The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame's ludicrous handling of their annual induction of members has been well documented in recent years. Their long time snub of rock legends in favor of pop acts and other non "rock" artists has been the topic of many angry debates in rock and metal circles, largely because of the sheer ignorance that the Rock Hall's 600 voters continue to put on display on an annual basis.
In the early years of the Hall's existence, the founding fathers of blues based rock music were properly inducted. These blues heroes were truly deserving inductees, founders of the music that has exploded in the decades since. People like B.B. King, Fats Domino and Elvis were enshrined as they made way for the likes of The Who, Bob Dylan, and The Beatles. Without these rhythm and blues pioneers there likely wouldn't be rock music as we know it. Somewhere along the line, though, the politics began to erode at the prestige of being inducted into the Hall of Fame. Not that the Madonna's and Michael Jackson's of the world are irrelevant to music and culture; but are they more deserving to be in a Hall of Fame for rock music than a band like BOSTON? No, they aren't. I might not listen to much rap music, and I certainly don't want to diminish the accomplishments of a group like Run DMC, but are they really more deserving of Rock Hall status than an iconic band like Thin Lizzy? Resoundingly, the answer is no.
Yet, year after year, these rock legends are overlooked by acts that may have served a purpose for pop radio and pop culture but haven't contributed much in the name of rock music. That Thin Lizzy isn't in the rock and roll hall of fame is absolutely absurd. KISS, a band that should be a no-brainer for this honor is a nominee once again this year, after being passed up before by artists such as ABBA and the Beastie Boys. Are you kidding me? The Beastie Boys and ABBA are in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and these following artists are not: KISS, Deep Purple, Thin Lizzy, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Ted Nugent, BOSTON, REO Speedwagon, Journey, Styx, and so many more deserving acts get left out so that there will be room for a more diverse and media friendly crop of inductees. That's great, I'm all for diversity, which is why the Rock Hall has it right with Pink Floyd and Metallica both being included. These pinheads have taken it too far though. Nominating LL Cool J for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame while real rock bands haven't even been nominated yet? Let that soak in. LL Cool J has been nominated before Ted Nugent. Blasphemy.
This year's crop of nominees has some very deserving acts; some that should have been in long ago and some that realistically should wait a few more years. There also a couple of artists that have no business being on this list. Five of the people/acts on this list will be inducted into the Hall in 2014. Those artists up for induction are:
The Paul Butterfield Blues Band
Hall and Oates
LL Cool J
There are quite a few deserving acts on that list and now I am going to tell you who I think should get in and why, I'll also tell you who I believe will get in.
I think the following bands should get in from this list immediately: Deep Purple, KISS, The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Link Wray, and The Zombies. Here is why:
Deep Purple, should not need explaining. For starters, one of their weakest songs is the most recognizable guitar riff in the history of rock music. Smoke on the Water may be their most recognizable song, but they deserve a spot in the Hall because of many other tracks that spanned multiple decades of lineup changes. Songs like Child in Time; Hush; Highway Star; and Burn are just a few of the many songs that make up their resume of rock gold. That they aren't already in is a travesty. That Jon Lord has passed away and won't be there when they are inducted is unacceptable. Hear their best reason for being in the Hall here.
KISS is another band that should have been long ago. This band is the epitome of American hard rock music. Love them or hate them; there is no denying the generations of bands that they have influenced. From Rob Zombie to Poison, their influence is felt throughout the genre. Maybe they weren't the first theatrical rock band, but they did it bigger and better than everybody else. They made live music a spectacle to be seen rather than just another show. KISS was one of the first to successfully release live recordings of their shows. Now almost every major act does it. They've done ballads, they've done rockers, they've done metal, they've even done a song that can pass as disco....or KISS-co as they would say. Like it or not, this band has remained relevant by making good music, putting on one of the top live shows in the industry to this day, and they've successfully commercialized their brand. Anything that you can put the iconic KISS logo on and sell; chances are they've done it. All four original members ought to be present at this year's ceremony to accept a well deserved award for changing rock music like they did. Hear their best reason for being in the Hall here.
The Paul Butterfield Blues Band is probably someone that many people aren't too familiar with. I love blues music, though, and have really enjoyed listening to a little bit of their catalog though. The blues are the foundation of American rock music. They successfully merged the electric sounds of rock music with Chicago blues music. This mixed race band brought the best of American electric guitar and South Side blues together. If you can't hear the influence that they had on bands like Aerosmith and Ted Nugent then you aren't listening. Check them out at their best here.
Link Wray. I tell you what, I am sorry that I hadn't dug deep into his music earlier. Guitarists like Pete Townshend and Jimmy Page were obviously influenced by the man. His instrumental, Rumble, put distorted electric guitar and some heavy power chords out there before the world had really experienced either one. Other songs like The Black Widow and Jack the Ripper also showcase his flexibility to weave between the blues and guitar virtuoso. Rumble kicked it off, though, and you can check it out here.
Lastly, The Zombies should be inducted this year. This forgotten band was actually one of the members of the British Invasion era. While The Beatles get the bulk of the credit for kicking off modern rock/pop music there were others like The Kinks and The Zombies that were part of the movement and influenced a ton of would be musicians to pick up their instruments. Check out their biggest hit Time of the Season right here.
There are six other nominees that I think are deserving but should not get in this year since they will only induct five. Those artists are Yes, Cat Stevens, Nirvana, Peter Gabriel, The Meters and Linda Ronstadt.
Yes is one of the longest standing and influential progressive rock bands on the planet and should be inducted very soon. I couldn't and wouldn't argue if they got in this year. If you want to go on pure musicianship, this is your band. Throw in their supreme song writing capabilities and you have all the ingredients for a band worthy of The Rock Hall. Check out my pick for why they should be in here.
Cat Stevens, while he might be a weird man, was one of the leaders in a movement of singer/songwriters that really hit a peak in the 1970's. Besides, who doesn't like Peace Train, check it out here.
Oh, Nirvana. Do I like some of their music? Yes. Do I think that they are the most over rated band in music during my lifetime? Absolutely. The media jumped on the grunge bandwagon, not because of quality, but because of their disdain for "hair" metal. With a media push, Nirvana and grunge successfully killed off the "hair" bands. Thus why this band is so over rated. They made some decent music during a very short run before one selfish band member destroyed it all. That decent music, however, put an end to one wave of rock music and began another; much of which that followed Nirvana was actually better. For changing the course of rock music, though, I cannot argue that they one day will deserve to be in. This is not that year in my opinion. Listen to their song that ended 80's sleaze right here.
Peter Gabriel is already in the Hall of Fame for his work with the progressive rock band Genesis, and rightfully so. He also enjoyed a successful solo career that merits him mention in this list. He isn't usually my cup of tea but my favorite Peter Gabriel song can be heard here.
I usually don't listen to funk, but it's hard not to like the sound of The Meters. It's smooth. It's also definitely closer to rock then a lot of the artists on this list. I would not argue their induction. Check this out and tell me that you didn't bob your head.
Linda Ronstadt is also not usually my cup of tea. Her influence can be found throughout music and her diverse catalog is impressive. Being able to span rock, country, folk, jazz, and even New Wave does take talent. Her cover of The Eagles Desperado is probably my favorite of hers. Check it out here.
Lastly, I would not even entertain the idea of the following for induction:
Hall and Oates, I mean I just cannot get into them. I know they are very popular but they just don't do it for me. Maybe I am wrong here but I can't do it.
N.W.A. should not be in either. Any group that goes by the name N*ggaz Wit Attitude will not be able to convince me to take them seriously. Add on that their biggest song is this garbage; and you should be able to understand how absurd it is to include them in what should be a building of prestige.
LL Cool J really should not even be mentioned either. I mean, really? This one is kind of funny, though, and should definitely disqualify Cool J from ever being considered again. The dude was my favorite character in Halloween: H2O though!
Although I don't loathe disco as much as I once did, I can't take it seriously either. Sorry Chic, but my vote is no.
Then there is The Replacements. Until metal gets its due, I believe that punk and alternative music should have to wait. Metal is so obviously superior to 1970's era punk that it shouldn't even be a question, but like grunge, the media love the stripped down simplicity of it. Not on my list, though.
Unfortunately, this is my prediction for who the Rock Hall will induct:
N.W.A. because it has become almost a crime if you don't include crappy rap in the Rock Hall discussion. I wouldn't even be as upset if this was quality hip hop we were talking about, but this is garbage. They said F*ck The Police though, and that's "edgy". The media likes that.
Nirvana is almost certainly a lock. They are the darlings of the media and many rock stations and magazines treat them like The Beatles. I don't get it, but they will be in for sure.
Linda Ronstadt will probably make it. Rolling Stone plays a large influence in the vote and let's be honest; she hates George W. Bush so they will push hard for her to be included.
Hall & Oates, while they make my ears bleed, are loved by pop music fans. I would imagine they are a certain lock.
The one glimmer of hope, I do think that Deep Purple will get inducted. The Hall has to keep up the legitimacy of the charade they run and to do that you have to include at least one deserving candidate. After Jon Lord's passing, I think Purple gets in.
That's my list folks, whether you agree with me or disagree with me, I'd love to hear from you! Sound off below. If you like what you read, I ask that you please subscribe by clicking on the Subscribe link at the top of this page and feel free to share this article with your friends on Facebook and Twitter. Thank you!