Induct ME!


Well, folks, on Wednesday, the announcement came out. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees, class of 2012.


Beastie Boys
Guns N’ Roses
Laura Nyro
Red Hot Chili Peppers
The Small Faces/The Faces

WOW. I can’t argue against a single one of them. The Beastie Boys made it okay for White Jewish kids to rap, and they did it with a sense of mirth and joy. They broke at a time when rap was a ghetto thing, and there they were, looking absurd and gleeful. I doubt rap would have crossed over into the mainstream the way it did without them.

Donovan? He followed the Beatles across the pond but was a folkie. The first one to cross the drink — and not satisfied. His bio on the Hall of Fame website claims he single-handedly ignited the psychedelic movement. That alone makes him a worthy inductee.

Guns ‘n Roses… maybe their timing wasn’t the best, coming just as grunge broke, but they redefined Hair Metal, giving it a gritty (if a bit abusive and eccentric. Thanks, Axl!) edge that many, many bands remain influenced by even today. Maybe they’re not as relevant as they used to be; Hell, maybe Axl’s turned them into a sideshow, but you can’t deny what they did for Hair Metal. Or the long-form video. The videos that were spawned by Use Your Illusion (I and II) broke new ground. I miss those sorts of videos.

Hell, I miss videos.

Laura Nyro — she might be harder to justify, as I think you should only be inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame if you’ve changed music in one form or another. Nyro’s contribution was simply in amazing songs. Yes, that’s less sexy than what Axl and company did, but it happened. She influenced everyone from Streisand to the 5th Dimension to Peter, Paul and Mary. I suppose you can argue that she gave a voice to the folk music of the 1960s. Which means including her in the Hall of Fame isn’t hard to justify, at all.

Chili Peppers — I will go to my grave at the ripe old age of 842 remembering the story of the night the Red Hot Chili Peppers took the stage at Pittsburgh’s Electric Banana in nothing but tube socks… or tried to. Owner Johnny Zarra forced them, at gunpoint, to put more clothes on. I wasn’t there that night, but I’ve heard Johnny talk about it.

The Peppers have done more for rock music than engage in outrageous behavior. Just how they did it is rather difficult to define, but they sure did. Go back and listen to their old stuff (especially BloodSugarSexMagik) and you’ll get it.

Okay, you may not get their music, but you’ll get how they changed things.

The Small Faces/the Faces — Originally born at the time of The Who, The Rolling Stones, and the Beatles, I don’t know why the Small Faces (later reborn as The Faces) don’t get more attention. They “set the standard for Sixties soul-inflected pop and English psychedelic romanticism” (quote from their bio on the RRHOF site). It may not be your thing, but that’s okay. Rock and roll is big enough for all of us.

To the inductees, I say, “Well done!” and a huge, hearty “thank you.” Without these good (albeit a bit nuts) people leading the way, well… wow. That makes my brain hurt. The impact these people have had on the daily lives of every single person who turns on any sort of radio or iPod, or who even know who Lady Gaga is…

Rock and roll has been part of our culture since its inception in the 1950s. That’s a darn long time.

May it live on and on.


1 Comment

  1. Shelley Munro

    December 9, 2011 2:15 am

    LOL – wearing only tube socks? That must have been a sight to see. Thanks for the birthday wishes, Susan 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *