Something wicked this way comes: the annual announcement of nominees for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Yes, it’s a sad joke at this point, the whole thing. There are dozens of great names from every part of popular music who are not in the Rock Hall– and will never be. Some of it is because Jann Wenner has blocked them. Some of it is because the nominating committee was cleaned out last year to encourage younger voters with no memory or allegiance to people who’ve been bypassed.
So tomorrow we will get Pearl Jam and Tupac Shakur, eligible for the first time. They will likely be voted in.
But then? Bon Jovi, long eligible, apparently Wenner doesn’t want them. Sting as a solo artist– Wenner wants to tickets to Sting shows but is no help otherwise. Sting’s 28 year solo career now actually eclipses his Police run.
Then there’s a raft of R&B acts and influencers who will never make it — Billy Preston, Mary Wells, Chubby Checker and so on. War, whose music has been sampled by everyone, is still not in. Rufus and Carla Thomas, the King and Queen of Stax, have been overlooked. So has the great singer Jerry Butler.
There are plenty of groups from Tommy James and the Shondells to the Moody Blues, Doobie Brothers, and so on. J Geils Band is still out despite Peter Wolf doing everything but carrying Wenner on a sedan chair to the annual dinner. Todd Rundgren, who had solo hits and is/was a major producer, is also absent. And producers– Richard Perry. Phil Ramone.
Plenty of influential singer songwriters are also missing like Carly Simon, and Carole King, who’s only in as a songwriter with Gerry Goffin but not for Tapestry. The Hall is not good with women. Joan Baez and Judy Collins are also MIA.
So tomorrow will be the annual shitstorm, with lots of complaints and head scratching. And yes, they still pay Joel Peresman over $400,000 a year to guide this ship into darkness.