Time to bitch about who’s not in The Rock and Roll Hall of fame again.

When the idea of a hall of fame for rock music was first discussed in the 80s, I was all for it. What a cool way to recognize legendary performers, right?

I’ve since reconsidered that impression. The whole thing has been botched, ruined by recording industry politics, lobbyists, and old boy networks.

Listen, I know why country and hip-hop were ultimately included in the Hall. Rock was born out of the merger of country/western and rhythm and blues. And if you start pulling on the R&B thread, it won’t be long until you get to rap and hip-hop. Fine.

But there’s still some screwy shit around who is and who isn’t in the Hall. Let me illustrate.

Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, and Jimmy Rogers–great country singers all–have all been inducted. Willie Nelson, however, has not.

Madonna, Donna Summer, and The Bee Gees are in but Whitney Houston is not. Does that make any sense?

Here is a list of artists still looking for some RnRHoF love.

  • Kraftwerk
  • Depeche Mode
  • Iron Maiden
  • Alice in Chains
  • Judas Priest
  • Motorhead
  • The Smiths
  • Rage Against the Machine
  • Soundgarden
  • Nine Inch Nails
  • The Pixies
  • Blur
  • Oasis
  • Smashing Pumpkins
  • Alanis Morissette
  • Brian Eno
  • Joy Division AND New Order
  • Kate Bush
  • Sonic Youth
  • Etc.

Sadly, little will change under the current nomination and voting structures.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ 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.

5 thoughts on “Time to bitch about who’s not in The Rock and Roll Hall of fame again.

  • March 29, 2019 at 9:53 am

    It should be called the “pop music hall of note”

  • March 29, 2019 at 10:04 am

    When I think about who should be in the HOF, I think about not only body of work and record sales, but of their influence on music in general.

    100% agree on Depeche Mode, Iron Maiden, Kraftwork.

    But Alanis Morissette?! Curious about your thought process on her. I mean, I’m a fan, but inclusion in the HOF? I just don’t see it. Same for Blur. I love them, but…

  • March 29, 2019 at 11:48 am

    The RaRHoF is a joke. Getting inducted involves campaigning, not some sort of merit.

    Surf rock instrumentalists The Ventures busted their asses to get inducted through a letter-writing campaign to politicians and industry people. The vast majority of people couldn’t name more than a few of their most popular singles and probably none of their 200-plus (!) albums, but there they are because they put in the work.

  • March 29, 2019 at 12:27 pm

    Sonic Youth, The Pixies and Motorhead should definitely be in. I would have assumed Joy Division was already in.

  • March 31, 2019 at 1:45 pm

    Totally agree with New Order / Joy Division. Their influence alone let alone their own career should be acknowledged.


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