Monday, September 20, 2010


(Time Life) This box set of DVDs (I believe you can also buy individual discs and a suitcase full of a discs, but 3 should be enough for anyone) is hard to enthusiastically recommend but also to totally dismiss. Regardless of what you think about the institution and its Woodstock-era tendencies (or in the case of some critics, its too-broad definition of rock n roll), there are a few things here that are kind of cool, many involving the fraternity of rockers, and the occasionally vitriol. While there is nothing particuarlly interesting about the official performances (I guess a Cream reunion is cool, but most of these are just Santana or Metallica, or ZZ Top doing a song from their current tour...and even when you have guests like Eddie Veder singing with the Doors, or Eddie Vedder singing with REM, or Eddie Vedder singing with the Chipmunks, it's not that interesting). But many of these ceremonies ended with a ridiculous mess of a "jam," and especially the early ones were just intentionally amateurish, poorly shot, and beautifully chaotic.  Watching these your mind that Carl Perkins crawling on the floor? What are they whhispering to Johnny Cash? Is Bo Diddley the one with the severely out of tune guitar? And the black vocal group guys never know what to do during the Hendrix or Stones covers. And sometimes there's even good music Prince wailing on ax on "Still My Guitar Gently Weeps." And what's really great here are the acceptance speeches that just don't fit the mold. This box set is worth its price to hear Mike Love's fucking crazy hateful rant against Paul McCartney, the Beatles, Diana Ross, and the Stones (he calls Mick Jagger a"chickenshit"), mainly because those acts don't have the unity of the Beach Boys (?!?). Even better is Dion's acceptance speech which is just ten minutes of hilarious, expertly executed stand up comedy (including some ad libs about Love's screed). Unfortunately he's the only one who apparently had the Friar's Club help him with his speech (Pete Townshend also does a comedy routine giving the Rolling Stones the Rickles treatment, but he was a roasting inductor, not an honored inductee). So there's some highlights worth seeing. But you'll also have to sit though Kid Rock sitting in with Aerosmith.

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