You can’t think about rocking and rolling all night without thinking of KISS and you can’t see a flannel shirt without thinking of Nirvana. Both bands left their own unique mark on the world of music and those two bands headline this year’s class that has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The official class of 2014 for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was announced on Monday night and both Kiss and Nirvana headline a group that includes Hall and Oates, Bruce Springsteen‘s E Street Band, Linda Ronstadt, Peter Gabriel and Cat Stevens.
It’s an eclectic group to say the least but there are no doubt some true music icons included in this year’s class. Nirvana is the clear headline act here as they single handedly ushered in a new era of music in the early 90s that shaped an entire decade with it’s Teen Spirit. When grunge music was at it’s peak, Nirvana was out front carrying the freak flag, albeit unwillingly at times. The fame and popularity infamously played a role in the suicide of lead singer Kurt Cobain but surviving members Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl went on to have successful careers in the most Nirvana of ways.
Grohl continued his success as a rock star, founding and fronting the band Foo Fighters, a move that will likely get him in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice. Novoselic got into grassroots politics and continues to fight for what he feels is right and stick up for the little man.
Nirvana’s violent and abrupt end in 1994 left us with a world of “what if” questions. What if Kurt Cobain had lived, would the band have survived? Would he even still be alive? Would Nirvana be as revered as it is today? The short answer to that last question is an obvious yes and the long answer can be seen in the bleach stains their music left on the world which will never be the same because of them.
One band that did survive and still thrives is KISS, who went through phases as a band (rock, disco, you name it) and have remained rock legends in the minds of many who few up with their music. Whether it be the shock value, the insane theatrics in their live shows or the catchy rock riffs, KISS may be one of the campiest bands ever but they are no doubt one of the most successful and lasting.
Lost in the whirlwind of Nirvana and KISS is Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, who have put out as much good music as both Nirvana and KISS but did so in a much more low key fashion. The electric mix of artists being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame epitomizes the vast landscape of the music world and reminds us that every era has a star and those that shine the brightest never truly fade away.