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.
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.
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?“