Never before have I seen a list of potentials where I didn't get a bit queasy with at least half the potentials. I guess that's what happens when the Red Hot Chili Peppers are already in.
To be eligible, artists must have released their first single or album in 1988 or earlier. This year, the Nirvana boys are the only act to be nominated in their first year of eligibility.
While it's my belief that everyone should be admitted to the Hall of Fame because Rock 'n' Roll is not an elitist music, I understand the game being played and I offer up my choices 16-1.
Your opinions may vary, though I have no idea why.
16) Cat Stevens: I like some of his wimpy stuff. I do. But dudes into fatwas don't get no traction with me. He walked away from his career and so can we. Induct Tim Buckley instead. And Tim Hardin. And, what the heck, Tim Rose, too.
14) Linda Ronstadt: I give Linda her Heart Like A Wheel album and a few other key moments, but she's mostly been a cover artist with no discernible point of view. Her Parkinson's admission will likely earn her some sentimental votes, but considering the heavyweight talent on the list, I couldn't do it.
12) Chic: Hard for me to believe, Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards aren't already admitted, but I suppose if you consider them strictly a disco group with no relationship to rock and roll then they seem misplaced. I thought they rocked when it counted. But Slayer aren't here either. This can't be right!
10) NWA: Straight Outta Compton might be the only album they ever made that truly mattered, so they're a lot like Guns N' Roses or the Sex Pistols. "Straight Outta Compton," "F*** tha Police," "Gangsta Gangsta" and"Dope Man" alone are as deserving as "Welcome to the Jungle" and "Anarchy in the UK." Besides, they even got a fan letter of sorts from the FBI.
8) Kiss: You'd never see suicide in the business plans of Paul Stanley or Gene Simmons. Unless maybe Ace was game for it. Nope. These guys run things like a smooth, commercial machine. But while their music is simple, bone-headed, silly and stupid, it's also exactly what rock 'n' roll is by its truest definition. That it still annoys adults is all the more reason to admit they're doing something right. At least a dozen Kiss tunes will outlive a nuclear war. Hopefully, "Detroit Rock City" will outlast "Rock and Roll All Nite." C'mon, they're working hard. They're worth a deuce.
True tale: I watched a competent drummer cry as he listened to one of their albums. He knew they deserved the world and would never get it. Not as long as Max Weinberg is considered an excellent drummer.
6) Deep Purple: Speaking of plodders. You don't have Music Shop 101 without "Smoke On the Water." Their early records were excellent. "Hush" was killer. Their version of "Hey Joe" made the organ sound like an instrument worth hauling to gigs and so did their cover of Donovan's "Lalena." "Space Truckin"? In Rock? Lighten up, people!
4) Peter Gabriel: OK, he's in with Genesis, but everyone knows the Academy voted in the Phil Collins-era because they're fools. But supposing they did let Peter Gabriel's Genesis in on purpose, surely then they'd want to put the solo album Peter Gabriel in even more? Right? I think he gets in because the Academy realizes he brings ratings!
2) The Replacements: No brainer. If there was ever a band that belonged on the brochure, it was these folks. Of course, should they be inducted, they might show up and wear each other's clothes and/or have a little too much fun playing other people's songs. Or maybe they'll sit in chairs and eat chips. Boomers have had their fun shoving their favorites into the hall. Now it's time for another generation to push a few commercially-questionable bands into the mix. Once the Replacements get in, X should be among the next batch. Before you know it, we'll be sneaking in the Gang of Four and Joy Division! Then I'm personally sneaking in The Cure and The Smiths and all those other limeys. Oh, almighty slippery slope, slip slide away!
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