Welcome to Coffee Talk! Let’s start off the day by discussing whatever is on your (nerd chic) mind. Every morning I’ll kick off a discussion and I’m counting on you to participate in it. If you’re not feelin’ my topic, feel free to start a chat with your fellow readers and see where it takes you. Whether you’re talking about videogames, David Villa being the first NYC FC signing, remembering Alice from The Brady Bunch, or what you’re hoping to see at Apple WWDC 2014, Coffee Talk is the place to do it.
I thoroughly enjoyed the 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony on HBO. It was a wonderful celebration of some fantastic and entertaining musical artists. Bands like Kiss, Nirvana, and The E Street Band absolutely deserve to be enshrined in the Rock and Roll Hall of Game for their legendary careers. As much as I enjoyed the show, the incongruity of the ceremony was striking. Personally, I loved seeing Cat Stevens and Hall & Oates perform, but some of my friends had a problem with those artists being part of the show. What do you think of talents like Peter Gabriel, Linda Ronstadt, and Cat Stevens being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?
Some of my friends feel that only rock and roll artists should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They view Peter Gabriel as a pop act, Cat Stevens as pop/folk, Linda Ronstadt as country, and Hall & Oates as pop. My pals agreed that all of the aforementioned acts had legendary careers, but disagreed with their enshrinement in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. To their point, there’s nothing really “rock and roll” about Art Garfunkel giving a speech about Cat Stevens.
My stance is much more flexible. Rock and roll doesn’t have a static definition and it doesn’t want one. What was considered rock and roll in the ’50s is very different from what it was in the ’80s, and both are quite different from what rock and roll is today. The genre is constantly changing and evolving. While some of the acts might not be considered “pure” rock and roll, at the very least they’ve influenced numerous rock and roll artists, including some bands that are already in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Take an act like Hall & Oates, for example. Many consider the dynamic duo to be a pop band, while others classify them as rock or new wave. Those with a little more musical education can pick up the R&B and soul hooks found in many of the band’s songs. Is it fair for anyone to judge Hall & Oates as not being rock and roll? In my book, Hall & Oates deserves to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and every other Hall of Fame solely for the joy of “Rich Girl.”
What do you guys and dolls think? Are you cool with Lind Ronstadt, Peter Gabriel, Cat Stevens, Public Enemy (inducted last year), etc. being in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Or do you have an issue with those artists being in it?