Sunday, April 17, 2016

Rock and Roll Hall of Fallout

The aftermath of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony gets more depressing by the day.  
The two members of the Black Keys, Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney, say they regret having inducted Steve Miller (above) into the Hall, because Miller was a very unpleasant person and displayed ignorance of the Keys and their music.  Miller, in response, said that Auerbach and Carney are nice guys, but he didn't think they knew anything about him and he preferred to have been inducted by Elton John.  Although Miller is deserving of the honor he received, his abrasive but dead-accurate criticisms of the Hall's induction practices and cynical staging of the ceremony, coupled with his overall ungratefulness, may make him the first Rock and Roll hall of Fame inductee to be expelled. 
Meanwhile, Gene Simmons' objection to rap group N.W.A.'s induction on the grounds that rap isn't rock led to the surviving members of the group delivering a well-received and roundly applauded rejoinder that rock and roll is all about spirit and forging one's own path, legitimizing rap as rock.  And let's face it, Gene Simmons is the last person you want to make the case against rap when you remember how much sexist and vulgar noise Kiss has made over the years.  Simmons arguing against the idea of rap as rock is like Bill Cosby arguing that inner-city blacks should take more personal responsibility for their lives; no matter how valid the argument may be, he's not someone who's entitled to make it.  But then, in 2015, Michael McDonald, who is rooted in black music and made some of the most wonderful records of the seventies with the Doobie Brothers, criticized the idea of rap in general and Kanye West records in particular as being aesthetically acceptable as music, never mind rock music, and he still got slammed for being a white male "rockist."
Rock and roll is declining and falling faster than the Roman Empire, and it's a shame to see rockers stumble into irrelevance and oblivion as the traditions of the music come apart at the seams.  So why do I keep writing about rock music and what a sorry, depressing topic it's become?  Because, otherwise, I'd have to write about the presidential election campaign (which, alas, continues).           

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