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god is smiling on you but he's frowning, too
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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I would suppose that depends whether you call the Doors a hippie or post-hippie band. I also thought that the NY Dolls would be more important in this area than the MC5? Or were they later?

Not that I have any love for the Dolls either - they to me were an overblown pub band, like U2, rather than Part Of Rock's Beloved Pantheon.

I've never been the biggest of Doors fans, but in my mind they were always somewhere between the hippie bands and the noodling excess of blues-rock bands like Allman Brothers and Led Zeppelin. They weren't really peace/love/psychedlia but they weren't really a classic jam band either. Also, despite Jim Morrison's antics, I never got the impression that their music was dangerous per se, not in the way MC5 and The Stooges fell anyway.

I was thinking the Dolls were a little later but I wasn't sure so I consulted AMG for the following information. The Stooges and MC5's first albums were both released in 1969 while the Dolls' first album was in 1973. I've never cared much for the Dolls either and I think the only reason they're even remembered is largely because of Johnny Thunder's notoriety on the New York punk scene throughout the 70's.

Interesting point. I think the Doors were capable of dangerous music - things like "Five To One", "L'America" from L.A. Woman, "When The Music's Over" - certainly things as menacing as some of the Stooges and MC5 output.

Thing is though, people will always remember the Doors for "Light My Fire" or "Touch Me" instead of any of those, just like they remember MC5 for "Kick Out The Jams" rather than, say, "Rocket Reducer No. 62" :), which I think weakens their impact somewhat in a broad social sense.

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