The nominees for the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame have been announced and, like every year, some things are immutable. For one, KISS ain’t one of them, while a younger band, like Bon Jovi, is. There’s the eventual inductee, like Neil Diamond, finally getting some notice. And there’s stuff like LL Cool J.
The nominees are always the no-braniers – it’s just taking pages out of Rolling Stone’s “History of Rock & Roll” every year. Fair enough. And clicking around on the HoF’s website, they’ve covered all the basics – B.B. King, The Animals, Springsteen, etc.
But we were having a quick discussion here in the office. And by discussion, anyone at Pollstar knows that means this lowly scribe babbles in the middle of a cubicle to nobody while the other writers wear their headphones and find solace in Facebook.
Their loss. The point I was making was, what if the criteria was influence, and that alone? Yup, there would still be Eric Clapton and The Who. But check it out: I think there are plenty of artists missing.
But instead of LL Cool J, there would be “Rappers Delight” trailblazers Sugarhill Gang or Kurtis Blow who are still waiting. Meaning, there would be no Ladies Love Cool James if there was no “The Breaks.”
So here are a few inductees because of their influence on rock ‘n’ roll. Right off the bat, Jonathan Richman with or w/o Modern Lovers. “Roadrunner” may not be a song the public knows or cares about but pretty much anyone who’s played guitar in a garage band has been indoctrinated to one of the last great modern riffs of rock ‘n’ roll.
Or, for that matter, The Kingsmen. Believe it or not, they’re not in the HoF. “Louie, Louie,” yes. But the version done by the half-mysterious Kingsmen is one of the first songs ever played by any kid band, anywhere, any time.
X. For criminey sakes, X.
Gang of Four – without them there would never have been a U2. Oh, and check out their new shizzle.
I posed this question on my extremely popular Facebook page and here are some of the more inspired answers:
“The Sonics. Those guys helped start garage rock.”
“Avedis Zildjian. Jim Keltner; just check-out his resume. The Neville Brothers. The Meters.”
“Are the Melvins in there?” (FYI, no)
“Jim Keltner is an obvious choice, Cheap Trick, The Moody Blues.”
I checked: The Moody Blues are not on the list. Now remember, we’re talking about influence here. Cheap Trick is clearly a good choice but is there a band that influenced them? Actually, probably a bunch of crappy popular bands that they didn’t want to be like.
But the infamous “they” say that Cheap Trick was influenced by Big Star. Big Star! Big Star and Alex Chilton are not in the HoF. And Big Star influenced The Replacements, who are not in the HoF but influenced all of Grunge. They are also cited as an influence by The Bangles. Holy eff, The Bangles. The Go-Gos.
Also, people mentioned bands like Nirvana. But it has to be 25 years since the first record for the artist to be nominated. People also mentioned bands like Queen and acts like Grandmaster Flash, who are already inducted.
Just curious about what you might think but here’s the handy dandy checklist before making a foo of yo seff.