The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

I know the R&R Hall of Fame is derided by some people. Some think the idea of a Hall of Fame is antithetical to the spirit of rock & roll, while others object to the secretive and insular way the Hall comes up with its nominees and inductees.

I have to say I disagree with the first point. The idea of “fame and fortune” may rub some the wrong way… certain punks, hippies, folkies and avant gardists… most rock artists going back to the 50’s would have been more than happy to be rich and famous. And they would have agreed that “rock & roll as entertainment” was at least as worthy as “rock & roll as art”… if not more so.

The second point, I do agree with. I can’t say I dislike any of the choices that have been made so far on who to induct… but I do have a real problem with who gets left out. Because the voters are so concentrated among critics and journalists and industry insiders, a lot of acts are left out for representing genres those people turn their noses up at, or groups who have oceans of fans but not enough of a “cool factor” with the right sorts of people.

And worst of all, the Hall has a history of totally ignoring acts that never made it big in the U.S., even if they were massively popular or influential elsewhere. I’m afraid this has more to do with selling pricey tickets to the induction banquet than anything else.

I’ve made a list of acts that are currently eligible for the Hall of Fame, are not currently in it, but deserve to be IMO. This is not simply a list of my favorite bands… I actively dislike some of the names on the list. But the HOF doesn’t exist to serve my tastes alone. (I don’t like Mariah Carey very much, but the woman has 19 number one hits… more than Elvis, and one behind the Beatles.)

I’m going to post my list here, in sections. I know not all the worthy acts can be inducted all at the same time, but these are my picks for who should get in there eventually.

Here is the new list of 2022 nominees, BTW… I’m happy to say that every single one of them were on my list:

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My list, A-E, along with the specific members of each band to be inducted.

Adam Ant - Adam Ant, Marco Pirroni

Alice In Chains - Jerry Cantrell, William DuVall, Mike Inez, Sean Kinney, Layne Staley, Mike Starr

America - Gerry Beckley, Dewey Bunnell, Dan Peek

Aphex Twin - Richard D. James

Fiona Apple

The B-52’s - Kate Pierson, Fred Schneider, Keith Strickland, Cindy Wilson, Ricky Wilson

B’z - Koshi Inaba, Takahiro Matsumoto

Bachman-Turner Overdrive - Randy Bachman, Robbie Bachman, Tim Bachman, Fred Turner

Bad Company - Boz Burrell, Simon Kirke, Mick Ralphs, Paul Rodgers

The Bangles - Susanna Hoffs, Debbi Peterson, Vicki Peterson, Michael Steele

Bauhaus - Daniel Ash, Kevin Haskins, David J, Peter Murphy

Beck

Pat Benatar - Pat Benatar, Roger Capps, Neil Giraldo, Myron Grombacher, Scott St. Clair Sheets

Big Star - Chris Bell, Alex Chilton, Andy Hummel, Jody Stephens

Björk

Black Flag - Dez Cadena, Chuck Dukowski, Greg Ginn, Keith Morris, Henry Rollins, Roberto Valverde

Blood, Sweat and Tears - Dave Bargeron, Randy Brecker, David Clayton-Thomas, Bobby Colomby, Jim Fielder, Dick Halligan, Jerry Hyman, Steve Katz, Al Kooper, Fred Lipsius, Lew Soloff, Jerry Weiss, Chuck Winfield

Kurtis Blow

Blue Öyster Cult - Eric Bloom, Albert Bouchard, Joe Bouchard, Allen Lanier, Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser

Blur - Damon Albarn, Graham Coxon, Alex James, Dave Rowntree

The Boomtown Rats - Gerry Cott, Simon Crowe, Johnnie Fingers, Bob Geldof, Garry Roberts

Kate Bush

The Buzzcocks - Howard Devoto, Steve Diggle, Steve Garvey, John Maher, Pete Shelley

Mariah Carey

The Carpenters - Karen Carpenter, Richard Carpenter

Adriano Celentano

Harry Chapin

The Chemical Brothers - Tom Rowlands, Ed Simons

Cher

Chic - Tom Coppola, Bernard Edwards, Luci Martin, Nile Rodgers, Tony Thompson, Norma Jean Wright

Petula Clark

Johnny Clegg

Patsy Cline

Joe Cocker

Judy Collins

Phil Collins

The Commodores - William King, Ronald LaPread, Thomas McClary, Walter Orange, Lionel Richie, Milan Williams

Robert Cray

Jim Croce

Culture Club - Boy George, Mikey Craig, Roy Hay, Jon Moss

Dick Dale

The Damned - Captain Sensible, Lu Edmonds, Brian James, Rat Scabies, Dave Vanian

The Dave Matthews Band - Carter Beauford, Jeff Coffin, Stefan Lessard, Dave Matthews, Le Roi Moore, Tim Reynolds, Rashawn Ross, Butch Taylor, Boyd Tinsley

De La Soul - David “Trugoy” Jolicoeur, Vincent “Maseo” Mason Jr., Kelvin “Posdnuos” Mercer

Devo - Bob Casale, Gerald Casale, Bob Mothersbaugh, Mark Mothersbaugh, Alan Myers

Ronnie James Dio

Celine Dion

Dr. Dre

Nick Drake

Duran Duran - Simon Le Bon, Nick Rhodes, Andy Taylor, John Taylor, Roger Taylor

Echo & The Bunnymen - Pete de Freitas, Ian McCulloch, Les Pattinson, Will Sergeant

Emerson, Lake and Palmer - Keith Emerson, Greg Lake, Carl Palmer

Eminem

Brian Eno

Eric B & Rakim - Eric B, Rakim

Gloria Estefan

Eurythmics - Annie Lennox, Dave Stewart

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As a fan of prog rock and metal (as well as prog metal), I am used to my favorite bands getting skipped over. I did not think Rush was ever going to be inducted, but they have been in almost a decade now. Alex Lifeson’s “Blah-blah-blah” acceptance speech has to be the best ever. There are some artists on your list that should have been there for decades already. How is Joe Cocker not in the HoF?

I agree that the nominees this year are all deserving… most all anyway. I am not familiar with Fela Kuti, but a quick google does not give me the impression that he is a rock musician. Then again Dolly Parton isn’t exactly a rock musician, but she has a had a few rockers over the years, and is deserving of the nomination. Maybe Fela Kuti has a couple of rockers out there as well.

How many times has MC5 been nominated? They have practically been eligible for 25 years.

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Fela Kuti was an Afrobeat musician from Nigeria. I think he belongs, but in the “Early Influences” category. I wouldn’t object if he got inducted as a regular member. It wouldn’t be any weirder than Kraftwerk being inducted last year as an “early influence.”

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Pat Benatar not being in yet shows just how messed up the R&R Hall Of Fame is.

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She’s nominated this year, and was last year too. But they only included Neil Giraldo as a member of her band and snubbed the others, which I thought was wrong. Her early 80s band was tight.

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Good point, I am sure his music was an early influence. It would be nice if they would note which category they are being nominated for, but I only read the CNN article, so maybe the HoF does note that, and it did not make it into the article.

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The ones on this list (and on the CNN list) are for the main category.

There are also: early influences, the “musical excellence” award, and the Ahmet Ertegun award for non-performers. We often don’t find out who wins those until after the awards are given. I have my nominees for all of those, too. (Though I think non-performers should be expanded way beyond the Ertegun award.)

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My nominees, F-L.

Fairport Convention - Sandy Denny, Ashley Hutchings, Martin Lamble, Dave Mattacks, Iain Matthews, Simon Nicol, Dave Pegg, Dave Swarbrick, Richard Thompson

Foreigner - Dennis Elliott, Ed Gagliardi, Lou Gramm, Al Greenwood, Mick Jones, Ian McDonald, Rick Wills

Peter Frampton

Fugazi - Brendan Canty, Joe Lally, Ian MacKaye, Guy Picciotto

Gerry & The Pacemakers - Les Chadwick, Les Maguire, Freddie Marsden, Gerry Marsden

Golden Earring - Rinus Gerritsen, Barry Hay, George Kooymans, Cesar Zuiderwijk

Alexander Gradsky

The Guess Who - Randy Bachman, Burton Cummings, Jim Kale, Garry Peterson, Kurt Winter

Johnny Hallyday

Herbie Hancock

PJ Harvey

The Human League - Ian Burden, Jo Callis, Joanne Catherall, Ian Craig Marsh, Philip Oakey, Jim Russell, Susan Ann Sulley, Martyn Ware, Philip Adrian Wright

Hüsker Dü - Grant Hart, Bob Mould, Greg Norton

Ice-T

Billy Idol

INXS - Garry Gary Beers, Andrew Farriss, Jon Farriss, Tim Farriss, Michael Hutchence, Kirk Pengilly

Iron Maiden - Clive Burr, Paul Di’Anno, Bruce Dickinson, Janick Gers, Steve Harris, Nicko McBrain, Dave Murray, Adrian Smith

J. Geils Band - Stephen Bladd, J. Geils, Seth Justman, Danny Klein, “Magic Dick” Salwitz, Peter Wolf

Joe Jackson

The Jam - Rick Buckler, Bruce Foxton, Paul Weller

Tommy James & The Shondells - Eddie Gray, Tommy James, Peter Lucia, Ron Rosman, Mike Vale

Jane’s Addiction - Eric Avery, Perry Farrell, Dave Navarro, Stephen Perkins

Jefferson Starship - Marty Balin, John Barbata, Craig Chaquico, David Freiberg, Paul Kantner, Pete Sears, Grace Slick, Mickey Thomas

The Jesus and Mary Chain - Bobby Gillespie, Douglas Hart, Jim Reid, William Reid

Jethro Tull - Ian Anderson, Barriemore Barlow, Martin Barre, Clive Bunker, Glenn Cornick, John Evan, John Glascock, Jeffrey Hammond, Dave Pegg

Howard Jones

Tom Jones

Joy Divison/New Order - Ian Curtis, Gillian Gilbert, Peter Hook, Stephen Morris, Bernard Sumner

Judas Priest - K.K. Downing, Rob Halford, Ian Hill, Dave Holland, Glenn Tipton, Scott Travis

Kansas - Phil Ehart, Billy Greer, Dave Hope, Kerry Livgren, Robby Steinhardt, Steve Walsh, Rich Williams

Carol Kaye

KC & The Sunshine Band - Harry Wayne Casey, Richard Finch, Robert Johnson, Jerome Smith

Chaka Khan

King Crimson - Adrian Belew, Bill Bruford, Mel Collins, Robert Fripp, Michael Giles, Greg Lake, Tony Levin, Ian McDonald, Peter Sinfield, Ian Wallace, John Wetton

Patti LaBelle

Cyndi Lauper

Huey Lewis & The News - Mario Cipollina, Johnny Colla, Bill Gibson, Chris Hayes, Sean Hopper, Huey Lewis

Gordon Lightfoot

Los Lobos - Steve Berlin, David Hidalgo, Conrad Lozano, Louie Pérez, Cesar Rosas

Love - Johnny Echols, Ken Forssi, Arthur Lee, Bryan MacLean, Alban Pfisterer, Michael Stuart-Ware

Nick Lowe

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Not to get into a semantic debate like I already have elsewhere and having no opinion on who gets in or why, I just have to say: It’s not really a “rock ‘n’ roll” museum, it’s a “post-1955-popular-music” museum.

Actual rock ‘n’ roll lasted from 1955-1958, with a brief resurgence from 1960-1961[1] (though N.B., a lot of the people who created and listened to the first wave hated that second “twist”-heavy wave). It was a direct reaction to the highly polished, over-produced big band stuff that dominated after the war, and for what to today’s ears sounds like anodyne stuff was perceived by its audiences and its detractors as rebellion.

N.B. many of its detractors were from the Jazz[2] age, raccoon-coat-wearin’, goldfish-swallowing sheiks and their underwear-less flapper gals, who were shocking their reprobate Gay Nineties parents.

That said, I think you’re basically right: This has next-to-nothing to do with worthiness. It is a combination stimulus project for downtown Cleveland, and a media event for an increasingly graying population that still thinks “rock ‘n’ roll” sounds rebellious.

But, hey, that’s just my opinion. I could be wrong.


[1] Harvard Dictionary of Music, definition of “rock ‘n’ roll”

[2] “Jazz” underwent an even more severe transmogrification, I think than “rock ‘n’ roll”, becoming first a stand-in for “popular music” and evolving into something almost unrecognizable from either its popular roots or origins.

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The fact that the Hall often admits people who are not usually thought of as “rock” acts doesn’t bother me as much as the fact that they do it inconsistently. If you’re going to admit Hank Williams and Johnny Cash, aren’t there about a hundred other country superstars that should be in there too?

As for hip-hop, I’m kind of surprised that they are OK with being considered a subset of rock & roll at this point. It was one thing for Run-DMC to call themselves “Kings of Rock” back when hip-hop was too new to even be called a real genre yet, but now… I would think they’d prefer their own HOF rather than being in there with Depeche Mode and Yes.

But, I go with the flow with my choices. I might not include any rappers who date from after the point where hip-hop passed rock as the most popular form of music (early 2000s). And I wouldn’t admit any country or jazz musicians who didn’t have some palpable influence on rock.

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This is why you’re not on the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce.

No, I’m sure of it. it’s the only possible reason.

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I’ve been to the Hall of Fame a couple times (mostly to see U2 3D), but I’m not going back until they induct the Monkees.

Don’t even @ me with that “bubblegum” BS!

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And INXS. It’s been 25 years since Hutchence died and they’re still not in.

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I see your Monkees and raise you Rutles.

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If I had to pick the one single most outrageous snub so far, it would probably be Cliff Richard and the Shadows.

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M-R…

Madness - Mike Barson, Mark Bedford, Chris Foreman, Graham “Suggs” McPherson, Chas Smash, Lee Thompson, Dan Woodgate

Manfred Mann/Manfred Mann’s Earth Band - Jack Bruce, Mike d’Abo, Mike Hugg, Paul Jones, John Lingwood, Manfred Mann, Tom McGuinness, Colin Pattenden, Mick Rogers, Chris Slade, Chris Thompson, Mike Vickers, Klaus Voormann, Steve Waller

Massive Attack - Robert “3D” Del Naja, Grant “Daddy G” Marshall, Adrian “Tricky” Thaws, Andrew “Mushroom” Vowles

Johnny Mathis

John Mayall

The MC5 - Michael Davis, Wayne Kramer, Fred “Sonic” Smith, Dennis Thompson, Rob Tyner

Meat Loaf

Megadeth - David Ellefson, Dave Mustaine

The Meters - Ziggy Modeliste, Art Neville, Cyril Neville, Leo Nocentelli, George Porter Jr.

George Michael

Ministry - Al Jourgensen

Eddy Mitchell

Moby

The Monkees - Mickey Dolenz, Davy Jones, Michael Nesmith, Peter Tork

Mötley Crüe - Tommy Lee, Mick Mars, Vince Neil, Nikki Sixx

Motörhead - Michael Burston, Phil Campbell, “Fast Eddie” Clarke, Lemmy Kilmister, Phil Taylor

Mr. Children - Keisuke Nakagawa, Kazutoshi Sakurai, Hideya Suzuki, Kenichi Tahara

Nas

Willie Nelson

New York Dolls - David Johansen, Arthur Kane, Jerry Nolan, Sylvain Sylvain, Johnny Thunders

Olivia Newton-John

Harry Nilsson

Oasis - Gem Archer, Paul Arthurs, Andy Bell, Liam Gallagher, Noel Gallagher, Tony McCarroll, Paul McGuigan, Alan White

Ozzy Osbourne

OutKast - André “3000” Benjamin, Antwan “Big Boi” Patton

Pantera - “Dimebag Darrell” Abbott, Vinnie Paul Abbott, Phil Anselmo, Rex Brown, Terry Glaze

Graham Parker

Gram Parsons

Dolly Parton

Pavement - Mark Ibold, Scott Kannberg, Stephen Malkmus, Bob Nastanovich, Steve West

Pet Shop Boys - Chris Lowe, Neil Tennant

Phish - Trey Anastasio, Jon Fishman, Mike Gordon, Page McConnell

Pixies - Black Francis, Kim Deal, Dave Lovering, Joey Santiago

The Pogues - Philip Chevron, James Fearnley, Jem Finer, Darryl Hunt, Shane MacGowan, Cait O’Riordan, Andrew Ranken, Spider Stacy, Terry Woods

The Pointer Sisters - Anita Pointer, Bonnie Pointer, June Pointer, Ruth Pointer

Iggy Pop

John Prine

The Prodigy - Keith Flint, Liam Howlett, Maxim Reality, Leeroy Thornhill

Rage Against The Machine - Tim Commerford, Zack de la Rocha, Tom Morello, Brad Wilk

REO Speedwagon - Kevin Cronin, Neal Doughty, Alan Gratzer, Bruce Hall, Mike Murphy, Gregg Philbin, Gary Richrath

The Replacements - Slim Dunlap, Chris Mars, Bob Stinson, Tommy Stinson, Paul Westerberg

Paul Revere & The Raiders - Joe Correro Jr., Drake Levin, Mark Lindsay, Paul Revere, Mike Smith, Freddy Weller

Cliff Richard & The Shadows - Brian Bennett, Jet Harris, Hank Marvin, Tony Meehan, Cliff Richard, John Rostill, Bruce Welch

Lionel Richie

Jonathan Richman

Kenny Rogers

Diana Ross

The Runaways - Vicki Blue, Cherie Currie, Lita Ford, Jackie Fox, Joan Jett, Sandy West

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Wow, DUDE.
Have you been hijacking my playlist?
Because, wow, almost all of the listed are in my favorites.

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Rock is dead they say…

Long live rock!

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Won’t get fooled again!

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