Cat Stevens Gets into Hall of Fame After All
He called for the death of Salman Rushdie, but the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame calls his conversion to Islam "courageous."
December 20, 2013 - 12:00 pm
Look, I tried, remember?
But while the good news is that KISS finally got inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the bad news is that Cat Stevens (a.k.a. Yusuf Islam) will also be a member of the “class of 2014.”
KISS led the popular vote, while Stevens brought up the rear.
However, the Hall has a sort of “electoral college” that gets to override the people’s choices.
This leads to a frankly bizarre situation, in which bands like Yes (10.88% of the popular vote) and Deep Purple (11.93%) beat out Stevens (5.37%) but don’t get inducted.
Look, I don’t even like Yes or Deep Purple, but I also don’t understand what exactly Cat Stevens ever did to warrant induction.
Who can measure the courage it took him in the late ’70s, after seven years of multi-platinum success in the U.S. (and over a decade in the UK) to convert to Islam, amidst the wave of turmoil and confusion that was engulfing the world?
I think “turmoil and confusion” is a polite liberal euphemism for “Muslim terrorists were hijacking planes, ruining the Olympics and killing tons of people back in the day,” but what do I know?
There isn’t a lot I can say about musicians wearing swastikas, however, since it was also a very short-lived early punk fad, one adopted even by some Jews in the “movement” as an easy, naive shock tactic.
Or maybe, just maybe, Stevens will use his acceptance speech to conduct a little proselytizing, and some brave individual will boo, or stand up and turn his or her back to the stage?
Now THAT would be show of real courage — and honor the rebel spirit of rock and roll.