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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."

by
Kathy Shaidle

Bio

December 20, 2013 - 12:00 pm

index

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.

Well, the Hall of Fame’s online bio does:

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?

Anyhow, Robert Spencer has detailed Steven’s sinister post-conversion views and actions here and here, including his call for the murder of Salman Rushdie and his support for the Ayatollah Khomeini.

However, I did not know until I read it at Esquire that Stevens also wore a swastika in 1973.

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.

Speaking of shock tactics, dare I hope that the very Jewish (and lippy) Gene Simmons of KISS will smack down his radical Muslim “classmate” on live TV?

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.

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(KATHY SHAIDLE is a blogging pioneer who runs FiveFeetOfFury, now in its 14th year. She's been called "one of the great virtuoso polemicists of our time," by MARK STEYN. Her NEW book is Confessions of A Failed Slut (Thought Catalog, 2014).

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Top Rated Comments   
Isn't getting into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame a bit like getting one of your recipes picked up by McDonald's?
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
The whole point of Stevens getting in is another attempt to further legitimize and encourage Islam.

Had he not converted, he would not have made it in.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
I don't know who this "Art" guy is, but he's got a lot to answer for.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (39)
All Comments   (39)
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What would truly be courageous would be for Cat Stevens and anyone else convinced of this leftist multicultural nonsense to go on tour in Iran singing such songs as "What What (In The Butt)" by Samwell and "Why Don't We Get Drunk (and Screw)" by Jimmy Buffett and see how long they last.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Cat Stevens is completely overrated.

He only did TWO good albums:All of his hits are from just two albums; "Teaser and the Firecat" and "Tea for the Tillerman"

He didc however recaord far more than two disks, but they're all crap. "Catch Bull at Four", for example is a bunch of rambling, incoherent noise. And just prior to converting Stevens career had really hit the skids. In his last concert tour he played to venues that were sometimes MORE than half empty. Ticket sales were weak, his singing and the overall sound quality utterly terrible. People would boo him. And at his very last concert, he left the stage less than half way through the performance and refused the audience a refund.
He had all his hits in 71/72, and afterward his career consisted of nothing more than a series of flops

For some, you have to be a has-been before you can take the next step downwards and become a muslim
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Rock and Roll hall of fame Voted for the religion that wants to ban Music and dancing... Must be a few Liberals on that Board.. I now know why Axle Rose walked away from those Idiots !
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
D P not getting in yet some 70's AM d-bag is further proof the R&R HoF judges are tone deaf chodes.

Ms. Shaidle to each his/ her own regarding musical tastes. However DP's late, great keyboardist Jon Lord was a truly phenomenal musician and man.

Jon Lord, Ian Gillan, Ian Paice, Ritchie Blackmore and Roger Glover.. it's hard to find an equally impressive rock lineup.

Again the HoF judges can go to h ell.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
The larger question and more interesting implied by Kathy's article is the link between artistic merit, commercial success, and political correctness.

A bit of cold water to start with. The "Rock and Roll Hall of Fame" is a purely commercial enterprise, a business with a physical plant, retail products, and and annual marketing cycle of nominations, voting, announcement, induction, broadcast concerts yielding further retail products - and so the cycle continues. The fan vote element of the cycle raises awareness of the product and promotes a little primitive, tribal buy-in, ably illustrated by Kathy's cheerleading ("My Kiss is RED HAWT: Cat Stevens Ain't Doodly Squat!"

A "victory" by one "artist" simply means that an industry panel has decided there's money to be made in promoting a package. Doubt it? Watch for the box sets that follow the inductions.

So "artistic merit" doesn't really enter into it, beyond the ability to produce marketable product. Commercial potential certainly does. As for political correctness; well, I'd suggest that it's the last of the criteria...and a good thing, too. I deplore Wagner's antisemitism and Pound's fascism, but that has nothing to do with the merit of their work.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
One might guess from my handle here that I was a fan of Cat Stevens in the 70's. Saw him on a British music program playing in a small space with a small audience. Melodic, passionate, and could create and hold a rhythm with his guitar playing. Sold me. Beautiful songs. Catch Bull at Four is a classic on 70's pop.

In time his creativity seemed to decline. With the conversion he disappeared, taking whatever music still in him away. He came back, sort of. Never the same.

So do those years as Cat Stevens deserve an induction into R&R HoF? I think not. Not for the conversion and subsequent statements. His work is pure pop. Also, if bands like Deep Purple are in the queue then Cat Stevens should have a bit of a wait before serious consideration.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Catch Bull at Four" a classic?

You must be joking. I paid six buck for the LP and ended up putting it into the kitchen oven at 200 degress and then molding it into a large pinch-pot ashtray

Vinyl can be quite versitile
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
I agree: I'm not the biggest fan of Deep Purple though I have liked some of their music quite a bit. DP was far more important in the evolution of that genre of music than the isolated poppy music of Stevens, which was meaningless in an historic sense. That's what a Hall of Fame is supposed to do. Otherwise they could just induct people by sales and concert attendance.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
You know what, I'm gonna go a bit Rotten here and say bah.
Ever since the Parachute Club won the 1984 Juno over Men Without Hats I haven't put any stock in awards shows or hall of fame nominations.
We all know why Parachute Club won, now.
I didn't realize it at the time.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
The original rock star does not care that he is not in the R&R Hall of Fame and I'm sure that none of those people that are will be remembered in a hundred years time.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Steven Foster. Which do you remember?

31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Both!
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
It will be interesting to see if Cat...er...whatever his name is today...actually accepts the award that has been erroneously bestowed upon him.

After all, what good Ayatollah worth his salt would want any of his subjects accepting a "Rock & Roll Award" in the land of the Great Satan?

Ayatollahs punish their own people for listening to Rock & Roll music.

Rock & Roll is to islam like a Free Republic & Individual Inherent Rights are to sharia.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
That's an interesting perspective. So the music industry is secretly controlled by Muslims? And was the induction of Kiss just a sly feint?
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Controlled by Muslims? No. Controlled by pie-in-the-sky Leftists who wanted to act all self-congratulatory by inducting a highly visible Muslim in the face of his nasty rhetoric?

Yes.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Huh. Well, that's certainly a theory. I personally thought it was about three consecutive platinum albums, a string of hits, and a number of pop standards covered by other folks.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
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