(One day I'll blog about my trip to his apartment at the Soundview projects. Wild scene.)
And that brings us back to dough, ha ha. Seriuosly though, that's what we're on about, what to do for the seriously influential artist who's sales and or career don't stack up. We can't forget Afrika Bambatta, or Brian Eno, or Thin Lizzy.....
"Cool... I don't get upset. Kick a hole the the speaker then I jet. Back to the lab, without a mic to grab..." Some serious shit.

A home for non-selling, yet influential and talented acts. That's the idea of Alvaville or whatever we call it.

Tony Alva
Late eighties post-punk set the stage for nineties 'alternative'. In addition to the Smiths, bands that should be inducted:

Husker Du
The Replacements
Jane's Addiction

All of them have aged remarkably well (well, except for REM which morphed into a whiny, sentimental band sometime in the early 90s, but their early work still was ground-breakingly original). Husker Du, in particular, sounds just as fresh when I listen to them now as they did back when I was in high school.

I whole-heartedly agree
Okay, well, then I'll get bolder ;-)

How about Sonic Youth? Maybe that's a stretch.

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Black Sabbath and Lynyrd Skynyrd are in the now along with Blondie, Miles Davis, amd the sex pistols
Uh, look at the date on the post you anonymous dummy.

Join us in 2006.
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