Once again, the B-52’s were robbed. The quintessentially hip band from Athens, Ga., wasn’t nominated to be in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. That’s a travesty, considering how its unique brand of tunage makes you want to shake, shimmy, groove and snorkel all over the dance floor.
If you look at some of the acts nominated to the Hall of Fame, you’ve got to wonder what in the hell these folks in Cleveland were thinking. Dolly Parton? She’s country, not rock ‘n’ roll. (We love us some Dolly and think she’s a modern-day saint for her work to get millions to read.) A Tribe Called Quest? Hip hop, not rock ’n’ roll. (Not even in the same league as the Rolling Stones or Beatles or Chuck Berry or Prince.) Eminem? Rapper. Fela Kuta? (Who, you might ask? A pioneering Afrobeat jazz musician, but maybe not pure rock ‘n’ roll).
Maybe the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame wants to be known as the Pop Music Hall of Fame. If so, have at it. If not, it’s time for real rock ‘n’ roll acts, like the B-52’s, to be nominated and inducted.
“The B-52’s were on the cutting edge of the New Wave movement and provided the soundtrack to many college parties in the 1980s and 1990s,” says Richard Todd, host of The Morning Buzz radio show on 105.5 The Bridge. “Plus there is something unique about their sound and presentation. If the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is supposed to document the history of rock ‘n’ roll, there is no doubt the B-52’s should be in there.”
It should be a no-brainer for the B-52’s to be in the Hall of Fame. Can you imagine not ever hearing the band’s first album with its classic “Planet Claire” and “Rock Lobster,” an instant hit on Saturday Night Live? They’ve got quirky, fun songs about a love shack, bushfires, junebugs, wigs, butterbeans and a dog named Quiche Lorraine. There are cosmic thumping rhythms and soprano harmonies (from “Song for a Future Generation” and “Whammy Kiss” to “Party Out of Bounds” and “Roam”).
Part of the sweaty allure of rock ‘n’ roll is its smoldering fun. And if any band epitomizes outlandish musical fun, it’s the B-52’s with wild hairdos, striped and shiny clothing, cars with big fins and pure American kitsch. The B-52’s are rock ‘n’ roll. Let the Hall of Fame know how disappointed you are in this year’s nominators by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (216) 781-7625.
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