Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Hall of Mediocrity

Mediocre means neither good nor bad.  Just kinda, there.  You're alright, not the worst, but certainly not the best.  There are a variety of Hall of Fames and Hall of Shames, but no Halls of Mediocrity...that I'm aware of, at least.  So, why not have one?  We will eventually cover a variety of subjects, but today I'm focusing on music.  Specifically, Rock music...since the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is what gave me the idea.  My arguments with their induction methods will be another blog for another time.

I will be using the Rock Hall Induction Rules, as well as a couple of my own, which are as follows:

1.  There are no novelty, one hit wonder bands, such as Jimi Hendrix and The Grateful Dead...just seeing if we're paying attention.  Although, technically...they are one hit wonders.

2.  No band/performer will be inducted into the Hall of Mediocrity that are already in the "real" Hall of Fame.  I'm not taking anyone out that is already in, regardless of how I really feel about the band or performer.  You got lucky Aerosmith...very lucky.

3.  All bands being inducted are currently eligible for the Rock Hall and should they ever be inducted into the "real" Rock Hall, will be asked to leave immediately.  Those Hall of Fame bands get real egotistical, very quickly.  Plus, let's face it...they graduated to the big leagues...I'd never hold them back from going.

On with our show....

Our first inductee into mediocrity is....

They have sold an estimated 75 million albums, many Top 40 singles and sold out tours all over the world, but what are they best known for?  The Power Ballad.  That and their overall happiness with being an Arena Rock staple.  When you have a guitar prodigy in the band (Neal Schon, started playing at 5, joined Santana about a decade later), I expect more.  Besides Mr. Schon, you have had talent the likes of drummer Steve Smith, Gregg Rolie/Jonathan Cain on keyboards and the pipes of, Steve Perry.  I guess they were destined for mediocrity once the dude from American Idol, Randy Jackson, joined on bass, near the end of Perry's initial run with the band.  They just have no influence on rock music.  The next time you hear someone say Journey is an influence for them, will be the first time.

We'll combine the next two performers.

Pat Benatar
Cyndi Lauper
I think there needs to be more women in the Rock Hall.  Pat Benatar and Cyndi Lauper certainly don't lack record sales or hit singles.  The problem they have is living up to the women that were inducted before them.  Madonna, Aretha Franklin, Joni Mitchell, Janis Joplin, Chrissie Hynde and Deborah Harry, amongst many others, of course.  Cyndi and Pat fail the eyeball test.  They may have more hits than say Patti Smith, but lack her influence.  They can't live up to Diana Ross or Tina Turner, who went from a group setting to successful solo careers.  To tell you the truth, I'm not sure who the next woman that will be inducted into the Rock Hall will be.  It's a tougher road than the men have, you have to be beyond exceptional.

Steve Miller Band
If the Steve Miller Band was a new band coming up these days, they would've been dropped by their record label.  Thankfully, Steve started in the late 60's.  He's a great guitarist, his band was always really tight and he has had some monster albums, but he's been active for the better part of 40 yrs and his main success encompasses less than a 10 yr period.  When he was on, there were none better, but there are a lot of misses in his catalog.  Steve Miller is the one person on this list I could see getting into the Rock Hall, but it would really have to be a down year.

Last but, certainly not least...

Motley Crue
All flash and no substance is perhaps too harsh for Motley Crue, IMO.  Although, they didn't do themselves any favors until later in their career, when they decided to show they really could play a little.  It resulted in their best selling and my favorite album by them, Dr. Feelgood.  Drug use, divorces, run-ins with the police, in fighting and near death (in the case of Nikki Sixx, real death) experiences, can really derail your career.  They have reformed the classic lineup, squashed any bad feelings toward one another and have continued to forge ahead.  After everything they've been through alone and together, they are definitely survivors in my book.  Maybe that's enough for them, because they aren't significant enough to get into the Rock Hall.

This is the first class heading into the Hall of Mediocrity.  So congratulate them, but not too much...they could have been so much more.  The next class will be inducted in December and the subject will be determined at a later date.  Probably, around Thanksgiving

Editor's Note: This is not a dig at any of their careers, because any band would kill for the success that any of these people have had.  I also like all of these performers, just to a varying degree.  Also, if there is any subject that you would like me to tackle for the Hall of Mediocrity, let me know.  Remember, it could be for anything...TV shows, Movies, Actors/Actresses...etc.  The topic will be voted on, but I will name the inductees...something has to be a secret....right?

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