Saturday, April 9, 2016

Crabb Notes On The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame

I'm not sure that the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame 2016 inductees are the ones for the record books, but for the first time in years, it was mostly a rock and roll studded event.  The late Bert Berns was worthy.  He co wrote Twist And Shout and produced some great tracks for The Drifters, Ben E King's Let The Water Run Down, one of the better Bo Diddley beats song not done by Bo and produced Van Morrison's overplayed Brown Eyed Girl, a staple for jam sessions all over this fair state.

Photo (Rock and Roll Hall of Fame) 

There was some no shows.  Deep Purple's manager forbid (or didn't want)  Richie Blackmore from playing with the band so he stayed home.  Peter Cetera tried to get Chicago to lower the key of 25 or 6 to 4 and the band wouldn't hear of that so he stayed home but Danny Serpentine showed up and played.  So did Bun E Carlos with Cheap Trick, despite him not being on their new pretty good new album.  Of course Sheryl Crow showed up and partake in a tribute song with Grace Potter for Glenn Frey.  I'm sure Jann Wanner will be pushing her into induction soon.   Ian Gillan did paid tribute to most of who was in Deep Purple but forgot Rod Evans, who we'll never see perform on a stage ever again it seems.

Some observations:

Peter Cetera is shown to be a total A hole in the whole handling of the Chicago fiasco.  I'll give him props for making a debut album that still holds up, but then he went Barry Manilow and further into sugary muzak pop.  He used to be one of my favorite Chicago players but since leaving, he's become so full of himself that it's hard to take him seriously.  If he wants to sing 25 6 to 4 in E minor, then he can do it with his band.  At least Danny Serpentine did put aside differences and reunited with the band on this occasion.

I didn't figure Blackmore would make the trip to Brooklyn for the Jann Wanner Lovefest.  Blackmore really can't stand Ian Gillan and share the same stage with him but Bruce Payne just as much as the problem.  But then again, maybe the rest of Deep Purple couldn't deal with 10 minutes of Richie anymore.

NWA, in theory, has a rock and roll attitude despite being a rap act.  And Straight Out Of Compton is one of the top five rap albums of all time.  It pissed off the music mainstream with their raps about life in the ghetto in the late 80s in Compton, not a nice place to be back then as it is now.  That said, I have no use for NWA, they're a rap group and I don't listen to rap groups.  They're no Body Count.  Perhaps if they would have used real instruments I would consider.  I do have to agree with them that they say Rap will never go away.  Being a fresh and original bunch of rappers, would breed imitators that would be less interesting and more annoying, Kendrick Lamar being a rare exception. To Pimp A Butterfly might be a good rap album, but to me it's not rock and roll.

Little Steven Van Zant made a comment that kinda contradicts the purpose of the Jann Wanner Appreciation Society, saying that it pisses him off when musicians are a no show when they get inducted.  At the same time Steve Miller took advantage of his time by making a point that the Rock Hall only allowed him 2 tickets to the show free, one for him and his wife. If Steve wanted his latest band to join up or even the guys from previous band it would be 10,000 dollars per person.  Little Steven can pissed at Peter Cetera's leaving his BMW (Bitchy Moaning, Whining) at home or even at Richie Blackmore, after all, Richie was a solid part of Deep Purple, although Steve Morse was hardly mentioned or the Hall wanted him to be a active member.  After all Steve Morse has been one of the best guitar players ever and his role in the Dixie Dregs should have gotten him his very own place at the hall.   Rock and Roll has had it's roots in rebellion years ago, a far cry from the ass kissing Corporate blowjob that Jann Wanner and the Rock Hall Org is now infamous for.  After all, last year they booted off a few on the committee because the ones booted off were nominating forgotten R and B acts that did shape the form of rock and roll (The Five Royales come to mind). If it wasn't for the fans who voted for Chicago this year or Deep Purple or Rush a couple years before, Jann Wanner would still have them on the outside looking in.   And we all know that Jann and the Org. who do their best to keep out bands such as Paul Revere And The Raiders or Yes or even Warren Zevon and the voters may have to vote them in themselves.

(Photo: Mike Coppola, Getty Images)

In the end, the true punk spirit of this years' Rock Hall Of Fame turned out to be Steve Miller, although NWA did say almost the same thing but didn't stick around to take questions.  Steve Miller at age 72 has just about seen it all and done it all and he's right if he said that the Rock Hall, who put his song montage together didn't consult him or pay Miller to use them.  Jann Wanner's version  of   enmiant domain   But by speaking his mind and having his moment in the spotlight, Steve Miller took full advantage of his situation and told it like it is.  This give me a newfound admiration for the Space Cowboy who is this year's rebel in the Corporate hoo haa that is The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.

As for Little Steven, it's one thing to be associated with Bruce Springsteen and I admire Little Steven for his Underground Garage show that promotes the lesser known, if he was anybody else, say Nick Simpler or Jon Brant, he too would not be allowed to get into the Jann Wanner love fest.

Unless he had 10,000 dollars laying around.  Then he might.

The Black Keys didn't make many friends when Dan Auerbach complained that Miller didn't know him and that they distanced themselves from Steve soon afterward.  Which is why Jann Wanner paired them up with Steve Miller rather than Elton John or somebody more familiar.  The problem of the rock hall of fame and their continuing to use new acts to induct the classic rock acts.  Frank Marino, who will never be in the rock hall (But he is in the R S Crabb Rock Hall Of Fame) puts in his views of the whole thing.  Like Miller he is right.  In the case of The Black Keys it ends up them being corporate kiss assers.

"Yes, actually, and I couldn't agree with him more. It's about time someone else said these things publicly. Many artists have long held the very same dim view of this whole aspect of the Industry, and how it's handled, myself included. When I wrote a song called Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, way back in the 70's, it was meant as a tongue-in-cheek indictment of the whole Hall Of Fame charade.
And shame on those members of The Black Keys for distancing themselves from Steve Miller afterwards. Regardless of how caustic his comments might have seemed to them, or even whether or not he was simply unpleasant or hard to listen to, he was and is right. And he should seem unpleasant in his criticism, because the truth is often unpleasant to those willing to defend a lie. They should have at the very least limited their criticism of him to his attitude, if that's what bothered them so much. Actually, they should have simply shut up.

But their unctuous defense of the Industry's practices, particularly with regard to the Hall Of Fame, comes of as mere pandering and, if you'll pardon the expression, sycophantic ass-kissing. And this, if nothing else, illustrates the root-cause of the long-festering sore on the body of the Music Industry... musicians themselves so desirous of fame, acceptance and applause that they will defend the very hand that beats them and their brethren over the head, like the proverbial battered-wife. It's a classic case of Stockholm Syndrome.

Is this what it's come to? Are we really now giving credibility to self-serving johnny-come-lately pretenders over genuine artists? Why were they even there in the first place? It should have been someone like Elton John. And if, as they complained and whined afterwards, they found him so terrible from the moment they met him backstage ("Oh my goodness! He didn't even know who we were!!!"), why did they still go on stage, all smiles, and hypocritically play out the charade?

What's next? Does Paris Hilton get to induct The Moody Blues?"

Frank Marino

From Bob Lefsetz:

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