The inductees for The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum in Cleveland, Ohio have been announced today, and while there are some on the roster who are fully deserving of induction into the hallowed hall, once again (and this is actually becoming somewhat of an annual tradition), key bands were left off the list for final induction.
The final inductees are as follows: Seattle’s Nirvana, who opened the floodgates of grunge, post-punk and somehow became as successful as any of the superstar rock groups the band eschewed; Hall and Oates and solo artist Linda Ronstadt, who got her start way back when in The Stone Poneys with the chart hit “Different Drum” (which was written by Monkee Michael Nesmith); shock rock party band to the highest level foursome Kiss, whose “army” of fans have been more than patient regarding the band getting in the hall; prog-rock maven Peter Gabriel, who had success first as an early member of Genesis and then kind of mainstreaming that sound slightly to carve out an eclectic solo career as well; and memorable folk singer Cat Stevens, who after charting an assembly line of introspective hits in the early 1970s, pretty much sold all the trappings that success gave him and charted a completely different life for himself thereafter, one mainly fueled by religious activity.
This year’s nominees, which I reported about earlier here, were made up of bands and artists which spread an eclectically wide array of genres: Nirvana, Kiss, Deep Purple, Hall and Oates, Linda Ronstadt, Yes, and The Replacements to name a few. At first glance of these names, it seems that under the definition of a “rock band,” Deep Purple, Yes, and The Replacements should be virtual shoo-ins. However, as it was revealed today via the press release from the Rock Hall mentioning the final inductees, that all of those aforementioned bands didn’t make the cut, but yet Linda Ronstadt and Hall and Oates did.
Make no mistake, Ronstadt and the blue-eyed soul/pop duo Hall and Oates have sold ions of albums and have had success and fan adoration that reaches the rafters and then some. But really, could anyone really make a claim that they are “rock?” To prove the point, ask yourself this, if you were to mention some great rock and roll bands, like Led Zeppelin, The Doors, The Beatles, The Allman Brothers Band, Rush, Black Sabbath, and The Stooges to name a few, now see how putting “Hall and Oates” in that list fits. Does it fit? Exactly. Either the Hall needs to modify their buildings with some extra wings in it that takes care of genre proper (The Pop Hall of Fame, the “light rock” Hall of Fame etc), or at least grant the real “haves” induction (Deep Purple, Yes, etc) from the “Have nots” who are actually inducted (Hall and Oates, Ronstadt and questionable past inductees like Madonna).
The Ahmet Ertegun Award (named after one of the late founders of Atlantic Records) will posthumously go to Brian Epstein, who was the Beatles original manager and was as instrumental as anyone to contribute to the Fab Four’s dizzying success. Recently, Epstein has been back in the public consciousness as of late; he has been immortalized in a graphic novel entitled The Fifth Beatle, which recently hit number one on The New York Times Best Seller list and is in talks to be adapted into a forthcoming feature film. The other recipient of an Ertegun award is Andrew Loog Oldham, a British publicist and producer who was one of the main figures which helped contribute to the earliest success of The Rolling Stones. Scores of other bands during that seminal time in history (the mid-late 1960s) also passed through Oldham’s radar on many occasions. Finally, the Award for Musical Excellence will go to The E Street Band, which has been musically accompanying Bruce Springsteen on stage and record and in varying lineups, for over 40 years.
The ceremony will be held in Brooklyn, New York at The Barclay’s Center on Thursday, April 10. 2014, marking the first time the ceremonies will be open to the public in New York. Past public ceremonies were held in Cleveland and in LA.
So once again, time for rejoicing and teeth gritting, as The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame assembles its Class of 2014.