The Rock And Roll Induction Ceremony (2016)

Posted: May 7, 2016 in Music, TV

rocknroll hof 2016

 

The latest induction ceremony features the induction of Deep Purple, Steve Miller, Chicago, Cheap Trick, and NWA.

I’m a little young to remember Deep Purple from its origins, but Richie Blackmore is one of the best hard rock guitarists out there.  Everybody who’s ever picked up a guitar, including me, a lousy garage band bassist, knows the chard progression on “Smoke on the Water.”  It’s the first song anyone learns to play on the guitar.  Blackmore wasn’t at the ceremony, and that was a big hole in the live performance.  The other band members hardly mentioned him.  There’s still some bad blood between band members I guess. I didn’t know David Coverdale was the lead singer for a while, he can still belt it out.  I hate Lars Ulrich, drummer from Metallica, who inducted Deep Purple, he sued Napster and put them out of business, some rebel.  He’s a pompous jerk, if ever there was one.

Steve Miller was always one of my favorite singer/guitar players growing up, he wrote some of the most memorable songs of the 1970’s “Rockin’ Me,” Jet Airliner” “Jungle Love” and of course “The Joker.” Anyone who can write “Really love your peaches, wanna shake your tree,” is a hero of mine.  He did not disappoint with the live performance, and I did not know he had such an extensive background in blues guitar. His godfather was Les Paul for crying out loud, how many people can say that?  Then he ripped the induction committee after the show.  That’s a rock star. He is the pompatuse of love, whatever the heck that is. Something struck me in his introduction, he said he didn’t care how he looked or dressed like, it was all about the music.  Today’s musicians are more interested in image over anything else.

I always thought Chicago was a unique idea for a rock band, a rock band with a horn section.  They were mainstays of AM radio in the 70’s, and “25 or 6 to 4.” And “Saturday in the Park” are just great, well-constructed songs, and that horn section proved they can still play, as they demonstrated in the live performance.  Peter Cetera went really mainstream in the 80’s, and that was a bit disheartening, but Chicago is a great band.  Is Rob Thomas the only guy they could find to induct Chicago?

I also like Cheap Trick.  Rick Neilson, the guitarist is an interesting character.  Their songs land somewhere between punk, New Wave and hard rock.  I love “Way of The World and “Dream Police.”  Neilson did something great during his acceptance speech, I won’t give it away but I think it was the best moment of the night.  Kid Rock, Cheap Trick inductor, find a new career, pal.

I never liked NWA, not because they’re a rap band and this is a rock induction, that’s silly, but I never that of them as a true rap group, there was nothing gangster about them.  Before NWA, Dr. Dre was wearing makeup and glittery clothes.  Even in their acceptance speeches, they all talked about wat a good businessman Easy E was, and that’s all rap was to them a way to make money, and to prove that point, Ice Cube does family themed movies like “Are We There Yet”, and Dre makes deals with Apple.  Real gangsta fellas! But Ice Cube did say something true in his speech, he said rap music embodied a spirit of rebellion, and when done right, it certainly does.  Kendrick Lamar inducted them.  As a rapper from Compton it makes sense.  I haven’t heard anything by him, so I can’t comment on his music.

And oh by the way, Gene Simmons can put a sock in it, Kiss was not a great rock band, don’t believe me, listen to “Beth” sometime, those are some awful vocals. A group that wore makeup and a man who spits blood on stage is hardly in a position to criticize anyone.  If I was Gene Simmons, I would be more worried that groups like U2, Bruce and The E Street Band and even Foo Fighters are in their 40’s 50’s and 60’s, and there’s no one in their wake to pick up the mantle. Rock is dying Gene Simmons, and you criticize rap?  Wake the hell up.

The remembrance of Glenn Frey by Sheryl Crowe seemed a little half-hearted.  The David Bowie tribute by David Byrne of The Talking Heads was better.  The group song was not that good either.

Rock ‘N Roll will never die, but it’s on life support.

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