A Little Tweak of the Rock Hall’s Self-Appointed Nose

It would have been a nice touch for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to pick 2012 as the year they finally put Rush into that pyramid building they operate in Cleveland. After all, the band can’t wait for them to do it in 2112. But it wasn’t meant to be, despite the wave of popularity the band had been enjoying since they came roaring back in 2002 with Vapor Trails.

But Cleveland and the band have been linking up in a number of other ways this year. First it was the release of Rush ABC 1974, the live set that’s been floating around for years as a bootleg that finally got turned into a mainstream product. The show was recorded at the Agora Ballroom in Cleveland and features “Fancy Dancer” and “Garden Road,” two songs that were never included on a studio album.

And then there was the release just a few weeks ago of their Time Machine: Live in Cleveland DVD.

So, it’s probably safe to say the city and the band have a lot of mutual affection for one another, but affection between the band and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Not so much. Maybe Jann Wenner should have put his museum in New York City as he apparently originally wanted to.

In any case, it was a nice little tweak of the Rock Hall’s nose when Neil wrote in a Cleveland Plain Dealer piece last week that recording the live Time Machine DVD in the city was in itself a nice little tweak of the Rock Hall’s nose. Here’s an excerpt from that piece:

The band had decided to film the show in Cleveland for a few reasons. In past years, we had released concert videos from shows in Toronto, Montreal, Rio de Janeiro, Frankfurt and Rotterdam, but we had never filmed a concert in the United States.

We decided to rectify that.

It was felt that the “Time Machine” show in particular looked better indoors, without the lingering twilight of an outdoor amphitheater, and with control over ambient light and air currents. Also, the audio side of things tends to be more controllable in a contained acoustic environment. (Wind, for example, can play havoc with sound waves and microphones.) So we wanted an arena.

Glancing over the itinerary, we considered the options, looked at Cleveland, and thought, “Yes.” The idea just made us smile. The historical connection was strong, of course—we never, never, never forget how welcoming Cleveland was to us in the early days. (Thank you, Donna Halper!)

But there was also the impish notion of poking a sharp stick into the eye of a certain other Cleveland institution. With regard to Groucho Marx’s famous remark—“I wouldn’t want to belong to any club that would have me as a member”—I have stated before that personally the three of us are not too bothered about that snub. We have achieved plenty of success and professional respect without those self-appointed judges, thank you very much.

But it does seem petty to make our fans feel like they’re part of something that’s “outside the pale.” (Though maybe, in a way, all of us like being outside the pale?)

Anyway, we thought the idea of filming the show in Cleveland was good—so we made it happen.

Read the full piece in the Cleveland Plain Dealer

For another fun take on the Rock Hall’s refusal to induct Rush, read David Banks’ piece in Wired magazine, “21—No, 12 Geeky Reasons Why Rush Should be Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.”

 More This and That.

~ by rvkeeper on November 14, 2011.

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