Halls of Fame are rather silly, and arguing over who has been snubbed and who should have been snubbed are even sillier, but what else are we going to do, work? Spend time with our families? Face the yawning abyss of life’s meaninglessness and the terror of our own mortality?
Nah, let’s talk about Hall and Oates. They will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014, along with KISS, Linda Ronstadt, Peter Gabriel, Cat Stevens, and Nirvana.
It’s that last one that seems most poignent and era-defining, and brings some of us around to that abyss again, because, damn, Nirvana is eligible for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. You won’t hear anyone arguing that they don’t belong there (except maybe Kurt Cobain‘s ghost, wearing a cardigan and homemade t-shirt reading “Corporate Halls of Fame still suck”), since it is inarguable that Nirvana’s unexpected success changed the course of popular music, for both better and worse.
Some might take issue with Ronstadt being classified as rock at all, since she mellowed into the easy listening ’80s as one of your mom’s favorite singers, but a quick trip through her early catalog should enlighten those naysayers. Never a rock and roll madwoman, but she was definitely making rock music.
KISS is ridiculous is sucked a lot, but they were also good and awesome in a lot of ways. With their full makeup, costumes, and fire-breathing antics, they were rock’s ultimate showmen (along with Alice Cooper) in the 1970s. For that, and for inspiring countless adolescent boys to pick up guitars, they deserve the nod.
Hall and Oates’ music is the sound of the ’80s, and that cannot be a strictly good thing, but I’ll tell you what, the songs and even a lot of the sounds really hold up. They had tons of hits and revived blue eyed soul for the masses.
Cat Stevens was a gentle folkie who wrote ridiculously nice melodies, sometimes coupled with hippy-dippy lyrics about peace and love, and then he converted to Islam, changing his name to Yusuf Islam and getting a lot of bad press for supporting a call for the death of author Salman Rushdie. He left the spotlight for many years before renouncing some of his extremism and calling himself simply Yusuf. He is once again touring and recording.
Peter Gabriel is already a member of the HoF as a founding member of Genesis, which, under his leadership, was a groundbreaking art/prog rock band. He then went on to huge solo success, owing a great deal to his innovative music videos, with a compelling (and catchy) fusion of pop, electronic, and world music.
So I don’t think there is a lot to argue shouldn’t be here. Who became eligible this year that got snubbed? Who are some of the longest-running snubs?
More like this:
Sound And Vision: Guns N’ Roses? Joan Jett? Why the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Is on the Verge of Becoming a Joke?
Axl Rose Declines Hall of Fame Induction
Will the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s Class of 2011 Right Old Wrongs Or Make New Ones?