Monday, March 21, 2005

Hall of Fame: U2 still rules

As time goes on, it will likely be increasingly rare to get excited about the annual induction concert/party/ceremony that is held in connection with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Although I didn't get to go to the real ceremony held at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York earlier this month (only celebrities such as Richard Gere, Cameron Diaz and Catherine Zeta-Jones seem to get a seat at the table), I did catch the broadcast over VH1 on Saturday night, March 19.

A few points to ponder:

I knew they would save U2 for last. Why else would anyone stay tuned in? They performed an energetic and strong set of four originals, with Bruce Springsteen joining them on stage.

The Pretenders are not in the same league as U2, but I would have likely cast a vote for them; especially in the wake of undeserving artists such as Billy Joel, Aerosmith and ZZ Top gaining entry in years past. There are a zillion Major League ball players who have hit home runs or thrown a shut out; do they all get in the Baseball Hall of Fame? Of course not.

Buddy Guy is a great guitarist, although I think of him more in the blues camp than rock. But it was great to see him square up and play with Eric Clapton and B.B. King on stage at the event.

Isn't it the "rock 'n' roll" hall of fame. I think Percy Sledge had a great song with "When a Man Loves a Woman," but that isn't rock 'n' roll, and does one song alone get you into the hall? The same goes for fellow inductees, the O'Jays. "Love Train" is a cool, but shouldn't these guys be in the Soul music hall or something? If those artists are welcomed, why leave out Hall & Oates? They have had more influence than Sledge, and fused soul with rock and are undoubtedly more influential?

And why isn't Gram Parsons in the hall; I can't tell you how many up-and-coming alt country-roots rockers are influenced by him today. I think the hall will loose credibility as the years go by and they continue to let in artists who don't rank up there with the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Chuck Berry and U2.

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