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A few days ago  the 2019 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees were announced- and in the evening my friend Gunther called on the phone and was all fired up about some of the nominees- especially Janet Jackson and Def Leppard. I agreed with him that they- along with Stevie Nicks as a solo artist has no business anywhere near the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. We turned the conversation into how do the folks who vote on this- evaluate? Should album sales and hit singles matter? Is this the People’s Choice Awards? A lot of artists have hits that in my opinion aren’t quality artists- do New Kids On The Block get in? They had hits? Is it a rock critic vote? Def Leppard was never a critically acclaimed group- do they belong? I don’t think they are very good I wouldn’t vote for them- but they were popular?{  I remember a family Christmas gathering back in the mid-80’s- my cousin said something about his cassette tape of Def Leppard got ate up by his boom box and I immediately said “At least it wasn’t any one any good- it was only Def Leppard.” He didn’t like my comment very much} I am not a fan of Prog Rock and Prog Rock hasn’t been very successful getting artists into the Hall- which is ok with me but should more be included? Where do you draw the line? Kiss is now in the Hall of Fame? A very very popular group but for the most part musically bankrupt. Do they belong or not? This isn’t like baseball where the best players get elected. How in music do you judge who is the best? Is this even a Hall of Fame for the best? My favorite Rock and Roll Hall of Fame comment ever was when Woody Guthrie got in- and his son said something on the order of “If my father were alive I don’t know where he would be but I know one place he wouldn’t be- here.”

Maybe they should- and this would require changing things- to make everyone happy induct artists into rock categories. You could have a Prog Rock section, a Hard Rock section, one for Punk, Alternative music, etc. I think fans of some types of rock music have always been unhappy about their style not being well represented- that would solve that- and face it this Hall of Fame is beyond redemption just open the gates. To quote Paul McCartney ” open the door and let’em in.”

Everyone has their own personal favorites. I have my own personal “Music Hall of Fame” in my mind. Every music fanatic probably does whether they have thought about it or not. The bottom line about the official one as far as I am concerned- they can do whatever they want with it- they lost me a long time ago.





  1. Like Ritchie Blackmore, I’m happy to totally ignore the Hall of Fame. It reminds me of Estate Agents (Realtor, you’d say?) awards.
    I had a copy of the first Def Leppard single which sold for £100s with a red Bludgeon Riffola label. Unfortunately mine had a yellow label and I sold it for a fiver.
    Their drummer lost an arm, but the band, being mates, stuck with him. For that I commend them.

  2. I’ve been to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and it is very cool, but that said, with no real way to quantify who gets in, just about everyone popular has gotten in or will get in. It’s only controversial when someone doesn’t get in since the doors are wide open. Just look at all the acts that are clearly not rock or precursors to rock yet still get in to a place dedicated to Rock and Roll.

    • Good points. There are acts who you really can’t say were rock and roll- say Hank Williams- but he certainly had an influence… but and I am not knocking her because I liked a lot of her stuff- how does Donna Summer for example fit into rock and roll? That is but one example.

  3. My perspective is that the RRHOF is a tourism business first; not rock and roll, and not a hall of fame. They tried opening a ‘branch’ in NYC, and it failed from a business perspective and was shut down. The rock hall is a business establishment, while Rock and Roll is anti-establishment. Plenty of artists who’ve been inducted do belong in a proper rock and roll hall of fame. But this one has no real standards, so it’s hard to celebrate someone being added to a list of questionable inductees. It drastically waters down the ‘honor’. It’s too late to roll back the faulty inductions and fix the mess. Steve Miller also made a great speech about the place when he was inducted a couple of years ago. With this year’s class, you’ve questioned the three who I also don’t agree with. But I knew when I saw the list of nominees that those three would get in. They got in over John Prine, smh. I don’t ever see myself visiting the place.

    • I visited it a couple times back in the mid 90’s when it opened… I haven’t been back since. I only live 3 hours away. It was disappointing back then… I think you nailed its about making money.

  4. There are no stats really that you can look at. Do you go by influence? Of course how would you judge influence? The Sex Pistols are in…they didn’t sell much but they had a huge influence but so did Big Star…and the Monkees sold but are not in.

    The greatest thing they could do is take Jann Wenner and dump him as far from the Hall of Fame as possible.

  5. You make several valid points. Although I really like Janet Jackson, her music is not rock and roll, nor even rock, so it’s all silliness really. And I’m so happy you think KISS is musically bankrupt, as I never, ever understood their massive appeal & popularity. I always considered them little more than a novelty act who played OK rock music, but certainly nothing groundbreaking or of the caliber of bands like Led Zeppelin, Queen or even Journey for that matter.

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