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Speaker Box: Hall-Worthy Rock

Inducting a fresh set of music legends



Hall of Fame worthy Thin Lizzy performing at the Manchester Apollo, 1983

 


Next month, when the 33rd class of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is inducted, the Hall will have officially settled the case for six artists, and immediately set the stage for a full year of arguing among rock historians and devotees.
 

In its early years, starting in 1986, nominating and inducting classes was easy. The first artists “in” were Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley and Buddy Holly, and the first 10 classes were filled with guaranteed stalwart HoFers like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The Who. By now, more than 300 artists, from ABBA to ZZ Top, enjoy HoF status. There was even a joke on “The Simpsons” that maybe the next Rock & Roll Hall of Fame will be built to “actually keep people out.”

An artist becomes eligible 25 years after its debut recording. Because artists are sustaining longer careers (drugs are bad, people), it’s just weird to see active and current acts like Green Day and The Red Hot Chili Peppers become inductees – especially when older groups that might feel equally deserving remain out.

This year’s class is easily the most balanced and diverse yet: Arena act Bon Jovi is in, along with New Wave pioneers The Cars. The Moody Blues gives classic rock another entry, while Dire Straits appeases critics and guitar nuts. Finally, Nina Simone provides the jazz and soul voice of the Civil Rights movement and Sister Rosetta Tharpe, a gospel and soul visionary, will be inducted as an Early Influencer.

Still, there are problems with the Hall that the committee can fix. Here are some suggestions:

Bang Your Head! Don’t ignore the contributions of hard rock and heavy metal. Some of the most popular bands and artists in the 1980s were hard rock/heavy metal bands. Yes, Black Sabbath is in, and Judas Priest was nominated this year, but that’s not good enough. Def Leppard has sold more than 100 million records worldwide, and they’ve never been nominated. Iron Maiden might be the most popular band in the world, with tours in South America and Russia, and they’ve never been named. (Editor’s Note: Motörhead!)

Hello, World!  The nominees are too Amerocentric. The Brits have been cheated in recent years because there are too many Americans on the nominating committee. Granted, the British Invasion artists are all in, but there are specific English artists who have been completely ignored: Kate Bush was nominated last year, but induction seems like a longshot. Roxy Music has never been nominated, nor has its leader Bryan Ferry, who all but ushered in the new Romantic, new wave, genre that pre-dated MTV video artists. Thin Lizzy, who invented the twin lead guitar sound, has never been nominated.

I Want My MTV! Every band that was big on Music Television in the 1980s is eligible. This includes Duran Duran and many one-hit wonders, plus solid considerations such as The Cure, Depeche Mode and The Smiths. It also includes less photogenic, but no less worthy, groups such as Hüsker Dü and The Replacements.

As a music fan, the Rock Hall has not been perfect, but it has achieved what all Halls of Fame should set out to accomplish: Get people interested and keep them passionate, talking, cussing and fighting.

 



 


►From the Vaults
 

Jimi Hendrix left this world almost 50 years ago, and he’s still releasing records. “Both Sides of the Sky,” out March 9, completes the treasure trove trilogy of posthumous records filled with unfinished, incomplete songs that Eddie Kramer has lovingly and authentically curated with the official Hendrix estate’s blessings.

“Both Sides of the Sky” features incredible interplay with Hendrix’s friends Steven Stills and Johnny Winters, and a fast, heavy, bluesy take of “Mannish Boy.”

“Cherokee Mist” features Hendrix on the sitar, already proving his experimental bent. Alas, what could’ve been.

This is likely Kramer’s last release of workable, listenable material. But Jimi was magic, and he left us many jewels. Hopefully, somebody somewhere has an undiscovered reel of lost songs in their attic.

 

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Calendar

June 2018

The Salvation Army, in conjunction with Westlake Ace Hardware, is sponsoring a fan drive to benefit needy families in the Oklahoma City area. A kickoff event is planned for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on...

Cost: Free

Where:
Westlake Ace Hardware
11801 S. Western
Oklahoma City, OK  73170
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Sponsor: Salvation Army
Telephone: 913.485.5656
Contact Name: Elaine Symanski
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After Sash is the official after party for YWCA OKC's Purple Sash Gala! Guests will enjoy wine, a cash bar, photo booth, snacks by Whiskey Cake and live music by Drive.  All...

Cost: $30

Where:
The Criterion
500 E Sheridan Ave
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
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Sponsor: YWCA Oklahoma City
Telephone: 405.948.1770
Contact Name: Sami Grega
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Commemorating the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and diverse collection of art created by or about...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
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Telephone: 405.236.3100
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 ORU offers a wide variety of summer camps from basketball camp to swimming camp for all ages. For a schedule and list of options, visit ORUCES.com/camps.

Cost: Prices Vary

Where:
Mabee Center
7777 S Lewis Ave
Tulsa, OK  74171
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Telephone: 918.495.6000
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 ORU offers a wide variety of summer camps from basketball camp to swimming camp for all ages. For a schedule and list of options, visit ORUCES.com/camps.

Cost: Prices Vary

Where:
Mabee Center
7777 S Lewis Ave
Tulsa, OK  74171
View map »


Telephone: 918.495.6000
Website »

More information

Commemorating the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and diverse collection of art created by or about...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

 ORU offers a wide variety of summer camps from basketball camp to swimming camp for all ages. For a schedule and list of options, visit ORUCES.com/camps.

Cost: Prices Vary

Where:
Mabee Center
7777 S Lewis Ave
Tulsa, OK  74171
View map »


Telephone: 918.495.6000
Website »

More information

Commemorating the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and diverse collection of art created by or about...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

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Join us every Thursday this summer for morning yoga practice while enjoying the beautiful sunrise over Will Rogers Gardens. This class is designed for all skill levels, so grab your...

Cost: $5 per class

Where:
Will Rogers Gardens
3400 NW 36th St
Oklahoma City, OK  73112
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Sponsor: OKC Parks and Recreation
Telephone: 405.297.2279
Contact Name: Becca Leon
Website »

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 ORU offers a wide variety of summer camps from basketball camp to swimming camp for all ages. For a schedule and list of options, visit ORUCES.com/camps.

Cost: Prices Vary

Where:
Mabee Center
7777 S Lewis Ave
Tulsa, OK  74171
View map »


Telephone: 918.495.6000
Website »

More information

Commemorating the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and diverse collection of art created by or about...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

 ORU offers a wide variety of summer camps from basketball camp to swimming camp for all ages. For a schedule and list of options, visit ORUCES.com/camps.

Cost: Prices Vary

Where:
Mabee Center
7777 S Lewis Ave
Tulsa, OK  74171
View map »


Telephone: 918.495.6000
Website »

More information

Escape the ordinary, and learn about OKC from a different point of view. Relax in the climate controlled cabin on one of our 65’ cruisers, or enjoy the breeze on the viewing deck and listen...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
Website »

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The evening Cocktail Cruise offers stunning views of the downtown skyline, the Boathouse District and Finish Line Tower, the Wheeler Ferris wheel and quite possibly an amazing Oklahoma sunset. Come...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
Website »

More information

Commemorating the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and diverse collection of art created by or about...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Escape the ordinary, and learn about OKC from a different point of view. Relax in the climate controlled cabin on one of our 65’ cruisers, or enjoy the breeze on the viewing deck and listen...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
Website »

More information

The evening Cocktail Cruise offers stunning views of the downtown skyline, the Boathouse District and Finish Line Tower, the Wheeler Ferris wheel and quite possibly an amazing Oklahoma sunset. Come...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
Website »

More information

Commemorating the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and diverse collection of art created by or about...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

Show More...
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