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Introducing the Inaugural Bands Rock NYC Really, Really Likes: First Yes by Mike Nessing

Contributing editor Mike Nessing didn’t like the name Rock NYC Hall Of Fame so we’re calling it Bands Rock NYC really really likes. And the first band to win this coveted award is YES. Nessing explains why…

First off, I hate the “Rock And Roll Hall of Fame”. I think it’s a pompous overblown shadow of itself and what it’s supposed to represent. The name itself is a contradiction in terms in that how can something truly rock and roll align itself with something so drenched in hollow self importance. So why the hell should I care who gets in and who doesn’t? Well, honestly I don’t but sometimes it becomes necessary to re-examine something from time to time if only to confirm my initial feelings. Kind of like listening to the Steve Miller Band in order to remind myself how much I hate them.

I started by looking for something online or in print that would pass as actual criteria for enshrinement in said hall. Here’s what I found…

“Artists become eligible for induction 25 years after the release of their first record. Criteria considered includes the influence and significance of the artist’s contribution to the development and perpetuation of rock and roll.”

Translation-whoever we feel like nominating. So just for fun, I’m going to run one of my favorite bands through the process. Duck and cover everybody, it’s YES.

Don’t worry, I’m not here to proselytize as to why they should be there by trying to convince you of their greatness. I’m going to perform this as objectively as possible. Feel free to do the same with YOUR favorite band, you may be surprised.

1) 25 years since first recording , no problem there as the eponymous debut LP by YES came out in 1969ish.

2) Egads, that second sentence just makes my hair hurt. What a load of crap! “Influence and significance towards the development and perpetuation of rock and roll.” Are you kidding me? If that’s the case, where’s Big Star? Eno? Joe Meek? All the other artists that Iman inquired about on his blog post this past Monday? Meanwhile we have inductees like Mellencamp? Bob Seger? ZZ Top? Tom Freaking Petty? We can argue ad nauseum about their artistic merits, but seriously have these bands really influenced “the development and perpetuation of rock and roll?”

Let’s just be honest and say that what gets you in are your record sales, your popularity, your frequency of airplay, and how often you kissed up to Rolling Stone Magazine. Sure there are token inductees like The Velvets and Patti Smith, but lets be honest- these inductees are there only to feed the illusion that they(the hall) are hip and informed.

So, now that we’ve cut through the crap, let’s look at Yes. 30 million LP’s sold world wide. 9 consecutive UK top 10 LP’s. 6 consecutive US top ten LP’s 6 albums certified platinum, plus one double platinum and one certified triple platinum LP to their credit. To this day they still sell out concerts worldwide and at least six of their songs can be described as “classic rock staples”. So let ‘em in already.

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