The latest round of inductees into rock and roll’s most hallowed ground, the Hall of Fame, has been announced and uh… it’s kind of baffling.
Sure, Lou Reed is rightfully there, so are Joan Jett and Bill Withers. Even Ringo Starr is going in. Thank the good dude above someone finally realised Stevie Ray Vaughan deserved a place in there too.
And then there’s Green Day.
Forgive me while I spit out my morning Cheerios in disgust. For an idea of just how big a travesty I think this is, here is a list of just some of the artists who AREN’T in the Hall of Fame even though Billie Joe Fuckface and co. somehow slithered their way to the front of the line:
New York Dolls
The fuck is this? You know, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that 10-year-old me loved him some Green Day. I used to listen to tracks like When I Come Around, Basket Case and even Minority and thought this was punk. By the time they rolled around with the barely containable fury of American Idiot my first year of high school I thought they were spiky-haired Gods. But then you kind of grow up a little and actually recognise the bastardised and commercialised brand of punk, the angst-y teen garbage music they were really peddling.
Did anyone listen to utter crap like Warning, Boulevard of Broken Dreams, Jesus of Suburbia (all 9 unnecessary minutes of it!), 21 Guns or pretty much anything that band has done since 2004 and honestly think ‘Yes, these people deserve to be in the Hall Of Fame next to artists like Elvis Presley and Led Zeppelin”
Take a look at that list of artists from before. Many are absolute legends within the history of rock and roll. Many pioneered entire genres (Kraftwerk, Afrika Bambaataa) or had successful careers spanning decades (The Cure, Iron Maiden) or may have burnt too briefly but are so transcendent that their overarching influence is still felt to this day (Joy Division, N.W.A.). Green Day were a forgettable bunch of 90s punks who were heading the way of their contemporaries in bands like The Offspring before one incendiary song that took the world by storm in 2004.
That’s it. Everything they did before and after American Idiot was either mediocre at best or vomit-inducingly atrocious at worst (see their triple album extravaganza of horseshit in 2012). They looked poised to enter the next stage of their career after American Idiot but they squandered it by failing to release a follow-up album for five years and falling totally and utterly behind in the game. So does one good song and an otherwise forgettable career with barely a decade of relevance justify a place in the Hall of Fame over a bunch of other artists who were better in every aspect?
I won’t go as far as to say that they don’t have a place in the Hall Of Fame. Hell, we are probably going to need tack-on bands like Green Day for the inductee lists in 30-40 years time when they’re clutching at straws and forced to debate whether people like Katy Perry and Fall Out Boy merit a place in there. To push Green Day to the front of the line in the very first year they are eligible for induction though, when so many other worthy candidates have been eligible for years without even a look-in, is just ludicrous and smacks of corporate bias and just overall bad taste from the small cabal of judges who are responsible for the sanctity and celebration of rock and roll and the good folks behind it.
Is it any wonder that perhaps Green Day’s biggest luminaries, the Sex Pistols, called the Hall Of Fame a ‘piss stain’ and refused to attend their own induction?