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Was the R&R Hall of Fame response cool...or lame?


Timbale
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I was reflecting on this the other day... there is now a sort of mythology built into the huge audience response to Rush's induction...the way the crowd went crazy the second Jann Wenner even said "Toronto"...and I think most of us who are fans looked at that as an indication that Rush were long overdue and far more welcomed than the "mainstream" would have us believe for so many years.

 

But...

 

Isn't it just a case of a s**t tonne of fans buying tickets to the thing and essentially taking over the event?  I mean, it reads, watching it, like "the establishment" is finally giving Rush their due and celebrating how amazing they are...but isn't it just a huge pack of Rush nerds who've probably seen them in multiple cities on multiple tours just adding that event to their plans?  Like...think about a band that you really don't like...and imagine them getting inducted and that response happening - would you be super impressed by the place exploding, or would you think "Right - a bunch of dicks on a Nickelback facebook fan page organized a trip to Cleveland".  

 

Was it cool....or lame?

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We Rush fans are a bit weird is all.  Probably because Rush was so ignored through-out their first 30 years (or so).  Cream Magazine rarely ran an article and when it did, it was usually mostly negative.  Rolling Stone apparently never heard of them for decades, except for an odd advertisement, such as the A Farewell To Kings ad which I use, over in the corner there to the left.  They never received a request to appear on Saturday Night Live.  Stuff like that.

 

There was that magazine or website (or something) which ran a request for the best "driving" song ever.  Something like 65% of responses were Red Barchetta.  The other 199 songs (whatever they were and how many there actually were) made up the other 45% of answers.  The Editor noted the response and then shit all over Red Barchetta and Rush fans.

 

Now TV shows and Movies have Rush references all over the place.  Like the recent one where the guy is wearing a Hold Your Fire T-shirt.  "Hold Your Fire"?!  Of course, when a Rush song is heard in a Tv show or movie, it's usually Tom Sawyer.

 

 

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I always took it for granted that the crowd was packed with die hard Rush fans that night, so I never really looked at that moment where the audience drowned out the announcer as anything out of the ordinary for a room full of very excited Rush fans.  The out of the ordinary thing, and the thing that really does drive home the narrative that the mainstream finally "got" Rush around that time, was the fact that the RRHOF decided to induct them at all. I don't need to go into how stupid the Rock Hall is with most of their induction decision making, and how many other bands need to be in that are even longer overdue than Rush was at the time.  It's clear to see something in the mainstream perception of Rush had changed in the years leading up to that induction. Perhaps the Behind The Lighted Stage film had something to do with it, or the Rolling Stone cover they finally got on around the time Clockwork Angels came out.  Honestly everything from VT onwards seems like a huge ramp up in acclaim and popularity.  However the actual album was perceived, fans were thrilled that they had returned after the long hiatus when Vapor Trails came out. The Rock In Rio show also seemed to confirm that they still had die hard fans on an international scale.  Feedback, R30, and Snakes And Arrows all then seemed to be the perfect amount of nostalgia to remind both fans and perhaps curious new listeners of the great artistic heights this band reached in the 70s.  Also, it would've been around this time that lots of other nerdy franchises as media were suddenly breaking into the mainstream, so I'm sure Rush received a bump from the greater acceptance of all nerd culture as normal pop culture at the time.  Lastly there was Clockwork Angels, which was heralded by many as a bright return to form and the long awaited full prog concept album that they never quite did in their prog years, complete with a corresponding novel.  Again, the precise quality of the music isn't really the important thing here, though its praises were pretty heavily sung.  It was more the fact that after having already been "back" from the hiatus, and then hinting at the possibility of returning to the the style of their most celebrated period, they actually did it, and they did it as well as they could.  The following CA tour and R40 were massive celebrations of the legacy of all those not wasted years, as well as the Time Stand Still documentary.  But it was during all of this hype that one could really start to see how their success had been reflected in the famous creations of those once outcast kids (the South Park Tom Sawyer into, the Family Guy clip where Chester The Cheetah praises Neil Peart, the 2112 references in the book Ready Player One, the movie I Love You Man, and many more things).  Rush fans had broken into the mainstream, and then they brought Rush right along with them.  So it's not surprising that all those Rush fans drowned out the announcer after he said "from Toronto," but it perhaps a surprising testament to the band and the fans that the RRHOF actually decided to induct them.

 

Oh also Dave Grohl was there, and he knows how to get a crowd going. Rock's greatest ambassador is a massive Rush nerd, and that's perhaps the icing on the cake.

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I was there (driving through floods in Chicago to fly there the day of the presentation, but that's another story).  Yes, there were a huge amount of Rush fans in attendance.  Maybe 75% of those with some band's attire on were Rush fans.  But living the audience response in person, there was so much vengeance to it.  We knew who kept them out all of those years - Jann Wenner.  To see him have to announce and acknowledge their admission was significant.  I know I wanted to stick my cheers in his ear.  And I didn't stop yelling until I could yell no more.

Did their admission mean much to the band?  I think so.  But I walked away thinking the band got it right - it was more important to their fans, who felt vindicated.

Just one man's first-person views.  Share your own, please, but don't crap on mine.

s/ Yes, my name it really Tom Healey

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I never cared about them getting into the hall before they got in like a lot of fans did but I thought the reception they got at the ceremony was incredibly cool and seeing Jann Wenner have to sit up there and take it was really enjoyable.

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It was cool in the sense that for the Rush fans who put a lot of stock in what the RRHOF does, they got their moment in the sun.

 

 

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On 7/19/2022 at 3:07 PM, thizzellewashington said:

I never cared about them getting into the hall before they got in like a lot of fans did but I thought the reception they got at the ceremony was incredibly cool and seeing Jann Wenner have to sit up there and take it was really enjoyable.

 

I guess this is kinda my question, though - and I know that we don't really care what Wenner thinks at the end of the day, but...  do you really think Jann was up there feeling like he had to "take it" in the sense of, oh, my publication ignored these guys for so long and now I'm embarrassed by how badly I miscalculated it....or do you think he went back stage, sipping a martini with some friends after that intro and said "of course a thousand nerds showed up to make a spectacle out of the event."

 

As I said, I don't actually care about Jann per se, and I was happy for the band itself... but did it give the impression that these guys have been overlooked, or was it just like, well, any band we've inducted could fill this hall with fans...but only fans of a band like Rush would actually bother to make a point of it...

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You're overthinking it. I don't know or care what Jann Wenner thought when he had to announce Rush into the HOF, the point is that he did announce it and was forced into it by the grassroots uprising. Rush and their fans persevered through the decades despite the lack of support by the arbiters of taste. That's it. We collectively said "If you're going to have an institution that honours Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Zappa, Aerosmith, Sabbath etc. Then you're going to honour Rush too. Lame or cool is in the eye of the beholder but I saw it as an asshole having to admit defeat - and I like when that happens. 

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As the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is an absolute farce, everything about it is lame.  

 

Just my absolutist opinion.  :biggrin:

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I was looking for press about the event a couple of days later and stumbled upon this one particular blogger. His take on it was this:

He likes electronic, rap and soul, and can't and doesn't want to understand anything about progressive heavy rock. He didn't know who Rush was before they were nominated and inducted.

After the fan response he did some research and came to understand the band's story, the success, and how they were ignored for so long. He was also impressed by how well spoken the band was, and how funny Alex's performance art was.

He will never like that kind of music but can respect the band's achievements all things considered. He's happy that they are in.

Rush may be really good at whatever it is they do, but their fans are assholes. 


I can see where he would come to that conclusion, not being part of the hard core fandom.  The fanbase there really did swamp the place.

Myself, I would have been there if I could, right along with the rest of them - making a spectacle of myself. Hoping that the likes of Oprah and Quincy Jones came away feeling the power of our fandom. If that makes me an asshole, then I guess I'm an asshole.

Edited by grep
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