The DEFEND Cleveland Show

UPDATED WITH OFFICIAL INDUCTEES: Defend the 2013 Rock Hall Nominees, sort of


December 11, 2012 UPDATE: THE OFFICIAL INDUCTEES: (Here’s a quick blurb I wrote in response to the announcement of the Inductees, below is the original write-up for all the 2013 Nominees, only some of the jokes repeat…)

In Rock & Roll Hall of Fame News, the 2013 class of Inductees has just been announced, and good news everybody, they got it mostly right! 

Not that they compare acts in voting the Inductees, as each voter can only select 5 choices from the Nominee list, but since this show doesn’t get a vote, let’s compare away, shall we. 

Public Enemy over NWA is the right call. Both deserve to be in, no question, but Public Enemy has more than just one record that’s considered groundbreaking, and besides, Ice Cube and Dre aren’t exactly “Gangsta Gangsta” anymore are they. Heart over Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, right call. In an era of Rock driven by artists who wrote and played their own music, Heart penned all their own and all the Blackhearts mostly accomplished with Joan Jett was be a cover band, and within that, they mostly only covered what Joan had written already with the Runaways (put Joan in, put the Runaways in, lose the Blackhearts). Rush over Kraftwerk, right call, even if only because Rush fans are so much more annoying than Kraftwerk fans and this will hopefully finally shut them up. Donna Summer over Chic, it’s disco, flip a coin, one of them had to go in. Albert King over Paul Butterfield Blues Band, right call because one’s the King and the other played the harmonica, an instrument that just sounds like cats having sex. Randy Newman over…well, over no one really. Randy Newman isn’t like anyone else and he’s one of the greatest American songwriters of all time. Right call, period. 

As for the most glaring omissions, that would be Deep Purple, The Marvelettes and the Meters. The Meters aren’t likely to get in till most of them are all dead, which is just the nature of this beast if only because most people go, “Who?”, even though if you say Neville Brothers, they say, “Oh, I love them!” The Marvelettes issue is a simpler one to remedy, the Hall needs to stop screwing around and just put every single Motown band, singer, songwriter and producer in and be done with it. They all deserve it no matter how hard it may be to remember who wrote and sang what. If it’s Motown, put it in! As for Deep Purple, sorry guys, you’re Metal and the Hall hasn’t quite figured what to do with this sub-genre yet. For the love of the gods they waited until 2006 to finally put in Black Sabbath, and then put Metallica in a few years ago even though Judas Priest and Iron Maiden aren’t in yet. They’ll figure it out eventually though, so you’ll just have to keep being patient.As for the category of who really cares they didn’t get in, that goes to Procol Harum. Problem with Procol Harum (beyond the fact that they’re prog rock), is that the one hit they wrote was actually better when the Bangles sang it. Love the Bangles, but when a pop band in the 80’s covers your song for a soundtrack no less, and they make it way better than the original! Do you really need to know anything more than that as to why you didn’t make the grade? Not really.

Congratulations to all the deserving acts that got in, condolences to all the deserving acts that didn’t, and best wishes to all those that played the game, deserving or not.

Subjectively Yours,
-Mike James


And now back to the original post…

Instead of beating you up further by wrapping up the Tribe season of 2012, or breaking down how if  the Giants forget to come out of the locker room after the half the Browns might just have a chance this weekend, how about instead we take a moment and do a DC Show band by band reaction to The Rock Hall’s just released list of 2013 Nominees for Induction…


The Paul Butterfield Blues Band – There needs to be a rule which states that anyone who’s only known for playing the harmonica cannot ever be considered for the Rock Hall. That instrument sounds like cats having sex, but at least when cats have sex you get kittens.

Chic– Forget harmonicas, you have to wonder why any band who carried the title of “The Greatest Disco Band” could ever be considered for the Rock Hall. I know the Hall has let Jazz artists in, and even started to let Metal and Hip Hop acts in, but at some point you just have to draw the line, don’t you. It’s disco for god’s sake. What’s next, muzak?

Deep Purple– Wait, Metallica got in before Deep Purple? Next you’ll tell me Judas Priest and Iron Maiden aren’t in yet either.

Heart – Heart is one of those bands I feel sorry for when they don’t get in. Great songwriters and performers who wrote hit after hit over the span of a couple decades, and then to get in the Rock Hall they end up not being able to beat out some shit’n act who you can’t even name one song they wrote, or worse yet, they get beat out by a freaking disco band…you have to think that just has to be too much to handle if you’re the Wilson sisters of Heart. If I were them I’d find those leftover cases of Aquanet from the 80’s you know they still have, grab a lighter, and be prepared to burn the whole thing down. You know, just in case.

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts– People love Joan Jett. Let’s face it though, unless you’re just a huge fan of hers who doesn’t want to let logic ruin your fun, do the Blackhearts really deserve to be in? Yeah there’s the Runaways and the fact you LOVE JOAN JETT! …but the Blackhearts? I mean Prince is great and in the Hall, but do we have to now put in every incarnation of his backing band? The Revolution deserves it, maybe the New Power Generation, but where does it stop after that. Didn’t he end up doing a record with a bunch of Jehovah’s Witnesses or some shit? I know, I know, but you LOVE JOAN JETT! Fine, put her in as a solo act, but I just don’t see how you can justify putting the Blackhearts in too. They what, wrote “Bad Reputation” and then made hits out of rehashing old Runaways songs and songs written by other folks altogether? They only actually wrote as a band one more hit than you and I did. Granted “I Love Rock ‘n Roll” (written by the Arrows) is an aptly titled song which fits really well for the occasion of a Rock Hall Induction, but still, if I were Joan Jett and the Blackhearts and we all got nominated, I’d be watching over my shoulder for Ann and Nancy Wilson setting fire to the stage while accepting the award.

Albert King– The King of Blues isn’t in yet? Huh. Maybe he should have tried his hand at disco.
Kraftwerk– This is an odd one because the overall geek in me says, “they have to be in!” But then the guy in me who’s objectively writing this says, “how can they put these geeks in?!” They did what again? Introduced electronic music? And that’s been a good thing for Rock ‘n Roll, how?
The Marvelettes– The Rock Hall should just say every band, musician, writer and producer ever affiliated with Motown is in and be done with it. At least by doing that we could avoid the whole game of “which song did they sing, again?” every time a Motown hit-maker gets nominated. ((The answer is “Please Mr. Postman”, and you’re welcome))

The Meters – The Meters not only should be in, they’re the kind of band who makes the whole Induction show that much more fun. No matter what you’re going to have bands being inducted you don’t care anything about going on and on about all the bullshit that inspired them, at some point you’re going to outright need a New Orleans funk band just to break the monotony. “What’s that, Paul Butterfield is still talking about where he got his first harmonica? It’s been fifteen minutes already?! Stupid harmonica players. I’m going to the bathroom, anyone want a beer before the Meters are up?” Besides, an induction that sees “Cissy Strut” getting played? How much are tickets going to be?

Randy Newman – I love Randy Newman, specifically all his early stuff. Such a unique songwriter with an incredible gift for it not too unlike that of Dylan, in that you can easily recognize his songwriting gift as once in a generation great, it’s just that you mostly want other people singing what they write because both Dylan and Newman can’t sing. The thing about Randy these days though is that anymore he’s mostly only entertaining when shows like South Park and Family Guy make fun of him. I’m not sure if he belongs in the Rock Hall, the Songwriters Hall, for sure, either way though, those Family Guy bits are funny as hell. “Left foot, right foot, left foot…
N.W.A. – Yes, oh my god, yes! Stuffy, stiff, rich white people and industry moguls (sorry for all the redundancy there) paying tens of thousands of dollars to have front row tables to this affair and being made to cheer for N.W.A.? Wow. What a great time to be alive. Granted Ice Cube and Dre are total sellouts now who both stand in line for paydays no matter who’s cutting the checks, I mean, come on, how in the hell can you ever listen to “Gangsta Gangsta” again and know both these assholes shill beer for Coors Brewing Company. A company that funded apartheid and was originally owned and operated by a Grand Wizard of the KKK. So, yeah, N.W.A. currently doesn’t carry much weight with its Attitude anymore… but in receiving this honor I’d certainly look the other way for an evening because it’d be so worth it just to see which classics they’d break into not named “Express Yourself”. Would it be “F**k tha Police“? How about “Dopeman“? The mind just reals at all the great choices. Even if they played “Bitch Iz a Bitch”and now you know they’re really just rapping about themselves…these songs, in that setting? Shit would be awesome.

Procol Harum– Do we really have to induct Progressive Rock bands in the Rock Hall? It’s like honoring something that stripped the soul, emotion and melody out of rock. Really, who needs songs about passion and love that has catchy hooks when you can sing about wizards and dragons that has 10 minute solos.

Public Enemy– See N.W.A., except leave out the part about Coors. Sure Flavor Flav sold out much the same, but what else was that guy going to do, become talented? Just be thankful he only put out but one solo record and then put Chuck D and the Bomb Squad, aka Public Enemy, in the Rock Hall!

Rush– Let’s face it, at this point we’re better off that Rush isn’t in. Listening to their fans bitch about it every year is simply way more fun.

Donna Summer – What I said about “The Greatest Disco Band” obviously applies to the “Queen of Disco”. Bottom line, disco is for people who do too much cocaine, and the only thing worse than people who do too much cocaine is their taste in music.

-Mike James

Listen to last Monday’s “The Defend Cleveland Show” in its entirety by clicking here.

The DC Show with host Mike James airs live every Monday morning from 9am-11:30am on WRUW-FM 91.1 Cleveland, and streams world wide here.

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Posted by on Oct 5 2012. Filed under Featured, Show Reports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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