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January 2020 Retro Gaming Article


January 16, 2020 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame has great allure, yet disappoint every year via process and results

The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame
“Rock” needs to be changed to “Music” to reflect the diversity housed within their museum, representing more than rock & roll.
While many rock bands have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, it's worth mentioning how much of a misnomer "Rock" really is to what the Hall wants to achieve. Their Cleveland location is more a a museum of music than anything specific to rock and roll. Yet their public face is all about rock music. Every year I become angry with the process and outcome of each year's inductees - as do many of us.

Mix tapes were fun because they broke the rigidity of albums. Now we have no albums.
The issue for me is rock and roll is fading. Bands are becoming scarce. Gibson Guitars nearly went out of business. When Green Day plays an iHeart event, the audience looks confused and unsure how to properly wave their glow-sticks. Rock and roll needs a boost. It's a genre many of us love and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame seems disinterested in aiding rock's decay.

Bands today very often don't play instruments. Their "band" is a rack-mounted box. Solo artists distinguish themselves largely by their voices alone. The music behind their voice is moderately generic. Remove the vocals and you're left with very little. No power chords. No guitar solos. No hooks. There are no defining elements to many of the songs on radio or the digital charts.

This leads to a financial loss in the industry. Where a hit song once inspired the sale of a $15 album, cassette, or CD, today's hit songs are downloaded for $1.29 each. Want to explore other songs from that artist. Good luck. All they do is release "singles" without any thought to the cohesive and defining elements of a complete album.

Playlists are the new "album." but feature a mixture of artists. But playlists are created by listeners or worse Music Companies. The artist simply uploads their $1.29 piece of the puzzle and algorithms try to arrange the best return on investment. My enjoyment of music is not hinged on music execs wealth goals.

Every song is a single and there's no cohesion or definition. Just a jumble of artists' songs.
When I think about how many B-sides were really great songs, it's sad they no longer exist and that no one remembers what a B-side is any more. The digital age doesn't help music as much as some folks seem to think. I can browse a book store for hours and leave with a stack of great reads. I used to do the same in record stores. But searching Amazon to discover a great read or CD is nearly impossible for me. Even the scanned pages of books and sound clips don't really help. Looking through video games at GameStop is much more productive than various console-related e-shops.

Sure, part of it is me and my disdain for digital media. Enjoying a book, video game, or music has many tactile elements lost in the pixelated world. I loved reading liner notes for my favorite band's releases as much as I like the teasers on the inside of book covers. Manuals used to be my introduction to any new game. All gone in this digital era. Reading is about holding the book as much as listening to music is about sliding the album out of a sleeve adorned with artwork. To deny this is to ignore a lot of what makes reading a book and listening to music a pleasure.

So, T.Rex made it into the Hall. Judas Priest did not. I feel the induction aspect is simply a lure to get bands to come and play an exclusive concert. Admittedly, these concerts are quite unique and involve a great melding of personalities and talents, but each represents such a small segment of worthy bands. It's a gimmick, but we have to realize Pat Benatar deserves to be inducted, but when she is... everything that made her worthy has nothing to do with halls of fame. She rocked as have many others and her legacy, like others, will be part of rock and roll's great history!

The Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame's only irrefutable accomplishment was getting I. M. Pei to design their swanky lake-front clubhouse.

Judas Priest

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