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February 14, 2021

The “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame” is such a joke, it’s hardly even worth talking about anymore. But they released their list of 2021 nominees yesterday, and it contains the usual mix of deserving, on the fence, much too recent, and not even rock at all. They are: (deserving) Carole King, Devo, The Go-Go's, Iron Maiden, Todd Rundgren, (on the fence) Tina Turner, Kate Bush, New York Dolls, (too recent) Foo Fighters, Rage Against the Machine, and (not rock at all) Mary J. Blige, Chaka Khan, Fela Kuti, LL Cool J, Dionne Warwick and Jay-Z.

Who is picking these nominees? I love Dionne Warwick, but if she belongs in the “Rock Hall of Fame,” why not Perry Como and Englebert Humperdinck? And I’m sorry, but rap is not rock. There’s a popular false claim on the Internet, where ignoramuses are given the same megaphone as people who know what they’re talking about, that saying rap isn’t rock means you’re racist. No, it means you’re capable of discerning one musical genre from another. It’s no more racist than saying James Brown, for all his greatness, doesn’t belong in the Bluegrass Hall of Fame, or that Beethoven is not be-bop.

Meanwhile, to prove the laughable uselessness of the “Rock and Roll” “Hall of Fame, here are just a few of the performers who are still not in it, many of whom have never even been nominated. Prepare for your jaw to hit the floor:

Ted Nugent; Dick Dale; Herman’s Hermits; Blue Oyster Cult; The Guess Who; King Crimson; Thin Lizzy; Robin Trower; Emerson Lake & Palmer; Paul Revere and the Raiders; Styx; Eurthymics; Tommy James and the Shondells; Boston; Steppenwolf (creators of the ultimate rock anthem, “Born to Be Wild”); Judas Priest; America; The Grass Roots; Jan and Dean; Motorhead; Neil Sedaka; Badfinger; the MC5; Grand Funk Railroad; Slade; Joe Walsh; Three Dog Night; Warren Zevon; Link Wray; Meat Loaf; Blood, Sweat and Tears; Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers; J. Geils Band; Bad Company; neither Johnny nor Edgar Winter; Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels; Peter Frampton, Johnny Burnette; Ten Years After; Pat Benatar; Johnny Rivers; The B-52s; The Jam (even though Green Day, who stole their entire act from the Jam, are in it); and three of my favorite bands, Mott the Hoople, the Monkees, and (I think the most outrageous snub of all time) Jethro Tull.

That’s right: Tupac Shakur, Linda Ronstadt, NWA, Public Enemy and ABBA are all in the “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,” but Jethro Tull – one of the greatest, most innovative bands in rock history, with a career stretching over 50 years and more than 20 albums, including classics such as “Stand Up,” “Benefit,” “Aqualung,” “Thick As A Brick,” “War Child” and “Songs From The Wood;” and whose leader Ian Anderson continues to make brilliant solo albums like “The Secret Language of Birds” – is not. But they think Jay-Z deserves to go into the “Rock” Hall of Fame ahead of Jethro Tulll? Morons.

Then again, what can you say about an institution that supposedly honors rock music yet took 30 years to induct Deep Purple, when half the actual rock guitarists in the place learned to play by copying the riff from “Smoke on the Water?” By that time, they’d already inducted Madonna, Run-DMC, Whitney Houston and the Beastie Boys. What has their induction committee been smoking?


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Comments 1-10 of 10

  • Lucius Sorrentino

    02/17/2021 03:48 PM

    Righteously deserved indignation. It has been a joke for decades. I'd quibble about Sedaka and maybe Jonathan Richmond, but, ya, the list of the overlooked is jaw dropping.
    I'd also mention Little Feat, the Strawbs, the Pogues, and Oysterband.

  • Sharon Faulkner

    02/16/2021 08:05 PM

    When I was in High School " Born to be Wild " was our anthem period.

  • Patricia Schanz

    02/15/2021 06:32 PM

    Whoever is selecting
    these artists, that are by the way,not ROCK artists!!!!! They should be replaced immediately!!!!

  • Gail Irons

    02/15/2021 01:14 PM

    That is what happens with the "cancel culture" and the PC crowd. They wouldn't know good music if it hit in the butt...


    02/15/2021 11:15 AM

    Agreed!! Well said. Goes right along with all the other backward behavior we are witnessing.

  • Gary Moore

    02/15/2021 01:29 AM

    As far as I am concerned, true Rock and Roll, basically died with the introduction Bands and singers that couldn't carry a tune in a wheel barrow, and only knew 3 chords on guitar, but they could play loud and scream louder, which describes most of the bands that hit the scene after 1968, and Disco, and pleas don't confuse Rythm and Blue and Doowop with rock. They were okay, but not rock and roll.

  • Rick Decorie

    02/14/2021 05:58 PM

    I totally agree with this article. They might as well as call it the Music Hall of Fame.

  • Hugh Patrick Kerr

    02/14/2021 05:33 PM

    I love Mike.

  • John Galvin

    02/14/2021 03:54 PM

    The R&R Hall apparently is trying to be “inclusive” at the expense of so many phenomenal R&R artists that have been overlooked - earth shattering pioneers who were identified in the article. Pretty soon it’ll be as political as the Oscars. Deal me out. I have my own Hall of Fame and it doesn’t include modern day rip off artists and rappers.

  • Kevin white

    02/14/2021 12:36 PM

    You left out the Cowsills! They are every bit as deserving of a place in the hall of fame.