I've been a fair weather fan of Steve Miller since his first album, someone I can take or leave, but he's become my hero for his savaging the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame after his induction in 2016. Given that a band I consider to be a profound game changer in the way hard rock is played and thought about, the MC5, are absent from the roster of 2019 inductees, I think it worthwhile to revisit Miller's remarks here . It's a fraudulent scam dedicated to massaging the ego and finances of Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner, a situation that is a minor bit of ironic comedy. Rolling Stone was once a vital critical engine of both rock musicians and the counterculture itself, believing in the power of the music to move the country in a more progressive direction, but was willing to call bullshit on those who seemed false, fake, mediocre, or just plain making a useless spectacle of themselves.
Over time, the magazine became just another cog in the fabled star-making machine. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the most obvious manifestation of Wenner's expensive variety of hero worship, serves less as a venue that honors the art of rock and roll or the many brilliant kinds of music that make up it's crazy-quilt brilliance, but rather a tourist attraction,a commodified think rendered inert; this is a situation where all the rude brilliance and raucous expression is past tense, things that happened, never to return. Instead of yelling tripe when tripe was served, RS became the unruly gruel shoveled onto the plate.I gave up on this bullshit when the inductions began to include artists and bands who have done nothing to warrant a so-called "hall of fame" level of greatness and influence. Miller is blunt, very blunt, and effectively pulls the covers from this bunch of fat cat corporate assholes who make a big deal about the rebel nature of rock and roll while acting like conservative execs protecting their bottom line. Rock and Roll isn't dead, I suppose, but the mummification of the art by the RRHOF doesn't speak well of how healthy or vital it might presently is, or might be again.
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