The RRHOF Class of 2018, Part 1: Random Thoughts

And there you have it: The RRHOF Class of 2018 has been announced. (Bon Jovi, The Cars, Dire Straits, The Moody Blues, Nina Simone and Sister Rosetta Tharpe as an Early Influence, for the record).

I’m still digesting all the takes on the class that have come out since last Wednesday and definitely want to look at them soon, but first, just some random/fandom thoughts:

Hell yeah, the Cars are in. Now that the moment’s here I can’t even describe how it feels, but I guess it’s like something clicking into place at last. Thrilled that David Robinson is up for getting his drums out of storage and that they’re going to play. Alex Voltaire at The Northumbrian Countdown had some excellent thoughts about potential inductors for the entire ballot, and while Weezer is definitely a possibility, Billy Corgan seems to be the frontrunner. The band did not replace Benjamin Orr on their 2011 Move Like This tour and is highly unlikely to do so here, but the mere idea of Corgan taking Orr’s vocal parts for the performance…oh hella no. Gwen Stefani’s been mentioned but she seems an odd match, which is why it will probably happen, but I’d be cool with seeing Jarvis Cocker of
Pulp, Julian Casablancas and/or Albert Hammond of the Strokes, Brandon Flowers of the Killers or, as unlikely as it is, Black Francis of the Pixies–all artists who’ve acknowledged a debt. I do know it won’t be Car Seat Headrest.

I’m just unabashedly thrilled about Sister Rosetta’s induction, even if the method to the Hall’s madness in the process is hard to fathom. Maybe her inclusion on the performer really was a way to get people to learn about her, and there actually are people out there who did: One of the coolest things I saw during the fan vote was a comment on the Hall’s Facebook page that read “I know nothing about Sister Rosetta, but this is how I learn.” Such a wonderful contrast to the willful ignorance surrounding it. But again, the Hall has managed to make the honor look for all the world like an end run it pulls out when an artist can’t get in on votes.

I haven’t seen a response from Nina Simone’s daughter Lisa Simone Kelly, but it’s fun to imagine Nina’s no doubt pithy reaction to her own inclusion.

I’m looking forward to seeing who does the induction and acceptance honors for both of these ladies. The suggestion by Shrek on the FRL page that Rhiannon Giddens pay tribute to Nina was inspired, and it’s worth noting that Giddens has also recorded an incandescent version of Tharpe’s “Up Above My Head,” a song she’s also performed live many times. The thought of one of the most revelatory artists of our time paying tribute to either of these revelatory women and reaching a new audience in the process is just electrifying.

I’ve never made a secret of the fact that I’m not a Moody Blues fan, but things are still in a bit of a rosy glow and some of it’s rubbing off: Justin Hayward has one of the finest voices in the business, and there’s no doubt they’ll be able to power the Cleveland Public Hall that night on the sheer rapture inside when these guys take the stage.

And then there’s Bon Jovi, the least artistically deserving, with the biggest persecution complex and the smallest sense of humility. No doubt both Jon Bon Jovi and the fans view this as an epic victory over a hostile establishment straight out of one of the band’s songs, but the truth is that they’re in there to make use of their biggest talent: making money. If one child gets to take part in the Rockin’ the Schools program as a result of the ticket sales that result from this, it’s worth it. But to think of all the worthy acts still not in, and the graciousness of some on this year’s ballot–Eurythmics, Judas Priest, the Zombies and Link Wray come to mind…it grates.

I have to mention that Donnie Dunham has made a valid point on Twitter that 80s hair metal, if you can call Bon Jovi metal, is a part of rock history and should be represented in the narrative, and I’ve long agreed with Alex Voltaire’s zeitgeist principle (should that be capitalized?), so I’ll grant that and say “artistically deserving.” I always felt Kiss should be inducted on that principle–you can’t really talk about the 70s without them–but Kiss also actually inspired artists that became important later, if indirectly. Artists from Dave Grohl to Garth Brooks have said that seeing Kiss as young children told them that “Hey, you can grow up and be in a band,” even if their actual musical cues came from elsewhere. Have never heard anyone say that about Jon and Co. And that’s way more pixels than I wanted to spend on this.

The fact remains that a lot of brilliance was on that ballot and destined to not get in, and that’s where the meat is when it comes to analysis. Of course the most glaring case is Radiohead; you could write multiple posts about that one alone. FRL was actually  correct twice by initially saying that they wouldn’t be inducted in absentia, and then later reversing that prediction, saying that the optics would be terrible for the Hall if that came to pass. Whether the omission is due to simple lack of voter support, a desire to try to bring them around, or a fit of Wennerian pique is as yet unknown, but the answer is the key to much about the Hall’s philosophy and future.

At any rate, it’s still a bummer that metal is almost entirely absent from the rolls, as are some genuinely progressive artists like Kate Bush. And unless he’s named as the recipient of the Musical Excellence award this year, Link Wray is still not given his due. (something I’m not even sure the Wray family wants). I don’t think that will be forever by any means, but it remains a bigger snub than virtually any other you’d care to name.

Another bummer is confirmation that the Hall is set on a class size of five, despite the recent value-sized ballots and the backlog. It could be worse: The Country Hall mandates three, and like heaven, it’s easier to get a camel through the eye of a needle than into the NFL HOF.

What do I think will happen? I’m likely done with the full-on predictions game, but the trend to populist acts is pretty clear, and if we’re going to work through my personal Top Three That Shouldn’t Be In list, next would be Def Leppard. (Like Bon Jovi, I think they’re fun but ultimately inconsequential, and also like Bon Jovi, I saw them live and thought it was terrible). Also, next year may see Paul Rodgers in the guise of Free or Bad Company and it just seems like it’s the time for Warren Zevon. I’ve seen Todd Rundgren’s name mentioned, and he was at the Hall chatting up Greg Harris earlier this year, but I’m not sure if he and Zevon would be on the same ballot. Judas Priest made a splash, so the NomCom could try again there, and I’ve been saying Big Star for a couple of years now. Wouldn’t be surprised to see Janet and Eurythmics again as well.

But a lot is happening in the meantime. I hope everyone finds something to enjoy–I know I will.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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32 thoughts on “The RRHOF Class of 2018, Part 1: Random Thoughts

    1. Won’t rest til it happens!I mean I’ve been happy last few years or since my visit there in 2012.Heart,Public Enemy,Rush,Donna summers,Hall and Oates, Linda Rondstadt, Kiss, Chicago, Steve Miller, Journey Bon Jovi and The Cars have been inducted which a lot was on my rock band to do lists!!But I’m pushing for more soul now!!hopefully next year they mix it up a bit 2 rock bands one rap act one soul act and female singer or girl group!!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I do believe I am the originator of the Rhiannon Giddens idea for the Nina Simone tribute; I can truly say I never saw anybody else with that suggestion, but I’ve been a fan since I saw Carolina Chocolate Drops at a festival and have followed her career closely ever since – she’s a natural fit.

    I also think I may be the original suggester for Billy Corgan for The Cars, which you seem less enthused about. So it goes! Ha! But I may have seen somebody else suggest it first – I don’t really remember since its been three years since The Cars first nomination and there’s been a lot of blog posts between then and now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi-Thanks for letting me know; sorry for my laziness in not looking it up. I’ve updated the post. She’s incredible–I can’t remember when I’ve been so blown away by a performer. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to see her live. I’ve seen Billy Corgan mentioned around a few sites for over a year now; I’m fine with him making the speech, and like I said I’d be surprised if they had someone fill in for Ben when they didn’t on the 2011 tour, but I’m just not up for hearing him sing those parts.

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  2. My early predictions for next year’s nominees:

    I’ve got seven sets of early predictions for next year’s nominees which I feel is the most realistic.

    Scenario #1

    A Tribe Called Quest
    The B-52’s
    Bjork
    Chaka Khan/Rufus With Chaka Khan
    The Commodores
    Dave Matthews Band
    Def Leppard
    The Eurythmics
    Gil Scott-Heron
    Herbie Hancock
    Janet Jackson
    Judas Priest
    Kraftwerk
    Pat Benatar
    Procol Harum
    The Spinners

    Scenario #2

    Beck
    Devo
    The Doobie Brothers
    Janet Jackson
    Jethro Tull
    John Coltrane
    Johnny Burnette & The Rock ‘N’ Roll Trio
    Judas Priest
    The Modern Lovers
    The Monkees
    OutKast
    Roxy Music
    Rufus With Chaka Khan
    Sheryl Crow
    Snoop Dogg
    Soundgarden
    T. Rex
    War
    Link Wray

    Scenario #3

    Bad Company
    Def Leppard
    Depeche Mode
    The Doobie Brothers
    The Eurythmics
    Foreigner
    Janet Jackson
    Jethro Tull
    Judas Priest
    Kraftwerk
    The Marvelettes
    MC5
    Nine Inch Nails
    Radiohead
    Rage Against The Machine
    The Smiths
    Soundgarden
    The Spinners
    Warren Zevon

    Scenario #4

    Big Star
    Boston or Foreigner
    Depeche Mode
    The Eurythmics
    Janet Jackson
    Judas Priest
    Kraftwerk
    LL Cool J
    The Monkees
    Pat Benatar
    Roxy Music
    Soundgarden
    Warren Zevon

    Scenario #5

    Bad Company
    Beck
    Kate Bush
    Chaka Khan
    Def Leppard
    Depeche Mode
    The Doobie Brothers
    The Eurythmics
    Janet Jackson
    Judas Priest
    LL Cool J
    Nine Inch Nails
    Radiohead
    Roxy Music
    The Smiths
    Soundgarden
    Tood Rundgren

    Scenario #6

    Beck
    Kate Bush
    Def Leppard
    Depeche Mode
    Emerson Lake & Palmer
    Janet Jackson
    Judas Priest
    Kraftwerk
    LL Cool J
    MC5
    The Meters
    OutKast
    Gram Parsons
    Radiohead
    Rage Against The Machine
    Roxy Music
    The Smiths
    Soundgarden
    The Spinners
    War

    Scenario #7

    A Tribe Called Quest
    Beck
    Chaka Khan
    The Doobie Brothers
    Dre
    Duran Duran
    The Eurythmics
    Janet Jackson
    Judas Priest
    Kraftwerk
    Nine Inch Nails
    Rage Against The Machine
    Warren Zevon
    Link Wray
    The Zombies

    if any of these seven scenarios is the ballot for next year then who do you guys see being inducted?.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pithy comments, Michelle. Here are some of my own in response to yours:

    -Yay for the Cars or as we call them here in Beantown, the Cahs. I like them though perhaps not quite as much as you. Don’t quite rise to my “favorite band” list. Is Billy Corgan an established fan? And I truly hope Geils gets in next year, even though Peter Wolf didn’t respond to my email request for an interview for my blog. 😦
    -I’m pleased that Sister Tharpe got in, however she got in. It’s so important to honor the pioneers.
    -Nina’s reaction – “I’m a rocker?”
    -I’ve known of Giddens ever since she was involved in that terrific Dylan cover album. I believe she’s playing locally next year and so may well check her out.
    -I like the Moodys and voted for them. Check out “To Our Children’s Children’s Children” sometime.
    -As to Bon Jovi, I think we can agree on a few things there namely that A) they are a band and B) they have 13 studio albums and C) they are quite good at making money.
    -As to more metal of any sort being in the Hall, I like some metal but I’ll let Eddie Trunk carry that torch. If it were up to him, UFO would be in there.
    -Kate Bush is so much more well-regarded and popular in the UK it isn’t even funny.
    -Rundgren for sure. Going to post on him sometime in the New Year.
    -Ringo to be knighted in the New Year.
    -Merry XMAS.

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  4. Merry Christmas, Jim! Yeah, I think Corgan’s a fan; can’t remember if Ric produced something for them but they covered “You’re All I’ve Got Tonight.” Sister Rosetta is HUGE. I think Warren Zevon will get a nom before Todd; can’t see them on the same ballot, but Todd should be in already. They both should. Not a metalhead, but I genuinely like Priest and want to see them in. Don’t like Iron Maiden but I do get the arguments put forth on their behalf. Kate Bush…would love to see her vision recognized here. Sir Ringo! Love it.

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    1. Hi Richie – My wheelhouse of music knowledge is pretty narrow, so as it progresses and the focus shift more and more to 90s and beyond, I’m going to be at more of a loss. I do see Judas Priest, Warren Zevon, Janet Jackson, Def Leppard and Boston getting noms in the next couple of years, and possibly the Doobie Brothers as well. I’d LIKE to see Link Wray in somehow, and more recognition for relatively contemporary women. Beyond that…we’ll find out! Who do you see? What do you want to see with this year’s ceremony?

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      1. I made a comment to alexvoltaire a couple of days ago on his blog and I said to him which acts do you see being nominated and inducted in the next five years (2019 2020 2021 2022 and 2023) and he replied back to me and said

        Okay- let’s try it this way. Assuming five or six acts per class, and five more years, I would expect the 25-30 next acts inducted to be, in some order:

        Nine Inch Nails, Judas Priest, Doobie Brothers, Eurythmics, Radiohead, LL Cool J, Rage Against The Machine, Beck, Janet Jackson, Jay-Z, Eminem, Foo Fighters, The Smiths, Lionel Richie/The Commodores, Duran Duran, Depeche Mode, Carole King, Biggie, Willie Nelson, The Zombies, Smashing Pumpkins, Whitney Houston, The Cure, Warren Zevon, Sting, J. Geils Band, Mary J. Blige, Jethro Tull.

        What do you think?

        Liked by 1 person

  5. which Populist Classic Rock acts do you see getting nominated for the Rock Hall and being inducted into the Rock Hall in the next five years (2019 2020 2021 2022 and 2023)?

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  6. Artists who I think will be inducted into the Rock Hall (assuming five or six acts per class) in the next five years (2019-2023)

    Beck
    Boston
    Carole King
    The Commodores
    The Cure
    Def Leppard
    Depeche Mode
    The Doobie Brothers
    Duran Duran
    Eminem
    Eurythmics
    Foo Fighters
    The J. Geils Band
    Janet Jackson
    Jay-Z
    Jethro Tull
    Judas Priest
    LL Cool J
    Mary J. Blige
    Nine Inch Nails
    The Notorious B.I.G
    Pat Benatar
    Radiohead
    Rage Against The Machine
    Smashing Pumpkins
    The Smiths
    Sting
    Todd Rundgren
    Warren Zevon
    Whitney Houston
    Willie Nelson
    The Zombies

    My predictions on who I think will be inducted (if six) each year from 2019-2023

    2019

    Def Leppard
    The Doobie Brothers
    Jethro Tull
    Judas Priest
    LL Cool J
    Warren Zevon

    2020

    Boston
    The J. Geils Band
    The Notorious B.I.G
    Pat Benatar
    Sting
    The Zombies

    2021

    Carole King
    Duran Duran
    Eurythmics
    Foo Fighters
    Janet Jackson
    Jay-Z

    2022

    The Cure
    Depeche Mode
    Eminem
    Nine Inch Nails
    Radiohead
    Whitney Houston

    2023

    Beck
    The Commodores
    Mary J. Blige
    Rage Against The Machine
    Smashing Pumpkins
    The Smiths

    What do you think?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Willie Nelson and Todd Rundgren will also be inducted in the Musical Excellence category in the next five years as well

      I’m predicting

      2020

      Musical Excellence

      Willie Nelson

      2023

      Musical Excellence

      Todd Rundgren

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          1. Oh, LOL. He’s the President of the Rock Hall’s Foundation, which is the arm of the organization that actually handles the nominations/inductions in New York, as opposed to the Museum in Cleveland, which is headed by Greg Harris, who used to be head of the Baseball Hall in Cooperstown.

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      1. The reason why that I chose six is because from 2012-2015 and 2017 they did six inductees because the votes were close, so that’s not out of the question, Peresman said that they’re committed to having five inductees as a regular thing now, unless the votes are close so that’s the reason why that I chose six inductees instead of five.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. I just listened to “I Stand Alone” and I think my brain just exploded. Wow – reminds me of Rundgren and “Wizard” – everything but the kitchen sink in influences and production techniques, with a melodic pop sensibility (which is by no means an insult). Kooper may have packed at least as much sonic data into 40 minutes as Todd got into two discs though. Also giggling with nerdy delight at the samples that showed up in stuff I know: the rooster that the Gap Band used in “Early in the Morning,” the happy baby Prince put at the end of “Delirious,” and most of all the calliope that five years later showed up on “Brighton Rock” by Queen.

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          2. And even a bigger deal is that he was – as I mentioned in my post – Zelig-like in that he was everywhere. Dylan, Bloomfield, Monterery Pop, discovered Lynyrd Skynyrd. I’d put him in there just for his pedigree!

            Liked by 1 person

  7. Assuming five or six acts per class, and 5-6 more years, I would expect the 25-30 next acts inducted to be in some order:

    Nine Inch Nails
    Judas Priest
    The Doobie Brothers
    Eurythmics
    Radiohead
    LL Cool J
    Rage Against The Machine
    Beck
    Janet Jackson
    Jay-Z
    Eminem
    Foo Fighters
    The Smiths
    The Commodores
    Duran Duran
    Depeche Mode
    Carole King
    The Notorious B.I.G
    Willie Nelson
    The Zombies
    Smashing Pumpkins
    Whitney Houston
    The Cure
    Warren Zevon
    Sting
    The J. Geils Band
    Mary J. Blige
    Jethro Tull
    Todd Rundgren
    Def Leppard
    Boston
    Pat Benatar

    What do you think?

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