Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Halls of Fame all the same

I'm not an expert on the Rock and Rock Hall of Fame, but I do know that it's a lot like the baseball and hockey Halls of Fame in that it makes borderline induction choices while snubbing candidates who truly belong.
Just like there's a Cammie Granato for every Brendan Shanahan or a Bill Mazeroski for every Lee Smith, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame opens its doors to the likes of Donna Summer and Public Enemy, who neither rock nor roll, at the exclusion of bands like Deep Purple and Yes, who remain classic rock radio staples 40-plus years after breaking into the business. Summer and Public Enemy are successful in their own right, but for rock and roll purists, the disco and hip hop genres are the designated hitter and overtime shootout of the music world.
In the better late than never category, Rush being named to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame a good ten years after they'd earned it was an honor akin to Paul Henderson getting a long overdue call from the Hockey Hall or Cooperstown finally deigning to embrace Tim Raines.
One area that the sports halls pay lip service to but the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame doesn't concern itself with is the so-called character clause, which dictates that members at least give the appearance of being morally and ethically upstanding. As heavy a toll as strict enforcement of that clause would take on the pantheons of sport, if you weeded all the drunks, drug abusers, cheaters, gamblers and other assorted miscreants out of rock and roll, you'd be left with the Osmonds and...well, you'd be left with the Osmonds.

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