Why Aren’t They In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame: R. Stevie Moore

If you are like most people, you probably wonder who R. Stevie Moore is.  You probably wonder if he has any popular nicknames or if he was a part of a popular band, but neither of those is the case.  Rather, with R. Stevie Moore, or RSM or Robert Steven Moore, however you wish to call him, we have a situation where a genuinely obscure musician is nevertheless massively influential, and hopefully I can do what I can to bring this person’s career and his contribution to rock & roll music into a larger context [1].  The career of R. Stevie Moore is evidence that massive influence does not necessarily have to involve popular genres of music or platinum albums and hit singles, none of which have been the case for this particular artist.  Rather, at times influence is far more subtle and far less obvious.

The Influence Of R. Stevie Moore

Who is R. Stevie Moore and what kind of influence does he have on music.  Wikipedia rather helpfully calls him “The godfather of home recording,” quoting Vice Magazine [2].  Like many power pop acts, he was inspired by the Beatles and others of that generation and was inspired to record music, which he has done at an immensely prolific clip, recording more than 200 hundred albums and at least 35 compilations which have been released on some kind of label.  If you want to be a fan of his music, then, there is certainly a lot to choose from, and his lo-fi approach to recording and his love of massive amounts of albums may be seen as particularly influential to contemporary artists who have adopted similarly prolific releases for stream trolling and, in the case of the artists of Kanye West’s label, to dominate the music conversation by rapidfire releases that seek to define a given moment in time, or like Drake’s More Life playlist seek to provide a diary of music.  Whether or not these contemporary artists pay homage to R. Stevie Moore’s approach, they have certainly adopted it by releasing a lot of music in a short period of time that is focused more on presenting a massive amount of music than selecting only the best tracks for public release as is the usual habit in releasing music.

Why R. Stevie Moore Belongs In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame

If you want to see how someone can engage in a diy aesthetic and demonstrate a great deal of creativity and influence, R. Stevie Moore certainly provides a lot of worthwhile angles of influence.  We can examine his prolific output and the high degree of influence he has had on bedroom pop artists who focus on deep personal intimacy in their music, or his development of a personal music club in the 1980’s, or the fact that Ariel Pink considers R. Stevie Moore to be his mentor, or look at his work as a radio DJ that popularized underground music to a larger audience, and see that he has not only been a prolific and influential musician, but also someone who has helped build an infrastructure that supports underground music.  As someone with some familiarity with the scene myself, this is definitely something I consider to be of great worth.  One might not only see R. Stevie Moore as a worthy musician, but also a possible person to be awarded for musical excellence for his behind the scenes work in creating an environment where intimate and underground music can be enjoyed by an appreciative audience.

Why R. Stevie Moore Isn’t In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame

As an underground musician and dj and label executive (?!), R. Stevie Moore is not someone a lot of people have heard about, and even if his approach to music as been copied a lot in the contemporary hip hop scene, and even if he is cited as an important figure for certain artists and in certain scenes, he is not someone who has a wide degree of popularity among mainstream audiences.  He is likely someone who is recognized and respected by those in the know about underground music and he probably enjoys in that way.  Still, he’s not a hard person to recognize and despite his immensely prolific work, he still has received re-issues of some of his most important and significant work, including four albums released in France.  He is simply too quirky of an artist to be neglected forever.

Verdict:  Put him in, especially with an Award For Musical Excellence to honor his work outside of recording.

[1] See, for example:

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2013/01/03/why-arent-they-in-the-rock-roll-hall-of-fame-gram-parsonsthe-international-submarine-bandthe-flying-burrito-brothers/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2017/07/01/why-arent-they-in-the-rock-roll-hall-of-fame-captain-beefheart/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2017/09/16/why-arent-they-in-the-rock-roll-hall-of-fame-classics-iv/

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R._Stevie_Moore

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
This entry was posted in History, Music History, Musings and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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