Music News

Does the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Matter At All?

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Almost Everyone Seems To Be Skipping It

In this lackluster Rolling Stone article rating recluses in the music industry, they give an automatic three Barrett points to any artist who skips their own induction into the Hall of Fame. So the question is, why are so many musicians skipping it? Could it be that it isn't actually important? Compare that to something like the Grammys, which is just as much an insider-based circle jerk, if not a bigger one. Not many folks are skipping that dive, and that says something.

The Sex Pistols wrote the best letter ever in response to their induction, calling the Hall of Fame a "piss stain" and rightly called out those inducted the band as still being nothing more than "industry people." I dunno about you, but I never want to be on the wrong side of the Sex Pistols.

It's Hardly True to Its Name

Not to say they aren't inspirational and important outfits, but calling artists like Etta James, The Supremes, Madonna, Public Enemy and The Jackson 5 rock 'n' roll is a stretch. If you added Buddy Holly to the Hip-Hop Hall of Swag (or whatever), there would certainly be some confusion, right?

So why not just call the museum the Music Hall of Fame or something equivalent? If you aren't going to stay true to what you call yourself, it makes one wonder what you're actually paying tribute to. It appears to be the Hall of "Whatever Old School Musician Pops Into Your Head."

And if you are going to include hip-hop, we're going to turn it over to our man Ben Westhoff in Los Angeles: "Public Enemy's cool, of course, but to say their impact was greater than N.W.A's is on some East Coast left-wing bias shit."

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Troy Farah is an independent journalist and documentary field producer. He has worked with VICE, Fusion, LA Weekly, Golf Digest, BNN, Tucson Weekly, and Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Troy Farah