Credibility has lost value over the years. The Dubious Achievements arena however, is wide open and in an age of ’citizen journalism’ traditional news sources are fast losing their shine and professionalism, becoming purveyors of entertainment as news.
And in the entertainment arena, awards and awards shows have multiplied. There are awards for just about anything, including Just Showing Up. If you were overlooked for one type, a new category is created.
Which brings us to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
How do you justify not inducting Joe Cocker? Who wouldn’t hope to see Ringo and Joe jamming together on ‘With a Little Help From My Friends’? How about Joe with Leon on ‘Delta Lady’? Or even Steve joining Joe on ‘Can’t Find My Way Home’? And a whole slew of artists rockin’ to ‘Feelin’ Alright’?
The opportunity has passed. Too many times.
The RRHOF site states its function is to:
‘recognize the contributions of those who have had a significant impact on the evolution, development and perpetuation of rock and roll’
The Disco Queen and Madonna were inducted. Disgraceful.
Disco was the antithesis of rock and roll. It had a lifespan of about 5 years and I don’t know a single person who has or ever had any of her records in their music collection. Madonna? She’s all about packaging pop, not rock and roll.
And don’t even get me started on the inductee who was on the government watch list for years and supported enemies of the U.S. I remember the radio station that I listened to asking for people to send in all his recordings for destruction. Within a day the station was inundated with vinyl and tape. But we ‘misunderstood’ the man. Right.
I had the opportunity to see Joe Cocker back in the ‘90s at a music hall that seated less than 1000. It was one show. One night. In the entire state.
Saw the ad three days before tickets went on sale. Called MB immediately. We could not miss this gig. Her out-of-state fiancé was due in the night of the concert. Told her to get his butt here early and I’d buy three tickets.
Phenomenal. Joe Cocker needed no laser lights, pyrotechnics, fancy costumes, dancers or jumbo screens. His voice was all that was necessary. He sang. He screamed. He jumped. He rocked the walls. The sweat poured off him. His voice was far superior to his early recordings, rich not raw. Halfway through the concert I noticed people standing in the aisles. Either they had been up in the balcony or else the fire codes were being seriously violated that night. The audience was on their feet for the rest of the evening. No one wanted the evening to end. He gave his all and still we wanted more.
A few years later he returned to the state at another venue. Again, less than 1000 seats. Had to go see him again. Was lucky to get tickets for the (thankfully) second show. His voice was even better than his previous performance.
While he is known more for his cover versions than original songs, no one covers a song the way JC did. For me, some of his versions are superior to the original artist versions. And while Randy Newman admitted JC’s version was not quite what he had in mind when he wrote ‘You Can Leave Your Hat On’, it’s definitely a three o’clock sugar fix. How can you not smile and feel good when you hear it?
I waited for years for JC to return to the state, with each of his new releases. His recordings barely capture his energy, his voice.
The RRHOF not only snubbed JC, but has made a mockery of its own intent and goals. Shame on them. Colorado started its own Music Hall of Fame a few years ago and they too missed the opportunity to honor JC. At least they have Dan Fogelberg slated for induction there.
Cry me a river.