You want to know how to enrage a Rush fan? Read them the list of the current year’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame nominees. That’ll set ’em off. “What the fuck? Rush sells 50 million albums, 24 gold records, 14 platinum records, has been selling out arenas for 35 fucking years, and they’re not even nominated? And the goddamn Turtles are in the hall of fame?” Then they’ll launch into the merits of the band members themselves before finally saying, “Neil fucking Peart, man…” And then they shake their heads and shamble off to masturbate onto a slide rule or something, because Rush fans are a geeky bunch.
Hahaha, just kidding Rush fans! I myself like Rush, and saw them on their last tour with a friend of mine. That evening was three and a half hours of balls to the wall rock and roll punctuated by seven hours of blackout drinking. Good times. I think. But the point is this: The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame consistently overlooks a fantastic band like Rush, only to let bands like the Turtles in. The fucking Turtles. If you know one of their songs, it’s this one: “I can’t see me loving nobody but you, for all my life!” And that’s the only one you know. They’re in. Rush is not.
(Incidentally, most people do not know the remainder of Happy Together by the Turtles advocates raping babies and sacrificing puppies to Satan. That is absolutely, 100% true even if I did just make it up.)
And so, in a yearly tradition intended to both enrage and entertain my fellow Rush fans, I’ve taken to evaluating the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame nominees. As you can imagine, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame isn’t exactly returning my calls.
The Band: Guns N’ Roses – Here’s a recipe for success: Have a great first album, then coast the rest of your career relying on drugs, infighting, and total antipathy to fans to take you where you want to be. Yeah, that’ll work. And while you’re at it, make an “album” called “The Spaghetti Incident ?” and follow it up with the next one 15 fucking years later. It also helps if your lead singer is fucking nuts. There’s 12 reasons they have an entire plant devoted to manufacturing Prozac, and 11 of them are Axl Rose.
Do they deserve to get in? Fuck no. They don’t give you a Super Bowl trophy for winning the first quarter, do they? You need to do a lot better than shitting all over Knocking On Heaven’s Door for the majority of your career.
The Band: The Red Hot Chili Peppers – There was a point in time when the Red Hot Chili Peppers were a hot band, and that time was 1990 when Vanilla Ice ruled the charts. So, you know, not the best year in terms of taste. But wow, look at Flea! He’s fucking crazy! And Anthony Kiedis, he… he… he… Look, he can’t fucking sing. Ever heard him live? It’s like someone is molesting a cat with a hot fork.
Do they deserve to get in? No. If you could get in on having energy alone, then yes. But vibrators have energy too and with the notable exception of Madonna’s wardrobe, you don’t see them in the Hall of Fame.
The Band: The Beastie Boys – White boys! Rapping! To Led Zeppelin beats! And bros in New York and New Jersey love them! All of which is exactly why you don’t like them.
Do they deserve to get in? No, but they’ll be hanging out in the alley behind the induction ceremony doing oxy’s with their fans.
The Band: Joan Jett and the Blackhearts – Girls didn’t really get to rock until Joan Jett came along, so she’s in, right? But name me one of her songs besides I Love Rock & Roll. You can’t do it, so she’s not in. Plus she keeps stealing shit from my trash can.
Does she deserve to get in? Nope. And I don’t give a damn ’bout her bad reputation. (So I lied, she has two songs. Someone alert Lennon & McCartney to the fact that they’ve got real competition on their hands.)
The Band: Heart – Led Zeppelin-lite with tits. Look, I like Heart. I like what they represent. And like any warm-blooded male, I’ve got entire wings of the spank-bank devoted to Nancy Wilson. But they are a good rock and roll band. Not great, but good. Unfortunately, great is what should count for the Hall (and again, someone alert the fucking Turtles).
True story: I saw Heart with a date when I was in college, and we had seats way off to the side where we could see the backstage area. About 15 minutes into the set, this drunk dude jumps onstage, turns around and does a drunken victory woo-hoo!-style dance. Security grabbed him and pulled him backstage. And then the roadies proceeded to beat the everloving shit out of the dude. Which I totally didn’t get. What the fuck, you’re roadying for Heart! It’s not like they brought a gun close to the President or anything! The only thing I could think of was that they were bitter. “You fucking asshole! You know how bad this job sucks? I got into this profession so I could get the drunken sloppy seconds that Sammy Hagar leaves behind. But instead, I’m in charge of buying the fucking tampons! And now I have to deal with your shit?”
Do they deserve to get in? It pains me to say it, but no. Nancy, if you want to come over to be comforted, let me know.
The Band: The Cure – I wonder if they’ll still be mopey and down if they get elected. They’ll probably be all giddy and laughing and then feel guilty for enjoying themselves and slit their wrists backstage. That having been said, they totally did their own thing and earned a HUGE following in the process. And although I don’t really like their music, I caught a live show on TV one night and had to look at the guide to see who they were because I didn’t recognize them. It was the Cure, and they were loud, dark and all swirly guitars, and very, very good. I was surprised.
Do they deserve to get in? Yes. I’m not having their suicides on my conscience.
The Band: Eric B. and Rakim – Ok, let’s see here… Wikipedia calls Eric B. and Rakim the premier MC/DJ combo in hip hop. In other words, they didn’t know how to play instruments or write songs.
Do they deserve to get in? Maybe if they get involved in the music industry some day.
The Band: The Faces – I have got a major soft spot for the Faces. The Faces were totally fucking kick ass. They had Rod Stewart before he became a caricature of himself (and his hair looked like a porcupine fucking a hedgehog). They had Ron Wood before liquor turned him into a mummy with Parkinson’s. They had Ronnie Lane before he got all dead-like. They always played drunk, they always played loud, and they were about as close to a pure rock and roll band as you could hope to get. Awesome.
Do they deserve to get in: Yes, but only if Rod Stewart is banned from playing Tonight’s the Night ever, ever again.
The Artist: Donna Summer – Hey, you see that old, dilapidated theater with a broken mirror-ball on the floor? That is the Disco Hall of Fame. Go snort some lines in the bathroom over there or something. (You may have to shoo some raccoons out first). The argument for Donna Summer is that you can’t exclude one genre, that it’s all rock and roll. Fuck that. I’m not voting for any Scandinavian death metal band because we have to represent every genre, the Hall isn’t voting for Rush because they don’t like so-called “prog rock”, so Donna Summer is shit out of luck.
Does she deserve to get in? No, if only for the reason that you can’t be on stage singing “Looking for some hot stuff” while wearing Depends. That’s totally a new rule.
The Band: Rufus with Chaka Khan – 99.9% of people who read those words just thought: “Chaka Khan! Chaka Khan! ChakaKahnChakaKhanLetMeLoveYou
Does she deserve to get in? Nope, but we could use her hair to towel off Meat Loaf if he shows up.
The Band: War – What is it good for? Absolutely nothing.
Do they deserve to get in? Good God, no! (Say it again.)
The Artist: Laura Nyro – Beats the fuck out of me. She was up for nomination last year too, and I still had to look her up. Some white soul singer who had two “critically acclaimed” albums, which is music-speak for “No one bought her albums, so I’m going to proclaim them critically acclaimed because I am a worthless record executive and want to keep my job.”
Does she deserve to get in? How the hell would I know?
The Artist: Donovan – Bob Dylan for pussies.
Does he deserve to get in? They call him Mellow Yellow because they’re not going to call him a hall of famer.
The Artist: Freddie King – Guys like Freddie King are the core of rock and roll. Without them, there’d be no one to rip off. But seriously, this guy could fucking groove.
Does he deserve to get in? Check out that clip above. He deserves to get in just for that shirt collar.
The Band: The Spinners – Man, I don’t know. I thought I knew a song by them, but that was the Drifters. Maybe they sang… No, wait, that was the Platters. Who the fuck are these guys? I’d like to see them get voted in, only to have some tool like Bono induct them and get all their names wrong and then the awkward moment when everyone realizes Bono is thinking of the O’Jays.
Do they deserve to get in: No, unless they were mistakenly already inducted.