A lot of stigma is attached to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and it has caused controversy over the years, due to its nominees and just as importantly, those who should have been nominated but haven’t. The list for the 2015 nominees has recently been released and it is just as tenuous as previous years. This asks the question, is it as prestigious as it once was, or has it become like the Mercury Prize, stagnant and uncared for?
Former Kiss bassist Gene Simmonds is one such opponent of the RARHOF. Despite being a member, he claimed bands like Run DMC should not be inducted, due to the fact that their genre is not Rock and Roll. Now it may not be important to be solely about this genre, however artists who make the list should almost certainly be at the top of their field. Artists who are the epitome of Rock and Roll have been overlooked for others who have somehow made the nominations, and it is no different for 2015.
Firstly The Smiths, despite being disbanded, they still have two members thriving in their solo careers. This hardly seems to be the time to cast shadows on their music by sending them where the greats go to be remembered. They don’t need to be reminisced about, both Johnny Marr and Morrissey’s music is still being influenced through their previous work. They absolutely deserve the honour, just not quite yet. Why not wait a few years and use the spot to induct someone long overdue, such as Def Leppard or The Jam?
Another strange choice includes Kraftwerk. Obviously musical genres evolve and are changed by pioneers, which Kraftwerk obviously are, and this is brilliant for music. However, their form of synth-pop, electronic music and new wave punk is slightly different from the origins of Rock and Roll in which the hall of fame was based on. Could they not have been overlooked for someone such as The Cure or Deep Purple?
Additionally Green Day have been nominated for the first time this year, as this is the first year they have been eligible. Again, is their music more worthy than those who have been snubbed time and time again, like Joy Division who could have been nominated eleven times or Nick Drake who could have been nominated twenty times? Green Day are not on the same scale as those in the same genre such as The Buzzcocks who have also been snubbed.
What the RARHOF has got right however, is the nomination of Lou Reed. Despite Reed already being inducted with his band Velvet Underground, his solo work is just as worthy. Metal Machine Music alone deserves to have a place as you can’t get more rock and roll than warring with your record label. Even in this Reed managed to pioneer new sound and this album is potentially seen as one of the earliest forms of noise music.
However, this does not seem to be enough to rid the RARHOF of its catastrophic errors in consistently overlooking those who have deserved to be on the list time and time again. People will not remember great bands for their place in The Hall of Fame, they will be remembered for their music alone. As Neil Young once wrote- ‘Rock and Roll can never die’ and we can only hope The Hall of Fame realises this and starts to immortalises those who truly deserve it.
Who do you think is worthy a place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Let us know in the comments below!