The show's over. They are sweeping up the confetti. The glasses are washed and put back into the racks until the champagne flows into them next year. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has new occupants and a promise for even more fun and acrimony next year. This year's group of inductees will likely keep things buzzing until then.
Starting with my guilty pleasure of a favorite band, Cheap Trick. It wasn't until the boys from Rockford, Illinois got their ticket punched to the big party that I started hearing about all the acrimony between them. How they had parted ways with Bun E. Carlos, their original drummer and the flurry of lawsuits that kept them as busy as their touring schedule. It made me remember that I was in my fifties, and while I remember jobs I had when I was a teenager, I don't tend to hang around with my co-workers as much anymore. The idea that Cheap Trick is still a functioning rock and roll band after more than forty years together is probably worth some sort of an award. This is an industry that seems to allow for a certain amount of longevity, in spite of the "better to burn out than to fade away" spirit that was asserted once upon a time. Before there was a Hall of Fame in Cleveland.
It seems that Cleveland is a good place to air your dirty laundry. The good news for Cheap Trick fans is that the original members managed to put a good face on their performance and for a night they played nice. The guys who were, by name, from a few cities over didn't manage the same. Chicago showed up without Peter Cetera, which was a relief for some and a tragedy for others. This is the type of thing that makes these shows so interesting, since the soap opera that goes on behind the scenes all the time in the music business gets a chance to play out in front of the whole world. And they, the ones on the stage, know it.
That's why after years of rolling his eyes at the notion of the sour grapes called Hall of Fame, Gene Simmons of Kiss now feels the need to defend it. Gene is putting everyone on notice that letting NWA in didn't make sense since he doesn't believe that his group would be admitted into the Rap Hall of Fame. At least the surviving members of NWA had the good taste to show up together for the ceremony. They acted like they belonged there. Which was different from Steve Miller. The Joker, the Smoker, the Midnight Toker was graciously introduced by The Black Keys. Then Steve stepped up to the mic and dropped it. Thanks, but no thanks, said the Space Cowboy.
Next year, I suggest the folks at the Hall induct Groucho Marx. Or at least his son Richard.