Thursday, September 24, 2009


The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has announced the artists on the ballot for their next induction class. This isn't the inductees: it's who is will appear on the ballot. For the millionth time, The Stooges are on. Their classic self-titled debut came out 40 years ago. They are one of the best and most influential bands of all time, and it's embarrassing that they aren't in yet. I hope that not only the original members are eligible, but also later-day guitarist James Williamson, who played on Raw Power, and who recently rejoined the band.

Shockingly, KISS is on the ballot. I say shockingly, because Rolling Stone founder and Rock Hall co-founder Jann Wenner famously hates them. But they are also one of the most influential bands in rock and roll, like it or not. They totally deserve to be in. Although they may be on the ballot just because of the hype that that will generate - especially with a new album coming out. And sorry to KISS fans, I would think that the only members being inducted would be the original four (with apologies to the late, great Eric Carr).

Hip-hop legend LL Cool J is on the ballot, and I would definitely be voting for him also. The first artist to release anything on Def Jam, he is more of an actor/celebrity these days, but his early records had a definite rock and roll attitude if not a rock and roll sound the way Run-DMC did. I am totally cool with some hip-hop artists being in the Rock Hall, especially LL. I'm surprised that The Beastie Boys aren't on the ballot - they were last year. Maybe the Hall wants to wait for them to be able to perform - and right now they can't since Adam Yauch is still recovering from surgery.

Reggae legend Jimmy Cliff is also on the ballot - I'd vote for him too. Bob Marley is the only reggae artist in the Hall, and while it isn't the Reggae Hall of Fame, some reggae artists have certainly influenced rock and roll, and I think Jimmy definitely has. How many rock bands have covered "The Harder They Come"? I'd also think that Peter Tosh would deserve to be inducted.

Also, The Red Hot Chili Peppers - I can't believe they are 25! They'd get my vote also. One of the greatest bands of the modern era, and they are still relevant, unlike so many of thier peers. I wonder who will be included: I think original members, the late Hillel Slovak and Jack Irons should get in, along with John Frusciante and Chad Smith, but I wonder if Dave Navarro will be included?

Also on the ballot: Genesis (who I like but wouldn't vote for this time around - and it would be nice if Phil Collins is healthy and could play drums if they were to be inducted - I'd actually favor Peter Gabriel as a solo artist), The Hollies (cool, but they wouldn't get my vote), Darlene Love (ditto, but I bet she gets in), Laura Nyro (a Rolling Stone favorite), and Donna Summer.

Big omissions in my mind: the aforementioned Beastie Boys, Alice Cooper, The MC5, The New York Dolls, Motorhead and Tom Waits. And Bill Withers.


C. Bottomley said...

I'd agree with your picks, except sub out Red Hot Chili Peppers for Donna Summer. True, the Peppers will be in there one day ... for sales alone if nothing else. But Donna was the queen of disco, helped forge electronica in her own way, and needs to get in quick before she's forgotten entirely. Real shame that neither New York Dolls nor Alice Cooper made the cut.

Minority said...

well, I am certainly not a "disco sucks" type ( ) and I agree that Donna Summer should be in (but probably not before Chic). But to me, The Red Hot Chili Peppers are one of the best bands of the past two decades, and they are still relevant. I know they are too testosteroney or even juvenile for some, but not me. For BloodSugarSexMagik alone, they deserve to be in.