Sunday, September 27, 2009

kiss and tell

Aw, come on now, you gotta be kidding me?!!! Actually in terms of KISS, I'm talking about the band. Last Tuesday, as I was going through my tweets, I couldn't believe my eyes. Kiss has finally been looked at by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame committee and was one of the 12 nominees. This is a surprise because Kiss has been eligible for induction since '99 (10 yrs) and all this time Kiss fans and band members have dissed the Hall for excluding them.

For those of you who have been reading my blogs for a long time, you'll know that I follow on RRHOF activity. In fact, I was once a member for a year, but I dropped it. I still haven't made it to the museum. But as a self-proclaimed historian and music enthusiast, I do care about who deserves the recognition for the RRHOF. The RRHOF has been around for 25 years (the museum opened in '95) and every year they would induct 10-12 bands and/or solo acts. However, in the last few years, that number has been wittled down to 5 inductees. There have been over 200 groups and musicians inducted, which seems like a lot. But again, however, in the last ten years this has generated controversy as several rock fans and critics have noticed several music legends have been turned away and overlooked. In fact, I once wrote a blog about this. According to the RRHOF's website, eligibility for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame includes this criteria:

Leaders in the music industry joined together in 1983 to establish the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation. One of the Foundation’s many functions is to recognize the contributions of those who have had a significant impact on the evolution, development and perpetuation of rock and roll by inducting them into the Hall of Fame.
Artists become eligible for induction 25 years after the release of their first record. Criteria include the influence and significance of the artists’ contributions to the development and perpetuation of rock and roll.

So, needless to say, again, this has been very controversial. I can say that every band and artist that is currently in the Hall of Fame is deserving (ok, maybe not Percy Sledge or the Sex Pistols, but oh well....). Going back to Kiss, there has been a long-standing feud with Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons vs. the journalists of Rolling Stone and Creem magazine. One of the Hall's nominating committee members, Dave Marsh (former Rolling Stone writer and co-founder of Creem magazine) once made the comment: 'Kiss is not a great band, Kiss was never a great band, and Kiss will never be a great band...and I have done more than my share of keeping them off the ballot'.
So its no wonder that Paul Stanley was very bitter about the RRHOF:

The beauty of America is that you can basically start any kind of private club you want to. This one happens to be called the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It's a very impressive name for a club but it's an illusion. It's the creation of a group of industry people and critics who decide who they deem as qualified to be in their little admiration society. It's their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but it's not the people's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Have you ever voted? I know I haven't. That's why the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, besides having people who very much belong in there, have an abundance of people who most people will scratch their head and not even have a clue who they are. I don't have anything against anybody who's been inducted, but more than a couple of them are a joke. A band or musician's impact is measured by how they change and influence society and other musicians. That and how many albums and concert tickets they sell should be what gets them into the Hall of Fame. As far as I'm concerned it's a private club with a misleading name. It's a sham.

As far as Kiss fans, they can care less whether or not they are in the Hall. Or do they? Who knows. I can see both ways why they haven't been considered an influential rock band. It's easy to say they are one of the biggest 'cult bands'. And I can't take away the fact they are great entertainers and they put on dazzling performances. I have never been to a show of theirs, but TV has shown me. The music is another story. I do like four of their songs, but most of their 'other stuff' is unlistenable because of their lack of singing talents. And most of their songs sound the same. But personality and charisma is always a key, and they got it. And the record sales and soldout shows prove it. So congratulations to Kiss and I hope they get selected for induction in January. And if they pull a Sex Pistols stunt, it can create great publicity for them.

Other nominees include Darlene Love, Donna Summer, Jimmy Cliff, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Stooges, the Chantels, Genesis, the Hollies, LL Cool J, Laura Nyro and Abba. There's no doubt in my mind that the Chili Peppers will get in this year, as this is their first year of eligibility. Controversy is surrounding LL Cool J as he is the fourth rap/hiphop act to be nominated, as other pioneering rap acts have been overlooked.

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