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And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats - Matthew 25:32

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November 29, 2005


2006 Rock Hall of Fame Inductees: Lynyrd Skynyrd Justice
It's about damned time they got justice. Lynyrd Skynyrd has finally been voted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. But let's back up a step.

Inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for 2006 have been announced. They include

*The Sex Pistols


*Miles Davis

*Black Sabbath, and


*Also, Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss are being inducted as non-musicians for founding A&M Records.

Lynyrd Skynyrd obviously rate as the top rock act here. They are the greatest American guitar band ever- with due respect to the Allman Brothers among others. They should have been here years ago. It's about damned time.

Critically though, the best guitar band also had some of the best songwriting of the rock era to build all that fancy guitar work on. They were distinctly not faddish, like the punk rock and new wave acts here, but "Simple Man" alone says more spiritually and musically than half the acts in the hall. Did I mention "Free Bird"?

You can't argue against the Sex Pistols. They obviously made a pretty big mark. They fired the shot heard 'round the world with Never Mind the Bullocks. Still, they weren't real musicians or composers, and they only made one album. The Sex Pistols deserve to be in the Hall of Fame, but I wouldn't trade "Sweet Home Alabama" for their whole career. That's if we're judging this based on, uh... music. I'm just saying.

Blondie's a pretty unobjectionable choice. They weren't THE greatest thing ever, and they were not especially the most groundbreaking act. You can't deny though that they did much outstanding work in a variety of styles. "One Way or Another" and "The Tide Is High" along with "Dreaming" and personal fave "Fade Away and Radiate" can't be denied.

Most of all you have to give props for their most influential hit, "Rapture," which of course launched the whole rap thing what has been pretty popular with the kids here lately. Okay, so Blondie was pretty influential.

Bonus vintage Blondie-related anecdote: As a rural Hoosier high school senior in 1981, I had freshman Spanish with Senora Sun. She was a Phillipino to whom neither English nor Spanish was the native tongue. She's a decent human being and all, but teachers are the enemy. Plus, they give you homework.

Anyway, I got good mileage out dropping Blondie into Spanish class presentations. Poor hapless Senora Sun was highly puzzled and frustrated, but the freshmen understood my cracker Spanish vocabulary recitations such as "El senor de Mars esta comienda la guitaras." Good times.

Then there's Black Sabbath. Shut up already, damn. These guys just weren't that good. They are a very marginal band on a musical level to justify running with the big boys in the Hall of Fame. Yeah, they're influential- but so is Britney Spears. Ozzy famously asked to have their names taken out of consideration. They should have listened to the man.

Finally, there's Miles Davis. He'd rate as more accomplished even than my beloved Skynyrd, but he's here sideways as a rock influence rather than as a rock and roller himself. It's kind of a reflected glory for him to be here.

Still, Miles invented jazz-rock fusion with the wicked Bitches Brew. That and the Live Evil album among others were beautifully harsh. Bitches Brew alone makes him more of a legitimate rock and roller in his own rite than, say, Billy Joel. I appreciate Billy Joel, but Miles is rock if he is.

Both Miles Davis and Black Sabbath have albums called Live Evil. Besides inconsequential things like sophistication and musicianship, which one really has more evil throw weight? While Ozzy's stumbling around hell in a stupor, Miles will be making Satan his bitch.

Anyway, all of these good folks will be officially inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at a dinner at the famous Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City on March 13, 2006.


posted by Al at 11/29/2005 04:02:00 AM

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