Why the Rock Hall says: No Rush for you!

Prog rock gets ignored by the selection committee every year

by Tony Sclafani
msnbc.com contributor
updated 6:50 p.m. ET, Mon., March. 30, 2009

When the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame holds its annual induction ceremony April 4, there once again won’t be any progressive rock artists amongst its five honorees. The Rock Hall’s snubbing of the once-popular genre hasn’t gone unnoticed by its supporters.

In the past few years, fans of Yes and the Moody Blues have started online petitions to get those groups a nod. Blogs and Web sites question the Hall’s choices, as did Stephen Colbert when he interviewed Rush (who also have a campaign petition).

Decades ago, these groups packed thousands into stadiums and sold tons of vinyl by pushing the boundaries of rock. But evidence suggests their elaborate concept albums, impeccable musicianship and oblique lyrics might have pushed things too far for the Hall’s tastemakers.

The Hall began honoring performers in 1986, starting with pioneers like Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Elvis Presley. More recently, pop acts like Billy Joel, the Bee Gees and Madonna have made the cut, but Rush, Yes, the Moody Blues, Jethro Tull, the Electric Light Orchestra, Genesis, Emerson, Lake and Palmer and Soft Machine have not. Beyond Pink Floyd, the closest the Hall gets to prog is Queen (who flirted with the genre) and Police drummer Stuart Copeland, who played in Curved Air.

Prog rock (as it’s colloquially known) will especially be conspicuous in its absence at this year’s induction. Jeff Beck was already inducted with the Yardbirds (the Rock Hall has honored over a dozen musicians twice), while Little Anthony and Bobby Womack are artists with limited influence. Metallica and Run-DMC have leapfrogged over the classic prog bands with their nominations, since members of both groups were still in school when progressive rock ruled.

So who picked Run-DMC over Rush? Well, it’s a secret. Sort of.

According to Joel Peresman, president and CEO of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation, Inc., the initial selections are made by a committee of 30 to 35 music business people — who Peresman won’t name.

READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE, detailing the woeful nomination process here:
Why the Rock Hall says: No Rush for you!


Great Googly Moogly! said...

I must have missed this post. Oh well, better late than never I suppose.

I don't know how the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame can be credible anymore. Since they've inducted so many non-R&R acts while passing over so many that deserve this recognition, they should go ahead and have different "wings" for Pop, Heavy Metal, Rock, Rap/Hip-Hop (if we must) and Prog. This is the only way to justify the inclusion of some acts (Madonna, the Bee Gees, etc.) and the neglect of others (Yes, Rush, Genesis, etc.).

Whatever they do, please no K.C. and Sunshine Band! Although, I do get my groove on when I hear, "That's the way uh-uh...uh-uh I like it." Sshhh...don't tell anyone. :-)


Bob Robinson said...

Do a little dance, make a little love,
Get down tonight.

Matt Robinson said...

Great week for prog music on Billboard!
Dream Theater debuts at #6 with "Black Clouds and Silver Linings," while the Mars Volta debuts at #12 with "Octahedron"

Bob Robinson said...

The new Dream Theater is an excellent album. I've been listening to it all week. "The Shattered Fortress" is the next installment in Mike Portnoy's spiritual journey. In it he writes,

Look in the mirror
What's that you see?
The Shattered Fortress
Fly now, be free!

Faithful ascent
Through darkest fires
I've found the path
To take me higher

I once thought it better
To be right
But now I have finally seen the light
Sometimes you've got to be wrong
And learn from mistakes
I live with serenity now
Not self-righteous hate

Now that you can see all you have done
It's time to take that step into the kingdom
All your sins will help to make you strong
And help you break right through the prison wall

Keep all of me
The desires that once burned me deep inside
Help me live today
And help to give me grace
To carry out your ways

I am ready
Help me be all I can be
I am ready
Help guide me
And keep me straight

I am responsible
When anyone, anywhere
Reaches out for help
I want my hand to be there
I am responsible
When anyone, anywhere
Reaches out for help
I want my hand to be there