The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame must burn!

by Lance Manion

I've never been a big fan of civil disobedience. It just seems such an impotent act. A bunch of slackers wearing nose rings throwing bricks through front windows is not my idea of revolution.

The biggest problem these days is with revolution itself. It's been co-opted. Bought, labeled and used to sell fabric softener and pick-up trucks.

Which is why I'm calling for one enormous act of rebellion to remind everybody why we need rebellion in the first place.

This is a call to burn down the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. It is everything wrong with our culture boiled down to one location. Ground Zero of hypocrisy. The spot where the  very spirit of rebellion has been stolen by corporate America.

I want it burnt to the ground. Not metaphorically, I mean literally destroyed and left a smoldering pile of rubble.

How can we ever hope to address the problems in our government, both locally and in Washington D.C., when the very music that was supposed to be a revolt against the norm is now simply revolting? Rock and roll was supposed to be something that made the older generation nervous, not a way to peddle soft drinks. How did the corporate types ever get the first bands to agree to such an offensive premise?

I still can't believe that so many bands get excited to be inducted into the musical equivalent of the Anarchy Club. Congratulations, to show your rugged individuality we're going to put you alongside other such bad-asses rebels as Hall & Oates and ABBA.

I'm asking for a wild-eyed crowd of rabble-rousers to assemble and set fire to this abomination and when the inevitable suits start pouring out of the building to try and defend their beloved Madonna and Randy Newman busts like so many cockroaches I want them drawn and quartered as an example to anyone else that would ever dare to try and buy the musical soul of our nation in the future. I want their empty heads on spikes for our children's children to remember.

Maybe politicians would even take note.

How did we ever buy into this place in the first place? Every year they have their 'celebration' and it feels like every other insurance convention or law firm retreat going on across the country. It sickens me that rock stars, of all people, would allow themselves to be paraded around like so many sheep in the hopes of finding some validation that they should be the last ones seeking in the first place. That's why they don't ask real bands like Devo or The Replacements to join. I would hope they would both tell them to take a big flying leap.

Why does it matter?

Because America used to be rock and roll. We had swagger and energy and balls. Now America is Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. If I have to explain the difference or give you a million examples to prove my point than you are too far gone to ever be of any help to get us back to where we once were.

I'm talking to the rest of you. The ones that shook your hips and threw your head back and smirked when you heard the occasional bad word. The ones that felt the vibe and it energized you to fight to bring down the rest of the squares.

This is not the way the world was supposed to be.

The radio is not how it was supposed to sound.

How long has it been since music made you want to change the world and not buy a new phone plan?

It begins and ends in Cleveland, Ohio. This blemish on our collective souls has to burn before we can ever hope to turn things around.

We could even set up a stage next to it and have bands provide a soundtrack: Burning Down the House - Talking Heads, Firestarter - The Prodigy, Open Up - Leftfield, Beds Are Burning - Midnight Oil, Dig For Fire - Pixies, Cover It With Gas And Set It On Fire - Ween ... you get the idea.

Just as long as Great White closes the show.

Now that would be rock and roll.