Editorial — April 10, 2014

Staff ~ The Prince Albert Daily Herald
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It seems rock n’ rollers just refuse to accept a little bit of structure.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland was created in 1983 and inducted its first artists in 1986.

Since then, the museum has repeatedly come under fire from the people whom it hopes to honour.

Some of the criticism involves the fact that the actual selection committee is small and has limited tastes. Others say that far too many acts have been added too quickly.

In fact, at Thursday’s ceremony in Brooklyn, Kiss, Nirvana, Peter Gabriel, Linda Ronstadt, Hall and Oates, Cat Stevens, The E Street Band, late Beatles manager Brian Epstein and former Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham will all be inducted.

But the most interesting thing has been the inability of these legendary bands to get along with the Hall and with each other.

The Associated Press compiled a list of some of the more -- ahem -- noteworthy spats in the Hall’s history.

• This year, the band Kiss is upset because the Hall decided to only induct original members Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss. Since the band hit its heyday in the late 1970s, and Criss left the group, six others have played in the band. While the band’s reaction to this perceived slight shows loyalty to their new bandmates, it also displays a lack of recognition about who was on board when they became superstars. At some level, Kiss will always be the original lineup.

But as earlier noted, this hasn’t been the first overreaction.

• In 1988, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr were still feuding so McCartney chose not to show up.

• In 1993, John Fogerty declined to play with surviving Creedence Clearwater Revival members, bassist Stu Cook and drummer Doug Clifford. While Bruce Springsteen and Robbie Robertson took the stage with Fogerty, Cook and Clifford made a point of leaving the room.

• In 2006, notorious punk rockers The Sex Pistols posted a note on their website blasting the Hall for its very existence, which was then read to the crowd at the induction.

• In 2007, Van Halen guitarist Eddie Van Halen went into rehab the week before the ceremony, his brother Alex chose not to attend and singer David Lee Roth pulled out at the last minute after being angered over what song he had to sing. Only bassist Michael Anthony and Hagar’s replacement in the band, Sammy Hagar, attended. They performed with Paul Shaffer's house band.

The year 2007 was particularly rock and roll.

• In 2007, Elvis Costello appeared on stage as his backing band The Attractions but a lengthy feud with bassist Bruce Thomas led to Costello walking offstage with his middle finger extended in the air after the award was handed out.

• In 2007, an ugly split in the band Blondie that had broken the group apart in 1999 played out onstage when singer Deborah Harry refused to let three former members play at the induction ceremony.

• In 2012, Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose decided to skip the ceremony because it didn’t “appear to be somewhere I’m actually wanted or respected.” It’s worth noting that Rose was notorious for keeping crowds waiting for hours at concert. Three of the other members did perform together for the first time in decades with a guest vocalist.

Perhaps a lot of musicians need to be reminded who paid for them to become stars. It’s not unreasonable to expect them to put their differences aside for a few minutes to give some memories to their fans.

It seems like a bargain for the fame they enjoy.


Prince Albert Daily Herald

Organizations: Rolling Stones, The Associated Press, Prince Albert Daily Herald

Geographic location: Cleveland, Brooklyn

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