Class of 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees Announced

Tip o’ the hat to fellow blogger MichelleMB at Iconic Rock Talk Show who follows the Hall’s comings and goings pretty well and advised me that the vote had come down. Ladies and gentlemen, the 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees along with my thoughts:

  • Joan Baez – absolutely. I’m not her biggest fan but she’s such a seminal performer that I don’t see why she didn’t get in there years ago. Of course she’s not rock and roll but I think that narrow concept went out the window years ago.
  • Electric Light Orchestra – Sure. I’m guessing that this is as much for Jeff Lynne’s continued body of work with, well, pretty much everybody as it is for ELO. As Randy Newman once said, “I love that ELO.” (I never knew if he was celebrating them or mocking them.)
  • Journey. Well, ok. Never been a big fan of theirs but I do acknowledge their popularity and impact.
  • Pearl Jam. No-brainer, no comment. Case closed.
  • Tupac Shakur. Like Journey, he didn’t do much for me. But when he was alive I totally got how popular and influential he was.
  • Yes. Yes! I’ve been lobbying for these guys for years. My favorite prog-rock band ever. Word is that the Hall is not necessarily prog-rock friendly so it’s a minor miracle they got in. So much great stuff. They were first eligible in something like 1994 and so it’s a damn shame they couldn’t get in when Chris Squire was alive. One of them will have to do like Stella McCartney did when her father got in. Wear a T-shirt that says, “About Fucking Time:”

Nile Rodgers got an award for “Musical Excellence.” (Compensation for not putting Chic in?)

So they went to six inductees. (Sorry, J.Geils. Your time will come.) I think it’s a good list, covers a lot of bases. Thoughts? Comments? Love letters? Brickbats?

 

12 thoughts on “Class of 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees Announced

  1. I think one of the more interesting elements of this year’s list is that, for the first time, individual members are being inducted rather than bands – it sucks in a way as Pearl Jam’s Spinal Tapism with drummers means that Dave Abruzesse (arguably a driving force behind some of their most powerful sound) will not be getting the nod whereas both Dave Krusen (left after less than a year in May ’91)and Matt Cameron (who joined in ’98 so technically the band with Cameron in it wouldn’t qualify) will.
    I’m guessing such a move will also rob any drama from other future inductees with lineup changes and personnel issues as the Hall will be deciding who gets included member by member.

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  2. My understanding is that bands are still being inducted as such, but this year for the first time the Hall announced at the time of nomination which members/alumni would be included under the band moniker. Previously they waited some time after inductees were finalized and included it in their announcement of the presenters/inductors for each act.

    How they determine just who counts still doesn’t make much sense to fans, Hall watchers, and the bands themselves-clearly the Pearl Jam situation could do with some explaining. I know ELO fans are confused about members such as Kelly Groucutt and Mik Kaminski being left off (I know very little about ELO but I know those names from memory myself). The Journey lineup actually makes sense–the best-known “Frontiers” era lineup plus Gregg Rolie and original drummer Aynsley Dunbar.

    It wouldn’t be the Hall if something wasn’t confusing.

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    1. You wonder why they don’t just ask the band. Clearly, pretty much every band is influential with their early – if not first – lineup. So, start there, then ask the current band members. Or maybe that then becomes a “me too” exercise. Sigh. Makes the baseball hall of fame with its “who was on steroids” problem seem simple. Anyway, thanks for your usual great insight on all things HOF.

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      1. Bands can have huge blind spots about these things. Journey is rightfully grateful and loyal to Arnel Pineda, who’s doing a stellar job for them, but the fact is that while they’ve recorded new material with him, that’s not what they’re being inducted for. To his credit, he gets this probably more than they do. At one time Styx had scrubbed Dennis DeYoung from their website, although they seem to have added him back since the last time I looked. So if you use them as a starting point, be prepared to check the liner notes as a backup.

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  3. I have strong opinions about this Hall thing, Jim, but I won’t go into them! I’ll keep it positive and just say I’m glad Joan Baez was recognized (and good to see another prog-rock band, Yes, squeak in). Baez is a folk legend who helped Dylan get his start, and she gave a political conscience to popular music. Plus, she sings like an angel, and still looks damn good at age 75!

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    1. Yes, a lot of people are not crazy about the Hall and its whole nomination/voting process. There’s a whole cottage industry of bloggers who follow it much more religiously than I do. I think about the place about once a year and that’s about it.

      That said, as a museum it’s a great visit. I plan on doing a post on it at some point in time. Anyway, welcome to my corner of the blogosphere.

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