Rock & Roll HoF Corruption

“The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame honors the legendary performers, producers, songwriters, disc jockeys and others who have made rock and roll  [as defined by Rolling Stone magazine– RS] the force that it is in our culture.”    [1]

This discussion will focus on the performer section of the Hall, because it’s supposed to be about the music.  It’s the artists (and those left out) that define this institution. The rule of eligibility is straight-forward: once an artist has gone 25 years after the release of their first record, they become eligible.

Anyone who knows anything about punk & rap, knows that 2016 inductees Cheap Trick and NWA are first-rate artists– who should have been in years ago, if this institution took the music seriously.

Cheap Trick

For heavy metal and classic rock buffs, Deep Purple and Steve Miller can be viewed as worthy, as long as it’s recognized that this is around where the line for entry should be. Grand Funk, BTO, etc… are well-below that standard– otherwise the concept of a ‘Hall of Fame’ becomes diluted & meaningless.

The fifth & final 2016 inductee was Chicago, who were (and still are) industry product with very little artistic aesthetic.  Their songs suffer from similarity, even their album covers all look the same, unimaginatively titled Chicago I (1969)… Now: Chicago XXXVI (2014).  The only reason bands like Chicago lasted & ‘succeeded’ was because they were backed by big-label (Columbia Records here) payola.  Chicago had a hard time putting together a decent retrospective (Greatest Hits: Chicago IX [1975]) when it was time, proving after all those years they weren’t even much of a singles band:

Chicago: Greatest Hits

The following is a list of important musical artists (arranged by genre), who are NOT in the R&R HoF.  I don’t consider this list exhaustive, but every one of them is more worthy of recognition, than Chicago and the rest of Casey Kasem’s American Top 40.

This is essential modern music which any enthusiastic & fair-minded listener needs to know about. The hidden purpose of the R&R HoF (and its Rolling Stone magazine founders), is to keep this vital music away from people– at least until these artists can be coerced into acquiesce to the machinery. Only then will these rock renegades be allowed in from the cold.

My hope is that none of these artists even care about getting into this thoroughly bloated & corrupt institution.  They are all too good for this, and their legions of fans know it.

Early Sonic Youth

Alt/Punk: Roxy Music, New Order/Joy Division, Big Star, Pixies, King Crimson, Sonic Youth, Captain Beefheart, Husker Du, Minutemen, Soundgarden, Brian Eno, Robert Fripp, Replacements, Pavement, Smashing Pumpkins, B-52’s, X, X-Ray Spex, Jane’s Addiction, NY Dolls, Buzzcocks, Black Flag, Runaways, Devo, XTC, PJ Harvey, Babes in Toyland, Bikini Kill, Helmet, Rage Against the Machine, Phish, Mott the Hoople, Television, Richard Hell & the Voidoids, Echo & the Bunnymen, English Beat, Gang of Four, Wire, Violent Femmes, Gary Numan, Bauhaus, Soft Machine, Minor Threat/Fugazi, Fall, Dinosaur Jr, Primus, Hole, Bad Brains, Pere Ubu, Nico, Mission of Burma, Breeders, Throwing Muses, Mekons, Fugs, Feelies, Meat Puppets, Slits, Big Black, Smiths, Midnight Oil, Rodriguez…

Iron Maiden

Heavy Metal: Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Def Leppard, Motley Crue, Queensryche…

Willie Nelson

Country Influence: Willie Nelson, Patsy Cline, Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings…

John Coltrane

Blues/Jazz Influence: Slim Harpo, John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock, Weather Report, Mahavishnu Orchestra, John McLaughlin, Chick Corea, Ornette Coleman, Sonny Rollins, Charles Mingus…

Hip Hop

Rap/Hip-Hop: Afrika Bambaataa, Tribe Called Quest, LL Cool J, Eric B & Rakim, De La Soul, Boogie Down Productions/KRS, Queen Latifah, Gang Starr…

Warren Zevon

Classic Rock: Warren Zevon, Graham Parker, Love, Free, Bad Company, Shangri-Las, Boston, REO Speedwagon, Joe Walsh, Them, Joe Jackson, Steve Earle, Richard & Linda Thompson, Fairport Convention, Robin Trower, Guess Who, George Thorogood, Jim Croce…


Pop & Divas: Nina Simone, Carpenters, Pat Benatar, Go-Go’s, Eurythmics, Sinead O’Connor…


Reggae: Toots & Maytals, Peter Tosh, Augustus Pablo, Desmond Dekker, I-Roy, Burning Spear, Big Youth, Lee “Scratch” Perry…

Ravi Shankar

World Influence: Fela Kuti, Antônio Carlos Jobim, King Sunny Ade, Ali Farke Toure, Ravi Shankar, Youssou N’Dour, Baaba Maal, Tito Puentes, Ruben Blades, Fania All-Stars…


Electronic: Tangerine Dream, Can, Faust, Massive Attack, Moby, Prodigy, Underworld, Bjork…

I’m a small-hall guy so I (unfairly?) excluded artists like Jethro Tull, Procol Harum Kraftwerk, Nine Inch Nails, Cars, Dire Straits, Journey, April Wine, Cyndi Lauper, Billy Squire, Living Color, Ministry, Pantera… who all rocked harder (and with WAY more content), than Chicago.

Good Stuff

Here’s this artist’s overview of other recent inductee classes:

2015 Worthy Inductees: Green Day, Joan Jett, Stevie Ray Vaughn
2014 Worthy Inductees: Nirvana, Peter Gabriel
2013 Worthy Inductees: Albert King, Randy Newman, Donna Summer, Rush, Public Enemy
2012 Worthy Inductees: Beastie Boys, Guns ‘N’ Roses

Too much fluff has been allowed in, while too much of what is essential rock music has been left out.  The R&R HoF is a gross distortion & marginalization of valuable popular culture.  Music lovers & kids can remedy this situation by ignoring this political nonsense, and opening their minds– so they can hear music in a new way.