Guns N' Roses And Some Other People Get The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Nod; Plus, Get A Peek At My Ballot

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This morning the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame announced its 2012 inductees, and topping the list is the snarling chroniclers of Sunset Strip decadence Guns N' Roses. (Will they get back together for the induction dinner? Is Axl Rose only going to call up Izzy for the big night? How does Tracii Guns feel about this? So many questions!) Also making it in: the psych-folk troubadour Donovan; local Carvel aficionados the Beastie Boys; the late singer-songwriter Laura Nyro; the collected British bands the Small Faces and the Faces; blues guitarist Freddie King; and, sigh, the Red Hot Chili Peppers. There are some disappointing things about these choices—Eric B. and Rakim were also on the ballot, and while I certainly enjoy the Beastie Boys' music I'd argue that as far as quote-unquote importance goes I'd give it to the duo over the trio. (Although the Beasties were on the ballot last year, as were the Chili Peppers and Nyro and Donovan.) Of course my saying this will probably incite a bunch of chattering about how It's The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, Man, and to that I say that the term "rock and roll" is a red herring, one that effectively trips people up into thinking that only guitar-based bands (hey, remember, the Beastie Boys started out as a hardcore outfit!) are worthy of induction. Certainly the body of artists on the museum's roster represents pop—yes, it's a certain idea of pop, one with a stamp of Importance that's defined by values rooted in privileging rock's ethos over others, but it's pop nonetheless. And yes I can sigh and complain about this because I voted! My ballot's below.

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I dropped this off on Monday.

Of the people I voted for, Heart, Rufus and Chaka, and Eric B. and Rakim were the first-time nominees who didn't get in. (Donna Summer has been on the ballot before; the "disco sucks" sentiment is still holding over from the '70s, apparently. It's kept seven-time nominee Chic out, too, which, sigh.) Given that so many of this year's inductees were return trippers to the ballot, maybe it's a wait 'til next year sort of thing?

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25 comments
Garrett Jennings
Garrett Jennings

Here are the top 30 vote-getters at:http://www.rateitall.com/topic...Only Red Hot Chili Peppers, Guns n' Roses and Donovan made the Top 30.

1) Rush

2) Chicago

3) Yes

4) Deep Purple

5) Doobie Brothers

6) Moody Blues

7) Dire Straits

8) The Cars

9) Electric Light Orchestra

10) Jethro Tull

11) Pete Townshend (solo)

12) Heart

13) Journey

14) Steve Miller

15) Carole King

16) Styx

17) Kiss

18) Jim Croce

19) Peter Gabriel (solo)

20) Squeeze

21) Red Hot Chili Peppers

22) Supertramp

23) Stevie Ray Vaughan

24) Badfinger

25) Hall & Oates

26) The Guess Who

27) Foreigner

28) Guns N' Roses

29) Donovan

30) Cat Stevens

Knholt
Knholt

What about Patti La Belle. She's been around 50 years and is still incredible!

Big Tony
Big Tony

Most of the protesting commentators here seem to want to limit the Hall's memberships to "Rock", but it *isn't* the *Rock* Hall Of Fame, it is the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.  Hip Hop definitely is *not* "Rock", but it definitely is a derivative evolutionary subgenre of "Rock and Roll" just as "Rock" is and "Punk" and "Disco" and "Metal".

Rock and Roll has *always* been a very broad term.;  The 50s groups that the term was coined to cover were diverse musically: rockabilly, doo wop, blues, r&b, rowdy country, upbeat pop and modernized folk music. 

To make the modern form of rock and roll *more* restrictive than its origins is counter-intuitive. 

Coletha Woodson
Coletha Woodson

Certain groups have determined what "Rock&Roll should signify. White men,long hair and an electric guitar. Racisim clouds the hearts and minds of so many people in Amerika, It's part of the Hall of "Fame" ballots too! NEXT!

nordraak
nordraak

 Your a joke. if you want Donna Summers start your own Disco Hall of Shame. Same with all the crap rappers & bubblegum pop that's been inducted in the past. Rock N Roll is its own genre/culture/religion. Its a travesty that Rush, Kiss, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Deep Purple, Cheap Trick, The Cars, Joan Baez, Pat Benatar, The Cure, Dire Straits, MC5, Motorhead, Peter Gabriel, Moody Blues, Ted Nugent, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Yes, The Scorpions and many more have not been inducted....

Jamie
Jamie

Shouldn't they call it the "music hall of fame" or the "pop, hip hop and rock and roll hall of fame" or something? I know you dislike the idea of genres, but these words still mean things to the vast majority of the population, and I would argue are sort of useful to describe what type of sound you're dealing with, in most cases.

Epac
Epac

The RnR HOF is a complete and utter JOKE and nothing more than a tribute to Jann Wenner's ego. Artists should be fighting to get OUT, not in.

Michael Tedder
Michael Tedder

So close to hugging my Cure records are crying all night over here.

Lucas Jensen
Lucas Jensen

No KISS=no credibility. I'm 100% serious.

Skyvue
Skyvue

There's no excuse for War not getting in.

Chris Molanphy
Chris Molanphy

I can all but guarantee you none of the annual "it's rock n' roll, man" gripers will say a word about the Beasties, because they've been on alt/modern-rock radio for years, and because the barely disguised, Comiskey Park in '79–esque agenda of said complainers means the Beasties are probably fine with them.

Jamie
Jamie

You don't have to be white and male to play rock and roll, as Jimi Hendrix, Bad Brains, Heart, TV On The Radio, Hole, Pat Benetar, and a whole bunch of others would attest. Guitars do help, though. I think I'd rather have it be the Best Music Ever Hall Of Fame and have it represent all genres equally, than The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame With Some Token Pop And HipHop (which is what it is now). But to say that all good music is rock and roll is just incorrect. Words mean things! When I saw Rakim this past summer, he namechecked "hiphop" as a genre quite a lot...I'm pretty sure he's proud to be a hiphop artist, and would be like "wtf" if you tried to call him a rock musician.

Skyvue
Skyvue

It's true. Few artists rock harder than Joan Baez.

Dbennett5150
Dbennett5150

I agree. No Maiden, Rush, Priest???The Hall Sucks

Caryn Rose
Caryn Rose

I had this very discussion - the "it's not the hip hop hall of fame" - with Dave Marsh a few months back & his point was that it's just a name, it's meant to represent popular music. But it always will come up.

maura
maura

I wholeheartedly agree. Also, SUBMITTED FOR DEBATE: The Red Hot Chili Peppers' 21st-century musical output has been more embarrassing than Guns N' Roses. y/n?

Chris Molanphy
Chris Molanphy

I'll respond to your rather temperate, level-headed thoughts, rather than the...ahem, eloquent comment by Mr. nordraak above. A few thoughts:

1. Go ahead and ask Rakim whether he'd mind being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, under that name. Grandmaster Flash and Run-DMC didn't seem to think it hurt their hip-hop cred any.

2. My favorite retort to the perennial R&RHoF "get rid of these disco and crap-pop" arguments: How do you feel about the Supremes? They're in the Hall. Are they "rock"? Berry Gordy shaped them, other people wrote their songs for them, they never touched guitars or any instrument beyond a tambourine. If we're going to exclude acts that didn't touch a guitar or have any of the obvious "rock" signifiers in the hall, then we can't just let in Motown acts because we have decades of oldies radio/Boomer affection for them. Supremes are out. Ronnie Spector is out. James Brown (who generally directed other musicians and didn't play himself) is out.

Obviously you don't want those acts out of the Hall any more than I. But then let's not pretend that the call to change the Hall's name, or to exclude the likes of Donna Summer, is anything more than certain commentators and fans still not being comfortable with certain genres of postrock music that rose to challenge the hegemony of straight guitar rock in the last 40 years. Unless we want to really start splitting hairs and opening a Disco Hall and a Hip-Hop Hall and a Punk Hall and an Indie Hall (a terrible idea, I hope you'll agree), I don't see why the Rock & Roll Hall can't encompass all of it.

Phil Freeman
Phil Freeman

Absolutely. I'll defend Chinese Democracy all day.

Innajunglestylee
Innajunglestylee

That's a real Sophie's Choice of terrible bands past their prime you've set up, Maura.

s.
s.

True, and also true if you delete the words “21st-century”.

Also: if you haven't inducted Rush, you can't seriously call yourself a rock-and-roll hall of fame.

Jamie
Jamie

"Rock and roll" can't encompass all of it because it's imprecise language. Rock is a specific genre of music (albeit a capacious one) with a specific history. Furthermore, calling what is meant to be a more general music hall of fame "the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame" exposes a huge bias towards, well, rock and roll. I would like to see a Great Music Hall Of Fame, and I would also like to see it represent other genres in a more equitable way. I don't want to keep pop and hiphop out...quite on the contrary, I would like to see them represented better! I'm just a stickler for proper descriptors. Not everything good is rock and roll (except in the most abstract sense of the word, i.e., 'having a rock and roll attitude'), and that's okay.

Mike
Mike

Heart and Rush are, in my eyes, the two largest omissions from the Hall.

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