Reality Check: Make Way, Mick Jagger – Observations Of A Rock And Roll Hall Of Famer James Campion May 14, 2012 Columns Hello, my name is James Campion and I am a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. That’s right. Me. Officially voted in with The Aquarian Weekly, America’s longest running music newspaper. Yes, siree. Right in there with Keith Richards, Elvis Presley and Alan Freed is jc from the Bronx, NYC. Suck it, Lindsey Buckingham. According to Sara Haber of The Syndicate, “With over 40 years of publishing, every issue of The Aquarian Weekly will be available at the Rock And Roll’s Hall Of Fame’s Library And Archives, which the company hopes to collect, preserve, and provide access to students, educators, journalists and the general public to broaden awareness and understanding of rock and roll, its roots, and its impact on our society.” That means the entire volume of vile, radical, spastic nonsense that has emanated from the Reality Check News & Information Desk from August of 1997 to these very words (these ones too) are available in the great shrine to The Beatles, The Who, Bob Dylan, and some of the other guys. Also, words like “moronically feckless,” which appeared in this space on 10/6/10 to describe the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, will be available to peruse. And while visiting there, we hope you also see: “And let’s be honest, the entire concept of having a shrine or snobbish observance of rock & roll is antithetical to everything the damn art form stands for in the first place, and second, and most disturbing, is it confirms what purist caretaker Lester Bangs predicted and oft-times celebrated as its demise propagated by the over-intellectualizing arrogance of the ‘rock critic elite.’” Ah, yes. It was so long ago, I could hardly remember conjuring it, much less typing it out and sending it to press. I was obviously filled with the kind of hate and rage only my sixth gin & tonic rouses. I was not thinking clearly, quite obviously panicked from lack of sleep and a crushing deadline. I have written far worse things about people and institutions and have been rewarded handsomely for it. It’s all part of the magic of “weekly music content and social issues for all its readers” that Ms. Haber rightly opines. Eat shit, Donovan. And so, as a card-carrying member of the Hall, I can now visit Cleveland, if I lose a bet, and saunter through the doors of the glassed museum and wave my hand blithely at the dead-eyed matron at the front desk asking me for an entrance fee and puff; “Dear madam, I am an honored member here. I shan’t be paying for anything, in fact, I expect when I enter there be a long, red carpet for me and these homeless people I met four minutes ago; you know, a plus-three scenario for museum dignitaries.” And to think, I’ve been missing my many trips to Bank of America during the bailout demanding to see the ledgers and asking them to turn off a few of the lights to keep the monthly billing down. I was owner, after all. But this is much, much better. Blow me, Metallica. I suppose congratulations are in order for this paper, mainly for printing every half-baked, off-the-wall, borderline dangerous thing that’s come out of my head these past fifteen years (some kind of Aquarian columnist record, according to one of the many editors for whom this space has toiled). But mostly for being a damned fine, unflinching and irascible example of underground press this nation has known. The Aquarian Weekly is one of the few independently owned newspapers left. No corporate overlords to skew the measure; stronger, as Jim Morrison once sang, than dirt. I was proud to be a part of the wonderfully laid out tribute issue last week; I suppose that 9/11 cover of my horrible prediction in 1998 will follow me to the grave. Of course I had to put it in my second book, so there you go. Plans are already being drawn up for the evening of the induction ceremony over at the Waldorf or some other swanky New York dump. A quick word with my esteemed Editor-In-Chief, JJ Koczan, has set in motion several irritating maneuvers that involve rotten fruit, stink bombs and a FUCK JANN WENNER t-shirt. I expect, nay insist on being the first inductee ejected from a Hall Of Fame, beating O.J. Simpson by a long shot. Koczan warns that security is tight at these things, “lest anyone should actually get a close-up look at the dudes from Def Leppard.” Ouch. I never had problems with those guys, but then I never had to cover them. I found dealing with the assholes representing Radiohead to be a far fouler assignment. It’s important to point out to many of the readers of this space online or within my mailing list that I have produced many a music-related story of The Aquarian over the years. It’s not all anti-social quasi-political rants. And what kind of tribute would this be if I didn’t properly thank this paper for giving me the opportunity to suggest and produce several cover pieces, including features on Ralph Nader, Alice Cooper, Lucinda Williams, Counting Crows, Tori Amos and John Waters, to name just a few. Over the years, I got to spend quality time and in some cases, befriend several heroes and artists I admire greatly, including Adam Duritz, Paul Stanley, Ani DiFranco, and one of the best and dearest friends I have, Dan Bern. I got to hang with Prince and Walt “Clyde” Frazier at press junkets. I know Clyde wasn’t a rock star, but he dressed like one. I published two volumes of my work here and added Parker Posey and Rage Against The Machine to my enemies list. But enough about this publication; it’s time for me to ring up the Hall Of Fame and get me some swag. Spin on that, ABBA. 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