I ask, do these people belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?
You may have heard the news that ABBA was one of this year’s inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. And if you’re like me, your gut reaction to that had to be WTF? I love ABBA as much as any girl who grew up during the 70s and 80s, but you don’t have to be a genius to know that their body of work in no way, shape, or form can be defined as rock and roll. This head scratching choice is nothing new for the Crock and Roll Hall of Shame, as I affectionately love to call it. Other unusual nominees throughout the years have included Madonna, Michael Jackson, Herb Alpert (!), Miles Davis, Etta James, Louie Armstrong, The Bee Gees (Barry and Robin Gibb are responsible for nominating ABBA, by the way) Jann Wenner (who is best know for composing the “Miami Vice” theme), and Hank Williams, just to name a few oddball choices.
While these people certainly made important contributions to music, it’s pretty obvious that the HOF’s definition of rock and roll is looser than Tiger Woods. At the rate they’re going, they might as well induct Liberace next year. I can see the crossover in country, but why pop, jazz and disco? One wonders how some of these old time classic rockers such as The Rolling Stones and Aerosmith feel about sharing the honor with the bell bottom wearing quartet that gave us “Dancing Queen”, “Lay All Your Love on Me”, and “I Have a Dream.”
I’m in no way criticizing or degrading ABBA’s music – I think they’re marvelous musicians in their own genre, and “S.O.S.” was admired by John Lennon and Pete Townsend, who both felt it was one of the most beautiful pop songs ever written in the 70s. You may ask what the harm is in letting groups like ABBA into the HOF – and there’s no harm, really – until you consider that they’re taking valuable space away from true rock legends who deserve it more. People and bands like…
*Jan and Dean
…and so many countless others
Why is Madonna in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame but Steve Miller is not? Heck, even Neil Diamond is more deserving of the honor because of early hits such as “Cherry Cherry.” I could go on and on, but you get the idea. Perhaps the HOF needs to split off into different halls for different genres. Or maybe they need to rename themselves in more general terms as simply the Hit Music Hall of Fame.
If you want to see all this madness for yourself, you can find the entire list of inductees here. And don’t be too surprised, come 2011, you see Neil Sedaka and The Captain and Tenille added to their site.