Super Lawyers
William C. Altreuter
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Monday, October 04, 2010

This year's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees. I hate this institution, even though I love many of these artists. By what metric, for example, does Tom Waits qualify? He is an inventive, genre expanding artist to be sure, but apart from the Eagles' cover of Old 55 and Rod Stewart's of Downtown Train what has he written that was a hit in any meaningful sense of the term? Christgau gave A- ratings to 4 out of the 21 releases he reviewed; by Christgau's lights Waits has about a 3.25 cumulative average. I'd have to say I think that's about right. Alice Cooper? The nomination appears to be for the guy, not the band, which is too bad. There are some solid songs in the catalog, but be honest, when was the last time you pulled out Billion Dollar Babies and played it straight through? I'm betting in was some time in 1982. Alice is, I guess, an influence for Marylin Manson, and maybe the Insane Clown Posse, but his shtick was tired when I was in 8th grade, and  Screamin' Jay Hawkins did it first and did it better. Chic, sure. Neil Diamond? If you insist. He's as out of place here as he was at the Last Waltz, but who wants to argue with all those Red Sox fans. (Jim Rice is over-rated though) Donna Summer? Absolutely. Dr. John-- okay. Joe Tex was no Wilson Pickett, and by that criteria is probably closer to Jerry Rice than to Carl Yastrzemski. Donovan? No. Laura Nyro is a close call, but I guess a tie goes to the runner. Bon Jovi? Bon Jovi? See, this is what I'm talking about.

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