Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Rock & Roll: ABBA... WTF?

We've only been to the Hall of Fame once; for our honeymoon, we drove to Vermont, stopping for a night in Niagara solely for the ironic-hip factor (just like Lois & Clark in Superman II) & then on through up-state New York before getting to our B&B, The Northfield Inn, in Northfield. We spent 2 nights there, which included a day trip to the Ben & Jerry's plant & an afternoon in Burlington before heading south to Hancock were we spent 2 nights (including the Thursday of the final Seinfeld episode) @ The Sweet Onion Inn, a vegan B&B right in the middle on the Nat'l Park. On our trip home, we decide to go south of Erie, through New York, Pennsylvania, & Ohio which meant we were passing through Cleveland. We've been there many times (perhaps you recall when a few of us took Cleveland by the Balls), but only on this, our 1st trip to that glorious city, did we hit the Hall.
In honor of our honeymoon trip & because I wanted to see Phish perform the Genesis tunes, we watched the Induction Ceremony last night on Fuse. Trey gave the speech inducting Genesis which was clearly the speech of a man who loves music. It was like listening to Quinten Tarentino talk about films. He even went so far as to call out the people in the audience who had never listened to Selling England By the Pound... I'm included in that, a fact I guess I'll have to remedy soon.

Billie Joe Armstrong then inducted The Stooges which was pretty cool... & then The Stooges played "Search & Destroy" & "I Wanna be Your Dog," during which he asked all the rich people (the execs, not the musicians) to join him on stage... as if asking if they had the balls to get on stage w/ The Stooges. They didn't. They clearly didn't know how to react as he stood between their table w/o a shirt on screaming the chorus in their ears. It was funny. Well played, Mr. Pop.

After David Geffen came Jimmy Cliff who was sporting some ridiculous glasses. Wyclef Jean inducted him & then he played "You Can Get it if You Really Want It," some slow song I don't know, & then "The Harder They Come" (w/ Wyclef).

Little Steven inducted The Hollies w/w a really long & tangential speech, but it was also really cool. The Hollies then played a slew of songs, starting w/ my fav, "Bus Stop," all of which were great. They played "Carrie Ann," & "Tall Cool Woman in a Black Dress"... & 1 or 2 other songs, & I was reminded that we'll have to get some Hollies from the library soon... they're so fucking good.

On the flip side, a group whom I've never thought was "so fucking good" was inducted next. A few years ago, people were upset when Madonna was inducted, but I was cool w/ that. I'm not saying they aren't important in music history, but ABBA? WTF? I just don't get it. Are people who claim to like them being ironic? Is liking them some sort of hip in-joke for people who deep-down know they suck? Roger Corman got a Lifetime Achievement Oscar this year, so maybe we're now handing out prestigious awards w/ tongue in cheek. I guess that's a possibility... otherwise, WTF?

Finally, Carol King inducted a series of song-writers from New York.
* Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil who wrote "Make Your Own Kind of Music," "On Broadway," & "We Gotta Get Out of this Place."
* Ellie Greenwich & Jeff Barry who wrote "It's My Party," "Da Do Run Run," & "Do Wah Dtty Ditty."
* Jesse Stone who wrote "Shake, Rattle, & Roll" & "Don't Let Go."
* Mort Shuman wrote "Save the Last Dance for Me," "Viva Las Vegas," & "A Teenager in Love."
* Otis Blackwell who wrote "Fever," "Great Balls of Fire," "All Shook Up," & "Don't Be Cruel."

A slew of musicians joined Paul Shaffer & his band to perform these songs. the best of which were Chris Issac doing "Don't Be Cruel" & Peter Wolf doing "Money, Honey." all in all, it was cool... as was the concert in general. if only I understood ABBA... WTF?

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