I’m not even sure why I’m bothering to even write about this. Let me state upfront that I think the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is 100% complete and utter bullshit. The idea of a Hall of Fame is so un-rock and roll it’s not even funny. Then when you learn who is and isn’t in the Hall of Fame it becomes clear just how meaningless it all really is. Humans like lists and categories, which I totally get, but why does this thing need to exists? I mean, really?
So once for whatever reason I went on the Hall of Fame’s Official website…and boy did it bum me out. For the first time ever, the Hall is collecting fan votes that will be tallied alongside the regular votes to help determine who will be inducted this year. The list of nominees runs the gambit between no-brainers (The Cars, Cheap Trick, Deep Purple) and real headscratchers (Chic, The JB’s, Los Lobos). That Janet Jackson and Chicago are on this ballot just goes to show you how dumb this Hall of Fame really is. Look, I get that we can broaden the definition of “rock” and include N.W.A in the Hall…but should we really do that BEFORE iconic bands like Deep Purple and Cheap Trick are inducted into the Hall? That’s a rhetorical question.
I guess, if you feel so inclined, go to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s website and cast your votes. Then check out the fan vote results so far, they’re super depressing!
Cheap Trick is #7! Who the hell is voting? It must be all the dude’s in Yes. Should Yes be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Hell no, they’re a prog-rock band that had a few hits back in the day. They do NOT deserve to be in the Hall before CHEAP TRICK or Deep Purple. Sure, Deep Purple may be considered a one-hit wonder too…but that one-hit is a song so iconic that even I can play it on guitar! And I can’t play guitar.
I share your dismay, although I’m okay with having a Hall of Fame because it does preserve the history and often gives credit to those whose influence is far wider than is popularly known. For me, though, inductees need to have impacted the genre in a meaningful way, either through innovation or craft or their place in history. I’d give NWA and even the Cars a spot for that reason: they epitomize their eras even as they aren’t rock and roll by any stretch of the imagination. And hey, Cheap Trick is a gas … and so many people have that t-shirt of theirs, they’re influential. Otherwise it’s a lot of acts with a lot of hits that have been sanded smooth by years of being overplayed.
There will always be a long list of those who haven’t been nominated who are overdue: Warren Zevon is at the top of your list and the Shangri-Las are at the top of mine. Until they’re in, this will all have a bit of bogusness about the nominations process.
Oh, shit…I didn’t even think about Zevon!
*dynamites RnR Hall of Fame*
I get that the Hall is a kind of museum and they are preserving history, but I don’t understand why they’re so slow to induct CLASSIC acts like Deep Purple and Cheap Trick into the Hall. I feel like Deep Purple should have been inducted fairly early on. I will admit i don’t know much about it (other than it infuriates me for some reason) so I wonder who does the actual nominating/voting and I wonder what the rules are for when folks/bands can be inducted. I’d do some research on this, but I’m scared that what I might find could get my nerd-rage going again (just calmed down about this).
I’d agree with you if you weren’t using Yes as your example of the Hall (and fans) getting it wrong. They are easily as deserving as Deep Purple (who are one of my favorite bands) and CT (also one of my favorite bands). They have been around since the 60s and recorded incredible albums that have pushed the boundaries of what rock is and can be. A phenomenal band, regardless of how many hits they might have had. And I’m sure the guys in Deep Purple and CT would agree with me.
I’m not offended by Yes as much as I am that Yes is polling so much higher than bands I personally feel should already be in the Hall. I will admit I don’t know anything about Yes other than “Owner of a Lonely Heart” and the album that song is on (thanks to my parents crappy record collection). Maybe I should check Yes out beyond the few radio hits, but I feel like a band such as Yes should be inducted after household names like Deep Purple.
Owner of a Lonely Heart was probably the record that got the highest on the record charts. Yes is a awesome band; their biggest mainstream issue is that their early songs were quite long. Masterpieces, but quite long. Go listen to Close to the Edge, Gates of Delirium, Ritual, Awaken, etc. Even their shorter songs are 5-7 minutes long. There are also an endless stream of artists who say they were influenced by Yes. Awesome band, rocking for 50 years.
How can we have a Hall of Fame for it if nobody even agrees on one single definition of what rock ‘n’ roll is?
[…] It seems like only yesterday that I was complaining about the Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Fame nomine…I was 100% convinced that classic rockers Cheap Trick were going to get shut-out their first time on the ballots…but I was wrong! Not that it really matters (to quote Freddie Mercury, “nothing really matters…”) but the band was able to get into the Hall of Fame. Rather than legitimizing the band, this move only serves to legitimize the Hall. Only slightly, of course. […]