Hooray! Dylan snubs UK Music Hall of Fame

I don’t know what possessed me but the other night I tuned into the TV broadcast of the UK Music Hall of Fame, at which legends such as Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan and Aretha Franklin were due to be “inducted”. The whole thing seemed an exercise in vanity and futility from the off – I mean, how many more accolades do these people need? – but I suppose I was vaguely excited at the prospect of seeing Dylan et al live and in person (well, on TV anyway). I saw the Eurythmics, who were quite good despite a typically overblown and pretentious speech by Bob Geldof (“Dave Stewart is one of this country’s greatest ever guitarists” – yeah, right) and a commendation from Tony Blair. I also saw a bit of Aretha, in fact I saw quite a lot of her, as her breasts are now so enormous she’s in danger of turning up in a “Bubbles” sketch from Little Britain. Then I nodded off for a bit and when I woke up it seemed Dylan had already been and gone, because now it was Hendrix, in whose memory that walking rock’n’roll cliche Slash played a guitar solo that lasted about 40 minutes, and The Who. Pete Townshend was introduced by Ray Davies, the two exchanging (and, naturally, waving away) buttock-clenchingly lavish compliments, before Roger Daltrey appeared on a video link and said about three words of thanks. That, I felt, was the correct tone, and Townshend in fact did say something semi-barbed like “without you [the audience] this would be just another fucking TV programme”. But in general the whole thing was totally unnecessary. What’s the point in giving an award to a band or artist who’s been around for decades, sold billions of records, made pots of money and inspired almost everyone? This was definitely what I felt about Dylan, so I wasn’t surprised to read in the Independent that he not only didn’t turn up to collect his gong but that he didn’t even record a patronising video speech either. Good on you, Bob! Seriously, I suppose the stated purpose of these ceremonies is to introduce legends to a new generation of fans, but if the fans don’t already know about them (which is unlikely, as they can’t exactly have missed them) then they’re never likely to become interested in them anyway. It’s really just the music industry milking the stars for all their worth – and it can hardly be a coincidence, can it, that apart from turning up on the show, Eurythmics also have yet another greatest hits collection out just in time for Christmas… which cynicism is all rather a shame, because I’ve loved Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) since the day it came out. I was disturbed, therefore, to discover that this was something I had in common with Tony Blair… aarrghhh!