Stop The Presses!

Sept. 21-27: Hall Of Fame Controversy, One Day At A Time

Lyndsey Parker
Stop The Presses!

Well, it's that time of the year again: Time for the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame nominations. And, of course, that means it's time for crabby, crusty rock fans to debate and whine about which of the 12 new nominees should be inducted next year, and which other worthy contenders were incredibly left off the Hall Of Fame 2010 shortlist altogether (like, say, Rush). Let the bickering begin!

Of course, many "serious" rock fans are objecting to the inclusion of facepainted rock 'n' roll clowns Kiss--who have always been despised by music critics, whose musical skills have always been rudimentary at best, and who are better known for spitting blood and marketing themselves on lunchboxes than for their actual musical output at this point. But the rock titans' influence on stadium-rock culture, rock merchandising, and an entire generation of headbangers cannot be denied...and c'mon, who DOESN'T want to see Gene and Paul perform an allstar, special-guest-laden version of "Rock 'N' Roll All Night" at the 2010 induction ceremony, complete with pyro?

Other naysayers claim that disco-peddling possible Rock Hall inductees Abba and Donna Summer do not ROCK, pe se, but we here at That's Really Week beg to differ--Abba in particular rock pretty hard in their own shiny happy way, and their Hall Of Fame appearance might be the closest thing to a hoped-for Abba reunion that fans will ever witness. Plus Madonna, who sampled Abba in "Hung Up," is already in the Hall, so why not induct the original pop source, huh?

Additionally, in our not-so-humble opinion, long-passed-over nominees Laura Nyro and the Stooges certainly deserve to finally get in (come on, the Stooges honored Madonna at her induction last year, and Stooges guitarist Ron Asheton died this year), as do Genesis (their induction might placate angry Rush fans) and 1960s British invaders the Hollies. But it remains to be seen if any of them will indeed make it through.

And as for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, sure, they spawned a generation of cargo-shorts'd, shirtless rap-rockers...but is that an accomplishment that deserves to be rewarded, really, rather than punished? Is there a Rock And Roll Of Shame that the Peppers can join instead? 

And finally, possibly the most controversial HoF nominee this year is veteran rapper LL Cool J. Some old-fashioned fuddy-duddies think rap does not belong in the ROCK Hall, but they just sound like grouchy Noel Gallagher griping about Jay-Z playing the Glastonbury Festival. There's no denial at this juncture in music history that rap and rock have combined forces (note the RHCP mention in the above paragraph, for better or worse), and if Grandmaster Flash and last year's inductees Run-DMC can get in, then so should LL, we say. After all, LL is pretty much the only MC of the '80s era who still has a flourishing and relevant career today, without having to star in a VH1 dating show.

OK, while we await the final Rock Hall 2010 verdict, other Hall Of Famers made headlines this week. Bruce Springsteen, another music veteran still totally on top of his game, celebrated his 60th birthday--either giving baby-boomers hope that they too can still look good in skintight denim well into their golden years, or making said baby-boomers feel very, very old.

Meanwhile, 2008 Hall inductee Leonard Cohen, 75 years young and still wowing audiences all over the globe with his live shows, had a scare onstage in Spain when he collapsed. But thankfully, he recovered from this minor fainting spell in time to perform in Israel for the first time in 30 years--despite protests from Palestinian activists calling for a boycott of his show. Leoanard responded by offering to perform in the West Bank city of Ramallah as well, and announced that proceeds from both concerts will go to Israeli-Palestinian peace organizations. Yep, Leonard's still cool after all these years.

Meanwhile, this week it was announced that a new single by late Hall Of Fame icon Michael Jackson, titled "This Is It" and featuring backing vocals by the Jackson brothers, will hit radio airwaves on October 12, in conjunction with the late-October theatrical release of MJ's posthumous This Is It concert documentary. "This song only defines, once again, what the world already knows--that Michael is one of God's greatest gifts," declared the song's co-producer and Jackson estate co-executor, John McClain. Two versions of the song will be included on a two-disc album package featuring some of the King Of Pop's greatest hits, along with unreleased versions of some of Michael's classic tunes and a never-before-heard spoken-word poem called "Planet Earth."

But perhaps the most shocking Hall Of Fame-related story of the week centers on the late John Phillips, of 1998 inductees the Mamas & The Papas. In her new tell-all autobiography High On Arrival, John's daughter, former child actress Mackenzie Phillips, just jaw-droppingly alleged that she had an, um, inappropriate relationship with her father, starting from when she was age 19 and continuing for several years. While Mackenzie insisted she does not hate her singer-songwriter father (who died in 2001) and doesn't want anyone else to hold a grudge against him--"Don't hate my father," she begged in People magazine--it seems unlikely that all fans will obey such a request for compassion after reading Mackenzie's oversharing memoir.

And on that disturbing note, thus wraps up another week in music news. Come back next Friday for more headspinning headlines, and until then, goodnight and good music.

THIS WEEK'S TOP 10 STORIES:

1) Mackenzie Phillips Makes Shocking Allegations About Her Papa - In a powerful new book, she reveals sordid details about her relationship with the Mamas & The Papas' John Phillips.

2) You Want Fame? - The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame nominations are announced, and the debating begins anew.

3) He's Israel's Man - Leonard Cohen performs in Israel for the first time in 30 years, despite protests.

4) The Thrill Is Back - A new Michael Jackson song is about to get a posthumous release.

5) Springsteen Hits The Big 6-0 - Yes, that's right: Bruce was born to run, and born in the USA, sixty long years ago.

6) Kris Allen Follows The Script - The American Idol winner releases his first single, a cover of the Script's "Live Like We're Dying."

7) Swift Exit - Taylor walks out of a radio interview after being asked about Kanye West again.

8) Why She'd Have To Go & Make Things So Complicated? - Avril Lavigne is getting divorced from her husband, Sum 41's Deryck Whibley.

9) Jewel In A Rough Situation - The singer-songwriter has a stalker.

10) Need More Spice In Your Life? - The Spice Girls are rumored to reunite again for another lucrative world tour.

 

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