I stopped doing a “who should be inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame” listing years ago. Mostly because the artists I thought SHOULD be in the Rock Hall by now – the Moody Blues, the Guess Who, Styx, Boston, Cheap Trick, Kansas, the Electric Light Orchestra, New Order, Depeche Mode – kept getting overlooked and ignored. Not even consideration for the ballot.
This time, the Class of 2015 may have gotten it right – or at least more “right” than they have in the past, when they inducted Madonna and ABBA and … well … ABBA? Really? ABBA is to rock and roll what beige is to a rainbow.
Inducted this year are the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Green Day, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Lou Reed, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Bill Withers, with Ringo Starr receiving a “Musical Excellence” award and the “5” Royales receiving the “Early Influence” honor.
So I have to think for a second.
Maybe the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame voters finally get the hint that these artists should get in on their musical chops, to understand that there is musicianship in a well-tuned guitar and the absence of auto-tune.
That maybe the Rock Hall understands the power of suave, smooth vocals, flowing over powerful, emotive lyrics.
And that there are some artists who deserve to be inducted twice – once for their work in a group, and once for their solo output.
And if you can claw your way out of a jailbait-exploitation band and create your own sound, to the point where your music is considered not only original…
… but can be considered an influence to those who will also receive induction.
And if three of the Beatles can all receive solo inductions along with their group induction, then why can’t Ringo Starr also receive such an accolade?
Plus, it’s nice to actually acknowledge that there was an influence of doo-wop and R&B, the forgotten roots of rock and roll, in the induction of the “5” Royales.
All in all, if this is the Class of 2015, I’m okay with it.
Now, a quick word to the voters and ballot-scribers for the Class of 2016…
Write down these names.
- The Moody Blues
- The Guess Who
- King Crimson
- Cheap Trick
- The Electric Light Orchestra
- Depeche Mode
- Joy Division / New Order
- The Wrecking Crew
- The Muscle Shoals studio musicians
- The Misfits
- Duran Duran
- Robert Moog (influence, for inventing the Moog synthesizer)
Give me some of these names on the ballot next year.
Got it? Good.