iVoryTowerz Radio: Shame on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

This week it is time to rant and roll. The underground podcast takes on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Perhaps, like us, you wonder if the folks running the hall understand rock music. One of our rock critics (and podcast co-conductor) Jeff Siegel already teed off on the hall in this blog's most provocative post: "The Dave Clark Five? Who is Kidding Whom?" This post and podcast are the inevitable sequel after this week's induction of one of the hall's weakest groups of new honorees ever: John Mellencamp, Madonna, The Ventures (so forgettable, not even mentioned on the podcast!), Leonard Cohen, and The Dave Clark Five. This group is so undeserving, none have ever made the cut to get on the underground podcast. Instead, this week we offer a playlist of folks the hall should have inducted, and one nomination for next year. Ready for a little commentary with your rock music? Then plug in your headphones and let this program rip!

(This podcast is no longer available for download.)


"Jump into the Fire" by Harry Nilsson
“Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!” by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
“Can We Still be Friends" by Todd Rundgren
"Dangerous Type" by The Cars
Jeff’s New Wave: “Search and Destroy” by Iggy & The Stooges
Rick's Metal Shoppe: "Living After Midnight" by Judas Priest
Cover Me: "Rollin' and Tumblin'" by Jeff Beck
"Heat Wave" by Linda Ronstadt
"Beachwood 4-5789" by The Marvelettes
“You Can't Hurry Love” by Phil Collins
"She Came in Through the Bathroom Window" by Joe Cocker
"Sailin' Shoes” by Little Feat
“Excitable Boy" by Warren Zevon
"Mendocino" by Doug Sahm & The Sir Douglas Quintet
"Red Dirt Girl" by Emmylou Harris
"Look at Little Sister" by Stevie Ray Vaughn & Double Trouble

(Mp3 Runs - 1:23:26; 77 MB.) Program contains explicit lyrics.

(Photo of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, OH by Jason Pratt of Pittsburgh, PA via Flickr, using a Creative Commons License.)

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John Charles Palazzo said...

I still hold out hope that someday the Rock Hall of Fame will consider musical ability and historical impact in their decision making. That they put the music version of Coca Cola into the Hall should be a source of real shame to anyone involved in the process.

With that sentiment put aside, I love the list and am going to play the podcast tomorrow while I prepare lunch here in Milano.... I particularly look forward to the Zevon song and Judy P. I love Zevon especially, I still remember where I was when I was listening to Excitable Boy for the millionth time and I realised for the first time what the song was actually about. I am really slow and obviously I don't listen the lyrics very closely but the point is that Zevon's dark humor was matched by his musical skill. Like all true great artists you can enjoy his work over and over and ever time it has a new meaning. is premature passing was such a loss to us all.

Jim Baldwin said...

Let Melanie in already! LetHerIn dot org

Caitlin Servilio said...

I have to disagree on one count--Leonard Cohen's a fantastic artist. I'm actually pretty surprised you don't like him. Though he may not be the most stereotypically "rocking" artist ever, he's definitely not a weak musician, and I feel like the term "rock" has become so arbitrary that it's a little pointless to get so riled about its application. It's the same way in every genre, like folk, for instance--the obsession with being "genuine," when "genuine" is just a term imposed on music by historians and collectors. No musician ever, anywhere, has been 100% genuine in every way. Just ask Bob Dylan.

Jeff Siegel said...

Leonard Cohen is a terrific songwriter. But is he a great rock musician? Nope. This is the difference between him and Dylan, who is both. Try listening to a Leonard Cohen album some time, and see how long you can stand it.

Rick Rockwell said...

I can see this conversation is going to parallel the reactions to Jeff's original piece about the Dave Clark Five and the Hall of Fame. So folks may want to check that out first, or to listen to the podcast. We actually deal with some of these questions in more depth there.

As Jeff said on the podcast: "If you let Madonna in, you can let anybody in." The bar has been lowered so much as to make membership almost meaningless... although I guess they give a nice dinner and sometimes have a good jam session. I'm told Iggy Pop actually did some Madonna covers at the dinner this year, although I haven't seen it and have no urge to watch.

Melanie has something on Madonna, by the way: she was actually played on progressive FM radio. But more to the point, as we mention on the program, Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris are much more deserving and they need to be in the Hall if the place is to regain any credibility.

As for Leonard Cohen, I think Caitlin makes some interesting points. I regard Cohen more as a poet though. I respect his work in that form. And I respect that he is quite influential to folk and rock. Nick Cave is just one of many who point to Cohen as a major influence. I actually note on the podcast that of all the new inductees, there is a stronger argument for Cohen than for any of the rest. But I'm with Jeff, I never took to his recorded material.

Justin said...

Iggy and the stooges definitely should have been inducted before Madonna and a few of the bands inducted this year.

I still hold that Leonard Cohen, although not technically a "ROCK N ROLL ARTIST", is a great poet and a fine musician. I would say that he deserves to get in based solely on Hallelujah. One of the most abused songs of all time in terms of covers. He is also outrageously influential in terms of his writing as well as arrangements.

The Rock Hall doesnt necessarily mean every artist has to be a "rock" musician. It seems a bit ridiculous to me to be judging some artists based on how often they plug in an electric guitar and make ears bleed.

Rick Rockwell said...

I think we are just going to have to agree to disagree on Leonard Cohen...

A notable poet, but not a rocker.

Look, if someone can't plug in a guitar (or even unplugged have a particular rock ethos) then why call the place the Rock Hall of Fame? The entire name of the place is called into question. And I think that's the point of our series of posts on this topic. By inducting the folks they have, they have made the name meaningless.

Anonymous said...

i am a college graduate following music for over 30 years. i swear to god i have never heard of leonard cohen though i am going to google him in a few moments...

Rick Rockwell said...

Although much of the discussion here has swirled around the induction of Leonard Cohen, the idea behind this podcast actually began with a discussion over the Dave Clark Five. I finally found some time to delve a bit more into the hype surrounding that band and it’s true place in rock history. For an update, please go here.

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