Welcome to another fun-filled work week! today, I have two main topics for discussion: Andy Taylor, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Andy, Andy, Andy!
For those who haven’t been paying attention, I am here to catch you up a bit. Not long ago, out of a heavy fog over the horizon, stepped Andy Taylor, guitar in hand. During the weeks since, he has been fairly active on social media, catching us up on his career, and little bits and pieces of his life (his grandson is clearly the apple of his eye!).
Andy has been working occasionally with Reef. Andy cites meeting Reef vocalist Gary Stringer as he (Gary) agreed to do vocals for Andy’s upcoming album. In turn, Andy stepped on stage at Glastonbury with them, and has now announced another show. This time, he’ll be doing a full-set with the band on November 7th during Hard Rock Hell in Great Yarmouth. Reef is a hard rocking band, and it isn’t exactly a surprise (although very welcome!) to see and hear Andy performing with them.
If that weren’t enough, Andy has announced his own solo headlining show – his first in 30 years! Serving as today’s reason I continue to kick myself for not living in the UK, he will be performing at the 100 Club in London on November 27th. Gary Stringer (Reef) will be on vocals, along with a whole new band to back Andy. The show is in support of his soon-to-be-released album on BMG Records. Let’s hope there are more to follow! Tickets will be available on Live Nation at 10am on Friday morning (that’s 10am UK time!)
Should any of our readers be attending his gig, we would be overjoyed to have someone willing to write up a quick review for us here at Daily Duranie. Send us an email if you plan to go!
One window closes, and a Hall opens up…
While I recognize that for fans outside of the US, chats of Hall of Fame might seem silly, I would simply remind that America has it’s own history with rock and roll. As such – the Hall of Fame is at least noteworthy on a blog owned and operated by Americans.
Over the years, Amanda and I have been contacted more than a few times to throw support behind public (but fan-organized) efforts to get Duran Duran nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
On one hand, we’ve always been supportive. Of course we’d like to see the band recognized for their career! Who wouldn’t? That said, we’ve never publicly gotten involved with such efforts beyond mentioning them here and occasionally tweeting about it here or there. We’d been told many times that the band recognized the politics behind the organization (Hall of Fame), and as such – it hardly seemed worth the effort. Sure, of course they’d like to be recognized. I can’t imagine they would have turned down the offer to be inducted, had it been extended. That said, there were some organizational roadblocks in their way, and it likely seemed that there were better ways to spend their time. We understood those concerns and issues, and chose to follow the band’s lead. After all, if they didn’t see the need – who were we to say otherwise?
That party line held for a long time, up until last year when Duran Duran were invited to induct Roxy Music into the Hall of Fame. What most fans may be unaware of is that nominated bands/artists who are chosen to be inducted do not necessarily have a choice of who actually inducts them. As I understand, bands such as Roxy Music give some suggestions for whom they’d like to have induct them, and then from there – the board and organizers of the HoF make the final decisions based on a variety of criteria, including what might make the biggest ratings grab.
For Duran Duran to even be given “stage time” at the induction was a huge stride. In the past, such a thing probably would not have happened, for a variety of reasons…not the least of which being the man in charge.
Jann Wenner is the current chairman of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The HoF was invented in the 80s alongside Ahmet Ertegun (Atlantic Records), and Seymour Stein (Sire Records). Jann is the co-founder of Rolling Stone magazine, and set the tone for the types of bands and acts who were nominated and inducted…to say the least. Wenner’s own heyday took place during the 70s. The Hall of Fame hasn’t necessarily championed the cause of many black acts over the years, although some have certainly been included, pushed through by Ertegun. Stories of ballots being destroyed by Wenner, and rallying for favorites are not unusual.
Unfortunately, these tales have done little to prove that the Hall of Fame is anything more than a ridiculous popularity contest. However, last week it was announced that Wenner would be stepping down. During the past years, he has withdrawn from public eye, given up day-to-day operation of his precious magazine, and seems to be retiring.
Equally interesting is the replacement for Wenner as Chairman of the HoF, John Sykes. For his place in the music world, Sykes helps run iHeart Radio, but more importantly to Duran fans – he helped to invent MTV and VH1. He seems to be well liked, and with any hope he will right some of the wrongs that took place during Wenner’s tenure.
While I do believe it is time for bands like Duran Duran to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, make no mistake – there are many other bands and artists that should already be in there. Even though there might be an open door, there’s a long line to get in.