I’m going to start by making one small change to my predictions for the Rock Hall’s class of 2015: swapping out the Eurythmics in favor of Janet Jackson. The social networking efforts of @InductJanet has done a lot of things right. They’ve taken a persuasive, encouraging tone rather than the petty, indignant tones other fans of snubbed artists have fallen into (mostly metal heads and rockists), eliciting positive responses from everyone from Questlove to Missy Elliot. And Janet deserves it.
As a regular at the Future Rock Legends message board, which handles speculation on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I decided to conduct a challenge to my colleagues there. So often, we gripe about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s choices: how could Artist A possibly be snubbed and ignored, while Artist B got in? This got me thinking– given the limited number of inductions in a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, who would be in it, if it were up to us, individually? Could any of us have done better?
Here’s the Challenge, one I extend to any of my blogs readers:
If you care to, make me a list of the 192 eligible artists you think belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Do you think Duran Duran should be in, but not Laura Nyro? That the Pixies have a place, but putting in Gene Pitney was a mistake? Here’s your opportunity to put your money where your mouth is, and re-make the Hall— your way.
-Why 192? That is, by my count, the number of artists inducted (believing as I do that the 2012 slate of backing groups like the Miracles and the Comets, etc. were ret-cons– that is, the Hall saying “it should have been James Brown and the Famous Flames, not just James Brown”.)
If you accept, send me your list at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Please send your list in alphabetical order; this will ensure that you haven’t accidentally listed someone twice.
2. Please include artists who were eligible up to the 2014 induction ceremony, meaning that they released their first record at least 25 years ago. For example, Nirvana (whose first release was in 1989 and was first eligible in 2014) is okay, but Green Day (first release in 1990, first eligible in 2015) is not. If you have any doubts as to their eligibility, look it up over at Future Rock Legends’ artists site.
3. Feel free to include or leave out backing groups as you please. For example, you might think Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band is appropriate, but you might also decide on Dion without the Belmonts.
4. I realize that this project, if you wish to participate, takes time– let’s set a deadline for September 25th.
5. Remember, this is just for artist inductions- not early influences, not producers, not sidemen.
Almost by definition, some of your choices will already be in the Hall, while others are not. You might want to use the Future Rock Legends rock rankings, its list of previously considered artists, the other resources on that site, and most importantly, your own musical and historical judgment in making your choices. If you’d like to see which artists are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in real life, the easiest way is actually just taking this Sporcle quiz, give up as soon as you can, and look at the answers.
If you have the time and interest, I hope you will participate. It’s the best challenge you can accept this summer that doesn’t involve pouring a bucket of ice on your head.
I’ll post my own list of 192 very soon here, believing as I do in transparency and accountability.
Any interest in this, Rick M? Jared? Rock Hall expert Tom Lane?