When Van Halen is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in about an hour from now (in a ceremony that will be broadcast live for the first time), none of them will be in attendance.
Technically, two former members of the band are expected to show up in the persons of Sammy Hagar and recently fired bassist Michael Anthony--but, although Hagar was the last lead singer to tour with Van Halen (in 2004), the rumors of a reunion between David Lee Roth and the band (which has now been postponed indefinitely thanks to Eddie Van Halen's trip to rehab) for all intents and purposes instantly rendered him a solo artist once again, and Anthony either (a) hasn't gotten the news that he's been replaced by Eddie's 15-year-old son or (b) has no pride. In any case, drummer Alex Van Halen is going to skip the ceremony in an apparent show of solidarity with Eddie, while Roth--who was originally supposed to perform at the event with Velvet Revolver--has recently scrapped his appearance because Velvet Revolver only knows one Van Halen song.
Patti Smith, meanwhile, might actually show up tonight when she is also inducted into the Rock Hall, but she wants everyone to know that she thinks it's lame, in fact having written an op-ed piece in today's New York Times to accomplish as much. In the piece, Smith writes: "In the end it was my neighbors who put everything in perspective. An approving nod from the old Italian woman who sells me pasta. A high five from the postman. An embrace from the notary and his wife. And a shout from the sanitation man driving down my street: 'Hey, Patti, Hall of Fame. One for us.'"
Where does Patty Smith live, exactly--in a musical set in the 1930s? (And even in one of those, rarely do you see people hugging their notaries. And their notaries' wives.)
In any case, one has to wonder if she's going to bring her high-fiving postman as her date to the ceremony tonight to prove that she--like Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony--is hell bent on finally marrying the anti-authoritative ideals of "rock music" with "showstopping social awkwardness". For those about to do the complete opposite of rock...we salute you.