NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MARCH 29: (L-R) Inductees Michael Dempsey, Pearl Thompson, Perry Bamonte, Boris Williams, Lol Tolhurst of The Cure attend the 2019 Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony - Press Room at Barclays Center on March 29, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images For The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)
The announcement a few months back that John Sykes, MTV co-founder, would be taking over the reigns of Cleveland’s Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame from Jann Wenner in 2020 was welcome to me. In my opinion, a leadership move in the organization could, at last, change the pervasive culture of exclusion of bands and artists some saw as “not cool.” To back this up, I think of how long it took Yes to get in. They were inducted in 2017, some 23 years after they first became eligible. After 23 years, they finally deserve it? SMDH, as the kids say. Other acts like Journey, Kiss and Def Leppard, long eligible for the honor, were inducted after the Hall added fan selection to the mix.
While the lineup this year is, in my opinion, a little more encouraging than the last several years (T. Rex, Pat Benatar and Thin Lizzy getting long overdue first time acknowledgements), I am still stumped by the artists NOT nominated. I could name 35 easily, but here are a few select omissions:
BOSTON – NOVEMBER 24: (L-R) Boston band member Gary Pihl joins Amos Eisenberg, actress Mindy Kaling, writer and co-executive producer of “The Office” B.J. Novak, writer Lee Eisenberg, his mother Ronni Eisenberg, and Boston band members Tom Scholz, and Michael Sweet at the launch party of Kidz B Kidz clothing line, donating a portion of all proceeds to childhood cancer research programs, at Children’s Hospital Boston, Patient Entertainment Center November 24, 2008 in Boston, Massachusetts. Amos and Ronni are Lee Eisenberg’s parents. (Photo by Mary Schwalm/Getty Images)
Boston – HELLO! They had the biggest selling debut ROCK AND ROLL album in history until Appetite For Destruction by Guns ’N Roses (induced in 2012) was released.
Harry Nilsson (1941 – 1994) at the piano, 1972. (Photo by Stan Meagher/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Harry Nilsson – He wrote, arranged and sung some of the most beautiful songs ever, and has been cruelly overlooked since he was eligible in 1991.
WEST PALM BEACH, FL – MAY 29: Founding members Simon Kirke (drums) and Paul Rodgers (Lead Singer) of Bad Company perform during Joe Walsh & Bad Company One Hell Of A Night Tour – at Perfect Vodka Amphitheatre on May 29, 2016 in West Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)
Bad Company – If you listen to my show, you’ve heard me complain about this exclusion for years. And don’t get me started with Paul Rodgers and Simon Kirke’s previous band, Free. That should have been automatic!
376176 09: Rock musician Warren Zevon, middle, attends the Democratic National Convention August 15, 2000 in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by David McNew/Newsmakers)
Warren Zevon – This one is a real mystery to me. On Excitable Boy alone he should be inducted.
circa 1970: British folk group Jethro Tull, led by flautist, guitarist, singer and songwriter Ian Anderson. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Jethro Tull – 1 multi-platinum and 11 gold-selling albums in the US alone is not enough? What the even heck?
PASADENA, CA – JANUARY 04: The B-52’s perform during the ‘B-52’s With the Wild Crowd’ panel during the PBS portion of the 2012 Winter TCA Tour held at The Langham Huntington Hotel and Spa on January 4, 2012 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
The B-52s – C’mon, man, they were one-of-a-kind, incredible live and they made some wonderful music together.
381849 01: A studio portrait of female pop group The Go-Go’s around the time of their 2001 album, ‘God Bless the Go-Gos.’ (Photo by Beyond Music/Courtesy of Getty Images)
The Go-Gos – They are the first all-female band to write and record a #1 album and didn’t do too shabbily on the single charts, either. Now, having said The Go-Gos…
PARK CITY, UT – JANUARY 24: (L-R) Actress Kristen Stewart, musician Joan Jett, actress Dakota Fanning and musician Cherie Currie attend “The Runaways” premiere during the 2010 Sundance Film Festival at Eccles Center Theatre on January 24, 2010 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)
The Runaways – Again, a group made up of all women, just teenagers, who made their own music and absolutely killed it. Talk about influencing a generation! Though their lead guitarist DID get the nod (Joan Jett), I still think women are shamefully underrepresented in the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame.
OK, I’m done ranting. For now. Voting is open through 1/10/20 for fan selection of the nominees and you can get details, and find out more, here.
Now please VOTE TODD!!!!
ANAHEIM, CA – JANUARY 24: Musician Todd Rundgren attends the NAMM Tec Awards at the Anaheim Hilton on January 24, 2014 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for NAMM)