MilesDavis FillmoreEast 1970 1500

why are non-rock artists in the rock & roll hall of fame?

A SERIES OF ARTICLES about Elvis Pres­ley’s Gold Stan­dard records has been taking up most of my time (along with re­designing the look of all my blogs). Be­cause of that, I have been ig­noring both the readers of this blog and those who sali­vate waiting for me to an­swer a ques­tion on Quora. So, why not kill two stones with one bird?

The ques­tion on Quora is “Why does the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in­duct mem­bers that do not play Rock and Roll?” My an­swer is below, be­tween the im­ages of the BITCHES BREW album and Miles Davis on stage.

 

MilesDavis BitchesBrew 600

In early 1970, Miles Davis rocked the jazz world with BITCHES BREW a two-record album, that in­cor­po­rated rock in­stru­men­ta­tion and playing along with pro­duc­tion tech­niques that made this the first psychedelic-rock-like jazz album. In 1976, it was cer­ti­fied by the RIAA for a Gold Record Award for sales of 500,000 “units” (or 250,000 copies).

Cynical and mystical

First, please do not think that the nom­i­na­tors and voters of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame are dumb—they are not. Keeping that in mind, I offer two an­swers to your ques­tion “Why does the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in­duct mem­bers that do not play Rock and Roll?”:

The Cynical Answer

The nom­i­na­tors and voters of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame are simply so, so much smarter than you and I that they know they need all kinds of artists to at­tract all kinds of people to pay ad­mis­sion into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and buy sou­venirs, food, etc., while there.

The Mystical Answer

The nom­i­na­tors and voters of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame are simply so, so much smarter and hipper than you and I that we will never un­der­stand why they in­duct artists who do not play rock & roll artists the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Your choice as, alas, both make sense.

 

MilesDavis FillmoreEast 1970 1500

FEATURED IMAGE: The photo at the top of this page is Miles Davis per­forming at the Fill­more East on June 18, 1970. Ear­lier that year, he had re­leased BITCHES BREW, the album that kicked open the flood­gate that al­lowed a wave of so-called fu­sion al­bums to find their way onto the turnta­bles of thou­sands of dope-smoking and acid-dropping non-jazz music lovers around the country.

In 2006, Miles was the first jazz mu­si­cian to be in­ducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Ad­di­tional reading: “8 Rea­sons Miles Davis is in the Rock Hall of Fame” and “A Jazz Legend En­shrined as a Rock Star?

 

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jerry richards
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In­ter­esting theory, Neal, but if that’s true, why don’t they put more C&W people in? There’s many like Don Gibson, Arlie Duff, John D Lau­d­er­milk, Warren Smith, Hardrock Gunter, and so on, artists who ac­tu­ally recorded a R&R record. I think they ei­ther don’t know R&R from pop and ez-listening or they want to turn the hall into the pop music hall of fame.

Miles is al­leged to have in­sisted that Clive Davis market him like a rock mu­si­cian and he also (again al­legedly) wanted to per­form at venues like the Fil­more so he could ap­pear in front of the “kids” there to see rock con­certs. He was also not the head­liner on many of these shows (look at the cd jacket for Neil Young’s Live At The Fil­more East wherein it ap­pears Miles is the opening act).

The same could be said for Weather Re­port. Ap­par­ently (or maybe al­legedly), Josef Za­w­inul told Co­lumbia he wanted to call the group he and Wayne Shorter were putting to­gether a name like a rock band would have, and that the group should be mar­keted like a rock band. Per­haps just a sign o’ the times!