What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions
In yet another effort to limit how much we have to talk about the crap-fest that is the National Football League, and as a reflection of this blog’s branching out to things outside of the world of sport, it’s time once again remind everybody about how many Dubsists are music fans. That’s why once again we here at Dubsism are tossing out our thoughts on the nominees for induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It’s been said before; its not like we haven’t put a collective toe in the water for melding sports and music before … and Lord knows we love a poll.
First and foremost, there’s the list of nominees being considered for induction in 2020 (listed alphabetically):
Secondly, to be eligible for nomination, an individual artist or band must have released its first commercial recording at least 25 years prior to the year of induction, which means the 2020 nominees had to release their first official recording no later than 1995.
Since the nudniks who vote for the Baseball Hall of Fame seems to be concerned about guys who should or shouldn’t be “first-ballot Hall of Famers,” this Halls’ first time eligibles include Dave Matthews Band, The Doobie Brothers, Whitney Houston, Motörhead, The Notorious B.I.G., Pat Benatar, Soundgarden, T. Rex, and Thin Lizzy.
The Dubsism poll is shown below and you can check back daily to vote and see updated totals. As far as the “real” tally is concerned, you can also mirror your vote on Dubsism by going to rockhall.com and letting the Hall know how you Dubsists feel. Their poll is open until January 10th, 2020. The top five artists selected will comprise a “fans’ ballot” that will be tallied along with the other ballots to choose the 2020 inductees. You will need to log in with a Facebook account or email to vote, and just like here at Dubsism, you can vote once per day.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2020 Inductions ceremony will be held in Cleveland on May 2nd, 2020.
But one thing you won’t see anywhere else is how J-Dub voted. More importantly, you’ll see why.
J-Dub’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Ballot
Let’s cut through the crap here. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is an exercise in popularity. Motörhead is not going to get in even if they did something which lives at the core of the reason all music exists…it unites people.
Like them or not…in fact most pure Motörhead fans would rather you admit you don’t like them than to be a poser. Motörhead united two groups of people who historically didn’t get along. If you were rocking an AC/DC t-shirt in the 80’s, you were a “metal-head,” but if you were like me and flying your “Black Flag” colors, you were a “punker.” There was a clear distinction between the two with a well-defined “no man’s land” in between…with one HUGE exception. If you wore a Motörhead t-shirt, you were accepted by both the metal-heads and the punkers.
If that weren’t enough for you, it was once said about Velvet Underground that they only had about 10,000 real fans, but everyone of them started a band. You would be hard pressed to find any head-banger, punker, rager, or metal-head of any stripe who came in the wake of Motörhead who doesn’t cite them as an influence.
In many respects, Motörhead united an audience that MC5 created. The problem is there’s way too many people reading this that never ever heard of MC5. There’s a reason why the iconic “Kick Out The Jams” has been covered by psychedelic prog-rockers Blue Oyster Cult, 90s flash-in-the-pan Silverchair, and future inductees Rage Against The Machine.
MC5 is another band that won’t get in because of the “popularity contest” factor. MC5 holds on to my #2 spot for one reason. Many people credit MC5 with the birth of punk rock. I disagree. I think that title belongs to The Kinks. What MC5 created was a genre unto itself…”bad-ass rock.” This is the song I want to listen to right before I get into a bar fight. If that isn’t enough, this is the band Lemmy Kilmister credited as the inspiration for the founding of Motörhead. You simply can’t “out bad-ass” that. You can try, but you’ll fail.
3) Judas Priest
The third and final example of punk/metal band that has waited far too long for induction…again it’s all about popularity. That’s why some crack-head wailer of other people’s songs like Whitney Houston will get in before Judas Priest because she sold enough CDs full of crap pop songs to shingle every roof in southern California.
Houston accomplished such a feat despite the fact that from a vocal perspective, she couldn’t carry Rob Halford’s leather cod-piece.
In my opinion, there’s two people who established the standard for fronting a rock band; David Lee Roth and Freddie Mercury. Anybody who does anything to get compared favorably to one of those guys obviously has done something right. There’s no other way to say it…Rob Halford is the Freddy Mercury of Heavy Metal. If you listen to Halford’s vocals, you quickly realize he has a range unheard of with precious few exceptions…Freddie Mercury and the aforementioned Annie Lennox of the Eurythmics come to mind.
As for the band itself, if you were making a “Top Ten” list of iconic Heavy Metal songs, how many Judas Priest cuts are in the conversation? Heading Out To The Highway, Livin’ After Midnight, Breaking the Law, and of course…You’ve Got Another Thing Coming.
4) Pat Benatar
Let’s say you’re one of those people who thinks women are under-represented in the Hall of Fame. You’d be right, but voting for Whitney Houston over Pat Benatar means you’re only paying attention to record sales. People who swoon over Houston’s vocal abilities mistake loudness for talent because they can’t tell the difference between gospel-based vocal chaos and the operatically-trained precision of the likes of the aforementioned Rob Halford and Pat Benatar.
If that weren’t enough for you, let’s not forget Benatar played a major role in the writing, composing, and arranging of a large portion of her work and was filling arenas as a headline act years before Whitney Houston was covering Dolly Parton songs in horrid Kevin Costner movies.
That leads me to my final point. The sign on the building says “The Rock And Roll Hall of Fame,” not the “Pop Crap Hall Of Fame.” If that’s what you want it to be…so be it. Go vote for all the pretty-boy Brit-poppers that flooded MTV, and leave the purists to promote the Pet Benatars of the world.
Here’s the part that’s going to confuse people. I know I just made a point about “pop crap,” then immediately followed that with a vote for a “Cold War” era German synth-pop act. The difference is in the test of time. Twenty years from now, the majority of Whitney Houston’s discography will have been relegated to the ash-heap of history; the exception being her hits which will live on as long as those Casey Kasem Top Ten replays exist on-line.
But Kraftwerk on the other hand left a mighty legacy. A while back, I espoused my theory on the three most important songs in rock history.
Number three is the one that matters for purposes of this conversation because what the Eurythmics did for electronic music was in many to take it to the next level from the platform Kraftwerk constructed. That’s monstrously important because the tectonic shift caused by electronic music across all genres shaped everything which followed.
The Eurtyhmics were the genesis of a rule I had about MTV in the early 1980’s…you know, when it still had music. I discovered early on that the power of video could easily overwhelm the music, and therefore completely distort my impression. The first time I listened to “Here Comes The Rain Again,” I knew I was listening to something that was significantly different than anything I’d ever heard before.
At first, I thought this was just about them being yet another band that taught me you can put “real” music into rock. That meant a lot to a teen-age J-Dub, whose first training as a musician was as a classic strings guy…it meant I could still play an instrument with a bow and be a rock star. Naturally, this lead to my progression toward the electric bass I play today, with a couple of stints as a drummer in between.
But it wasn’t until I started dabbling in composing and arranging that I understood what this record really represented. Not only is this an incredibly intricately written and arranged piece, but it completely changed the game in terms of production values. Think about it. Top 40 radio in America in the early 1980’s wasn’t about complex music meant to be listened to…it was about mass-produced stuff meant to be consumed. After the Eurythmics, you could sell polished, orchestrated music to the masses because artists really started to what was possible when it came to electronic instrumentation and production.
Every genre of popular music adopted something from what the Eurythmics perfected…but it all started with Kraftwerk.
Now, let’s see your ballot, and be sure to hit up the Comments section!
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