Jan 022009

In a recently posted poll I hoped to give you an opportunity to include write-in entries for this year’s upcoming RTH Foyer of Fame’s Second Annual Partial Lifetime Achievement Award and Chili Cookoff, but some genius spammer has apparently found a way to immediately load our polls with write-in responses that are, shall we say, off topic. The RTH Foyer of Fame is an important event, and we want to make sure that your voice is heard as the selection committee deliberates nominees.

As of this writing, nominees include John Mellencamp, J. Geils Band, Joan Jett, and the Doobie Brothers. We’re curious to know your thoughts on the mediocre merits of these nominees and see what other artists you might feel are worthy of the Foyer’s consideration.

Personally, I’m concerned that Mellencamp’s body of work lacks the cultural impact of our inaugural inductees, Bob Seger and Steve Miller. I mean, did anyone ever produce a John Mellencamp rock mirror or substitute his music for that of The Boss in a major motion picture?

I expect that some will object to J. Geils Band even being nominated. Remember, this is a Partial Lifetime Achievement Award; maybe it depends on what part we’re inducting.

Joan Jett was initially a surprising name to find on this list, but the more I think about her the more I believe she’s worthy of consideration. The woman’s a rock ‘n roll survivor and a lifer. She’s withstood multiple ups and downs, all the while broadening her audience while doing nothing of merit since her brief moment in the Hit Parade. She’s also a testament to a woman’s equal ability to produce a thoroughly mediocre, toe-tapping body of rock ‘n roll.

The early favorite for induction might be the Doobie Brothers. I know many of you expressed disappointment offlist that they were not part of the initial class of inductees.

Over the coming days, please think about these selections. The RTH Foyer of Fame would like to induct two new members. There are also plans to induct a new member to the Gear Manufacturers’ wing as well as a first member to a newly created wing specifically for frequently overlooked instrumentalists (friend of RTH Don Felder is an early nominee for this honor).


  14 Responses to “Which artist is most deserving of induction to the RTH Foyer of Fame’s Second Annual Partial Lifetime Achievement Award and Chili Cookoff?”

  1. Mellencamp lacks no cultural ANYTHING!
    Fucking elitest.

  2. I find that Mellonturd video completely offensive…

  3. BigSteve

    This is one of those “let’s get some poor people in our video” deals. It makes it so very authentic. Funny how Kenny Aronoff gets down with the poverty program by limiting his kit to a single tom-tom, but Mellencamp still has to mime to a microphone. It’s a decent song, but the video doesn’t help it.

    Were the Doobies included because of their appearance as the Orange Bowl halftime entertainment last night? They gave a thoroughly mediocre performance. They played one complete song (Listen to the Music?), and then I thought it was over because they went to a commercial. But then they came back from the commercial just in time for the final chorus of another song (China Grove?), and then it was over. There was some kind of dance routine in front of the bandstand too. It was a partial achievement of the highest order.

  4. alexmagic

    I worry a bit that a Seger-Miller-Mellencamp Foyer would be a bit limiting, and if I had a vote, I would make Mellencamp wait a year or two for induction for the health of the Foyer. Also, you have to weigh in his SCTV appearance. That helps him and thus hurts his induction case.

    Joan Jett shouldn’t get in as part of some kind of mediocrity tokenism. She’s either earned it or she hasn’t.

    The Doobies are clear favorites, though inducting them might open the door to the Foyer being destroyed from space by a US missile shield defense, courtesy of The Skunk. Be brave, RTH.

    Has anyone considered the possibility of inducting the Stones as solo artists?

    How about The Guess Who, or Burton Cummings and/or Randy Bachman?

  5. I don’t get this at all.

    Mellencamp has put out some of the best records of the last 30 years..not all are great and some early ones are duds, but his 5 great records make up for it (Uh-huh,Scarecrow, Lonesome Jubilee, Big Daddy…skip to 1999’s self Titled record for the next GREAT one)Even the others have 3-4 standouts and very little filler for the number of records he has made. And he does help the poor, does Farm Aid, gives away his money, lives and records in Bloomington, used local musicians in his bands etc.

    Joan Jett has never been about her abillity to sit in the top 40, like Cheap Trick and Smithereens, she has had some bad label/ producer advice but made it back to her original sound. I saw her open for Robert Plant in the late 80’s and she stole the show.

    Doobie Brothers have always basically sucked…in all formats. They don’t rock, they don’t say anything, they were never cool, they have never been in the running for any kind of award (ok, maybe when Michael McDonald used them for his backing band they got some awards?) I used to like Black Water until I found out that he said “funk and” dixieland not “F*&N Dixieland”

  6. Mr. Moderator

    I know the criteria for nomination and selection are vague, but let’s repeat the key criteria here:

    The Bob Seger Partial Lifetime Achievement Award is granted to rock and roll artists who never quite fully betray the promise shown by their early, impassioned recordings, even as they achieve the measured, prudent artistic attitude of seasoned rockers.

    I’m thinking J. Geils Band, which was pretty smokin’ at times before Seth Justman, or whatever his name is, took over the band, might have more a stake in this than I’d initially considered.

    Fans of any of the bands who will be discussed here shouldn’t be offended that their heroes are being considered for induction. There is an honorable aspect to this affair.

  7. 2000 Man

    I think Mellencamp is perfectly suited for a future induction to the Foyer. His quasi Americana Stonesiness will one day make a nice addition to the Foyer, but I think we need to get more of the groundbreakers of mediocrity in their first. The Doobie Bros definitely need to be in there. Even if just for that halftime show last night. The Orange Bowl paid them and then ran a set of commercials over their act to pay for their airfare. I guess that’s what Muzak looks like on stage.

    Joan Jett? No way. Just being a member of The Runaways is cool enough. Adding in that after The Runaways when no one would sign her she just put out her own record and did things her own way, by herself and ended up with a number one smash eventually – she’s just not mediocre in any way. Joan even propelled that Springsteen soundalike band to famousness with her starring role in Light of Day, where she successfully portrayed a straight chick.

    I’ll nominate Mick Jagger’s solo career, but so far as Keith Richards, there’s a mat over there. I’ll go to it any time!

  8. 2000 Man

    Oh, and Guns N Roses. I’ll nominate them, too. That first album is pretty great. Before the chicken bucket hats and triple necked guitars came along. Slash can take some heat for that for that stupid double necked guitar he was always wanking off with, too.

  9. The Doobie Brothers, in my mind, should be the frontrunners. Who else had the sheer will to carry out, much less contemplate, a synthesis of hard rock and 70s pop cheese? To paraphrase the miltary logic in Vietnam, they bombed the musical village to save it.

    This is the band that while a semi-household name at the time, made any band of their ilk sound better by comparison: ie. Santana, Journey, BTO. That’s quite an accomplishment, I believe.

  10. Mr. Moderator

    Dr. John, your words, in particular, on the Doobie Brothers are spot on. You may be called on to draft their induction speech!

  11. Elephant in the room: REM

  12. Mr. Moderator

    REM…what do Townspeople think? I can never judge that band properly. Did they live up to their potential? As one who came to the quick conclusion that their bar wasn’t set too high, I would think they accomplished more than enough to bypass the Foyer of Fame.

  13. I think all of REM’s records are solid until Green, which was a major disappointment.

  14. REM has not failed to live up to their promise so much as they’ve worn out their welcome. In an REM context, The Doobie Brothers even had the good grace to bow out “five albums ago.” They did great stuff, carried it through, got popular, then just sat there. They didn’t (haven’t) even pull(ed) a U2 in an attempt to remain relevant. They are moss on the rolling stone.

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