Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Bands not included in lists about bands not included in the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame: more on the Blue Oyster Cult

I couldn't give a damn about the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame. I have seen no indication ever that their votes are anything but a popularity contest, run by people without very interesting tastes in, or historical knowledge of, rock music. So the commenter on the previous post who noted the Blue Oyster Cult's "criminal lack of inclusion" in that institution doesn't really move me much. It's kinda like griping that John Cassavetes never won an Oscar: it presumes Oscars do or should mean something, that Cassavetes somehow needs their validation to be as great as he is. But the best rock music doesn't get played on the radio, ever, either. So what?

That said, here are some lists by people who are, apparently, real music lovers, griping about bands not included in the rock'n'roll hall of fame, who have some other, ideal version of that institution in mind. To my surprise, the Blue Oyster Cult is not on every list!

The first I found has some good mentions - it starts strong. The New York Dolls, the MC5, and Motorhead all deserve inclusion in this better-than-the-real-one Hall of Fame (somewhere below the Blue Oyster Cult, though - and apologies, folks; I'm not bothering to include the umlaut this time out, not for the BOC, not for Motorhead). Probably Iron Maiden and/or Judas Priest deserve mention. Sammy Hagar and the Doobie Brothers sort of call the author's taste into question, however, and, I mean, Soundgarden? They're fun - I like Soundgarden, at least up to and including Badmotorfinger - but if we're talking about a list of bands who have made truly enormous contributions to the world of rock... I mean, I dunno. I'm a TAD man, myself - and my Eight Way Santa can beat up your Louder Than Love with it's eyes closed (and ears ringing) - but I'm not going to lobby for TAD, so I'm hardly gonna go to bat for Soundgarden (no offense, folks).

Anyhow, whoever wrote that list should be spanked for not mentioning the BOC. So should Consequence of Sound, who fail to notice the Blue Oyster Cult on Jeff Ament's shirt of bands not in the Hall (he wore it onstage during Pearl Jam's induction, and by the way, if I have my doubts about Soundgarden...). The Blue Oyster Cult's name is right there, on the middle right of the shirt, pictured above the article! It's not on CoS's (augmented) transcription, however. There are some good mentions on that list, as well - X, Thin Lizzy, King Crimson... but there are also some awful bands represented. I mean, I guess Def Leppard has fans, but I never could stand them (except for one time when I was much younger and watching Basic Instinct in a movie theatre, totally stoned: this fascinating music came on, and I was really getting into it until the vocals kicked in and I realized what it was. Still, that's more about the drugs than Def Leppard, who manifest all the most boring tendencies of arena rock in one band, and then crank it up a bit).

It's interesting to note that Consequence of Sound's 2019 article on the 20 worst Hall of Fame snubs - which weirdly includes John Coltrane on the list - also doesn't mention the BOC. Is it a conspiracy to ignore the band, or an honest oversight? It starts to seem like the former.

Similarly,'s article on the 100 biggest omissions also omits the BOC.

It's not all bad. The website Not in Hall of Fame does finally include the Blue Oyster Cult, but in 74th place on their list. Sadly, the caption, while saying that the band deserves to be remembered for more than a Saturday Night Live skit, doesn't actually mention anything else about them besides that skit! (By the way, I've never seen the SNL thing. Means nothing to me, tho' I flinch at the thought that when they play "Don't Fear the Reaper," there will be cries from the audience of "More Cowbell!"). Loudwire does better, though they're obviously focusing on metal-related music (and also mention Slayer, who deserve it for influence and longevity).

Mostly what you see, perusing these lists, tho', is people lobbying for their pet favourites. Occasionally a consensus artist emerges, people everyone agrees on needing an obvious induction (Brian Eno, for example) if the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame is to have any validity whatsoever. Personally, for me, the Blue Oyster Cult is one such obvious choice, but (obviously) others disagree.

If you do agree, may I point out that there's a Facebook group, Blue Oyster Cult Needs to Be in the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame, that you can join? I am all for the Rock'n'Roll Hall of fame inducting the BOC. Given that they have a new album coming up, maybe 2020 would be a good year to do it?

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