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god is smiling on you but he's frowning, too
hip-hop
soopageek
n March of last year, I made a prediction for 2007, concerning this year's inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I predicted it would be the first year that a Rap/HipHop artist would be inducted and that the artist would be Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five.

On January 8th, it was announced that this year's inductees were Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Patti Smith, The Ronettes, Van Halen, and R.E.M.

To be fair, I also made some auxiliary predictions concerning The Sugarhill Gang and Sylvia Robinson riding on the coattails of GF+F5. I also was apparently wrong about their eligiblity; GF+F5 have been eligible AND nominated for the past three years running. However, I have to bask in the glory of calling-out the dissenting opinions of lossfound and welfy, who didn't think rap artists would even be included in the Hall of Fame, and to a certain degree, democritus and thawaltzingfool who didn't think this would be the year. Just a moment or two... oh yes, it feels good.

For me, the question still remains: will any more of rap's first old-school be recognized? The precedent has been set and the flood gates are now officially open. I personally don't think The Sugarhill Gang or Kurtis Blow are worthy, though I still think Robinson should get a non-performing recognition someday as a producer and founder of Sugarhill Records. In addition to being instrumental in giving rap it's first hit ("Rapper's Delight"), her duties in that capacity resulted in writing credits on dozens and dozens of rap's early songs, including "The Message". Maybe Afrikka Bambaataa? The second old-school starts becoming eligible over the next 4-5 years. Technically, my beloved Beastie Boys are already eligible, but I doubt they'll get a nomination until 2011 (the 25th anniversary of Licensed to Ill). Run-DMC are eligible in 2009. LL Cool J in 2011 and Public Enemy in 2013.

The Stooges were snubbed yet again, 13 years and counting. I think this year made like, 5 straight years they've been nominated but not inducted. I can't think of any other artist currently eligible that has had more wide-ranging influence than the Stooges. Certainly more than Patti Smith or The Ronettes. As for next year, there are a couple of first-year shoo-ins on-deck: Madonna and Metallica. Sonic Youth becomes eligible next year, too. They're certainly deserving, but if the Stooges can't manage an induction I don't have much faith Sonic Youth will make it the first go-around.


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the Pistols weren't fantastic musicians

I've debated this point with people for nearly twenty years now. I think "The Pistols weren't fantastic musicians" is completely part of the Swindle.

Cook and Matlock had no problems bonding as a rhythm section - I'm going to leave Sid Vicious out of any musical discussion for obvious reasons - but what Steve Jones played on that LP is so well arranged and executed that I don't believe that he was a bad guitarist. The isolation of tracks on the "Bollocks" installment of the "Classic Albums" series, I think, proves this.

So I think you either believe that Steve Jones was a better guitarist than he claims he was, or he was some sort of musical idiot savant, or that it was actually Chris Thomas playing on that album, because I don't believe that the guitar lines on "Bollocks" were the work of somebody who was not a very talented musician.

Paul Cook is no worse a drummer than Ringo Starr, and I always quietly suspected that Glen Matlock might have had far more up his sleeve than he ever chose to reveal as well.

My favorite part of that documentary was when the recording engineer did the real-time mixing of the individual vocal and instrument tracks, too. It was rather eye ear opening. It's not that I don't think they were poor musicians. I think they were very capable and had a knack for writing solid, melodic songs. But so does Social Distortion, but who knows all the names of the members of that band? What made the Sex Pistols unique was their moment in time: the on/off stage antics, the political and musical climate, etc. I think they're very capable musicians, but none of them would be 2nd or 3rd string on my all-star dream band.

I couldn't agree with you more, and I'm not saying you did this because you brought it up in a completely different context, but the number one gripe I hear about the Pistols were that they were (a) dud musicians or (b) wrote pointless lyrics, and an informed listen to Bollocks will blow both of those right out of the water.

As you say, the main objection to them would be in terms of the message and the climate, but that's not what you hear them attacked for, it's the things I was talking about, and I find that odd.

Another thing I was getting at was I would see interviews with Steve Jones where he comes over all "I couldn't play guitar or nuthin' when we recorded that LP" - utter fiction, I've been playing guitar for years now and I *still* couldn't think up and pull of what he did!

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