Why The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a Joke

When the Grammy awards aired on TV, I enjoyed the music and performances for the most part, the actual awarding of winners got on my nerves. It was only afterwards that I saw I wasn’t the only one irked by the voters choices, as all over the Internet people were compiling lists of great artists who haven’t won a Grammy or who won less than some ridiculous winners. (Like this)

As a music fan, of eclectic taste, I have always felt the same injustice whenever the annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame awards are awarded. These are a real joke, based on the personal whims of one Jann Wenner. He is a known ego-maniac who prohibits groups and artists from the Hall of Fame based on his personal opinion or experience with them. Take a look at who is NOT in the Hall of Fame for example:

Journey

The Moody Blues

Bachman Turner Overdrive

Bad Company

Pat Benatar

Bon Jovi

Boston

The Cars

Cheap Trick

Chicago

Def Leppard

Dire Straits

Doobie Brothers

Foreigner

Peter Frampton

Jethro Tull

Joan Jett & The Blackhearts

Steve Miller Band

Stevie Ray Vaughan

Styx

Monkees

.38 Special

Asia

The E Street Band (Bruce Springsteen is in, but not his bandmates)

Electric Light Orchestra

Emerson, Lake and Palmer

The Fixx

Golden Earring

Don Henley (in with the Eagles, not as a solo artist)

Judas Priest

Michael McDonald

Motley Crue

Stevie Nicks (in with Fleetwood Mac, not as a solo artist)

Jimmy Page (in with Led Zeppelin, not as a solo artist)

Robert Plant (in with Led Zeppelin, not as a solo artist)

Procol Harum

Sting (in with the Police, not as a solo artist)

 Who IS IN

The Dells – one hit wonder, maybe two

Duane Eddy

LaVerne Baker

Bobby Blue Band

The Blue Caps

The Famous Flames

The Flamingos

Issac Hayes

Randy Newman

Parliament-Funkadelic

The Small Faces

Frank Zappa

And so many more that obviously many of us have never even heard of.

People always make a big deal out of winners – even if the selection is completely arbitrary or bogus like this award.

In particular, the Moody Blues made some of the most beautiful music of the 70’s and beyond – I personally boycott the R&R Hall of Fame for that alone.

And when asked about the Monkees, Wenner sneers, yet many groups who did not write or play their own music are in it. See list above. So it is all political and based on the whims, tastes, and personality of one man.

I love music so I can’t let who wins awards affect my musical tastes. Let’s hear from you – what do you think?

Addendum: Friend and reader Fred Lavner told me the Dells were very influential and it is often the case where a group’s influence on others gets them in. It is STILL ridiculous. I mean, come on The Moody Blues? Dire Straits? Jethro Tull? The Monkees? I should start a Pop Hall of Fame!

5 comments

  • Thank you for your article. I am shocked at how many deserving bands are not in the R&R HOF. Please add the Zombies to your list.

  • The Dells were far from just a Doo Wop group, not that there’s anything wrong with that. Long before Manhattan Transfer, the Pointer Sisters, and Take Five had success with jazz influenced vocal group records, the Dells did it, without the acclaim, in their early 1960’s Vee Jay album, the original Stay In My Corner. When the Dells were largely forgotten by the public in the mid 1960’s, they were flown to NY from Illinois to record background vocals on the Barbara Lewis classic, Hello Stranger. The Dells had a fifty year career with one personnel change. They had hits in the 1950’s (Oh What A Night), 1960’s (Stay In My Corner, There Is, Love Is Blue, and others), 1970’s (Give Your Baby A Standing Ovation,The Love We Had Stays On My Mind, and others), and for all I know, in the 1980’s and 1990’s (see their discography on Wikipedia). They had international hits in Canada, the Netherlands, and the UK, and remain a Northern Soul favorite. I remember hearing Hy Lit on Philly Gold Radio, WPGR, in the early 1990’s, lamenting he couldn’t bring the Dells to Philadelphia for his R&R Revivals because they were too expensive. That’s because after 40 years, they were still headliners, not an oldies act. The Dells deserve to be in the R&R Hall of Fame as much as anyone
    .

  • While a Agree with some of your points, you are hitting against a lot of older influential bands. Small faces should really be in there, or Humble Pie because of Steve Marriot alone. He was one of the most influential performers to sing and play guitar, but he isn’t well known to casual listeners of music. I have more of an issue with most of their non rock inductees. Iron Maiden and Judas Priest are likely the two largest bands that have not been given their due, way more so then the very pop orientated KISS. Free should also been in there, at the time they were up there with zepplin, yet the only song most people know is All Right Now.

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