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August 29th 2011 11:13
Today, for our story, let's start with a basic premise which just so happens to be a truism:

The Rock n Roll Hall Of Fame is a sham.

Not just any old sham, mind you. The sham perpetrated on rock n roll lovers everywhere by the knuckleheads in Cleveland, Ohio, goes to epic proportions. A big rotten, foul-smelling piece of eletist poop that rivals a sweet-talking Bernie Madoff's scheme to take your money.

That kind of sham.

This once great idea of a tribute to the rock music genre has gradually and resolutely become an homogenized joke, an institution run by mindless nincompoops with inflated egos and supervening biases who pick and choose candidates with utter disregard for record-buying fans or the sanctity and preservation of the genre.

I've been listening to Rock n Roll since the early 60's when Elvis and Little Richard ruled the roost. I've heard it all: The Beatles. The Rolling Stones. The Animals. Dave Clark Five. Cream. Jimi Hendrix. Zeppelin. Bad Company. AC/DC. Nirvana. Ozzy. Pat Benetar. The list rolls on forever. All these great legendary acts I named above, and so many I didn't, deserve an institution to honor them for their remarkable achievements and contributions to rock music, where people, old and young alike, can come and pay tribute, and learn about the progression (or some say regression) of the art. Yet, as great of an idea the Rock n Roll Hall Of Fame was, it has failed miserably to live it to its promise. The very nature of the many acts that have been curiously bypassed by the Hall's Nominating Committee is in direct opposition to its stated mission, and enough to drive a true rock n roll fan bonkers with some of the decisions made by the nutcase Nominating Committee.

No Funk In The Rock n Roll Hall Of Fame? Say it ain't so!

Case in point concerns one of the most flagrant and egregious sleights, and what I consider a slap in the face to all rock music fans everywhere, is the continuing exclusion of the legendary seminal rock/metal band, Grand Funk Railroad.

This great kick-ass iconic American Band was without a doubt the biggest and most popular rock band in the USA from 1970-1971. This hard-rocking trio comprised of lead guitarist and vocalist, Mark Farner, drummer Don Brewer, and bassist Mel Schacher were primogenitors of metal, the percursors of Led Zeppelin, the band that influenced Eddie VanHalen and Ted Nugent, and Rush, just to name a couple on that long list. If you ever wanted a template or role model on how to achieve staggering success on the pantheon of rock n roll music it would come in the image of Grand Funk Railroad. They sold millions upon millions of albums, produced 3 smash Number One hits, ruled the charts, and sold out Shea Stadium quicker than the Beatles, a record that has never been matched by any other act. Yet, in spite of these amazing accomplishments, they were reviled by critics, notable among them Dave Marsh and Rolling Stone founder, Jann Wenner, two biased, imperious clowns who today exert a huge influence on the Rock n Roll Hall's Nominating Committee of equally clueless clowns. After seeing hundreds of great bands in my lifetime, including the Stones and AC/DC on several occasions, none managed to replicate the same charisma, stage presence, or old fashion balls to the wall energy that GFR gave to hungry rock n roll fans during the late 60's and well into the 70's.

And they are not in the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame. Not only that, GFR hasn't even been nominated for that distinction ever.

Now tell me something's not wrong with this picture.

Even before the band became big, even really before they played a note on the American stage, nutjobs like Marsh and Wenner were labeling GFR a "hype band", meaning a deception, some kind of publicity stunt. This kind of baseless pejorative inflamed the passions of music critics everywhere during that era where good rock n roll music was at a premium and resulted in the band being repeatedly raked over the coals. That bias extends today with respect to how Grand Funk Railroad is treated by the Hall's Nominating Committee.

Yes, of course, no question about it, all the bad-mouthing Wenner and his clueless cronies did back then about GFR was pure bullshit because in actuality the Railroad was a genuinely talented trio of musicians who played rock and metal well, sang superbly, and created striking, memorable songs that resonated with music-buying fans everywhere. I know I snatched Grand Funk's music off the shelf like it was a bottle of cold water in a dry barren desert, and in many ways this statement accurately represents a proper metaphor for my thirst for great music during a time when the Beatles had broken up and the Stones were ensconced in legal troubles and in-fighting. Grand Funk Railroad kicked open the metal door to usher in the likes of Zeppelin and Rush and Deep Purple. Marsh and Wenner and other snooty music critics didn't have to buy albums or stand in line for hours to get concert tickets, but fans did, and they did it in droves and with unrestrained gusto when it came to Grand Funk Railroad. What fans witnessed, to their rock music loving pleasure, was a young, raucous, enthusiastic band playing hard rock with passion and at times, brilliance, selling out venue after venue as their music flew off the shelves. And maybe the best thing about Grand Funk Railroad, even better than the band's tasty music, is the fact they always treated their fans with utmost respect, always on time for shows, always giving ticket buyers an unforgettable bang for their hard spent bucks, which is something that cannot be said for many of today's bands who drape themselves in the delusional grandeur of entitlement and treat their fans with utter contempt. The same bands and performers that Wenner today believes are worthy and qualified for induction into the Rock n Roll Hall Of Fame and exerts influence on the Nominating Committee get them in.

Grand Funk Railroad, which should easily meet, and even exceed, all criterion used to become a Slam Bang induction into the Hall has repeatedly been left out in the cold.

Getting Closer To Their Home But Not To The Rock n Roll Hall Of Fame

When the band's name is mentioned for possible induction, the Nominating Commitee simply says, "Get the Funk outta here!"

Former GFR lead guitarist and vocalist, Farner, a vociferously proud tried and true American with a propensity for the kind of straight uncompromising opinions dealing with life in the USA that once aggravated critics back in the day, and who now tours with a great rocking line-up outside the GFR family, puts things in perspective when giving his take on why the band hasn't been inducted, or even nominated, into the Hall:

Mark Farner Still Tours With His Own Band Making Great Music

"Grand Funk isn't in the RRHOF because we haven't obtained the brown ring around the mouth from kissing somebody's hind end."

Very succinct. Remarkably true.

It is amazing to me, and a definite irony, that the band that epitomizes all the ingredients of true rock n roll has been ignored as a viable induction into the very institution that honors it.

This once reputable institution with great idealism and foresight to honor rock musicians for contributions to the genre has, during the last few years, veered stridently off its intended course, eschewing true rock acts worthy of induction to make way for watered down, non-rock acts like Madonna, Donna Summer, and the Beastie Boys while great genuine rock and roll legends like Grand Funk, Pat Benetar, and KISS remain on the outside looking in. This is a paradigm for utter disregard for the fans of a venerable genre of great music. The Rock n Roll Hall of Fame is no longer that. It has become the Rock n Roll Hall of SHAME. And maybe they should rename it that, except just leave off the E.

Let's call a duck a duck. The Rock n Roll Hall Of Sham. The Nominating Committee sure quacks like one.

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4 Comments. [ Add A Comment ]

Comment by Anonymous

September 3rd 2011 13:28
Love the article Davido. WTF!! No Grand Funk in the Hall. That's scandalous shit! We could go on a letter writing campaigh but it wouldn't even phase those morons who nominate. But, great article anyway. Maybe one day GFR will get it.

Comment by authorfatboybiker

December 31st 2011 03:55
I saw a Grand Funk show sitting on the floor in a bus garage.....before the curve

Comment by BearGFR

January 18th 2012 05:21
Sham indeed. Beginning in 1998 I helped organize and run a drive to collect signatures at concerts to petition the HOF for Grand Funk's nomination and induction. At the end of the drive, we hand-carried a rather large package containing the original signatures, video copies of the VH1 special, and copies of the Bosnia CD set to the HOffices in NYC, placing same directly into their hands in person. Nary a peep resulted. If nothing else, that's a blatant testimony to the complete and utter disregard the HOF nazi's have for the only people whose opinions really matter - the fans. No one I know takes the HOF seriously any more, and haven't for a long time. They are the poster children for the disease of recto-cranial inversion.

Comment by Laney Day

January 21st 2012 19:44
We need Grand Funk in the Hall.

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