Rock and Roll Heaven
So it is that today I am proposing new concentration of tribute for the heroes of rock n roll – Rock and Roll Heaven. It will be a place that has one major prerequisite before anyone can be allowed in – you have to be DEAD. It may sound morbid, but it is a HEAVEN and it is much more sensible to honor the dead who are still with us in spirit then to suck the perpetual teats of celebrities in with the Rolling Stone crowd. Also, just being dead is not enough to be canonized in such a place. So the idiot junkie that offs himself at 27 will have no place here (Hendrix excluded) just because he’s all of a sudden “brilliant” the day after he or she dies. There must be longevity, creativeness, musicianship, as well as relevance beyond the era that the art was created. And there is no double-dipping – an artist will enter Rock and Roll Heaven either in a band or as a solo act, but not both. So Jim Morrison will have to wait for the other three Doors to kick it and John Lennon will be in as a Beatle and only a Beatle. (This last criteria will avoid absurdities like Buffalo Springfield being inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame because Steven Stills and Neil Young were members, even though the vast amount of work done by those two were outside of that band.
So, with that in mind, I’d like to propose the first members of Rock and Roll Heaven. Due to the strong criteria noted above, there would only be five:
Now you may want to point out that The Beatles inclusion violates my own criteria because Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr still walk among us, but hey, they are The Beatles and they are a special case. So, in that sense, McCartney and Starr will be the first and only exempt from the death clause. There are who are definitely “knocking on heaven’s door”, such as Bob Dylan and Aretha Franklin, but they are not there yet. And when their time does come, they will be inducted, not in some lavish, annual New York faux concert (another absurdity since the Hall is located in Cleveland), but instantly and with their life’s work doing all the talking. Bands will be tougher to get in than individuals (I mean, Keith Richards was supposed to be dead 40 years ago and who knows, he may go for another 40 years).
For the time being, Rock and Roll Heaven will exist in the virtual world. Perhaps someday a brick-n-mordor location can be built as a memorial in some appropriate locale such as the Mississippi Delta, where the true roots of rock sprang to life. It will not be in Cleveland, where the only thing that got its start was the Progressive Rock band Rush.