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Rock and Roll Hall of Fame hits a bad note

Since when has rock 'n' roll ever played it safe? And why is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominating artists outside rock 'n' roll?

By Carol Anne Szel

ll cool j

So since when has rock and roll ever played it safe? And why is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame being so politically correct?

This year’s nominated artists into the 2011 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame are all, well, musicians who meet the criteria. In one very calculatedly way. They had their first hit in the music industry on or after 1986. But rock and roll? Really?

Let’s take a look at who is out instead of who is in. How is it possible for Chic to even be nominated before KISS? Are they nuts? This makes The Grammy’s embarrassingly awarding Jethro Tull Best Hard Rock/Metal band in 1989 look like an ace-in-the-hole!

Okay, obvious and quite deserved in their own right nomination nods to Alice Cooper, Dr. John, J.Geils, and Bon Jovi. Agreed. They are rock and rollers. They play rock music.

But LL Cool J. Really? Everything ever written about him, everything he has ever been about musically is rap. My gosh, he’s a rap icon. Actor. Writer. But rocker? I think not!

And after disco/funk/R&B Chic, whose hit song was “Dance, Dance, Dance,” we hit upon Donna Summer. WHAT? When I was growing up I remember going to a Peter Frampton concert at Madison Square Garden where banner after banner draped the rafters with the now iconic “Disco Sucks” flags flying high and proud. C’mon now. We are nominating the rock and roll adversary into our hall of fame!

Now please do not get me wrong. Donna Summer is a musical legend. Hands down. But rock and roll she is not.

So this begs to be questioned. Since when has rock and roll become so politically correct that it has to somehow embarrassingly include all musical genres into the mix? Either stick to rock or change the name of the Hall of Fame. Don’t play us for a fool, don’t walk on musical eggshells, people. Long live rock and roll ! (and bowing down to beg the forgiveness of KISS as you hand them the key to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame would be a nice follow-up while you’re at it!)