Sunday, April 10, 2016

Honesty Speaks: Steve Miller's rightful and unsurprising rant

On April 9, Steve Miller of the Steve Miller Band was inducted into the "Rock And Roll Hall of Fame" (which it is anything but).  In his acceptance speech he took the RRHOF organizers to take for their disrespect of women and groups in music history, including his contemporaries from the 1960s (Miller released his first record in 1967).
""To the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I encourage you to keep expanding your vision, to be more inclusive of women.
Miller also took the entire RRHOF to task:
The whole process needs to be changed from the top to the bottom.  [...]  When they told me I was inducted, they told me 'you can have two tickets — one for your wife and one for yourself. Want another one? It's $10,000, sorry that's the way it goes.'  I said 'I'm playing here, what about my band, what about their wives?'"

Backstage, Miller took his disgust even further:
"No, we're not going to wrap this one up — I'm going to wrap you up... [...] You go sit down over there and learn something. [The show was close to] not happening because of the way the artists are being treated right now."

Anyone who has been familiar with Miller's career knows that he has been very outspoken on corruption, corporatism, politics and social issues, and his speech and comments are no surprise.

What is also no surprise was the mealy-mouthed and issue-avoiding response of those running the RRHOF to the facts in Miller's words.
"Rock and roll can ignite many opinions. It's what makes it so great. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was honoured to induct Steve Miller tonight and congratulates him."

Rush was inducted in 2013.  Each member gave a speech, the last being Alex Lifeson whose words (or rather, word) was utterly hilarious.

After the ceremony, an alleged response by Jann Wenner started making the rounds:
I'm not immune to the blogosphere.  I understand that Alex was trying to make a statement, and that being rebellious is very rock and roll, etc., but that still doesn't make his brazen performance any more acceptable or appropriate.  And honestly, this does not bode well for other progressive rock groups if this is the kind of reaction we're going to receive after finally giving these bands a chance.  Even though I can't imagine Jon Anderson, or Ian Anderson for that matter, giving us the slap in the face that we just received, I for one am not about to find out.  We'll continue to reserve nominations for worthwhile rock and roll bands like Chic, Randy Newman, Abba, The Beastie Boys, etc. - you know REAL rock and roll!

And finally, it wasn't just Alex Lifeson that was disrespectful, but the fans.  I understand being enthusiastic about your favorite band, as hard as it is for me to imagine that Rush could be anyone's favorite band with their shrieking banshee wail vocals and nerdy dungeons and dragons songs, but that doesn't mean they had to scream and scream and ruin the night for the other worthy inductees.

The response was a fake, but given the self-serving hypocrisy and attitudes of Wenner and others like him, it was widely believed he was capable of such pettiness, and for good reason.

Wenner and his ilk showed in their response to Steve Miller that they are that petty.  And Miller showed once again his lifelong awareness and concern for others.

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