A week ago it was a time for celebration at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Now those good feelings have been turned aside by controversy. Last Friday the Cleveland institution announced the nominees for induction in 2006. Today stunning reports surfaced that one of those nominees has tested negative for drugs.
The news has sent shock waves throughout the rock and roll world. A Hall of Fame spokesman noted, “Dude, you can’t just have sex and rock and roll! It’s sex, DRUGS, and rock and roll! We got standards here, man.” He then asked members of the media if he could crash on their couches.
The performer in question has not been identified, but most of the speculation has centered on John Mellencamp. In one of his hit songs from the 1980s, Mellencamp notes that he was born in a small town. And he lives in a small town. Will probably die in a small town. He describes in painstaking detail everything he does in a small town. Yet he never says, “I do drugs in a small town.”
According to one individual who was present at the arbitrator’s hearing after the negative test, the performer claimed that he had no idea how his test could have turned up negative. His only possible explanation was that items given to him by another rocker, believed in good faith to be drugs, turned out to be flaxseed oil. After an awkward pause, the musician then yelled, “I’m SO wasted!” The testimony was unconvincing to the arbitrator, who was himself stoned and failed to show up at the hearing.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is no stranger to controversy. Many hard-line electors contend that inductees need to have dominated the music world for a period of time. They feel that rockers who have been consistently good for a long period of time, but never the best, fall short of the Hall of Fame criteria. Those subjects are viewed as enjoyable, lively debate. However, this new issue is a major setback to the Hall of Fame’s public image. The Hall has always been proactive in reassuring the American people that its members do drugs, most notably with its “Just Say Blow” campaign. Some major spin control is now in order.
The performer’s identity will surely be revealed soon. He’ll learn a painful lesson: Rock and roll is no place to be drug-free.