Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Prog Hall Permanent Display is OPEN!

After months of legal wrangling and endless court challenges, the votes have been tallied and the people have SPOKEN! The Prog community has had its say on who the initial entrants to the Progressive Rock Hall of Infamy (Groups Division) should be and...let's just say it's a worthy bunch of overblown, pretentious and altogether shitty bands who are to be enshrined on this Thanksgiving. A real bunch of turkeys, I guess you could say lolololol11111!!!!!

A few late ballots came in, and it certainly made the final tallying easier; 60 people took precious time out of their lives to castigate and defame the five absolute worst Progressive Rock bands they could think of, and, incredibly, it was a tight vote that was limited to just a handful of the original nominees. At the extreme end, one band received an incredible 49 votes; I'm not going to say who, but what I will say is that this is something I've had a suspicion about for a long, long time. The second place tally was 46; again, it's pretty obvious that the big name Prog bands are what people associate with the music, and that's why Prog remains, easily, the most reviled form of music in the rock n' roll era. A certain justice has been arrived at today, with the final counting of the votes. Now, enshrined in Infamy, these fuckers with their massive egos, bloated productions, flying pianos and all other kind of infamous bullshit, will at last have to face the wrath of an irate Prog public who have had it with them and their kind.

Without further ado, then, and in no particular order, the initial Faecal Five of the Progressive Rock Hall of Infamy, Permanent Exhibit:

Emerson, Lake and Palmer: While I knew, deep in my gut, that this was a largely disgraced and secretly loathed supergroup whose reputation was almost solely the work of legend and public relations run amok, I was simply not prepared for the level of vitriol and hatred directed at good old ELP. I mean, wow- even by my standards some of the comments The Curator received were harsh. "I hate them like I hate the AIDS" was by no means the most cruel; "Like listening to paint dry" (a goddamn good line, I must say), "Ruined the best acid trip I ever had going to see them play live in Santa Monica", "Fuck these bloated pieces of shit" and "Keith Emerson could die tomorrow and I wouldn't bat an eye" are just the very best of an incredibly vicious lot. ELP made it in with plenty of room to spare; indeed, it could be said that they are perhaps the most hated band in Prog history. Welcome back, my friends...

YES: Another no brainer as far as I'm concerned, but again, it was the volume and vitriol of the rancor directed at this band that blew me away. Now, perhaps it's because your Curator has established an unusually high level of violent rhetoric to show his displeasure at certain bands, and folks feel they need to "live down" the obloquy and scorn I dispense like cyanide at a cult picnic. But still, Steve Howe was referred to as a "faggot", "wretched old woman", "prickly little cunt" and- my favorite- "a wizened, toothless little cocksucker". And Jon Anderson was mocked by correspondents for everything from his New Age beliefs to the fact that his liver is failing and he's in the process of dying- which, almost as if on cue, one voter chalked up to the fact that "obviously the shit has AIDS". Yes produced, easily, the most homophobic of tirades ever seen at the PRHOI, and while The Curator is normally staunchly opposed to such shenanigans and hate, in the case of Yes he will allow it makes a certain degree of sense. any band that is responsible for Tormato has coming to it whatever the Prog listening public decides to send their way.

RUSH: Folks seem to not want to hate Rush, but can't stop themselves all the same. Allowances were made for the exceptional musicianship displayed by the Canadian power trio, but the combination of Geddy Lee's banshee-like vocals and the absolute utter gobshite Neil Peart had him singing combined to make enjoyment of Rush's music impossible. A few writers wished death upon the boys, but most just seem to want them to go away; after 30 years and an incredible run of boring, mundane and bad albums starting with the Rupert Hine-produced Presto in 1989, all agree that Rush has absolutely nothing left to say. Yet they keep saying it, and- incredibly- the insanely loyal fan base they have developed keeps buying it.

STYX: I admit, if Styx hadn't made the cut, I might have had to have jumped in and used The Curator's veto, which is much like invoking papal infallibility for important issues like whether Jesus' mommy went straight to Heaven or had to languish in Purgatory with a bunch of Samaritan blasphemers and Babylonian holy pimps. But no fear here; what The Curator considers to be, easily, the most enjoyable of Bad Prog titans, Styx punched their ticket the moment Dennis DeYoung put on a robot mask and dared tell a dystopic future tale of a world where rock music is outlawed and only Tommy Shaw can save the day. Still my favorite video ever made, The Curator urges you to not only watch "Mr. Roboto" for old times sakes, but download the entire concert video Caught in the Act, thoughtfully uploaded for your viewing pleasure by my co-curator, DJ Micah. There's nothing like it in the history of music; hysteria and pretense from start to finish, and every last second of it sung in a shrill, trilling falsetto fashioned by the worst singer in the history of Prog, Mr. DeYoung himself. Come sail away, friends...

Dream Theater: The one "Neo-Prog" outfit who made this ultra-elite initial class at the PRHOI, Dream Theater is a band so dreadful that even their defenders go out of their way to explain why they can understand why other people hate them. I can honestly say that if there was ever a PRHOI convention, it would be wise for James LaBrie to stay away from it, because he almost certainly would be raped, dismembered and eaten by the participants. How can I say this? Well, because one voter devoted an entire paragraph of their ballot to denouncing the band members one by one, and saving LaBrie for last, finish with the observation that "I'm not gay, but I'd rape LaBrie anyway just for sucking so much and really there's no excuse for that band, and his singing, and he needs to be chopped up and fed to starving lepers if you really want to know the truth." Well, The Curator loves him a good run-on sentence, and that one, loaded as it is with just primal violence and hatred, is a real winner. Welcome to the Hall, Mr. LaBrie and...keep your pants up, boy.

Okay, there it is, the "Turkey Day Massacre" at the PRHOI. I'll do a new round of inductions sometime around the New Year, so keep tuned and, as always, if you have suggestions, comments, rants, raves, hates- even death threats, I love them the most- please, don't be shy, and send them to me courtesy of Until next time, keep on Proggin', and try not to listen to anything that sucks. Cheers, - TR

PS- Special Bonus: Here's James LaBrie doing the "Canadian Rap" while performing with an MC who seems to think saying "suck on my ass and balls" constitutes a "rap". A real cheeseball suckfest straight from the asshole of Prog, LaBrie really proves why Dream Theater is the absolute worst band in the world, at least a "real" band still putting out records and stuff. Happy Turkey Day, and again, enjoy.


  1. Can't help but agree with this selection, though I guess it's to be expected that none of the more obscure nominees earned a spot - then again, the Kaplans and co. transcended their innate ineptness, ELP just wallowed in it.

    Consider this a preemptive vote for L. Ron Hubbard if he makes the next round, by the way.

  2. Chief- I must admit this: I would NEVER have thought about inducting LRH until your timely suggestion. Yes! On the strength of "Space Jazz" alone, he could be inducted as a non-musician Bad Prog contributor; this is brilliant, and will be given serious consideration.

    As for the makes perfect sense, and to be honest, I'm not bugged by the enmity spewed at ELP in the least. Think about this; this is a band that said- not once, not twice, but THREE times- "FUCK YOU" to their fans. Incredible! First w/ "Love Beach", then w/ that despicable live album, then years later w/ "On the Hot Seat"- all three times dismissed as "for contractual purposes only", but you know people bought those albums, and that is flat out fucking WRONG to make a careless record just because you signed a "bad" record contract. It was still worth millions and...Fripp and KC made some bad albums, I will admit that as the biggest Crimson fan in the world, but they never did it w/ malice. ELP are shit, and deserve to know the contempt the Prog Public hold them in.

    Thank you for this comment, it really is helpful; and I think we can arrange something for your most excellent nominee...

  3. "Space Jazz" is bar none the most appalling album I have ever heard, and this is from someone who used to really LIKE "Relayer" (Granted, I've moved on. Finding out that my local record store stocked Van Der Graaf Generator helped - at the very least, going through a Yes stage gives you antibodies). It pretty much sums up everything Hubbardian - schlocky, baffling, and hamfisted enough to coat everything it touches in salmonella. Whatever your thoughts on him, the fact stands that he included a song about a dancing horse on his "EPIC SPACE OPERA" album, and he deserves permanent enshrinement in the PRHOI for that reason alone.

    I might wager another pre-emptive vote on the post-"Frances The Mute" Mars Volta, though. Truly, the ELP of this generation in terms of promise-squandering.

  4. Tim,

    I have to admit to being a fan of nearly every one of the "Faecal Five" (except for DT--can't stomach a single track). At least SOME of their work, that is.

    Having confessed that, I have to also admit that you have totally nailed it with this group, in that they do perfectly represent the absolute worst of what people hate about progressive rock. They are living, breathing embodiments of the stereotypical pompous, elitist, high-minded posers who somehow are completely oblivious to how ridiculous some of their music was.

    I hate it when you're right, Tim. But you are SO very right on a lot of this, and your list is an important milestone in the history of this genre. Go PRHOI!!


  5. Bart, as always, nice to hear from you. Since the arson, I've not been in such a good way, but the beauty of having your job burned down is...they CAN'T refuse you for unemployment. Am I taking Uncle Sam's check? Damn right I am. Why should investment bankers have all the fun?

    I'm glad you hate DT. I think EVERYBODY should hate DT. They're still the worst, though the next Bad Prog show (YES! It's coming!) will feature a guy from the Neo-Prog movement that I think you'll agree matches the worthlessness of these arch poseurs, referenced above. And the second batch of inductess is coming, w/ luck in time for the New Year. You'll not be pleased, which, as always, makes me smile w/ joy knowing I've brought my USRDA of people saying to themselves "Who does this fucking arrogant elitist asshole think he is?" :)

  6. I really have to say that I agree with the choices that made the top 5 but one thing who is or are "Dream Theatre" everything that I have read about them over 50% of it really hates the group maybe I should d/l an album to hear them (not going to waste me $ buying one if they suck so bad).One surprise was Rush beating out Jethro Tull.I am not going to make a case for Rush not to be included ( I thought they deserved maybe #'s 7 or 8) on the list but I really thought JT belongs in the top 5,this band single handedly ruined the sound of a flute for me.If I ever hear that song Aqua Lung again I will jump into a burning pit of tar to cease the pain in my ear drums.Maybe you should have a bottom 100 of the worst "prog" albums ever made and maybe the top 25 ? just a thought.I have read alot of your "reviews" and have enjoyed them every time,can't think of any time that I have laughed so hard from a review or commentary on a record,the review on Relayer made me laugh so hard I had to listen to it again while reading the review damn you were spot on.Also from that same review I have gone back to my KC collection and the Larks in Aspic and Red albums are always in the cd player in my truck,I owe you a big thanks of gratitude for reminding me of what a great "prog" record can be.Thanks again and I am looking forward to the 2nd batch of nomineees

  7. If the members of Yes WERE'd be a perfect world.

  8. I've never seriously listened to Dream Theater, Marillion, Spock's Beard, Porcupine Tree, or any other Neo-Prog so I won't comment on Dream Theater's inclusion. But I have listened to a lot of Rush, and I think that they do not belong on this list. Yes they've made some albums that are subpar, but you could say that about pretty much every prog-rock band at one point or another. They do have a quite a few excellent tracks, in fact all of their albums have at least 3-4 truly awesome songs, if not more. People still listen to Rush because the band still writes great music, as evidenced by their new songs "BU2B" and "Caravan." Sorry if you don't like Geddy's singing but it is not universally reviled, considering every album of theirs has reached either gold or platinum status. If anything, Phil Collins-era Genesis should be inducted before Rush is even considered.

    Also I would never have seriously thought of Styx as progressive rock; I always thought they were stadium pop-rock similar to Journey or something like that. Contemptible garbage certainly, but induction into the PRHOI seems almost too good for Styx. But I guess you've done your research on these bands, so other than Rush I have no objections to the selections you made here.

    (I do like the 4 longest songs on Yes' "Fragile," but Jon Anderson's singing on "We Have Heaven" certainly makes me want to throttle him and pulverize his vocal chords. On the strength of that song alone, Yes deserves all of the derision they get.)