Wednesday, April 17, 2013

‘Disco queen’ inducted into Rock Hall of Fame. What the hell?

When I was in high school in the late 1970s, nothing was less rock ‘n’ roll than disco.
Disco was more than a derided type of music. It was a lifestyle. There were disco clubs, disco-style fashions and disco dance moves. As a teenager, I hated disco. It was something lame older people enjoyed.
Disco also was responsible for killing the rock music scene at the time. Clubs replaced live music with DJs spinning disco tracks.
Fast forward to the present and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is inducting Donna Summer, the “Queen of Disco” music, into its ranks on Thursday at a ceremony in Los Angeles. What the hell?
Growing up in Chicago, young people in the disco age rebelled against the disco craze. “Disco sucks” was a common refrain.
Chicago also was the scene of Disco Demolition Night at Comiskey Park, where DJs from a local rock station blew up disco records after a White Sox game as part of an ill-fated promotion. The second game of a planned double-header on July 12, 1979, had to be canceled after fans stormed the field. The spirit of rock-and-roll rebellion lived that night.
Now, I don’t have anything against Donna Summer personally. A lot of her music is very good. But she’s not rock and roll.
I’ve said many times that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame should be called the Popular Music Hall of Fame because it includes other genres like rap and pop.
During Donna Summer’s heyday, I was listening to Pink Floyd, Rush and other bands. Ironically, Rush also is being inducted into the Rock Hall this year, along with Heart (finally), hip-hop group Public Enemy and producer Quincy Jones.

Photo: Cover of Donna Summer’s 1975 single “Love to Love You Baby.”

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