Just kidding folks.

No matter what anyone pretends (including some of the artists themselves), being inducted into a major Hall of Fame is a great honor and I’m down with anybody who makes it through the process.

This year it’s Chicago, N.W.A., Steve Miller, Cheap Trick and Deep Purple.

I didn’t have any especially strong feelings for any of the artists nominated this rime around except Spinners and, of course, being by far the most deserving, they did not make it. I’ll keep hoping. The one act I voted for in fan balloting which made the grade was Cheap Trick. I hope (but doubt) that their induction opens a crack for Big Star, Raspberries and the Go-Go’s, the other great power pop bands who were even greater rock and roll bands than Cheap Trick, to receive future consideration. We shall see.

As to the rest, N.W.A. and Deep Purple were genuine pioneers even if I’m not the prime audience for their music (and even if Joe South, deserving himself, did out-rock DP on “Hush”). Steve Miller was a genuine survivor, and Chicago sure did sell a lot of records (not a few of which I like a lot). All in all, I’d say it’s about average as recent classes go but it does continue one especially deep and troubling trend that I’ll keep harping on until it gets better: The Hall should stop pretending that black people disappeared in the 70s. If Chicago and Cheap Trick and Steve Miller can all go in during the same year, the first time any of them were nominated, then there’s no reason Barry White and the Commodores and Ohio Players shouldn’t go in next year as first time nominees.

Not to mention War and Spinners, the era’s greatest band and greatest vocal group respectively, R&B or otherwise. They both should have been in long ago.

So, looking forward, let this be the beginning of a new road folks, not an endless highway where a stream of geriatric white folks are eternally joined by a token rap or alternative act or two (look for Pearl Jam and Tupac next year), all selected by a hardening formula that now prizes television ratings over the Hall’s purported mission, as opposed to striking a necessary balance.

Take some advice in other words…

For my initial thoughts on the year’s nominees you can go here…


  1. Recommended reading: THE POLITICS OF GLORY by Bill james about the history and workings of the baseball hall of Fame. BJ explains how the standards were lowered over time by buddyism.

    As for the new inductees into the Rock& & Roll Hall of Fame: except for Steve Miller’s first three brilliant albums from the ’60s, I own nothing by any of them nor will I ever. But there is no reasonable reason to keep them out of the Hall because what serious rock fan gives a damn about it?

    I’d rather vote for the jeans that Haley Mills wore in the silly movie you had me watch . . .

  2. Something similar certainly seems to be going on at the RRHOF and it’s a shame The museum is great and, much as I complain, most of the people who deserve to be in do get in eventually. I don’t expect it to be perfect but it would be nice if they didn’t run it completely off the rails.

    BTW: Er, I’m looking for the gun I held to your head when I made you suffer through Hayley running around in tight jeans for an hour and half…Can’t seem to find it here!

    Will put that James book on my ever-expanding to do list. I’d definitely be interested in his insights.

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