What kind of crazy, fucked-up world do we live in where Whitney Houston gets inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Judas Priest, Soundgarden and Todd Rundgren are not?
One in which the voters have lost all credibility, putting money over art, debasing the rock ethos and history to the point of irrelevance.
Come on, the only thing Whitney Houston has in common with rock is she O.D’ed!
Then they constantly wank about influences, yup, Patti Smith is gotta be in because she broke ground and influenced those at home. What new ground did Whitney Houston break? Another pop singer, so what? As for legacy…what did we get, “American Idol”? And to tell you the truth, Mariah Carey is more of an influence than Whitney, yup, melisma reigns on TV competition shows.
Or is it because she married Bobby Brown and became a bad girl?
This is execrable, this is sacrilegious, I feel like the Nazi during “Springtime For Hitler”…I knew rock and roll, I was there, these people have NO CLUE!
The biggest breakthrough in rock and roll, what built classic rock, was FM radio.
Yup, the Beatles opened the door and then underground FM radio blew the doors off. FM stations played music AM wouldn’t dream of, or if AM played it it was eons late (kind of like terrestrial radio today if you think about it, stuff breaks on streaming services).
As a result of FM we got extended songs. We got side-long opuses. We got album-length extravaganzas. Yup, there’s more rock and roll in “Thick As A Brick” than in any song by Whitney Houston EVER!
But Jethro Tull can’t be in the Rock Hall because Ian Anderson is not warm and fuzzy and the band stole that Grammy from Metallica, even though that was the mistake of the ignorant Grammy voters, not the band.
Have you listened to “This Was”? A blues-rock masterpiece. I mean if you’re lauding Peter Green… And “Stand Up” is enough to induct any band. As for “Aqualung”… And if Kiss can get in based on popularity…were you alive in ’71, “Aqualung” RULED! “Cross-Eyed Mary” still populates classic rock radio, somewhere Whitney Houston was never played.
Kraftwerk? Only the most influential act in electronic music EVER! Yup, Kraftwerk were the progenitors, but according to the Rock Hall that’s not music.
Motorhead. Lemmy was the ESSENCE of rock and roll!
And anybody who doesn’t think Judas Priest has more rock bona fides in one song than Whitney Houston has in her whole catalog has another thing coming.
And Todd Rundgren is the genius behind Grand Funk’s “We’re An American Band”…talk about rock and roll. We’re getting further from our home.
Soundgarden was the first of the Seattle bands to break through.
And when it comes to Pat Benatar… She was referenced in “Fast Times,” she was the biggest female rock act of her era, but she’s EXCLUDED?
Have you listened to “In The Heat Of The Night”? “Heartbreaker” burst out of the speakers like a screaming track opening a Stones LP. Isn’t it all about grabbing listeners by the balls and making them listen? Name a Whitney Houston track that does the same thing, I dare you!
Never mind the definitive version of John Mellencamp’s “I Need A Lover”…talk about ATTITUDE! Isn’t that what rock is all about? Where’s Whitney Houston’s attitude?
And if you purchased “In The Heat Of The Night” because you just couldn’t resist, because you needed more, you were rewarded with Neil Giraldo’s “We Live For Love” to boot. Sure, Benatar had hit singles, but her albums were totally playable, satisfying, whereas Houston was all about hit singles, the definitive lightweight.
And “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” became part of the vernacular.
And the hits were endless, all over MTV when that channel still meant something, stuff like “Fire And Ice”…
“Oh, you’re givin’ me the fever tonight”
There’s more sexiness in the delivery of that one line than anything in Whitney Houston’s catalog…and isn’t that the essence of rock, what’s between the legs?
And with “Shadows Of The Night” and “Love Is A Battlefield” Benatar cemented her place in the firmament, girls started dressing like her…who ever started dressing like Whitney Houston?
This is why we had punk.
This is why the Seattle sound decimated the hair bands.
Yup, rock has a long history of eviscerating that which has become overbaked, pompous, that which is all style and no substance…AND NOW WHITNEY HOUSTON IS IN ITS HALL OF FAME?
Rock was about innovation, testing limits, no one had heard a song like “Bohemian Rhapsody” before it existed…what limits did Whitney Houston test?
And there’s been a constant struggle between artistry and money. Used to be a badge of honor to be into that which was not mainstream but was excellent nonetheless. Those are the acts and albums we treasure.
And you wonder why rock is dead.
You need people to stand up for values, to say no.
This is just like the government, this is just like America today, it’s about what’s expedient, those with the most bucks triumph, they get what they want. Who in the hell pushed for Houston’s inclusion, never mind nomination? Give me the reasons once again, because I’m completely flummoxed. Yup, I want the Rock Hall to defend this position.
But no, it’s faceless. We’re supposed to trust these dudes, and it is mostly dudes, while they destroy not only the institution, but the history of rock itself. Yup, if you were born in the last twenty years you’re now gonna think Whitney Houston was a big rocker, whom we all respected. THAT COULDN’T BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH!
And what did John Lennon sing…GIMME SOME TRUTH!
So the truth is rock is about the people who make it, where they’re coming from, what they have to say. It’s about outsiders who the audience gravitates to, not the reverse. Once you start giving people what they want you don’t deserve to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
If there’s no one to induct, skip a year.
But certainly, install true rockers before someone who represents everything rock fans HATE!