Nineteen acts have been nominated to be inducted in the rock and roll hall of fame in 2018. Fans can vote for five acts they feel deserve the nod by clicking here. I'll go ahead and save you the trouble and tell you who gets the thumbs up and thumbs down. I know there is the popular misconception that arguments for and against the rock hall are purely subjective. I concede this is the case for everybody on the planet except for one person. Me. My opinion is strictly objective.
I think reasonable people can agree that being a member of Why Isn't Cheap Trick in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? gives me added insight compared to just a "regular" music fan. I know what you are thinking, "Why does Colin waste his time sharing his thoughts with us bloggees when he could just as easily send a text to Jann Wenner telling him who should be in the rock hall?"
That's a tough question, but a fair one. The simple truth is that while it is true I am over qualified to write this article and share it with you nice folks, I am no elitist. Rock n roll is music for the people so it would be selfish of me to keep my insights to myself. Possibly even cruel. So on that note, let's boogie!
No Brainers: Judas Priest and Radiohead. Metal has been under-represented and along with Iron Maiden, nothing has held up better over time than Priest. As for RH, they are the REM of their generation. I was a bigger fan of The Bends though everybody lost their shit over OK Computer. Also of note is that the rock hall induction has become a televised HBO concert so they need some actual fans to fill an arena. Having these two bands on the bill would be a good start. I have three votes left.
I can appreciate what Link Wray, Nina Simone, Kate Bush and Sister Rosetta Sharp have contributed to the rock and roll cause, but they don't deserve a vote here. The rock hall needs to slide them in some back door the way Baseball does with their veterans committee. I still have three votes left and 13 bands to choose from.
Good bands, but not Hall of Fame worthy:
Eurythmics - Nice videos sure, but the band barely toured. Without MTV would they even exist? I do love the song Why by Annie Lennox, though.
J. Geils Band - I know, I know, everybody on the West side of Columbus loves J. Geils. Yes, they were a very, very good bar band who broke through the mainstream with Freeze Frame. But, very good is not HOF worthy. Bonus points for the bouncing ball lyrics on the Love Stinks video and the fact you could rub one out to Centerfold on MTV in middle school if you didn't have time to wait around for a Madonna video.
Dire Straits - I could be won over by the case for Mark Knopfler. Now, that guy has had a career. Dire Straights, Notting Hillbillies, Princess Bride, all that cool shit with Emmylou Harris. But just Dire Straits? They may get the money for nuthin' and chicks for free, but no rock hall for you.
Moody Blues - Naw
I have three votes left and nine bands to choose from.
The Zombies - I wanted to get on board with these guys but they only put out two records in their hey day. If you only put out two records, one better be call Appetite for Destruction. Thumbs down. (editor's note: Two records in their heyday? Not even close, Colin, not even close, but don't get me started.) (My note back to Ricki C. Right now I'm staring at The Zombies discography and they have a release in 1965, one in 1968 and not another until 1991 - Colin)
The Cars - Speaking of amazing debut records, The Cars may be the best in history. How many other bands arrived on the scene fully formed? Off the top of my head.......
AC/DC - Jailbreak Guns n Roses - Appetite Tracy Chapman Maybe Ramones?
and The Cars. Problem is, they sort of ran out of steam soon after and sunk into self-parody with the Mutt Lange produced Hello Again bumble bee video stuff. Ugh. Lots to like here and I want to root for Elliot Easton but The Cars don't quite deserve it. Though they will probably get inducted to help fill seats in the ceremony. Thumbs Down.
Rage Against the Machine - Damn, I've come around to these guys and that concert in England is jaw dropping but if Rage is going to get in I suppose it's only fair the MC5 get in first. Thumbs down.
MC5 - Ok, Ricki and Big $ love this band and they score huge points for Kick Out the Jams and having their manager get busted twice for selling weed to the same undercover agent. My knock against the 5 for all their swag is how many great songs do they really have? Ah, hell, who needs great songs when you can just scream KICK OUT THE JAMS, MOTHERFUCKERS! The MC5 have waited long enough. Thumbs up.
Two votes left for five bands.
Rufus featuring Shaka Kahn? What the hell is that? No.
Bon Jovi - As I wrote in a separate piece, the only argument for Bon Jovi is their huge record sales during the late 80's. Upon closer examination during the same period Whitesnake was selling six million records and even Stryper went platinum. Bon Jovi are the Sammy Sosa of rock n roll. Inflated numbers masking their awfulness. They are a better version of KISS during the Crazy Nights era. Does that deserve to be immortalized? Ten thumbs down.
Two votes for three bands
The Meters - When in doubt go with a band from New Orleans. Somebody is going to have to get people dancing at the induction ceremony after Radiohead performs. These guys can lay it down. Beat out J. Geils for my vote. Thumbs up.
Two Votes - Two Bands
Hmm....this comes down to a difference of styles. I know people love Depeche Mode and that Personal Jesus song was pretty bad-ass but.....
LL Cool J stood next to Rick Rubin at the very beginning of the NYC hip hop scene. Run DMC, The Beastie Boys and Public Enemy soon followed. I've never bought that stupid veiled racist bullshit that rap isn't rock. Crank up Mama Said Knock You Out next to Ace of Spades and let's call it a draw.
Thumbs up to LL Cool Jay. Depeche Mode has to wait another year.
So the 2018 Rock n Roll Hall of Fame inductees are:
Judas Priest - Radiohead - The MC5 - The Meters - LL Cool J
Colin Gawel plays in Watershed and the League Bowlers. He founded Pencilstorm just so he could write about stuff like this while ignoring customers at Colin's Coffee.