Once-shocking acts may soon be celebrated at a lovely museum in Cleveland
Nirvana and NWA are among the nominees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, it was announced Wednesday. And how old do you feel right now?
Plenty of other artists are nominated as well, including KISS, Chic, Peter Gabriel, Hall and Oates; the recently reunited Replacements, the Meters, and Linda Ronstadt. Then there’s the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Deep Purple, Peter Gabriel, LL Cool J, Cat Stevens, Link Wray, Yes and the Zombies.
But let’s focus on Nirvana and NWA. Man you have to feel ancient at this point. Remember when NWA recorded songs so terrifying that the FBI sent them a letter asking them to knock it off?
Remember how your mom asked you not to play “Smells Like Teen Spirit” because it sounded “evil”? Or was that just my mom? Okay.
Remember listening to “F— the Police” on the bus when you were in that Presbyterian youth group and being pretty sure the bus would be pulled over and your Walkman confiscated? Too specific? Okay. Remember when every rapper in the world was either from or claimed to be from Compton, and me and my friend Juan accidentally took the bus there on the way to the comic book store, and I was super scared because I had brand-new sneakers I thought someone would kill me for? God, how stupid we were.
Anyway, NWA and Nirvana, alternately accused of reinventing and destroying music, may soon be commemorated in a really swanky museum in Cleveland.
Personally, I feel about 78.
Anyway, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame powers that be say they’ll announce which of the 16 nominees announced Wednesday will officially be inducted sometime “in the coming weeks.” How rock ‘n’ roll is that? They won’t even give an exact day. That’s exactly how Kurt Cobain would handle this.
Also, some of the nominees aren’t weird or jarring at all. Of course Peter Gabriel should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. His musical career goes back to the ’70s, which was the decade before the decade before the ’90s. I know, right? Also, he’s written lots of classics, and his social justice work is a great example of all the good, respectable things music can accomplish. So easy call.
LL Cool J, meanwhile, is the star of “NCIS: LA,” which is still much weirder than his potentially being in the Hall of Fame. Hall and Oates already have “Hall” in their name: In. And how are Ronstadt, Cat Stevens and the Zombies not already in?
Chic’s long-deserved entry has to be assured by Nile Rodgers’ popping out of nowhere to record “Get Lucky,” a masterpiece. Seriously, Chic — super underrated group. Love them.
The Replacements? I can’t imagine them caring about this at all. The Meters are great. Deep Purple seem like the kind of “huh, sure” group that should already be in. Never been crazy about Yes, but to each his own. And I’m going to go Google Link Wray and the Paul Butterfield Blues Band now, because how sweet are those names? I think they’re about to be my new favorites.
And KISS? Oh well, whatever, nevermind.