It’s the biggest week of the year at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and the week when KZOK and it’s audience usually thinks to itself: Hello? Cleveland? What are these people thinking? Clearly not everyone in Ohio is out of their mind. Seahawks fans would descend on Canton with pitchforks and torches if they inducted Brian Bosworth into the Pro Football Hall of Fame before Kenny Easley. So why is ABBA in the Rock Hall while Seattle’s own Heart are not? How is it that Barracuda, Magic Man, or Mistral Wind is not as good as Axl Roses caterwauling on Sweet Child ‘O Mine or Dylan’s Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door? Here are the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s criteria:
Artists become eligible for induction 25 years after the release of their first record. Criteria include the influence and significance of the artists’ contributions to the development and perpetuation of rock and roll. The Foundation’s nominating committee, composed of rock and roll historians, selects nominees each year in the Performer category. Ballots are then sent to an international voting body of more than 500 rock experts. Those performers who receive the highest number of votes – and more than 50 percent of the vote – are inducted. The Foundation generally inducts five to seven performers each year.
Artists whose music predated rock and roll but had an impact on the evolution of rock and roll and inspired rock’s leading artists.
We’ll stay away from the non-performer category (Now Called the Ahmet Ertegun award), who are usually weasels who made more money off the music than the performer and/or songwriter. Here’s a list of this year’s inductees, with smart-a** commentary by Scott Vanderpool, whose opinions in no way reflect that of the staff or management of CBS radio:
Guns and Roses: Seattle’s Duff McKagen is a super-nice guy, but this is my biggest problem with this year’s crop. Given the nod in their first year of eligibility, and really…they have one good song. Welcome to the Jungle is such a great song that I remember where I was when I first heard it. But watch this and tell me this band is better than Deep Purple, The Moody Blues, or Rush?
The Red Hot Chili Peppers: These guys got in the second year they were eligible…could be considered the Led Zeppelin of what became the “Alternative” rock scene, which sprung up when mainstream rock was focused on hairspray and spandex in the 80’s. The have some great rock-funk hybrid moments of innovation:
Donovan: The British Bob Dylan was highly influential, with the Beatles even. He’s been eligible for 21 years. What took ’em so long?
Laura Nyro: A respectable songwriter whose hits are more recognizable than she is…but most of them were in the realm of “Pop” not “Rock”, i.e.“Wedding Bell Blues” by The 5th Dimension. Her most recognizable hits to the KZOK crowd would be “And When I Die” done by Blood Sweat and Tears or “Eli’s Coming” by Three Dog Night.
The Small Faces/Faces: A travesty that these guys waited since 1992 and G&R got in year one. Steve Marriott’s Small Faces with the Who were the bands of the British Mod scene. Steve quit to start Humble Pie, and they added a couple of guys they found in the Jeff Beck Group, Rod Stewart and Ron Wood who were slightly taller, so they dumped “small”. About time.
The Beastie Boys: These guys started as a punk rock band, and were one of the first to incorporate elements of “Rap”, a genre that usually raises an eyebrow with us, but it’s hard to deny the majesty of “Fight For Your Right (To Party)”. One of the first successes for uber-producer Rick Rubin.
The rest of this year’s performer inductees are bands whose star performers have already been inducted. Essentially the rock and Roll Hall of Fame is slapping it’s collective forhead and saying “Doah!” as it inducted these influential performers without balloting.
The Crickets: Buddy Holly’s band. He was inducted in 1986.
The Famous Flames: James Brown was also inducted in 1986.
The Midnighters: Hank Ballard was inducted as a major influence in 1990.
The Comets: Bill Haley was inducted in 1987, too bad a lot of His Comets have passed since then.
The Blue Caps: Rockabilly pioneer Gene Vincent’s band.
The Miracles: Smokey Robinson’s band.
Later this week we’ll look at the long long list of performers who have been snubbed! It’ll piss you off for sure!