Ironically, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is not very rock n' roll.
While it's rare to hear anyone excited about anything that happens in Cleveland, the music world is abuzz with news of the 2020 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees.
Being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is among the top honors any musician can hope to achieve, and past inductees include a wide range of icons from Bob Dylan to Etta James to The Grateful Dead. This year's honorees include Notorious B.I.G., Whitney Houston, Pat Benatar, Dave Matthews Band, Depeche Mode, the Doobie Brothers, Judas Priest, Kraftwerk, MC5, Motörhead, Nine Inch Nails, Rufus featuring Chaka Khan, Todd Rundgren, Soundgarden, T. Rex and Thin Lizzy. Those who receive the most votes will be inducted May 2nd, 2020 at a ceremony at Cleveland's Public Hall.
While fans and media personnel take the Hall of Fame very seriously, it's not uncommon for rock stars to display nothing but nonchalance and cool when faced with this great honor, or even to snub it altogether—which, honestly, is pretty rock and roll. So, in celebration of the 2020 nominees, we've compiled a list of times musical icons didn't give a f*ck about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
1. Todd Rundgren
Todd Rundgren, among the 2020 nominees, met news of this honor with a simple, "No comment." This is the second year in a row Rundgren has been nominated, and many consider it a major slight that he has yet to be included in the hall of fame. He told Billboard last year: "I didn't expect it and have never cared about it. The hardest thing was keeping my fans' expectations within reasonable bounds because they are very naive about it. I'm not; It's some weird Illuminati thing and nobody understands how it works and who does the voting and the nominee selections and all that sort of crap.
I'm not looking for some organization to acknowledge me, somehow. Besides, the Hall of Fame doesn't make any sense to me because musicians don't have to retire. Athletes retire, and that's when they go into the Hall of Fame, because they're not playing anymore. But everybody (the Rock Hall) is inducting now is still playing, so how can you say you've got the measure of them? You don't. So, no, I really don't care."
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In the opening pages of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Earth is destroyed. Now if that doesn't scream 2020 so far, what does?
In Douglas Adams's 1979 novel, which premiered as a radio series on BBC Radio4 in 1978 (42 years ago—but more about the significance of that number later), Earth is suddenly blown up in order to make room for an intergalactic superhighway. Now, in a year that has—after only 3 months, people—given us a contentious, confusing democratic primary, the death of Kobe Bryant, new and worsening facts about our climate and habitat at large, appalling leadership, and of course the rapid spread of and global shutdowns by the coronavirus (COVID-19), it seems impossible to turn to any source for comfort.
Enter The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: a novel that starts with the global annihilation that we might be heading for and then follows the characters as they cope with new realities, with isolation and loss, an endless information source that brings with it endless anxiety, and an egomaniacal, arrogant, selfish, attention-craving president of the galaxy.
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It's time to study.
Now that you've flooded Instagram with photos of black squares, it's time to hunker down for some real activism.
If you're a white person, you're sitting on top of about four centuries of institutionalized racism. In the wake of George Floyd's murder by police and countless Black Lives Matter protests across the nation, it's time to show up—with your body, with your voice, and with your brain.