Music

Is it time for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to change it’s name?

So, the nominations for next year’s inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame were announced last week and as usual, some of the nominations have really confused me. There are some that would absolutely warrant inclusion in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Judas Priest, Motörhead, MC5, Pat Benatar, The Doobie Brothers, Nine Inch Nails, Soundgarden, T. Rex and Thin Lizzy all absolutely deserve to be nominated. In fact, most of them should have been in the Hall of Fame already and haven’t even been nominated once. Now, those of us who follow these things know full well that which acts actually get inducted or even nominated is entirely down to the owners of the business without any sense of what the wider rock community thinks.

To me Thin Lizzy should have been inducted years ago. With the influence they have had on so many, some who are now in the Hall of Fame themselves, as well as the number of world class musicians who have contributed to their legacy, they should have been inducted a long time ago. Motörhead, one of the seminal rock bands, not in the Hall of Fame? Not even to be nominated for so many years? It took Deep Purple 23 years to be inducted (An act becomes eligible for induction 25 years after their debut release), Kiss had to wait 15 years to invited to the club so quite honestly it’s hard to take this thing seriously sometimes.

Another thing that doesn’t make sense to me is some of the artists that have been nominated. They simply are not rock and roll acts. Whitney Houston was a fabulous singer. One of the best voices recorded in the 20th century. But to my ears, she was not a rock singer. Her music covered the pop, soul and modern r&b music. Kraftwerk are a bloody synth band for Christ’s sake. Depeche Mode is a New Wave band, Chaka Khan is an amazing artist but she isn’t rock and roll. Now I’m not arguing that these artists don’t deserve to be honoured in some way, but surely the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is for, you know, rock bands.

If they want to honour these artists, then it might be a more sensible move to either start Halls of Fame for the relevant music genres or to rename the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to something like the Music Hall of Fame. Something that can cover more genres more easily . Or they could open up other Halls of Fame to cover the various genres of music. But that could become extremely convoluted. Bringing everything under a bigger umbrella would allow the powers that be to honour the artists that deserve to be honoured, however long it may take for them to actually honour some of them, without having people like me write about how most of the acts nominated for induction shouldn’t be because they don’t fit the genre of music that particular hall of fame is meant to be celebrating.

But then again, there are far more important things going on in the world at the moment. Sometimes, though, it’s all about the little things.

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