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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.