Is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame really important?

This weekend I checked the Daily Duranie gmail after a week’s absence.  I found a lot of “junk” mail, a couple emails that needed a response of some sort, and an email containing a link to an article regarding the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and specifically – Duran Duran’s current lack of nomination.

I’ve blogged about this subject before.  In fact, you can read my initial thoughts here.   Since that blog posting, I’ve had the chance to trade emails and posts with folks who are a driving force behind getting the band nominated.  My own personal opinion hasn’t really changed, but I have to recognize and even applaud their efforts.  Working to get the band nominated is just another facet to our fandom, and the last thing I wish is to make light of their energy, enthusiasm, and hard work.

I try to remain as open minded as possible, both in “real” life and within the blog, and as such I’m always interested in reading articles about the band, and you never know when an opinion can be swayed.  As it turns out, the article comes from a blogger for Goldmine magazine, and you can read the blog for yourself right here.   The blog sets lays groundwork as to why the band should eventually be included, and for the most part, I believe that goal was reached although my questions about the necessity remain.

Ultimately, my issues with the Hall of Fame are at least trifold:

1.  (and probably most important)  The band themselves do not care about the Hall of Fame.  They’re not interested!  I realize that’s probably a shock to many readers out there, and some are probably asking “How does SHE know?” right about now.   There was an interview done this past winter (I believe it was in December) on what I think must have been a UK morning TV program.  I am trying to find a link to the interview, and if I find it – I’ll bring it here.   There are two interviews I’m thinking of at the moment – in one of the interviews they were doing a cooking segment for some sort of holiday-ish pudding thing, and on the other, I believe they were being interviewed by someone who was a self-described huge fan for a podcast??  I’m not sure, but if anyone knows of the interviews I’m talking about, please send them my way!  The question was asked during the interview, and Simon answered.  I can’t quote him word for word without the video, but his point was that they’ve never once cared about what the critics thought, and they feel (as do I) that being nominated to the Hall of Fame is very much based on politics in the music industry.  The band hasn’t ever really wanted to be that “legitimate mainstream” band – they like being on the outskirts, in the fringe, so to speak – and in Simon’s thinking, if being nominated is important to the band, that means they would be buying into that line of thinking, which at least Simon, speaking for the rest of the band, does not.  That may be a blow to fans who are working so hard to get them nominated, but I can still understand where the band is coming from on this one.

2.  I still believe the band has more to write in their book of history.  To induct the band at this point would be underselling them, in my opinion.  I still believe that their best days may very well lie ahead, and in my opinion to nominate them now is far too soon.

3.  There are MANY other bands out there who have yet to be nominated that I really do feel have given far more to music history than Duran Duran at this point.  I know I’m not alone in saying that.  I still feel their lasting legacy lies far more with the visual media (videos) than it does with the music at this point.  Their time may eventually get here, but I don’t believe that this is their moment yet.

As I ponder this topic, the big question that comes to mind over and over is whether or not being in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is really that important over the long haul.  Is it going to make a difference in years to come?  Is it worth selling one’s soul over?  Part of me almost has to liken the induction to getting a star on the Walk of Fame.  Many don’t realize that it doesn’t take much to get a Star – just money of course – and these days it’s become almost a “vanity” sort of thing in Hollywood.  It didn’t start out that way of course.  Back in the “golden days”, it was a real honor to be awarded a Star, and not many had one.  Nowadays when you walk down the streets of Hollywood, you’ll see stars awarded to not only radio, TV & film stars, but even animal “actors”, and celebrities that have barely gotten to the legal drinking age, much less done work of enough substance to truly appreciate their celebrity status.  It just seems to have lost it’s magical meaning from overuse.  Of course, the R&R Hall of Fame may be different since it takes more than just money to get nominated, but the fact remains that in the end after all is said and done, it’s just another shiny plaque to hang on someone’s wall.

-R

6 thoughts on “Is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame really important?”

  1. Of course, it isn't important to the band, but it's a sign of respect from the industry when a band gets nominated. It is recognition that a band has made valid contributions to rock music.

    Considering there aren't a lot of acts these days that don't cite Duran Duran as at least one of their influences, it is an oversight that they have yet to be nominated. But I don't expect it to ever happen (which is why I gave up on it awhile back). Duran Duran has never received a lot of respect from the industry, in general.

  2. I agree with all three of your points, though I will argue to the death with non-Duranies that they richly deserve to be nominated! For some reason, DD are just not acceptable to a large “respectable” portion of the music-listening public, and that will probably never change. The Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame is pretty much a joke, and it doesn't bother me that they will probably never get in. What DOES bother me (and something I probably shouldn't even get started on) is that it took MTV so effin' long to give them some kind of substantial recognition. As you say, their visual legacy is quite influential.

  3. Personally, I think there should be some other artists inducted FIRST before Duran Duran. Artists such as Kraftwerk, Roxy Music, Brian Eno, Giorgio Moroder and CHIC who laid the musical groundwork and were cited as early influences of Duran Duran.

    The RnR Hall of Fame inductees are selected by a group of music critics and historians–“the establishment”, if you will. Knowing how much these same people scoffed at Duran Duran's existence, I can understand why Simon is disdainful of the politics that underlies their decisions. It's likely that DD won't get recognized any time soon or even during their lifetime so why hold your breath in anticipation? The band would probably be more interested in earning awards that were based on positive feedback from fans and/or the general public. That said, IF Duran Duran did get a notice of induction into the Hall of Fame, would they refuse it? I don't believe so.

    Madonna and U2–Duran Duran's contemporaries–have been inducted already, so why not consider DD? Madonna, in my opinion, got recognition for three things (generating controversy, visual image, being a woman…one of the few outstanding ones in the biz) more so than her music. All this talk about her empowering women is bullshit to me…but then again, I can't stand that skank (side note: why, oh why isn't ANNIE LENNOX/EURYTHMICS getting recognition???). Music is the primary consideration but not the only one. One has to assess the deep cultural impact an artist has left on society. I sincerely believe that Duran Duran qualifies in that regard.

  4. If Blondie is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, then Duran Duran deserves to be as well. Blondie's impact is as much cultural and visual as it is musical.
    And being inducted doesn't mean your career is over. Blondie is still recording and touring.
    I think DD is more similiar to Blondie than to U2 or Madonna, in that they have had an impact but not necessarily the longevity and massive commercial success of u2 and Madonna.
    And Madonna has made some amazing songs so the person who is putting her music down knows nothing! So to say she is not being recognized for her music is crazy. Have you ever heard Like A Prayer or Live to Tell? And the sexism of calling her a skank is really ridiculous. I thought DD fans were more open minded and liberated than that. Why is it okay for DD to talk about how many girls they have had sex with but if Madonna is sexy she's a skank. Double standards.

  5. Interesting comments – I found myself nodding in agreement to at least one thing that each of you said. It's a discussion that's worthy of more than one blog, that is for sure, and I'm sure as time goes on here I'll have more to say. You all have given me food for future thought though, so thanks!
    -R

  6. Yes, Madonna has made chart-topping singles…but so have other artists who are yet to be nominated/inducted into the Hall of Fame. Why did SHE get recognized first (please see the previous reasons I gave)? I admit I liked “Vogue” and “Holiday” and her songs are generally well-known but I don't think they are any more outstanding than other pop songs I've heard during the 80s (or beyond). If record sales and chart achievements are what gets you into the Hall, then don't be surprised if you eventually see Britney Spears and Justin Bieber in there. I'm not going to argue with a nameless Madonna fan on what's supposed to be a DURAN DURAN related blog but just to let you know that not everyone worships at Madonna's feet, OK? She IS famous, I'll grant you that. Despite my strong distaste of her, I would expect her name to be there. Her string of orchestrated “controversies” pretty much eclipses her music in my view.

    Parting notes: 1) there are all kinds of Duranies; we're not a monolith; 2) Madonna is, in my opinion, a skank. Feel free to carry on the argument with me on Twitter, not here.

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