R.E.M., Van Halen inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Here is the story. Seems like only yesterday we were all atwitter about Ozzy getting his wings.

Money quote: "... His replacement, Sammy Hagar, was fired in 1996 and returned for an uncomfortable reunion tour in 2004. Bass player Michael Anthony was ousted last year, replaced by Eddie's 15-year-old son, Wolfgang."

In case you're skeptical that a 15-year-old could play bass for Van Halen, have another listen to the bass part for "Running With the Devil."

Grandmaster Flash also got in.

Grandmaster Flash is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. And, if I may anticipate Brando, Geddy Lee isn't.


Trevor Jackson said...

I assume that's not to downplay the talents of GM Flash, but to note the fact that he never really "rocked."

Did you know there's an Iowa Rock 'n Roll HOF near Okoboji?

Dic Youngs received a lifetime achievement award last year. No, I don't know who he is either.

Grendel said...

Of course, Mr. Flash was one of the most important rap and hip-hop pioneers. But rock and roll? I don't know. I present the question.

As for Dic Youngs, seems he's a Des Moines DJ.

You should go to the Iowa Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame and file a report on Creekside! That is, when, you know, your life settles down a bit.

El Gordo de Amore said...

And, being writers who have had our fair share of rejection, do we not all feel a bit for Gary Cherone?

traca de broon said...

Hartelijke gefeliciteerd, Van Halen.

Brando said...

Here, Grendel, let me roll over so you can kick the other side of my ribs.

I am fine with GM Flash getting in. This isn't really a "rock" hall of fame, and Flash really kickstarted an entire genre of music.

But Van Halen? Prepare the Rant Torpedoes.

I like a lot of Van Halen songs. The first album is also really good. But IMHO, it's their only good album. There's good stuff sprinkled throughout the rest, but they also produced more filler material than Oscar Meyer. Plus, I'm not 15 anymore, and the wafer-thin symbolism of "Ice Cream Man" or the faux-classroom banter of "Hot for Teacher" don't seem quite so clever as they once did.

I realize that Eddie influenced generations of guitarists, but he then also needs to get elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Shame for inspiring every two-bit axe slinger to learn hammer-ons before how to actually write a song.

So, the Hall has "Poundcake" but now "Tom Sawyer." That's fucked up.

And Gary Cherone was at the ceremony, working the valet parking stand.

Trevor Jackson said...

There's no need for me to pile on an already succinct rant by Brando, but I thought that choice was weird too. How many bands go through a lineup change like Roth to Hagar and still enter the HOF? Influence does not equal merit. How many groups aped the nu-metal sound? In 15 years are we going to have to watch Fred Durst "jam" in Cleveland?

I'm actually planning a trip to the 'Boji this summer. I may have to stop in to the Iowa HOF. What else is there besides the Clear Lake plane crash?

El Gordo de Amore said...

Brando -- How can you not like "Hot for Teacher"? The drums get me every time. No lie -- my sister-in-law and I listened to the song about 10 times a day over this Christmas holiday (she'd downloaded it from somewhere). Jimmy ran in place.

When I was a wee lad, along with my Eddie "Aces High" Poster and Smiths "Shoplifters" Poster (admittedly, a little schizo), I had ALL FOUR individual posters of Van Halen -- including Michael Anthony.

In junior high, I saw a Van Halen show where Michael Anthony played a bass solo that consisted of him drinking a bottle of JD (which even my young self was pretty sure was just iced tea) and fall over. The bass kept playing.

And, at that same show, three hot and very stoned college girls adopted me and my friend like puppies -- buying us beer, letting us sit with them, asking us if we were speaking Spanish (we were not). This proved to me that the dream posited by the "Hot for Teacher" video is very much alive ...

if we only believe.

Brando said...

"Hot for Teacher" is good, I just don't find it as funny as I once did.

But even 1984, arguably their second-best album, is just okay. "Jump," "Panama," and HfT are great, but "Drop Dead Legs"? "I'll Wait"? "Top Jimmy"?

I saw Van Hagar on the 5150 tour. Michael Anthony did the Jack Daniels bass solo thing. It reinforced my belief that there is no rhyme or reason for the extended bass solo, especially when said soloist is not very good at playing the bass.

"Everybody Wants Some" is, however, chock full of heady goodness.

Bace Man said...

Up front I'm a Rush fan and a bass player. I side with Brando on this issue so the bulk of you can go ahead and form your opinion of me now...but if you are truly open minded, then keep reading...

Sure Michael Anthony had some great bass lines over the years, but was he ever the lead vocalist, and did he ever 1) sing, 2) play bass and 3) foot pedals concurrently?...or 1) sing, 2) play keys, and 3) bass pedals concurrently? For that matter, has anyone apart from Geddy Lee done 3 things simultaneously who is *not* in the HOF?

The main reason people do not like Rush is Geddy Lee's voice. I'll give you that one...but it seems there are enuff Rush fans out there who dont seem to mind and haven't minded for oh, say...over 30 years now so that argument doesnt hold water anymore.

Maybe the music itself is just too complex. Geddy doesnt stay on the same eigth note for 2 measures as Michael Anthony and others tend to do, rather he bounces all over the neck of the bass. And in the same way that Geddy plays Bass, Neil and Alex play Drums and Guitar.

For whatever reason, Rush is long overdue for being in the Hall.

Grendel said...

Oh, absolutely, Bace Man, Rush is ten times the band Van Halen was, with 100 times the talent. Rush's prospects, I would think, brightened considerably the day Van Halen was inducted.

El Gordo de Amore said...

I guess the problem with the Hall of Fame is that I'm not sure what it actually stands for.

I was always under the impression it was similar to the old quip about Velvet Underground's first record -- that 1500 people bought it, and all of those people started a band (or something to that effect -- I might be off on the numbers).

Sometimes the bands who get in totally fit into this theory, in that they played licks that launched a thousand ships -- The Ramones, The Beatles, The Stones, U2, Sex Pistols, REM -- and sometimes they make less sense -- Bob Seger? ZZ Top? Paul McCartney solo? (though ZZ Top did have a gigantic facial hair stuck in the video age pie -- especially with The Eliminator car, which I think I literally saw at a dozen Texas car and boat shows -- and "Party on the Patio" and "La Grange" kill).

So, under that rubric, Van Halen makes perfect sense -- how much tapping has Eddie unleashed on the world (even in personal appearances in Michael Jackson songs)? How many lead singers bought samurai swords? How many album covers involved warning flags from the world of boating?

And, under that rubric, Rush is destined for the Hall -- I'm not sure I know anyone who has ever been in a band that didn't play Rush covers at some point -- we won the eighth grade talent show by basically letting the teachers believe we wrote "Subdivisions" (although these covers don't seem to get recorded or released once the bands "make it" -- an earlier complaint of mine -- I want to hear the Arcade Fire version of "New World Man" or the Hold Steady do "Temples of Syrinx" or TV on the Radio rip through "Big Money").

But, under that rubric, The Stooges should be in. So, I'm not sure if I really understand what the Hall is supposed to be about.

And, going with my theory, Anthrax/Public Enemy should get in as a combo for giving birth to the horrifyingly bleak period of nu metal -- God help me for recognizing that genre -- but for a while, all you heard was drop d guitar tunings and clunky honky rapping. Actually, this led to a late period repurchase of "1984" to hear something that actually rocked.

And Tom Waits should get in -- "That guy can't write songs, but he sure can sing" -- Beavis. And Uncle Tupelo and Gram Parsons for alt-country -- although Gram Parsons is in for all I know.

Who's responsbile for emo, I have no idea. Weezer?

And Ween -- Ween would be fun.

And is KISS in -- name-checked in Pete Yorn, Weezer, Wilco, and so on and so forth.