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And now, the post in which I subjectively and occasionally viciously critique this year’s nominees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

*Sigh* It’s that time of year again when people are compelled to discuss which artists should be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, an institution which does its best to turn Cleveland into a tourist destination.

After much debate by the RRHoF Committee, which consists of around 1,000 members, here’s who might get into the hall this year after yet another round of voting complete with totally subjective and occasionally snarkly evaluations.

Pat Benatar: There’s still a dearth of women in the hall–the gender balance is awful–so this is a good pick. Remember that Pat was a stereotype-breaking hard-rockin’ woman who was also an MTV staple in the year days. Good call.

Dave Matthews Band: Here’s where we have our first discussion of what makes and act Hall-worthy. In this case, we have a highly competent jam band that…well…is a highly competent jam band. Nope. Can’t support this.

Depeche Mode: Absolutely. The most important and influential band of the original techno pop era. Their influence is global and they still pack ’em in to stadiums all over the world.

The Doobie Brothers: Is this for the rockin’ Tom Johnson Doobies or the execrable and insipid Michael McDonald version? If so, can we only have that first edition, please?

Whitney Houston: Sure. Big star. And you know that there were many powers-that-be that strong-armed this selection. It’s these kinds of nominations that show how much the definition of “rock and roll” has been stretched.

Judas Priest: Shunned before. They shall not be shunned again!

Kraftwerk: How can THE MOST IMPORTANT ELECTRONIC BAND OF ALL TIME not have been inducted in year two or three?

MC5: On one hand, I’d like to see their contributions acknowledged. On the other, I’d like to see them stick to their anarcho sensibilities and burn the place down after kicking out everyone’s jams.

Motörhead: Long live Lemmy. His display should be a barstool with a Jack-and-Coke at the read.

Nine Inch Nails: No question. Do I even have to explain why? If I do, then you get a rock’n’roll red card. Go sit down.

The Notorious B.I.G.: Yes. Changed rap forever

Rufus featuring Chaka Khan: Back for another shot. I never really got this nomination, but….

Todd Rundgren: Stellar talent as a musician and producer, but there are more deserving people on this list.

Soundgarden: Maybe. Too soon? Do they need to marinate longer?

T.Rex: I could live with this, but I won’t be upset if they were tossed out early.

Thin Lizzy: Sure. Phil’s been dead long enough.

Inductees will be announced in January. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will happen in Cleveland on May 2, 2020.

If you want to take part in the fan voting, you can do that now by Googling “Rock Hall Fan Vote” or any nominee plus the word “vote” to cast a ballot with Google. You can also vote at

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38321 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

4 thoughts on “And now, the post in which I subjectively and occasionally viciously critique this year’s nominees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

  • Alan, could you further explain why Todd Rundgren isn’t as deserving of the Hall as others?

  • Have to agree with all of this, with one exception. I still don’t know why rap artists are included in a rock and roll institution. But I guess that ship sailed a long time ago.

  • Overall, I think it’s a solid list. I would disagree with a few. I love Soundgarden, but hardly think they are deserving of induction. The non-rock acts? Whatev, that’s how things are now I guess.

    Motorhead for sure. But there are no original members left, and no classic lineup members left, so who would be going up on stage to accept? Mikkey Dee of course. Maybe Lemmy’s son?

    • Oh, and Depeche Mode should have been inducted years ago. I more upset with their exclusion than I am about Judas Priest’s exclusion.


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