Rock ‘n’ roll a class of its own

gordon.beedle

On Monday, March 10 the rock ‘n’ roll world sold out once again: The pop queen diva of all pop queen divas, Madonna, was inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame.

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame is supposed to be home to true rock legends’ songs and memorabilia. Adding Madonna’s cone-shaped bra to a display and “Like a Virgin” to the computer- simulated jukebox of all the inductees’ songs is nothing more than a disgrace to what rock ‘n’ roll is and why it is deserving of a hall of fame.

Rock ‘n’ roll musicians are equally talented with words and instruments. The genre combines both good music and smart lyrics.

Madonna may have sold millions of records and changed part of the music industry-after all, she is the top-earning female singer, according to the Guinness Book of World Records-but she certainly isn’t rock ‘n’ roll.

Rock ‘n’ roll was displayed to its fullest extent when Pete Townsend swung his guitar into the stage after a great performance, smashing it to pieces; or when Jimi Hendrix played the “Star – Spangled Banner” for an enormous crowd during Woodstock.

These stories, along with the performers’ great music, is what brought those worthy musicians into the Hall of Fame. They did things in the music industry that were never done before and will never be done again. They have earned the right to be remembered in this museum. They’ve earned the right to be called rock ‘n’ roll.

However, Madonna’s induction is not the first time the Hall Fame has turned itself into the Hall of Shame. In 1997 it admitted The Bee Gees and in 2001 the king of pop himself, Michael Jackson, became a member. While these musicians do have an impact in the music world today and have sold millions of albums worldwide, their music isn’t rock ‘n’ roll — it’s pop.

Madonna and the other non-rock ‘n’ rollers who have been admitted have done nothing more for the genre than Willie Nelson or 50 cent. And while I don’t think these musicians are bad, I refuse to say they are rock ‘n’ roll.

The people of the Hall of Fame are turning this piece of musical culture into nothing more than the chart topping or best selling artist museum, which is exactly what true rock ‘n’ roll hates.

And this problem begins at the roots of the museum. Jim Henke, curator of the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame, told the Detroit Free Press, “We define it pretty broadly. It’s somewhat about the influences, somewhat about the attitude; But more than anything it’s about a cultural phenomenon. It’s certainly more than just four white guys playing guitars, bass and drums.”

The definition of rock ‘n’ roll cannot only be music that is popular with the masses. True rock ‘n’ roll artists must have original style to their music and smart poetic lines if they want to be compared to the genre’s best.

Madonna and all the other chart-topping, pop singing inductees are ruining the definition of what rock ‘n’ roll is and what it should always be: Meaningful lyrics combined with great musical talent.