The Disco and Rap Hall of Fame? I Think Not


For quite a while, I have been carrying around a list of bands and artists that should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Yearly, the Rock Hall inducts five to seven artists or bands based on the following criteria:

“To be eligible for induction as an artist (as a performer, composer, or musician) into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the artist must have released a record, in the generally accepted sense of that phrase, at least 25 years prior to the year of induction; and have demonstrated unquestionable musical excellence.

We shall consider factors such as an artist’s musical influence on other artists, length and depth of career and the body of work, innovation and superiority in style and technique, but musical excellence shall be the essential qualification of induction.”

The acts that meet the above requirements for induction are then placed on a ballot, and the voting members of the organization select the years inductees.

The 2013 inductees are an eclectic group. The Hall has finally resolved a complete injustice by accepting Rush into the fold. Power rockers Heart and influential bluesman Albert King have had their contributions acknowledged. Singer song writer  Randy Newman famous for stringing together various incomplete thoughts into songs that often feature in Disney films rounds out the list of current inductees that make some sense.

Also included for no good reason are angry rappers Public Enemy and disco queen Donna Summer. It pretty much goes without saying that I have no love for either genre, nor do I harbor any affection for these artists. There are still so many true rock acts left who are eligible for induction…Like:


Gram Parsons

Eligible since 1992

Key track: Return of the Grievous Angel,

Parsons’ blend of genre bending rock, country, folk, and jazz was an influence on the Rolling Stones (see “Wild Horses”) the Byrds, the Eagles, and the list goes on. His work with the Flying Burrito Bothers and The International Submarine Band invented the Country Rock/Southern Rock genre. Parsons’ referred to his blending of styles as “Cosmic American Music.”


Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

Eligible since 2009

Key track: Red Right Hand

Formed in 1993 by multi-instrumentalist Nick Cave, the Australian post glam dramatic sound of The Bad Seeds seemed to come out of nowhere. While David Bowie is an obvious influence, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds are an all original. Not as whiny as The Smiths, not as heavy as The Cure, the group continues to produce fantastic concept albums. Cave is also a sought after writer and collaborator.



Warren Zevon

Eligable since 1994

Key Track: Werewolves of London

The Hunter S. Thompson of folk rock, Warren Zevon is a true musician’s musician. A lyricist unmatched in modern music with an instrumental ability trained by Stravinsky and honed with songwriting royalty like Jackson Browne. Warren Zevon never sold a lot of records and never received a lot of radio play, but many Hall of Famer’s count him as an influence.


Cheap Trick

Eligible since 2002

Key Track : I Want You to Want Me

The Japanese Press has often referred to this Illinois band as the American Beatles. Cheap Trick possessed an ability to be a throwback band while maintaining a pop sensibility. Truly until their Live at Budokan Cheap Trick was really no big deal. The live version of I Want You to Want Me is the number one reason for their inclusion here.



Dire Straits

Eligable since 2003

Key Track: Money For Nothing

Let me explain this in a way that our younger readers might understand: Dylanesque vocals and Claptonesque guitars led to Beiberesque sales and radio play for Mark Knopfler and company. So Far Away, Sultans of Swing and Walk of Life alone should rate the Hall of Fame. Their contributions to the video format though dated now were unmatched in the 80s.



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