At first, I was going to handicap them based on how I thought the vote would go. But then I looked at this list and realized it's nearly impossible to handicap. In past years, you had near unanimous choices.But while Guns N' Roses may seem like a surefire first round pick, due to their huge record sales and iconic status, it's also possible that the folks voting are in that "too old" demographic and will make the group wait.
Regular readers of this column know that I am all for allowing EVERYONE in. I don't like institutions. I don't like elitism. I don't even like my own lists! And I don't actually care about this Hall of Fame business. It's just water-cooler talk, which, in my house, means I torture my super fab g-friend until she runs away from me to the other end of the house.
But, alas, I've decided to go with a list that puts it down the way I would put it down.
Note to the Hall: Keeping the Monkees out of the Hall does not denote "integrity." It just shows you're being petty.
15) Red Hot Chili Peppers: Oh, these boys will get in without my help. And just because I have them listed at #15 doesn't mean I hate them. I like several tunes, which means they're right up there with other greats such as The Outfield, Toto and Tommy Tutone. And still not as good as Joy Division, Jethro Tull, Gram Parsons,The Jam, Love or Iron Maiden.
14) Guns N' Roses: I'm thinking these guys get in on their first try. Think of the ratings if W. Axl Rose joins up with Slash, Izzy and Duff for a medley of "Sweet Child O' Mine," "Paradise City" and "Welcome to the Jungle." I still haven't forgiven them for those two Use Your Illusion albums.
13) Heart: If we were just talking the 1970s Heart, I would move them up on the list. But that 1980s stuff was lethal. The 1980s did a lot of damage to many artists. In some ways, artists should get credit for surviving that decade.
12) Beastie Boys: I'm surprised these brats didn't go in on first try. Maybe they annoyed Jann Wenner.
11) Donna Summer: I'm guessing her homophobic comments are working against her.
10) Erik B. and Rakim: I can already hear the yelling. They're not rock 'n' roll.They're hip-hop. I can almost sympathize. Except I think Chuck Berry fans have a point when they say that much of what is called rock 'n' roll is nothing of the kind. From where they stand, David Bowie is just some kind of weirdo.
9) The Spinners: For "Could It Be I'm Falling In Love," "Games People Play,""Working My Way Back to You" "Ghetto Child" and "I'll Be Around," among the many.
7) Laura Nyro: If you're going to complain that Erik B. and Rakim aren't rock 'n' roll, then you might as well complain about half the people on this list. Who are you people who like putting music into little boxes? You're the people who made Laura Nyro cry!
6) Freddie King: The "Texas Cannonball" was one of the "We Three Kings." Albert and B.B. being the other two. Best known for "Have You Ever Loved A Woman" and"Hide Away," King has been influential on Eric Clapton, Jerry Garcia and Stevie Ray Vaughan, among others.
3) The Cure: Considering that Joy Division remain outside the gates,along with the Sisters of Mercy, The Jam, The Buzzcocks, Roxy Music, The Smiths, XTC and The Zombies, tells you just how much the Rock Hall hates British bands. I'd also induct Can, pronto, since you don't want to make Germans angry.
2) Donovan: Time has shown us that Donovan was more a visionary than a period piece. Tagged as a mini-Dylan in his early, acoustic days, he went on to explore music more profoundly. Let the Hurdy Gurdy Man in!
1) Small Faces /Faces: Don't freak out Hall voters, but the Small Faces and The Faces were actually two different bands! I'm sure you're looking for a reason to induct Rod Stewart again, since you can't think of any new ways to induct Eric Clapton, but, really, there are a lot of British bands who deserve to get in.