Friday, June 21, 2024

Rock Hall Caves In, Finally Allows in Chicago, Deep Purple, Steve Miller, Plus Cheap Trick and NWA


The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is running out of choices. So they’ve finally caved in and selected Chicago, Deep Purple and Steve Miller as inductees for next April’s ceremony. The Hall of Fame, run by Rolling Stone magazine’s Jann Wenner, had bent over backwards to keep these groups out for years.

This year’s group of inductees will also includes American New Wave group Cheap Trick, and hip hop pioneers NWA. The latter was helped by the overwhelming success of “Straight outta Compton” this year at movie theatres. Without them, the RRHOF show would be all white.

As it is, it will be all male. This core group of inductees includes no females. It also so far has no early R&B or Blues acts, or any actual rock pioneers. At some point, Wenner and his cronies will choose a few people they like for honorary awards.

Last spring, Wenner chucked out about a third of the nominating committee, clearing out a lot of old timers who really knew the history of rock and roll. One of them told me recently they didn’t expect missing doo wop groups ever to get in now. The list of acts who deserve to be in the Rock Hall, but will never get in, is long.

There are also a bunch of people from the 70s going forward who have been overlooked. Nile Rodgers and Chic once again missed the boat. Sting, as a solo performer, and Bon Jovi, aren’t in. Bryan Ferry and Roxy Music, and many others are on that roster too, as well as Carly Simon, J Geils Band, Billy Preston, Todd Rundgren….et al.

These choices should be pretty interesting once they hit the stage at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on April 8. Chicago has all kinds of factions within it. Steve Miller could care less about the music industry. NWA members Ice Cube and Dr. Dre may or may not be on good terms. Easy E is dead.

We’ll see who the Hall adds to this list. I would do a clean sweep of Early Influencers with Chubby Checker, Mary Wells (posthumous), Rufus and Carla Thomas, Billy Preston as a sideman, plus producers awards to Richard Perry, Phil Ramone (posthumous) and Richard Gottehrer. It’s time to clean up the mess they’ve made. But it’s not likely to happen…

Here’s what I consider Chicago’s classic song:

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
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.

Read more

In Other News