After a year of prepping it and bugging my editor, I finally got my Rock and Roll Hall of Fame piece in the Village Voice. I had 1000 words to play with so I could cram in as many ideas as I liked, including some inside info from the people there and some thoughts from detractors to give it balance. I was pretty happy with the end result, especially as I had to write most of it up in less than two weeks time even though I had some general notes going back to 2008 and recently did about 7-8 interviews to get as much info as I could from sources. I hated the whole idea of the HOF for a while but softened a bit when I visited it years ago and later realized that it’s something you can rant against but it won’t disappear. Also, it’s been around for over two and a half decades itself so it’s at least worth pondering.
Even so, I wished I had more time to actually speak to some musicians about the HOF- not just soon-to-be inductees but also past ones and some who hadn’t made it. Another thing that I only thought about later is that I found out (off the record) that the HOF nominating committee has several sub-committees for rap, art rock, etc.. so that the art-rock group boosted Genesis and the rap group boosted a certain TV star who didn’t make the cut this time. Some committee members also admitted that they were kind of surprised that some performers who were highly boosted in their meetings got shot down in the general vote of 500 or so writers, former inductees and others who have final say over who gets in. As I mentioned in the piece, many committee members don’t even know who these people are (other than former inductees).
Another thing occurred to me about the article. I’d been writing for the Village Voice for over 13 years but this was the first time that one of my articles was the main piece in the music section. I was pretty proud of that but it also made me wonder why that was. I figured out the main reason pretty quickly though. Just like in my zine, I like to champion acts that don’t get lots of recognition. I understand that isn’t lead story material and as such, I can’t fault my editors for that but it also makes me wonder if I should turn my attention to stories like the HOF or bigger acts more often when I have something worthwhile to say (like I do sometimes at PopMatters). Not that I’d give up on cult artists to write about- I’ll also have a soft spot for them, not to mention the feeling of camaraderie in the kind of work that I do.