I’ve been to the rock hall a couple of times in Cleveland, OH.  I must say, their collection of memorabilia is astounding.  They have rotating exhibits and special days and all that.  It really is a wonderful experience for a rock fan, but I have some qualms with it’s inductees.  Some who are in I think shouldn’t, some who aren’t I think should.

Here’s a link at the induction criteria-http://rockhall.com/inductees/induction-process/

Here’s a link to the list of members-http://rockhall.com/inductees/alphabetical/

First, let me say most of the members of the Rock Hall of Fame are spot on, in my opinion, and their induction goes without saying.  Examples like the Beatles, Rolling Stones, blues greats like Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters, and other music giants on stage and off deserve to be honored.  But, as time has worn on, I think it’s become a watered-down club rather than a true collection of influential artists.

In my opinion Patti Smith has the weakest credentials in the Hall.  Sure she influenced punk music and was an influence to many female rockers with her songs and her look, but her music catalogue is weak.  She had one undisputed excellent album and only a handful of hits.  In my eyes, the induction committee decided they needed a contemporary female figure to offset the male-dominated landscape, and they decided on Patti.  Plus she’s married to John McEnroe which brings some extra star power and money.  I don’t think she’s deserving over some other acts I’ll mention later.

Jackson Browne is a borderline member.  I like his music and I know he basically created the sensitive singer/songwriter ethos, but his music catalogue isn’t all that deserving.  I’m not aware of any contemporary acts that list Jackson Browne as a primary influence.  He’s sold a large amount of records and has been prolific over the years, but even in his heyday of the mid-late ’70’s he wasn’t really all that big of a star.  I just think he hasn’t had the impact necessary to be a member of the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame.  I think members shouldn’t be above average artists, they should be great and universally reknowned.

Next, there’s ABBA.  What!?!?!?  Although I detest their music, when I attempt to take an unbiased look at their impact I just don’t see the appeal.  Shouldn’t Ace of Base be in the Hall if ABBA is?

Steve Douglas is in as a sideman.  Steve who?  If he is in, there’s twenty to fifty other sidemen who should be inducted.

Last, There’s The Lovin’ Spoonful.  Sure they were very good, but this isn’t the Hall of Very Good.  In my opinion, if they are in, Three Dog Night and the Turtles belong too.  That even ties into my belief the Mamas and the Papas are one of the most overrated acts ever to grace the rock stage.  Boot them out.  Boot The (Young) Rascals too.

———–Let it be known I guess it’s understandable the Eagles and ZZ Top are included.  I detest the Eagles music, but they’ve sold a heluva lot of records, and ZZ Top has had hits and influence.  But, meeehhhh whatever.   I hope Phish never makes it.

Now, the artists I believe should be in the Hall:

Steve Miller

The Thirteenth Floor Elevators

Jack Nitzsche

Jethro Tull

King Crimson (very, very deserving)

At least one artist from the Philadelphia soul regime-the Spinners, the O’Jays, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes deserve consideration

Nick Lowe

Link Wray

Deep Purple (how can they not be in)

If Metallica is in, the Iron Maiden and Judas Priest belong, too

Yes (The Hall ignores Progressive Rock–bologna).

Michael Nesmith (not only is his musical catologue great, the guy basically created MTV for heaven’s sake)

The Cars

Hall & Oates

Manuel Göttsching

Captain Beefheart

Emerson, Lake, and Palmer

Brian Eno

The Meters

There are others I think that should be considered, like Pere Ubu, Minutemen, XTC, Sting, Laura Nyro, The Replacements, and Husker Du.  And why not other influential acts like Motley Crue?  Their music might not be breaking much ground, but their look was every bit as influential as Patti Smith

In short, it seems to my eyes that this isn’t a true representation of Rock’s biggest acts and influences, it’s just a club for the famous and well-received.