Since Black Americans invented Rock n' Roll music, we thought it was appropriate for us to cover this event each year, and give our readers the TRUTH...
Although there is no definitive date for the actual start of Rock n' Roll, we do know that it started to become popular in the mid 1950's, shortly after the famous Brown vs. Board of Education US Supreme Court decision, declaring that SEGGREGATION was against the law in the United States.
If you think about it, Rock n' Roll as a popular form of culture may not have been possible, were it not for that decision. During the 1950's Rock n' Roll itself became a force for integration of the races and it was the music bringing people together.
Click on the links to your left to read our yearly coverage and more about the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame!
Why I'm Not Covering The 2007 RRHOF Inductions
Each year since 2000 I have covered the RRHOF Inductions in NYC. This year I decided not to cover the RRHOF Inductions. In fact, at the very moment that I find myself writing this article I would normally be in the press room at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel.
Today would have been the day that I would have typically spent the day in NYC and using a combination of both legitimate and "guerrilla" tactics out reported anyone else on the scene. I would typically come back with the interviews, inside stories and photos that nobody else could get. I'd come back with stories about the shabby treatment I had received from the security staff (I'm sure they will all miss me this year.....lol), despite having all of my credentials in order and despite me being on a first name basis with the security officers after spending so many years in dealing with them. And despite those obstacles, I would come back year after year with a fascinating account of what had occurred.
Don't believe me?
Think I'm just bragging?
It's all archived at the following link: http://www.soul-patrol.com/rr_index.html
7 YEARS OF SOUL-PATROL.COM COVERAGE OF THE ROCK N' ROLL HALL OF FAME INDUCTIONS
The only other time I didn't go, when I had the chance to was to protest my outrage about the lily white selections that year, and I was quite passionate & vocal about it.
This year I didn't go simply because I wasn't interested.
The reason I wasn't interested in 2007, is because I felt like the Hall itself wasn't interested in making sure that there are honoree's that inspire and provoke passion for 2007.
The reason why I thought about this today is because in addition to giving up my "yearly honor of being the only Black man in the press room at the RRHOF Induction Ceremonies", I am also giving up what I refer to under my breath...
"One of the 10 days each year when Soul-Patrol.com is one of the most important/influential publications in the music industry..."
And the reasons for that are:
- The RRHOF Inductions have always been important to the music industry.
- Soul-Patrol.com always finds the "real story" behind the "headlines & the hype" and reports that story in an honest and passionate manner that REAL music fans truly appreciate.
That's the reason why if you go to your favorite search engine and type in the search term: "rock n' roll hall of fame"
- Soul-Patrol.com comes up as #3 in Google
- Soul-Patrol.com comes up #5 in Yahoo
This year's selections are all pretty shaky at best and for me lack anything worth reaching back for the energy to dig deep for the REAL story. Oh don't get me wrong, these years' choices of: Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, R.E.M., The Ronettes, Patti Smith, Van Halen all belong in the RRHOF (except for Patti Smith). So I am not "outraged" at any of the selections.
Oh sure I could have found a story, I could have reported on Grandmaster Flash being the first hip hop honoree, or the ongoing internal drama plaguing Van Halen and/or the Ronnettes. Those are all legitimate stories. However none of them are compelling. You can find those stories in the mainstream media pretty easily. Tonight they are going to have a tribute to James Brown, which is a very nice thing for the Induction Committee to do. However after witnessing what I saw at the Apollo in the days after James Brown's passing any other tribute to Mr. Brown is going to pale in comparison.
There isn't anything there for me to get all worked up over, one way or the other.
Rock n' Roll is something that Americans have traditionally been "passionate" about.
We not only love the music, we love talking about it, we love arguing about it and we love it's ongoing legacy. We relate to it on a personal level because not only can we identify with certain artists, we even think that certain artists are in some ways reflective of our own personalities. We think that Rock n' Roll is a part of us and we think that we are part of it. Rock n' Roll is in many ways the thread that ties the American Quilt together. It transcends demographics like race, geography, age, etc. and today 1/2 century after it's first burst of popularity, it still has the power to bring people together in a way that can make us smile. On an academic front, it tells the story of America in a microcosm and it finds a kind of harmonic convergence in both the good and bad in America that leaves one with the hope that America will one day reach it's full potential as a nation. Rock n' Roll embraces controversy, although it rarely provides concrete answers, it usually ends up providing a sense of direction. And sometimes just having that sense of direction has been a tremendous enabler for positive changes, that bring America much closer to achieving it's potential for greatness. That's because the spirit of Rock n' Roll is something that is very close to being at the core of what "American values" are supposed to be.
The Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame Museum is an important institution because it seeks to (and largely succeeds) in documenting all of this, the good, the bad & the ugly. It takes what is essentially American Folk Art, created from an amalgamation of multiple folk arts and elevates it to something that the rest of the world envy's.
The RRHOF Induction Ceremony takes the concept of the museum to an even higher level, because it gives us a day that allows us to focus on who are the "best of the best" for that year in the entire history of the "American Folk Art" known as "Rock n' Roll". In some ways each year's class is thought to be a microcosm of the entire history what the institution represents. Even with a very flawed selection process, typically each years selections generates a huge amount of passion, even when people totally disagree with the selections.
However in 2007 that is not the case.
In 2007 none of the selections generates much if any passion.
I'm certain some will disagree.
However there is no passion this year.
And that is a shame.
Whoever thought the day would come when that could be said about the RRHOF Induction Ceremonies?
2006 Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame Inductions
Just got in from NYC for our coverage of the 2006 RRHOF Inductions. I'm whipped (as you can see from the look on my face in that picture of me with the legendary Clarence Clemmons) and I gotta go to work in the morning so here is a quickie summary of what we did:
THE O'JAYS: BRAND NEW ROCK N' ROLL HALL OF FAMERS
- Interview with the family of Miles Davis + drummer Lenny White
- Interview David Peck & Rob Bowman ("The Real Thing: In Performance 1964-1981")
- Press conferences with: The Davis family, Herbie Hancock, Herb Alpert & Jerry Moss & Leela James
- Hung out with the Davis family & Wallace Roney at the Village Vanguard
I was glad to have our friend Greer Brooks-Muldoon was on board to help me out since she is such a big Miles fan and because of her knowledge of some of the artists that I didn't really have a detailed knowledge of:
It was kinda cool to watch the reaction from the folks in the Miles Davis camp to meeting her in person, since they only knew her as "HALFaTrip" from the "Dark Magus" page on the soul-patrol.com website:
A few things we didn't get to do that I wanted to...
- Didn't get to talk with Lynyrd Skynyrd
(I wanted to ask them if there could ever come a time when they could stop using the imagery of the Confederate flag)
- Didn't get to talk with Herbie Hancock
(I wanted to ask him about the thought process behind the composition of the Miles tribute band)
- Didn't get to talk with Metalica
(I wanted to ask them about the status of their anti file sharing case)
Overall, this was the very worst RRHOF Inductions I have attended, in my six years of covering the event:
- As you all know this was a very weak set of artists
- It was disorganized
- It was shallow
- Everything was kept a secret till the last possible moment
BEST THINGS: The two hour long interview with the Davis family & Lenny White. The rehearsal for the Wilson Pickett Tribute. Talking with Clarence Clemons. Peck/Bowman Interview
WORST THING: The decision not to use more of the available players from the Miles Davis 70's band as a part of the Miles Davis Tribute
Soul-Patrol Celebrates Miles Davis Induction Into The Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame
We also did a special edition of the Soul-Patrol Newsletter that focused on the 1970's period of Miles Davis career. We review some of the key albums and also do a special internet radio broadcast of one of Miles's LIVE albums from that period. I knew that since the announcement was initially made about Miles Davis being inducted into the RRHOF, that it hadn't been treated properly. In fact there were those who had even tried to marginalize the accomplishment by saying things like...
Miles, yeah he should be in a jazz hall of fame, but NOT the RRHOF..
The event will be televised on VH-1.
If you watch:
- I'm sure that they will clean up the "mess" via the magic of editing
- Don't believe the "hype". It was awful
Hopefully next year they will address some of these issues...
--Bob Davis (3/14/2006: 3am)
RRHOF 2006 - Miles Beyond: Inteview with the Family of Miles Davis: Vince Wilburn Jr, Vince Wilburn Sr, Lenny White, Darell Porter, Paul Scott, and Cheryl Davis. It's TWO HOURS of...unscripted Miles Davis from multiple perspectives from the people who knew him best....
Interview with Soul-Patrollers David Peck and Rob Bowman. Topics: Marvin Gaye The Artist, Phases of Marvin Gaye's career, Funk Bros, 20 Grand/Flame Show Bar, RRHOF Induction process, James Burton, Soul to Soul, Wilson Pickett, Voices of East Harlem, American Folk Blues, Muddy Waters, Wattstax, Quincy Jones, Art Blakey, Thelonius Monk, Louis Armstrong, Temptations, Lennon/McCartney, Saturday Night Live, Robert Johnson, Malaco, Stax Box Set, Booket T. & MG's, Staple Singers, Isaac Hayes, History of African American Gospel, Soulsville USA, Stax Museum, John Lee Hooker, T Bone Walker, BlackByrds, Fantasy Records, Chareles Earland, Little Richard, The process, problems/oppurtunities of Documenting Black Music History Thru Video, Books and Film, (Blues, Funk, Jazz and Soul), Passing the history along to younger people, Black folks talking loud and saying nothing and more...
We have now been covering this event for the past 6 years. Some folks wonder why we do so. I mean after all, isn't this something that is really just reserved for white folks? Listen to this audio commentary from our own Greer Brooks Muldoon, from the Waldorf-Astoria and learn why it's important that we cover the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame Inductions
Listen to the Mighty Dells spokesperson CHUCK BARKSDALE, MICKEY MCGILL (MMDells) and ROBERT TOWNSAND address the following topics with the mainstream press: Five Heartbeats movie, Lack of radio airplay for Classic soul artists, current artists, other artists that should be in the RRHOF, their 50 years of longevity as a group and more...
Soul-Patrol.Net Radio (Kevin Amos - Funkoverlord) interviewed Terry Stewart (President/CEO of the RRHOF Museum) during this past monday during the 2004 inductions. According to Terry's research the term 'Rock n' Roll' first appears in African American songs dating back to 1910 and the term itself is an African American term dating back to the 1800's.