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Hall of Fame forgets memorable artists

By Levi Pascher COPY EDITOR
On April 17, 2012

  • Although this year’s inductees earned their spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, many music enthusiasts feel the Hall missed other noteworthy performers who came before them, such as KISS.

Every year the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, located in Cleveland, opens its doors to a new class of inductees. The Hall has always been a place where rock legends were expected to be honored as the final cap on a successful and influential career.

This year however, was certainly filled with its fair share of questions and controversy. When the Hall announced its inductees for 2012, including the likes of Guns N' Roses (GNR), Red Hot Chili Peppers, Beastie Boys, Donovan and many others, the first question on everyone's mind was: would Axl Rose bury the hatchet and attend? On Wednesday, April 11, Rose answered that question with an overwhelming "no" in a letter sent to the Hall of Fame.

While some found this as typical Rose fashion to deny the establishment's induction, I didn't find it to be anything but humorous. Rose, whose brightest days are behind him, denied the only place that still gives a damn about who he is and what he did for music.

If there wasn't already enough temper flares from Rose to make his own compilation on celebrity news website TMZ, he added this: He likes to think he was the band, even though Chinese Democracy - an album that took Rose a full decade to perfect - didn't even hold a light to GNR's original releases. Rose has and always will be a head case looking for a way to go against the grain and battle his former mates' band at any point they receive credit. Cheers to GNR and Rose's jealousy.

While GNR certainly is everything an inductee should be, from an insane lead singer to an over-the-top legend on guitar, Slash, this year's inductions seemed to be missing something. To put it bluntly, those who came before them. Every Hall of Fame has a pecking order for its inductions, where one legend is respected and inducted before the next is considered. I am in no way saying the Beastie Boys and Red Hot Chili Peppers didn't deserve to be inducted, because the music they created is nothing short of legendary, but is their time really now? Are we far enough along on the history of rock time line that it's time to reflect on the days of the Chili Peppers and Beastie Boys?

You may be tempted to say yes, but let me name a few bands that have yet to be honored by the Hall. Some of the bands still awaiting their opportunity include: KISS, Rush, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Steve Miller Band, Alice in Chains and Journey.

Most of these bands were taking over the scene before Flea even picked up a bass and Mike D started rhyming on a microphone. The fact that the Chili Peppers made the hall before KISS and Rush is pretty much the equivalent of Peyton Manning or Tom Brady making it into the Pro Football Hall of Fame before Brett Favre. Sure, they both would deserve it but the rush wouldn't justify what Favre has dedicated to the game.

KISS practically invented the art of performing in an arena, which almost every band attempts to duplicate. With fire, lights, music and amplifiers the size of a modern family's garage, it's safe to say KISS amplified the live performance of the rock show and set the standard for what a rock star should be. KISS was also rocking face paint and spikes before anyone, paving the way for future theatrical bands like GWAR and Slipknot.

The band also broke new marketing barriers, with its name and image being printed on everything from lunch boxes to pens to even action figures. Perhaps this is considered "selling out" to some people, but how is that the case if it was what they always did? Gene Simmons is a character straight from a comic book. Between his stage presence and personality, he's nothing short of the rock star persona.

Even those inducted this year took notice in the missing era of rock while attending the induction ceremony.

"It's such an honor to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, but then I found out that KISS isn't in here, and then I found out the other day Rush isn't in there," GNR drummer Steven Adler said in an interview with Patrick Doyle of Rolling Stone. "They've got to be inducted. If it wasn't for those bands and a couple other ones, there wouldn't be a Guns N' Roses."

This year's class was filled with several talented musicians who certainly were successful and changed music, but their entry came a bit premature. It's difficult to understand how exactly the hall went from inducting Alice Cooper and Neil Diamond in 2011 to inducting the bands many of us grew up listening to just a year later.

Maybe 2013 will be the year of Bon Jovi and Mötley Crüe. Perhaps the Hall believed the Mayan prediction that the world was going to end in 2012 and just wanted to make our generation happy before our inevitable demise. Or they were simply too doped up during that era and forgot about an entire generation that influenced them. What exactly they were thinking may never be known, but the fact the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame hasn't paid its respect to those who truly changed and influenced the industry is a shame.


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