Home Music Rock Hall 2012: No Sting or Bon Jovi, But The Cure Makes...

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has issued its list of nominees for 2012, and it’s a doozy. No Sting or Bon Jovi, but plenty of stale weirdness. Among the oddest choices: new wave pop group The Cure, rappers The Beastie Boys, and Eric B. and Rakim, and disco queen Donna Summer. On the holdover list from ballots past: Donovan (who’d have gotten in 25 years ago if anyone would vote for him), the deceased Laura Nyro (who makes almost every ballot just for kicks), Freddie King. The Spinners--well, they’ve waited so long there almost are no Spinners; Rufus with Chaka Khan–a strange choice; War– a good choice, and then a clutch of middling rockers: Heart, Guns ‘N Roses, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and one stand out–Joan Jett.

There’s also the oddest one: The Small Faces/The Faces, which was probably chosen so that Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood could be exhumed for the ceremony. There’s no Sting, no Bon Jovi (and I’m told they are not pleased at all at this point). Steve Cropper‘s bid to get the 5 Royales in by making an entire all star album of their music– called “Dedicated”– fell on the deaf ears of the Jann Wenner run nominating committee.

The Cure? Eric B. and Rakim? It’s a joke. Look. I love one Cure single–“Just Like Heaven.” Two percent of the population even knows who they are, maybe apart from “Friday I’m In Love.” Why not Billy Idol? And still, not in the Hall, and never to be I guess at this point, are Chicago, Linda Ronstadt, Carly Simon, The Moody Blues, Billy Preston, Ringo Starr, Chubby Checker, Cyndi Lauper, the 5 Royales, Mary Wells, Hall & Oates, Todd Rundgren, and so on. (Fill in the blanks.)

One irony: The Cure and the Spinners are each led by men named Robert Smith. The Spinners’ Bobbie Smith–who I’m sure has never heard of The Cure– is one of two original members of that group who are still active. He’s 75 and sang lead on most of their hits. Most of the past Spinners are in heaven including Phillippe Wynne, who sang the lead on a lot of those hits. But it would be nice to show some respect and vote them in already. Other than that, my guesses for finalists would be Donovan, Guns ‘N Roses (just for the drama of Axl Rose and Slash at each others’ throats), Laura Nyro (enough already), War, and Joan Jett.

All in all: blech.

PS Joel Peresman, the exec in charge of this catastrophe, earned $500,000 last year according to the group’s latest tax filing. Nice work if you can get it.


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Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.
5 replies to this post
  1. The Cure have under their belt several classic albums which helped shape alternative rock as it is known today. The fact that your knowledge is limited to adult oriented radio where Bon Jovi probably succeeds better obviously does not have anything to do with the fact that the Cure are the more important one in the history of popular music.

    Sting? What did he do to deserve being inducted as a solo-artist when the Police already are in?

    I’d recommend reading the criteria for being inducted into the HoF (can be found on their website) before such dumb remarks.

  2. I love the Cure, as does the music industry. All indepedent bands say they were influenced by the Cure!! I sure hope it is true that the Small Faces/Faces are inducted. The former had the late Steve Marriott as lead vocalist & a fabulous guitarist. He was one of the best white male rock vocalists around. Most rockers of his era acknowledge this & place him in their top 10. He deserves every accolade. His career with the Small Faces & Humble Pie was fantastic. He died too early in life & tragically. Peter Frampton owes his career start up to Steve who left Small Faces & started Humble Pie insisting that Pete be a member. The other members of the Small Faces were great musicians, too. Ronnie Lane also was a fine songwriter. He too tragically passed away at a young age. The Small Faces were equal to the Who in the 60s. They burnt out quickly, but morphed into the Faces. I dare say Ian McLagan & Rod Stewart also look forward to catching up. The Faces was a stunning rock outfit in the 70s. Further, listen to the Small Faces’ version of You Need Loving. A young fan of theirs named Robert Plant would frequently listen to them perform this live & later came out with Led Zep’s version of Whole Lotta Love, borrowing all of Steve’s phrasing & nuances. A wonderful & often forgotten band. RIP Steve & Ronnie.

  3. Roger, no love for The Cure?! I’m shocked. Usually you have excellent taste in music. All in all, I thought this year’s list of nominees is better than usual – I’d especially love to see the Wilson sisters get some well-earned laurels. Does your friend Sting actually care about such things? He seemed pretty blase about The Police getting in.

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