I just learned today that my family and I will be going to Cleveland in May, and I finally will get to visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Besides the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, that’s probably the only one that I would be interested in seeing. So it will be a pilgrimage of sorts for me.
But as I was out driving around tonight, I got a reminder of a reason why I’m not so high on the rock Hall in the first place. On the radio, the most anthemic rock song ever written was being played. If you read the title of this post, you already know which song I’m talking about, but if not, let’s just say it’s the one song that anyone going to a KISS concert wants to hear.
I’ve been to a couple of KISS concerts, and they’re quite an experience. They’re rock concerts in every sense of the word, and the fact that they’ve appeared on the ballot for the Rock hall, and not gotten in, rubs me the wrong way. Strip away everything else but this one song–the perfect embodiment of the rock and roll ethos–and that’s enough to put them in. But Jann Wenner, the publisher of Rolling Stone and the gatekeeper of the Rock hall, seems to have something against KISS, so they remain on the outside looking in. And it’s a shame, really, because KISS has a fan base–the KISS Army–that could make the turnstiles move in Cleveland, which has been something of a problem.
So I’ll go and visit the Hall when I get the chance this spring. I’ll look at Springsteen and the Stones and U2 and all of the other acts that are represented there. And I’ll probably walk away from it with some material to post here, too. But KISS, and Rush, and many other fine acts who have also made a contribution to the music won’t be there, and I’ll just have to remember them as well. And if I break into a little Rock and Roll All Night, they’re just going to have to put up with that.