Why Nile Rodgers Left The Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame

07/23/2015
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Chic mastermind Nile Rodgers shared his views of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in a recent interview with Radio.com and explained why he "spiritually" left the controversial organization.

The famed musician and producer had the following to say about the Rock Hall, "I don't watch the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony for obvious reasons. At the beginning I was part of the organization and I played at the inductions at the Waldorf Astoria with Paul Shaffer and those guys.

"But early on [in the Hall of Fame's lifetime], I left. Spiritually, I'm a hippie. My parents were beatniks. I know so much about rock and roll, or what I call rock and roll. When I was young, I played at Electric Ladyland when it was called Generation; it wasn't even a studio, it was a nightclub. On any given night, you would see Johnny Winter there, Jethro Tull, Danny Kalb and the Blues Project. That's who I was playing with, we were young kids, smokin'. Smokin'!

"To me, that's the bands that should be in the Hall of Fame. To me, rock and roll became this broad category that all music was in, once it hit the top 40. Now it feels gentrified. Like, when I was a kid, we were into Country Joe and the Fish and Quicksilver Messenger Service and Cactus. That's the [best] stuff, to me! How about Hapshash and the Coloured Coat and the Peanut Butter Conspiracy and Moby Grape?

"I remember when I first bought Dr. John the Night Tripper['s 1968 debut Gris-Gris]. In fact, Bowie and I have talked about covering "I Walk on Gilded Splinters." For years! It was passionate.

"When they describe Chic as a 'sub-genre' of rock and roll, I go, 'A sub-genre?' Everything is a sub genre of what rock and roll used to be! None of those bands sound like the early rock and roll artists! I went to the Country Music Hall of Fame and it was unbelievable. I felt like I was at the Museum of Natural History, it was the most moving thing, I was brought to tears. And I learned so much about country music and the history, and they had no problem acknowledging the contributions of black people and addressing the racism. The curator said, 'We changed it to 'country and western' so white people would buy it!' I didn't expect that! I thought it was really brave to address that, because people don't want to talk about that. It was a history lesson.

"I've been to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame - believe it or not, they've asked us to play - it sort of feels like the Hard Rock Cafe. But in my opinion, at the Rock Hall, you're not feeling those surf bands, you're not feeling [the band] Love. If bands didn't sell [a lot], they're not there, even though their influence was so strong. Like, Love: every band in L.A. wanted to be Love. The Doors wanted to be like Love!

He then expressed the same sentiment as many Rush fans over the years that the legendary prog trio were snubbed by the organization. Radio.com asked him "But some bands that the Rock and Roll Hall have shunned, and seemed to hate, have gotten in recent years, like KISS and Rush." And he responded, "How could you hate Rush? That's ridiculous!" Read the full interview here.

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