What's the deal with the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame?

I never payed much attention to it in the past, but lately people have been talking so I looked up some information. I was curious what artists had already been inducted, and I was pretty surprised at the list I found. I consider myself to have a good knowledge of rock and roll music. Even if it's an artist I've never bothered to listen to, I've probably still heard of them if they were very influential. But there are so many artists who have been inducted that I've never heard of. Clyde McPhatter, Bobby Blue Band, Little Willie John, The Moonglows...who are these people??? Maybe I'm not as well educated on rock as I thought. There's also a nominee this year called Afrika Bambaataa...WHO? I also think they've put some very NON-rock & roll artists in here. Aretha Franklin, The Supremes, Tina Turner, Bob Marley, the Bee Gees, and now Grandmaster Flash and Madonna!?!?!?!! Are you kidding me? They deserve recognition, but rock and roll they ain't! Am I wrong here?


Oh yeah, and how did the Beastie Boys get nominated before Metallica? Honestly!

10 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    There are non music inductees and influence inductees. Maybe they had one song, but it was that one song that launched a thousand garage bands. Why The Troggs aren't in is beyond me. They even worked with REM a while back...

    The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction is decided on by Springsteen's manager, Suzan Evans, Jann Wenner. If you're a friend of Wenner, you move up in line. There is usually one that gets in due to a strong fanbase.

    The journalists that are on the board work for... guess who?

    I lost count at 200 of bands, artists, songwriters that haven't even made it to the final cut. Genesis in particular is puzzling, because Peter Gabriel in that band or as a solo act should be in...a proven track record and a mile long resume of reasons why he should be in. Robbie Robertson and Steve Van Zandt are friends with Peter Gabriel, so it makes absolutely no sense to me. They hate Phil Collins that much?

    This is from the website below, but is from a former board member who was part of the induction process.

    "Thank you for your insightful article on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I am a veteran music journalist who spent two years on the Hall's nominating committee and saw from the inside some of the politics at work.

    "I saw how artists were sometimes chosen for nomination because of their affiliations with the directors of the Hall and others were shot down without so much as a moment of consideration simply because some people in that room didn't like them personally or because an artist had bad blood with someone calling the shots.

    "At one point Suzan Evans lamented the choices being made because there weren't enough big names that would sell tickets to the dinner. That was quickly remedied by dropping one of the doo-wop groups being considered in favor of a 'name' artist.

    "During my second year on the committee, I received a petition signed by 5000 fans of the Moody Blues requesting that the group be considered for nomination. Personally I am not much of a fan, and neither, apparently, was anyone else on the committee (at least no one who would admit it). Still, I felt they were a legitimate contender for the nomination and that it was my duty to present the petition since so many people had taken a lot of time to put it together. I plunked it down on the conference table to a great roar of laughter from the assembled bigshots.

    "Jon Landau, Springsteen's manager, asked me if I personally was a fan of theirs. 'Not really,' I said. 'End of discussion,' he said.

    "On the other hand, I saw how Atlantic Records artists were routinely placed into nomination with no discussion at all, due to the large concentration of Atlantic executives on the committee. I saw how so-called critical favorites were placed into nomination while artists that were massively popular in their time were brushed off. I saw how certain pioneering artists of the 50s and early 60s were shunned because there needed to be more name power on the list, resulting in 70s superstars getting in before the people who made it possible for them. Some of those pioneers still aren't in today — but Queen is.

    "I was finally kicked off the committee after writing a guest editorial for Billboard in which I criticized the Hall for its insider ways.

    "Almost ten years later nothing has changed."

    (notice how many bands from Sire Records were inducted)

  • Rckets
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Here's my take on the RORHOF. Should you happen to be in Cleveland, it's a very fun place to check out. However, that's where the story ends. The voting process is controlled by three of the worst human beings you would want running anything. It has far less to do with rock than it does money and politics. No matter what your opinion of Madonna's quality is, she is NOT rock, won't ever be rock and has no business being associated with the RORHOF. The same goes for the rappers, talented as they might be, they really don't belong there. Otherwise, change the name to the Rock & Pop HOF, much like this section. Imagine all the bitching that would take place. It's bad enough a day in the Y!A doesn't go by where some numb-nuts continue to ask that question over and over and over.

  • 1 decade ago

    They have a category for really early rock pioneers which is where Clyde McPhatter comes in.

    Some of their choices are a bit questionable to say the least.

    My beef is why in the hell isn't Kiss in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They were absolutely huge in the '70's and were a huge influence on later bands. I keep wondering why they keep getting passed over.

  • 1 decade ago

    A lot of the names you don't recognize are old blues and R&B musicians who had a lot of influence on the early fomentation of rock and roll, but quite a few of them are run-of-the-mill '60s pop groups, such as the repeatedly nominated Dave Clark Five, who recently managed to knock The Stooges completely off the ballot. As for pop artists like Madonna, you underestimate their influence on music at large, for good or ill, and the Hall is (supposed to be) about "influence and innovation." Similarly, Grandmaster Flash has had a large influence on rock via his large influence on rap, and if you don't think early rap influenced rock, well then you're just plain crazy. Bambaataa's just one of many with legitimate claim to induction, and my only criticism is that they're getting their priorities screwed up. For instance, this year's ballot is mainly slanted toward disco-era acts, and as a consequence, they've completely ignored first-time eligibles Metallica and Sonic Youth (I consider SY's exclusion the greater crime), as well numerous other long-time eligibles that deserve in. The Hall has no love for progressive or other experimental genres like Krautrock, and it still hasn't moved far past the '70s. It has completely lost its relevance at this point.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Little Willie John wrote 'Need Your Love So Bad', made famous in the late 1960's by Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac.

    I'll agree, there is so much in there now that has no connection to Rock n' Roll, or its offshoots.

  • 1 decade ago

    Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is a total joke, it's all about politics, Cat Stevens was nominated but not inducted, why??because they consider him to be an anti-american!!Go figure!!. What a bunch of fools.

  • 1 decade ago

    I was really gonna let loose here, but I see that William beat me to it. The HOF, crock of sh*t that it is, is doing one thing right and that is recognizing all of the early pioneers of modern rock music. Also, your mentions of the so-called "non-rock" bands... you have to remember that back in the 60s before all these genres and subdivisions broke out, they were very much a part of the rock music scene.

    NP: "The Gods of Love" - Thunder

  • 1 decade ago

    Simply, Jann Wenner, the founder and editor of Rolling Stone runs the R&R Hall of Fame. If he likes somebody's music, they get in, if he doesn't, they are shut out.


    I have to agree that Cat Stevens should be in, for sure. Especially when you consider that Jackson Browne was elected a few years ago. I'm a huge fan of Browne's, but for him to be in and not Stevens as well makes no sense.

    As I said, if Jann Wenner likes you, you're in, if he doesn't, you're shut out.

  • 1 decade ago

    The deal is to get you to go to Cleveland, thats it. A tourist trap for music lovers.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    thre rock n roll hall includes all musi

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