Rock Hall Gets a Few Right
The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame nominees for the Class of 2007 were recently announced and it appears that the nominating committee is finally getting around to acknowledging some artists whose exclusion have outraged many a music fan. We've long contended that a Rock Hall without Iggy Pop and The Stooges is like a Baseball Hall of Fame without Pete Rose (oh, wait...). Pop didn't even have to admit to betting on Rock & Roll to get on the initial ballot this year, as The Stooges finally made the cut, after 12 years of eligibility (Rock Hall potentials must have released their first single or album 25 years prior to be considered). Likewise, Patti Smith and Van Halen finally got the nod. Hip Hop got some love via a preliminary nomination for Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, while The Ronettes and Chic also made the initial ballot. British Invasion faves The Dave Clark Five and Joe Tex, a Pop/R&B crossover success from the '60s, can also go in. In this year's U2 position (i.e. a big name, still highly active act whose appearance at the induction ceremony will garner more publicity and TV ratings) is R.E.M., who seem poised to enter the Hall in their first year of eligibility. The Hall has a chance to right some wrongs this year (the five artists who get the official induction nod will be announced in January), but there are no doubt still some Classic Rock fans fuming about their favorites being overlooked yet again.
KISS fans -- many of whom have participated in protests over the band's snubbing -- will have to wait yet another year, while Rush, Genesis and John Cougar fans are no doubt firing up the online petition machines as you read this. For a great site listing who is eligible when (all the way up until 2030), go to futurerockhall.com, which lets users vote for who they think are deserved of Hall status in the years to come. Lindsay Lohan in 2029? Place your bets now!
50 Cent is off the hook after a judge determined that the line "Go shorty, it's your birthday" from his hit "In Da Club" did not infringe on copyright laws. The owners of the copyright for the 2 Live Crew song, "It's Your Birthday" (featuring the line, "Go Sheila, it's your birthday"), wanted profits from 50's sales, but the judge said the line was a "common, unoriginal, non-copyrightable element of the song." While that case had some merit, a 32-year-old Oregonian grocery store clerk has a lot further to go in proving claims he's making in a court case against Green Day. Paul McPike says Green Day stole their entire multi-platinum album, American Idiot, from him. He's unsure of how they received his material (which he claims to have written in the early '90s), but assumed a high school friend must have recorded him as he sung the songs for classmates. McPike wants a share of album profits. A judge dismissed the case but said McPike could follow-up if he can produce evidence. His proof so far? McPike says the words printed in the liner notes don't match up with the ones actual sung on the album. Gotcha! On a related note, we would like to add that we sung the entire Joshua Tree album while taking a long, hot shower in 1978. Bono, you'll be hearing from our lawyers soon.
The Times They Are A-Sucking
With apologies to Rick Pender and the CityBeat theater staff, there are few art forms Minimum Gauge despises more than the Broadway musical. The only thing worse? "Rock musicals." Broadway and other theater companies have ravaged the discographies of everyone from Billy Joel to The Ramones in the name of blockbuster Broadway bucks. And now Bob Dylan is getting the "jazz-hands" business with the new musical, The Times They Are A-Changing, which demeans the songs of Rock's poet laureate down to Cats' level. Billy Joel we can understand ("Uptown Girl" was already a scene out of Pump Boys and Dinettes), but turning Dylan's tunes into song-and-dance numbers is like turning Picasso's greatest works into a Saturday morning cartoon. It appears that critics agree; the early reviews of the show have been rabidly negative. What's next, John Coltrane on Ice?