Nesmith Makes the Very Best...
|My favorite album by the Monkees|
Michael Nesmith, as he always has been since I was a wee child, is my favorite member of the Monkees, and his comments about not being bothered to be included in the discussion about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame are fantastic.
My own opinion is that the public Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is negligible at best (and if it needs to exist, should be in Memphis, as others have long stated). We all have our own Hall of Fames in our heads, and if you give a fuck what others think about your favorite music, then you shouldn't be listening to music. Like all art, your reaction to music is purely subjective and personal. No two people see any given painting the same exact way, and the same goes for any given piece of music. We both may love the same song, but it is more than likely that what you get out of it is not exactly what I am getting out of it.
My Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has the Sonics, the Wailers, Link Wray, the Cramps, Big Star, X, the Blasters, Elvis Costello, Robyn Hitchcock, the Soft Boys, Nick Lowe, Gang of Four, Buzzcocks, Los Lobos, the Jam, the Pixies, and the Monkees in it already, with Nesmith in as a solo artist as well. Do you fully agree? Of course not. Your life has likely taken a different path musically, as billions of others have, and no one is going to agree on the significance, cultural or otherwise, of every single artist that has come along.
My idea of a Hall of Fame may not be your idea of one, but what is important is that it represents what I consider to be musically significant. I'm hanging on to it until I decide I am done with this silly world, but I also reserve the right to kick some bands to the curb should I feel inclined.
The main thing is to not fret over whether someone doesn't get elected to a Hall of Fame, because it really doesn't matter. Pete Rose is not in the Baseball Hall of Fame, chiefly because it turns out he is a giant dick. But because I judge solely on his baseball playing ability, he is long entrenched in the Baseball Hall of Fame in my head. (Can you imagine if they kept rockers out of their Hall of Fame for not doing drugs?) But I also don't fret a lot about one of my favorite players from my favorite team not getting in, because a) I don't know Pete Rose personally, and b) it doesn't effect my personal life one bit. I remember the incredible things he did on the field and when I think of the word 'baseball,' I immediately think of the field, not a courtroom or a boardroom. The rulers of the sport have their reasons for keeping him out, and not without cause; I have my reasons for keeping him in, and for a better one. In the end, because I don't care what the world thinks, I will take my opinion with me, and really, when I do take it with me eventually, I won't think about baseball at all. Or anything else.
So, let's not worry one bit about whether the Monkees get in or not. There are valid arguments both for and against it, and any reasons pro or con can be reasonably contradicted by previous inclusions and denials to the exclusive club. Instead, let's fight a real losing battle. Let's start a campaign that could potentially, if done properly, annoy the hell out of Jann Wenner and his fat-cat pals. Let's pick a real underdog to support, for whom we will protest and picket outside the Hall of Fame, for whom we shall start obnoxious letter-writing campaigns, and for whom we shall sing ballads in the monotone harmonies and off-key strumming of their father's forceful devising.
Let's ask the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to vote in the Shaggs...
The Shaggs "My Pal Foot Foot" --http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XR9d4ESlpHY