I have been thinking about this for quite some time.  As we already know, the current Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (not the building and exhibits) is a broken and obsolete entity, which is a shame considering the quality of the bands that haven’t made it into the deserved spot as of yet, if ever they will.

Year after year, we read about nominations that sometimes make no sense, or worse yet, bands that have not even made it to the list despite the obvious satisfying of the rules.  With the current level of entries per year, it will be the 31st of never when most of the deserving bands are given the honor of inclusion.  With all of this negativity in mind, I thought that it would be not only fun, but imperative that we storm the gates of the old institution, seize the broken design, and reboot it.

And so, we should start off with a new set of eligibility rules (if any really need to be instituted), and begin the new continuation of:

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame


  1. As with the “old” model of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, eligibility should reflect the contributions of the bands and/or artists over an extended period.  Thus, despite the length of time that any band and/or artist remain as a viable entity, the long term effect should reflect the fans continuing respect.
  2. The “old” model demands that 25 years should pass before an artist or band is considered for nomination for induction.  I offer that 25 years, in this day and age, is too restrictive.  I suggest a waiting period of 15 years.  A lot could be determined within that still lengthy time-frame.
  3. Balloting should still be the mode by which deserving performers and bands are selected although balloting hints at a political process, which this should not ever be.  Therefore, “balloting”, in this rule set, should mean a way of getting choice selections into the hands of the agency by which the “new” Hall of Fame will be instituted.
  4. The “old” manner of selection is in the incapable hands of a small, but inept, nominating committee, who sends out ballots to a group (still small) of so-called Rock experts.  That body votes on the selections and then the nominees with more than 50% of the vote receives induction status, nevermind the deserving status of the left-out nominees.  I think that the fans, in this case, YOU, should be the deciding factor.
  5. There should not be a period of any kind that hints, again, at a political process.  The “old” manner of selection, creating a “ballot” of sorts to weed out the worthy inductees from the not so worthy (WHAT?!) ones should be scuttled in favor of an overwhelming fan-supported ballot that lists a limited group of selections.  When a pre-set date has passed, the selections are assembled.  When a high number (or large group-selected choices) are determined, then that band will be inducted.
  6. There should not be a limited number per year.  If a large selection process “votes” in 15 overwhelming favorites, then that 15 is inducted.  It could be 20.  It could be 25.  Who cares, as long as the right thing is happening.
  7. There are, on occasion, cult bands and performers, loved by smaller numbers of fans than what might select an overwhelming favorite.  If such a name pops up and is  interesting, anyone could then ask that the person or band be carefully reviewed and put up for a vote (or other satisfying determining procedure) among fans.  This guarantees that the Brian Enos and John Cales of the world will get fair representation.  If the vote is 50% within its own procedure, then the performer or band should be inducted.
  8. There shall be NO “feel good” category acknowledgement such as the one that Leon Russell had to endure for recognition for his contribution.  The Ahmet Ertugun Award can be continued to notice non-performing but essential people (like John Peel, Lester Bangs, Paul Williams & Crawdaddy magazine, etc) and to insure that they get properly recognized.  This should not be unfairly awarded to a performer who deserves better.
The time has come to topple the old regime.  We should push this online version of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as the definitive version and dismiss the so-called experts from their foolish and unrealistic honoring of Rock’s best.
With the 27th Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Week coming up (April 5-14), with April 14 the eve of the Induction ceremony, it’s time to help reform that outmoded model into something more realistic.
Having said all of this, let us be the revolutionary model that starts the ball rolling to topple that unreliable model that currently stains the face of Rock and Roll.  Let us comment here (as a start) our choices for 2012.  Those who are currently in the Hall can stay (although some are damn lucky to be there).  Ours is not to overturn, but to recreate fairness in honoring those that deserve it.
Start the fun.  Let’s see where we get to and then proceed form there.  In the meantime, let’s encourage our friends and those who are not readers of TAP to chime in and let their choices be made.  We can restore the beauty of Rock and Roll by first taking it out of the hands of assholes and putting it where it belongs – in the hands of fans.  Just because you’re “inside”, expert, don’t make you right for the rest of us.
Comment with arguments for your choices.  Let’s present a list for 2012, and every year thereafter!
(Let me know if a list of previous winners is needed, and I will assemble one).  Also, if you have rule additions are changes that you’d like to present, suggest them.  This is YOUR institution.

By MARowe

13 thoughts on “The NEW Rock and Roll Hall of Fame”
  1. Here is who should be in already but have been shafted:

    Jethro Tull
    Deep Purple
    Judas Priest
    The Moody Blues
    Electric Light Orchestra
    Iron Maiden
    Bad Company
    The Cars
    Def Leppard

    Honorable mention : King Crimson, Emerson Lake and Palmer, Foreigner (original lineup and Rick Wills), Cat Stevens and Styx (classic lineup), Blackmore’s Rainbow, all eras of Black Sabbath (omitting Dio was blasphemy)

    1. Definitely some good choices here that I didn’t think of… The Moody Blues, Deep Purple, and Cat Stevens, especially.

  2. My thought: The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is a waste.
    “Yes, that’s what I just said. That’s why I want to do a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 2.0 and do it right.”
    No, what I am saying is that the whole concept of a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is a waste. Making a new one with different rules doesn’t solve the problems with the idea itself. There is no reason for its existence other than to promote further argument about who the “best” is. I think that the intentions behind both the original and certainly your proposed reboot are absolutely noble and genuine, but I don’t think it can possibly do what the creators intend.
    The name itself points out two of the biggest flaws – Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
    I challenge anyone to provide a definition of rock & roll that can be universally agreed upon. One of the big complaints I hear about the RRHoF is that certain acts inducted aren’t “real rock & roll”. People say Public Enemy and the Beastie Boys are not rock & roll. What about Ice-T and Body Count? What about Urban Dance Squad? At what point does rap become rock? Is it the inclusion of electric guitar and a live drummer, or is it the rapping itself that excludes those acts? I haven’t heard anyone complain about Elvis Presley in the RRHoF, but what about Johnny Cash? How country is too country? Charlie Daniels? Waylon Jennings? Trace Adkins? If you can’t even define what something is and is not, how can you possibly declare who does it best?
    And why a Hall of Fame? What is the Hall of Fame supposed to acknowledge? Sports halls of fame usually stand to acknowledge those of achievement based on statistics. Most hits, best batting average, highest free throw percentage, longest streak of consecutive wins, and other similar achievements are only occasionally disputed based on changes in rules over time (and debates on pharmacological advantage). Music is an art form, not a sport, and the statistics say nothing of its worth. It makes no sense to induct someone for longest drum fill or highest note sung. The only significant measurable statistics are based on sales. In that case, the people in the Hall of Fame would be the ones with the most merchandise sold. In other words, the Hall of Fame acknowledges those… most famous. Who needs a list of the most famous people? It’s redundant. By definition, you should already know who they are.
    The only criteria that is meaningful at all when it comes to any art form is how much an audience member appreciates its existence. The reasons for that appreciation are so varied and personal, trying to institutionalize them for judgment and mass acceptance is anathema to what makes the experience worthwhile in the first place. This is especially true for what we generally think of as rock & roll, which is an art form known mostly for being at odds with such institutions. The best a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame really can do is bring attention to those already well known by a process of judgment that the best of those artists would likely have railed against in their prime.
    To most of the readers of MusicTAP, music is about emotion. Sure, we can be impressed with technical expertise, but usually only in the context of a meaningful musical idea. The meaning and emotion can acquire depth and perspective when you discuss it with small groups of people, but there is a law of diminishing returns that comes into play when the group becomes a committee (even an online committee of likeminded individuals) gathered for final judgment. At that point you start making lists, and as soon as you put someone on a list, you inevitably leave someone else off the list. This brings me to the biggest reason why a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is a waste: despite the best intentions, by its very nature, the only thing it really does is diminish the contributions of those not included. In short, the list of those included in the Hall of Fame can only be one of two things: all inclusive (and therefore pointless), or hopelessly incomplete.
    As much as I love and respect many of the bands in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, there is only one artist who has responded properly to being inducted, and that is the Sex Pistols. For those who don’t know, their response was, in short, an open letter posted on the Sex Pistols web site that said (paraphrased) ‘You suck, and we aren’t coming’. My hope is that someday Rush is inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and they, too, can respond with a similar (although I’m sure more articulate) letter. Or even better, they may be too busy touring and playing music for their fans to bother responding at all.
    The best hall rock & roll hall of fame is the one you already have right here – an open discussion about the music we love. Any artist mentioned is automatically inducted.


  3. I’ve beaten this drum so long I don’t have any energy left to fight anymore. I’ll just make it short and sweet.
    First the definition of Rock And Roll needs to be re-defined as to who is even eligible. (Or just change the name to the Pop Music Hall of Fame and I will go away.)
    Second, empirical data needs to be part of the equation. Number of albums sold. Number of albums released. Years as an active band with a somewhat consistent lineup.
    These are in addition to your ideas.
    As for groups that have been snubbed, Rush tops my list with Yes right behind them. I could list a few more but why bother, no one is listening.

  4. I have no issue with a 25-year period, but think the idea of a 2.0 for the Hall of Fame is a great idea. Of primary importance to me is a fairer representation of artists actual FANS want in the Hall as opposed to just the artists a little clique of self-appointed arbiters of taste tell us are “worthy.” Ideally, there is a place for critics, but no way should they be the be-all and end-all of a Rock Hall of Fame. Going to ponder this for a bit…

  5. I also think the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame should be limited to “rock” music. While music can often cross genres and categories burring definitions at times, I would still prefer there be a separate Hip Hop Hall of Fame, Country Hall of Fame, and so forth. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame should be about rock and roll!

  6. They need to do something. I mean, I love Louis Armstrong, but in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? And Nat King Cole? But no Rush or Big Star…amazing.

  7. I like your new set of rules! One concern though… While I didn’t like the way Leon Russell finally got in, as a “sideman” (somehow ignoring his own work as both an influential, frequently covered songwriter and a successful solo artist), and even then probably only because of Elton John’s stumping for him, I was just happy he finally got in.

    Anyhow, here’s my list of artists (off the top of my head, at least) who should be in but aren’t:

    The Monkees
    Joe Cocker
    Carole King
    Chicago (the original band, with Terry Kath)
    Peter Gabriel
    Stevie Ray Vaughan
    John Hiatt
    Albert King (B.B., and now Freddie are in… Where’s Albert?)
    Los Lobos
    John Mayall
    Bruce Hornsby

    Also, some bands that I’m not really a fan of, but I admit it’s pretty ridiculous that they aren’t in the Hall: KISS, Rush, and Yes all come to mind.

  8. KISS! They’ve always stood out as the most glaring omission in my eyes. Was the anything bigger in America than KISS in the late seventies? Zeppelin and the Stones scaled back their touring and KISS filled the gap. RHCP, G n’ R and Metallica are all “in” and I’m willing to bet that the musician’s in those bands started off learning their fair share of KISS riffs.

    This is Rock N’ Roll elitism at its most glaring! Did they whore themselves out with merchandising? Absolutely! Did they have a gimmick? Yessir! Did they leave an indelible mark on Rock music? Check the artists who start getting inducted in the next few years and an ever increasing number of them will have been influenced by KISS.

    As far as Rush and Yes… both deserving as well.

    *I am in no way a card-carrying member of the KISS Army. I’ve never seen them in concert, never dressed up as them for Halloween, never owned an Ace Frehley action figure and I don’t think they’ve put out anything remotely listenable since 79′ (Soft spot for Dynasty, pathetic, I know…).

  9. I got to thinking about great producers that, as far as I know, haven’t been included yet: Phil Ramone, T-Bone Burnette, and Rick Rubin all come to mind. Is Tom Dowd in? If not, he definitely needs to be in the Hall too.

  10. Many good points stated previously………I feel they should change the name to Music Hall Of Fame……..Yes I know there’s a Country music hall of fame etc, but changing it to Music Hall Of Fame will allow artists from all genres a single place to be recognized, plus it will still keep in artists that are in now that are not rock n’ roll to remain (Miles Davis/Jimmy Cliff/Madonna etc etc etc)…….In addition the entire board that votes for the nominees that year should be wiped out……..Set up a new board of high profile artists/producers/managers from different musical genres that will rotate say every five years………Next up it will be up to the public to vote who should be entered in……The top 10 highest votes are in………done……..

  11. I got to say I agree with Nick. TBH, I don’t really pay too much attention to the Ramp;RHoF. I’m much more likely to listen to someone when they’re recommended on this forum than because they’re there.
    With such a wide spread there, there is no common denominator to follow as a source of new music. I only looked at the site after reading this article.
    I know who I like, and don’t really care if anyone else likes them. With the obvious caveat that if a very small number follow the artist/s, the chances of special sets, remasters etc are rather small.
    4 of my favourite artists are on the strength of 1 or 2 records, and I doubt there’s much chance they’d end up in. They are Badger – 1 live Badger; Renee Armand – Rainbook; Michael McDonald – If that’s what it takes and Robbie Robertson – 1st 2 solos.

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