Rock Hall of Fame Inductees Announced

The ballots are in and the 2014 nominees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame are set. They are: Nirvana, Kiss, Peter Gabriel, Hall and Oates, Cat Stevens and Linda Ronstadt. Which means no Deep Purple and no Yes, which are both unjustifiable snubs.

Nirvana was obvious and there is no way in hell they weren’t getting in on the first ballot they were eligible for. They practically created a whole new sub-genre of rock and their influence is extraordinary. And it’s about time KISS got in. I can’t stand their music, which is so simplistic that it could have been written by someone who’d just finished Shitty Songwriting for Dummies, but you can’t tell the story of rock and roll without them. I don’t have to like a band to think they should be in.

I feel much the same way about Hall and Oates, though I like them more now than I did in the 80s when they were at their peak. Cat Stevens…meh. Ever since he turned into a Muslim fascist who thinks people should be killed for daring to offend him, I wouldn’t piss on that asshole if he was on fire. I’m just going to try to ignore the fact that he got in. Linda Ronstadt never did much for me, but she’s one of the groundbreaking female artists of all time so I’m cool with her getting in.

Peter Gabriel definitely deserves to be going in as a solo artist. The album So alone merits getting in. It’s one of the greatest albums ever recorded, in my view. Oh, and the E Street Band is being given the Award for Musical Excellence as well. I’m not sure whey they didn’t go in with Springsteen long ago, but they’re the most famous backing band in the world and surely deserve to be there.

But seriously, no Deep Purple? FFS, they should have been in there nearly two decades ago and they’re still not in. And much the same goes for Yes.

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  • D. C. Sessions

    On the other hand, I wasn’t all that confident that any of the long-neglected pivotal figures would get it. It’s not a process you can count on.

  • Synfandel

    You and I, Ed, must have very similar tastes in music. I agree with everything you wrote.

  • Henrietta Swan

    I’ve always felt the same about KISS. I appreciate their role in the development of American rock and roll, I appreciate their influence, I appreciate their marriage of petty defiance, shtick, and showmanship, but man, they bore me.

    But Cat Stevens… even forgetting the religious conversion thing for a moment, is the scope of his influence really large enough to merit this honor? Maybe there is more to him than I’m aware of, but I certainly didn’t think he was interesting or influential enough to be honored in this way.

  • I’d rather see a proper music hall of fame run by fans, with halls for different genres, not connected to the recording industry, and admittance not predicated on timing of “revivals” and nostalgia, reunion tours or boxed sets.

    Let’s be honest, it’s not the “rock and roll hall of fame”, it’s the “Jann Wenner’s personal tastes hall of fame”. It’s certainly not a “rock and roll” museum, considering the non-rock acts that get in. The only reason Rush got in last year was the “voters” being forced to listen to the public.

  • Synfandel

    Everyone has his preferences, of course, but for sheer influence on their respective genres, I would also nominate Judas Priest, King Crimson, Camel, ELP, the Moody Blues, Jethro Tull, Journey, and Supertramp.

  • jonmoles


    Spot on. That it took Rush that long to get in is a travesty.

  • mikeym

    How is it possible that Johnny Rivers isn’t in the Hall of Fame?

  • penasquito

    Really, Deep Purple? I suppose, if you’re gonna let Traffic in…

  • Abby Normal

    Poor Sisyphus, snubbed again.

  • Friendly

    I was really conflicted by the ballot this year, because unlike most years (in which the ballot contains a few unpopular critically acclaimed acts that I know *will* get in and a number of undeniably great acts that I know will mostly *not* get in), I was rooting for almost every single one of the nominees this time around and wishing they would just induct the lot of them. (How many times does Chic have to be nominated before they get their pass?)

    I agree that it’s a shame about Deep Purple and Yes. Jann Wenner and his coterie seem to have some sort of deep-seated hostility to prog rock; they virtually had to be clubbed over the head to let Pink Floyd and Genesis be inducted, and as the years go by their knee-jerk rejection of prog acts only becomes more glaringly obvious.

  • scienceavenger

    I’ll give you some names that ought to be in as major influences on Nirvana, and the entire grunge genre: Husker Du, The Replacements, and The Pixies. Take away those groups and modern music would look very different.

    An off the wall choice: Michael Hedges. Since its not really the “rock and roll” hall of fame, but more about popular music, why not include probably the greatest guitar player to ever live, who’s influenced anyone you ever saw pluck on the fret board. If you never heard of him, check this out.

    As for the actual inductees…

    Hall and Oates? HALL AND FUCKING OATES?!?! WTF? We’re letting muzak-like generic industry machine commercial acts in now? Well then where’s Huey Lewis, Greg Kihn, Kenny Rogers and Barry Manilow? Hell, Foreigner was an epic act next to H&O, even excluding their first album. Yes could play every H&O song in their sleep, in double time.

    Very glad to see Peter Gabriel get in, his work is impeccable, and ages very very well. “Solsbury Hill” is still a great listen.

    Fuck Kiss. They’re about as essential to rock history as Weird Al, and less entertaining.

    Love Cat Stevens, but not sure he merits inclusion, and certainly not thrilled about it given his recent assholery.

  • Am I the only one who finds the entire concept of a Rock Hall of Fame to be little more than conceited self-indulgence? At least the heated debate over who conforms and who doesn’t is ironic, I’ll give it that.

    Never mind. I’ll go yell at the kids on my lawn.

  • Michael Heath

    Ed writes:

    I can’t stand [KISS’s] music, which is so simplistic that it could have been written by someone who’d just finished Shitty Songwriting for Dummies . . .

    Let’s not forget their also piss-poor musicians.

    I don’t understand how the judging works; are they limited in how they can vote to induct for a given year? The reason I ask is that while I agree with Ed’s logic on why KISS should get inducted, I doubt I’d ever vote for them if it meant I couldn’t vote for someone else I thought deserved to be in the Hall because of the quality of their music.

    I’m now 53, so I was the target demographic when KISS first came to fame and I loved hard rock and a lot of metal both then and now. I could never stand them; where it was unpopular to despise them as I did. And while I’m very much a classic rock kind of guy, I also was politically incorrect in loving Barry Manilow. Not that I dug his albums, but I did enjoy hearing his songs interspersed with other music; in fact he’s still in my playlists.

  • pocketnerd

    Thus Spake ZaraBrayton:

    Nirvana was obvious and there is no way in hell they weren’t getting in on the first ballot they were eligible for. They practically created a whole new sub-genre of rock and their influence is extraordinary.

    And yet Andrew Wood is still out. Go figure.

  • KDinUT

    I go on the same rant every time this stuff is announced: Next to Led Zeppelin, the biggest concert draw in the world in the mid 70s was Emerson Lake & Palmer. They filled stadiums, sold 10s of millions of records, and Keith Emerson all but put the synthesizer on the map in the music industry. King Crimson is another band way overdue . . . .

    The bottom line is Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone have always hated prog; ELP and others will probably never get their due. Funny too, since punk was supposed to be the “salvation” of rock music because of “pretentious and over bloated” prog, yet today, years later, it is probably a lot easier to find new prog than new punk.

  • Synfandel

    @scienceavenger (#11), I love Micheal Hedges’ work, but he’s way too New Age (musically, not philosophically) for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It’ll never happen—and maybe it shouldn’t.

  • sc_770d159609e0f8deaa72849e3731a29d

    Given Cat Stevens’ current opinions he is probably even less enthusiastic than you are about his being nominated.

  • wildbill

    On the whole, I thought it was a blah group on inductees (which has been a trend for the hall over the last few years). I get that Nirvana and Kiss should go in. Gabriel I’m OK with, I think he is much more deserving for his solo work than his work with Genesis. Not sure they should have gone in, and certainly not as the first prog band. What irritates me is that while he was alive, Lou Reed was never inducted as a solo artist, he went in for his work for the Velvets. This is a terrible oversight. Linda Ronstadt, I guess. This just points to another major oversight, Emmy Lou Harris isn’t in (I think she is much more deserving than Linda). I agree that the E. Street band should have gone in with Springsteen. Hall & Oates???? Cat Stevens??? for what? I don’t get either of these.

  • wscott

    Which means no Deep Purple and no Yes, which are both unjustifiable snubs.

    Yes was one of my favorite bands back in the day, and they’re among the most talented musicians in the history of rock. And yet…I’m not sure it’s clear how influential they really were. Unlike Rush, who clearly influenced a generation of musicians, I think Yes more defined the outer limit of what prog rock was capable of…a precipice everyone else immediately backed the hell away from. In some ways, they’re almost the opposite of KISS.


    Never really cared about Deep Purple much myself, but I think their influence is easier to argue.

  • Rip Steakface

    I’m okay with what got in, but I’m definitely not okay with what didn’t get in. Seriously. Deep Purple and Yes. Get your heads in the game, people.

    At this rate, Opeth will be in R&R HOF before Deep Purple.

  • What are halls of fame for anyway? If these people are so famous why do they need a hall? My band mates and I decided we were gonna open up a hall of fame of Halls of Fame. Only the best Halls of Fame will be admitted. By our exacting standards of course.

  • bogardiner

    It makes no sense to dispense this cavalierly with prog rock, when it was and is such a hugely important leg supporting modern rock.

    Yes, King Crimson, ELP, Moody Blues, Jethro Tull… they gave depth and richness to our music.

  • pocketnerd @14: And yet Andrew Wood is still out. Go figure.

    Yeah. Especially since Nirvana “practically created a whole new sub-genre of rock” in the same way that Elvis did. Popularized, absolutely. Created, no. Not at all. They were far from the first grunge band, as Mudhoney and Soundgarden, to name two bands that still currently exist, actually pre-dated them and Kurt Cobain cited Soundgarden as an influence.

    The thing about Andrew Wood, though, is that I’m pretty sure that his death was his most important contribution to the grunge movement. It gave us Temple of the Dog an Pearl Jam and I have a hard time believing that Mother Love Bone’s upside was anywhere close to what Pearl Jam’s was. That said, I saw Chris Cornell solo acoustic at the Cadillac Palace Theater in Chicago a couple months back. He launched into “Man of Golden Words” in the middle of an already great concert. I’m pretty sure they’re still scraping brains off of the ceiling. The man could write a hell of a song. But much of the Mother Love Bone library sounds like an attempt to do Guns ‘N’ Roses. The fact that the defining sounds of the breakthrough of the grunge movement were Nevermind, Ten, Badmotorfinger, Temple of the Dog, and the early Alice in Chains stuff instead of Mother Love Bone was probably for the best.