3 Minute Record

"We learned more from a three minute record baby than we ever learned in school..." -from No Surrender by Bruce Springsteen

Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame - Part Honor, Part Sham

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland, Ohio

Tomorrow, Wednesday, December 15th, the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame will announce the 2011 class of inductees at 10:30 a.m. EST.  Over 500 voters received nomination ballots to select the newest class of artists for induction into the Hall.  To be eligible for nomination into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame a solo artist or band must have release their first single or album 25 years prior to the year of nomination.  For example, this year's nominees had to release their first single or album no later than 1985.   The 26th annual induction ceremony will be held at New York City's Waldorf-Astoria Hotel on March 11, 2011; the event televised on

Fuse

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The announcement of the nominees for possible induction came on September 28, 2010.

  • Alice Cooper
  • Beastie Boys
  • Bon Jovi
  • Chic
  • Neil Diamond
  • Donovan
  • Dr. John
  • The J. Geils Band
  • LL Cool J
  • Darlene Love
  • Laura Nyro
  • Donna Summer
  • Joe Tex
  • Tom Waits
  • Chuck Willis

Rumor has it that Alice Cooper, Neil Diamond, Dr. John, Darlene Love, and Tom Waits will get the necessary 50% of the vote and become new inductees.  I agree that each of these artists are deserving of their place in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.  Each represent a different style of music and were influential to many of the artists that grew up listening to their music. Alice Cooper influenced scores of fans with his hard Rock style and edgy stage shows.  A songwriter turned performer, Neil Diamond may seem like a lightweight for many, but many of his early songs were classics and he's much more Rock and Roll than Barry Manilow. Dr. John is a legend and it's a travesty he was not inducted years ago. Darlene Love is a relative unknown to most people outside of the music industry, but has put her stamp on many classic recordings, especially those created by Phil Spector.  Finally, the eclectic Tom Waits is the most influential of the group. His first album, Closing Time, released in 1973, contained the often covered "Ol' 55." He has constantly changed and morphed over the years with his brand of blues, folk, jazz, rock and experimental music highlighting his baritone voice that over the years has become a growl.  Waits should have been in a decade ago when Bono gave the introduction and inducted Bruce Springsteen.

Since the board of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame (read: Jann Wenner of Rolling Stone) has seemingly capped the inductee class at 5 acts each year (the last year there were more than 5 was in 2004 in which 7 acts were inducted), the Hall is still adding artists from the 1960's and 1970's into the honored ranks.  Since the Hall began inducting acts in 1986, the voting has had a lot of catching up to do over the last 25 years. While a few artists from the 1980's have received their due in the past five years - The Pretenders, R.E.M., U2, Madonna, Metallica, Run-DMC - they are top-tier, first ballot acts that honor was bestowed without pause.  However, those are the only artists inducted so far that that have released an album in 1980 or after.  Besides selling high-priced plates and worrying about each year's lineup at the induction ceremony, the focus for the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame board needs to be on the men and women who were most influential and deserving of the honor.

Among the nominees not receiving the nod this year, I will agree that Bon Jovi and the Beastie Boys both deserve their place in the Hall.  However, much of the music of the 1980's was of the One Hit Wonder variety.  We'll see if the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame will step up and recognize the underground movement of the 1980's with such bands as: The Replacements, Hüsker Dü, Sonic Youth, 10,000 Maniacs, Robyn Hitchcock, The Smiths, The Cure, Pixies, and others. These artists influenced the bands of the 1990's and 2000's and should get their due.