Donald Clarke

Whingeing about cinema and real life since 2009

I hate the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame

Oh Lord, is there anything quite so irritating as the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame? This outburst is prompted by the news that poodle-barband Guns N’ Roses and pop-goths The Cure have been nominated for — such a pompous …

Wed, Sep 28, 2011, 22:02

   
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Oh Lord, is there anything quite so irritating as the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame? This outburst is prompted by the news that poodle-barband Guns N’ Roses and pop-goths The Cure have been nominated for — such a pompous word — induction into this frightful institution in Cleveland, Ohio. It doesn’t pay to get to naive about popular music. Right from the beginning, the form was compromised by commerce. The smaller record labels were, quite often, as corrupt and money-grabbing as the mighty conglomerates. The first rock and roll singers might have sneered at the cosiness of the cardigan-wearimg crooners, but step back a few paces and it became clear that they were all involved in the business that goes by the name of show.

And yet. I still naively expect rock musicians to at least pretend to a suspicion of ordered institutions and meaningless decorations. The Americans never really got that. Right from the beginning they were handing each other gongs and turning up at preposterous back-slapping dinner dances. In the United States, even supposed renegades feel that the successful deserve formal signs of respect. Just look at the horrendous Grammys for proof. Eugh!

Anyway, the stupid Hall of Fame continues to lure otherwise respectable people to its appalling shindigs. The one band who have responded to the event with the disdain it deserves are the mighty Sex Pistols. It hardly needs to be said that, what with those dreary reformations and John Lydon’s butter commercials, the Pistols are not exactly in any position to occupy the moral high ground. But their letter to the hall of fame — gloriously incoherent and misspelled — remains a very impressive venting of spleen. Now this is telling them.

“Next to the SEX-PISTOLS rock and roll and that hall of fame is a piss stain. Your museum. Urine in wine. Were not coming. Were not your monkey and so what? Fame at $25,000 if we paid for a table, or $15000 to squeak up in the gallery, goes to a non-profit organisation selling us a load of old famous. Congradulations. If you voted for us, hope you noted your reasons. Your anonymous as judges, but your still music industry people. Were not coming. Your not paying attention. Outside the shit-stem is a real SEX PISTOL”