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Sunday, January 23, 2005

SWEET HOME CLEVELAND?

I have mentioned here before how disappointed I am with the Rock andRoll Hall of Fame and their omissions. I will repeat my cry of outrage that Black Sabbath have been consistently snubbed since 1994 when they first became eligible.

Lynyrd Skynyrd has been eligible since 1998. I realize that these two bands have never been critically acclaimed, but since when do critics buy records? Sweet Home Alabama is an anthem - like it or not. Skynyrd is a cultural force, and we've all felt the room change when that riff starts and Ronnie says 'Turn it up". It's a crime on that account alone, not to mention 'Simple Man', 'The Ballad Of Curtis Lowe', 'Tuesday's Gone'. Even the staples - 'Saturday Night Special', 'They Call The Breeze', 'That Smell' - the effect of Skynyrd is best summed up by Dan Baird, formerly of the Georgia Satellites, on his first solo effort, 'Love Songs For The Hearing Impaired'. During the song 'Dixie Beauderaunt' the main character, Dixie, wins a Wet T-Shirt contest because instead of dancing to Twisted Sister, she told the DJ "Gimme Three Steps, mister!"

Maybe in these overly scrutinized times, a band whose symbol is the Rebel Flag of the Confederacy is likely to be snubbed, but aren't we talking about Rock an Roll here? When Rock has to be PC -it's done. Tom Petty is in the Hall, and he has used the Stars and Bars as a backdrop during his live shows. Tom hangs out with Bob Dylan, Gary Rossington doesn't. So, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is like the Oscars and the Grammys and all the rest - a glorified King and Queen of the hop. Your contribution is not as important as how you dress and who you hang with.



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