Wednesday, December 11, 2013
By ROD HARMON Deputy Managing Editor
The 2013 nominees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame were announced last week, and as usual, there were some names that should have been inducted years ago, some that just became eligible this year but exerted an incredible influence, and some that made me bury my head in my hands and moan.
If you missed the announcement, these are the artists who have a shot at entering the rock hall this year: Rush, Deep Purple, The Meters, The Marvelettes, Procol Harum, Donna Summer, Chic, N.W.A., Public Enemy, Albert King, Joan Jett and The Blackhearts, Heart, Kraftwerk, Randy Newman and The Paul Butterfield Blues Band.
Rather than devoting this column to the list of artists who have long deserved to be in the hall but for some inexplicable reason were not nominated (Link Wray, Johnny Burnette, Gordon Lightfoot, War, KISS, Warren Zevon and The MC5, to name a few), I'm going to predict which artists will actually get inducted next spring. Note that this is not a list of artists who should be inducted, but rather a list of who will be inducted based on past voting practices.
1. Rush: I've never been a big fan of this Canadian power trio, which has been merging hard rock with prog-rock since the mid-'70s. However, Rush is virtually a shoe-in this year for one reason: For the first time, fans to get vote in one of the inductees, and Rush has a very devoted, very rabid fan base. (To vote, go to rockhall.com/get-involved/interact/poll by Dec. 3.)
2. Deep Purple: For years, hard rock and metal fans despised the rock hall for its failure to induct any bands from the genre with the exception of Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith and AC/DC. However, at least one hard rock/metal band has been inducted every year since Black Sabbath in 2006, so it's a good bet that the crafters of the classics "Smoke on the Water" and "Woman from Tokyo" will get in this time.
3. Donna Summer: More disco than rock, Summer has been nominated before but never inducted. So why now? Simple: She died last year, so she gets the sympathy vote. Too bad for Chic, which is more deserving.
4. Public Enemy: The rock hall is woefully shy of rap groups, so it's time to induct another to avoid another backlash like it did with metalheads. N.W.A. was just as influential, but Public Enemy was slightly less controversial, and Flavor Flav's goofy reality shows have made the group more acceptable to the mainstream.
5. Heart: I'm really torn on this one. I love Joan Jett just as much as Ann and Nancy Wilson, and the hard-rocking, bad attitude-expressing Joan has no doubt influenced everyone from Courtney Love to Grace Potter. But in this case, I've got to give it to Heart for the group's consistency and long list of hits, not to mention being one of the first female-led groups to break through the glass ceiling.
Wild card: Albert King. One of the greatest guitarists of all time, King (1923-92) was a member of the "Three Kings" of blues guitar along with B.B. and Freddie, both of whom have already been inducted into the rock hall. Given that fact and the hall's tendency to induct at least one long-overlooked artist every year, King could get in this time. However, I wouldn't be surprised if he got inducted in the "early influence" category like Wanda Jackson did in 2009.
Who do you think is most deserving of induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next spring? Answer the online poll with this story. I'll present the results next week.
Deputy Managing Editor Rod Harmon may be contacted at 791-6450 or at: