Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Great Debate - Rush

Should Rush Be In The Rock n' Roll Hall Of Fame?

Once again Rush has been passed over for induction into the Rock n' Roll Hall Of Fame for this year. This has been an on going thing for Rush fans (except me, more on that later) since 1999 when they were first eligible , there is even an online petition to sign to get them in. But some of the higher ups in the HOF, who don't even play instruments or have ever been in a band, have publicly said that as long as they are around Rush will never get in. Why? Because according to them they have never made an impact or have had a significant contribution to Rock. But Blondie is in for fuck sakes. Have you ever heard anyone in music say, "Yeah man, I was heavily influenced by Blondie?" Yeah, me neither. But many musicians, like Metallica who got in this year, have cited Rush as a main influence. After all, Geddy Lee's bass is in the hall, why not the rest of the band? Shouldn't we celebrate Rush who have a shitload of gold and platinum albums to their credit? Who are fine tuned musicians that are the best, or nearly the best, on their instruments? Who are the authors of very complex yet rocking tunes? I know Neil can get really heavy handed and come off like a egotistical a-hole with his lyrics sometimes (especially Snakes and Arrows) but come on. Should these dudes who have been around my entire life (not an exaggeration, 30+ years) cranking out albums and great concerts be recognized?

No, I don't, here's why. The very essence of rock n' roll is to be a renegade, an outsider, to give a nice, healthy middle finger to conformity. Now the same douchebags who got high, went to Woodstock and influenced a generation of stupid kids to say fuck you to authority are now the authority on who should be in their snobby, cheese eating, champagne drinking, $2500/plate club. What the fuck? Have you ever seen the ceremonies? Not very rock n' roll, it looks like a political fund raiser with a bunch of dinosaurs on stage desperately trying to play music and act young (I saw The Police last year). As a matter of fact, I'm not alone in this The Sex Pistols sent a nice fuck you letter to the HOF back in 2006 when they were nominated. Now that's rock n' roll baby, well actually punk. Plus I really hate the HOF. It was basically set up by hippies to recognize hippies (Beatles, Rolling Stone, Jimi Hendrix, etc.) from the 60's but found themselves in a mess when they realized they had to keep going and keep inducting bands. What's going to happen when they continue through the 80's? Induct Bon fucking Jovi? Nirvana is the only given that will be the next big thing and were around barely 5 years and they weren't even that talented. Hell, I would nominate them as a crappy rock band.

So that's it, the great debate. Should Rush be in the Rock n' Roll Hall Of Fame?


Godfather Weilhammer said...

Absolutely. Whether you like them or not, and I have been both, I will never say that they have not been an influence to many bands, foreign and domestic. The HOF has gotten awfully full of themselves, and I must agree that the induction is more like a really grand Bingo night anymore, but with tuxedos. If they won't induct them, I guess it will be up to the fans to do it, and molest them with mail and phone calls demanding it. That, or they could get up in trees around the HOF and protest...hippies like that.

Michael Maier said...

Hell no.

They're as ANTI rock & roll as the Hard Rock Cafes. Rush has never been about the establishment. They've been lucky enough to avoid the mainstream almost completely throughout their career.

And don't besmirch the hippies entirely. Hendrix and a good number of others from that era were amazing musicians and writers. Just they didn't wash much doesn't make them less talented.

And Nirvana sucks.

John-O said...

Of course they belong in the HOF. Their duration and body of work are enough, and that doesn't even get into the various styles they have employed, nor their technical mastery of music, nor their high number of gold/platinum records. (They are either third or fourth in this category, behind the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, and maybe Kiss, though I don't recall for sure.)

I suppose you could argue that they were too electonic there for awhile (though Madonna and Michael Jackson are in - and Jackson is in twice); or that they are too topical (though Bob Dylan is in); or that they are too much of a cult band (though Elvis Costello and the Pretenders are in) - but none of those arguments are valid.

The reason they're not in, as Josh noted, is political. The higher-ups don't want Rush in for personal reasons I couldn't even guess at. And we're really only talking about one higher-up, the guy who founded the Rock Hall AND Rolling Stone magazine - Jann Wenner. We all remember how many Rush records were in Rolling Stone's 500 best list - zero. And where Alex Lifeson placed on their 50 best guitarists list - he didn't.

Since there's no good reason that Rush is not in, I can only assume that Wenner is too stupid to understand their music. Maybe what they need to do is hold a benefit concert for PFLAG...

Prime Mover said...

I think that Rush fans have besieged (sp?) the HOF, but I'm guessing they are too high to really notice.

Mike - I agree, I shouldn't hate on all hippies especially someone who was unbelievably talented as Hendricks. It's funny that Rush was kind of in the mainstream but not, it was that nice creamy middle where they got a lot of money and recognition but were largely ignored by shitheads like Rolling Stone.

John - Totally agree with the Rolling Stone, Jann Wenner thing. Rolling Stone has always given Rush Low ratings on all their albums. I also looked it up (probably should have done that before writing this shitty post) and it was noted that no prog rock band have gotten in yet. Yes, Genesis, King Crimson, Emerson Lake & Palmer, none have been nominated. So I guess Jann seriously hated listening to Lucky Man and Roundabout growing up.

Prime Mover said...

I seriously massacre the english language don't I?

Michael Maier said...

"And where Alex Lifeson placed on their 50 best guitarists list - he didn't."

It was worse than that. Alex wasn't in the top 100. Neither was Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, or Eric Johnson.

Michael Maier said...

Eddie Van Halen? 70. Nuff said.