Decoding the 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominations

The Category:  Old Metal Band Relevant Only to White Guys Over the Age of 50. The Nominee: Deep Purple.

The Category:  Old Prog-Rock Band Relevant Only to White Guys Over the Age of 50. The Nominee: Yes.

The Category:  Hugely Influential Pop Band Some Old White Guys Still Have a Grudge Against, but It’s Starting to Look Suspicious, So It’s Probably Time to Let Them In. The Nominee: KISS

The Category:  British Invasion Group Pretty Far Down the List After the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Kinks, the Animals, the Who, the Dave Clark Five, the Hollies and the Yardbirds. The Nominee: The Zombies

The Category:  Male Rappers Old White Guys Are Down With, While Continuing to Ignore Salt-N-Pepa. The Nominee(s):  N.W.A., LL Cool J

The Category:  Staggeringly Influential, Perennially Nominated Non-White Group Old White Guys Keep Passing Over Because They’re Too Busy Inducting Guns ‘n Roses and Rush. The Nominee(s): Chic, The Meters

The Category:  Completely Pleasant but Inconsequential-in-the-Grand-Scheme-of-Things White Male Singer-Songwriter. The Nominee: Cat Stevens

The Category:  Token Female. The Nominee: Linda Ronstadt

The Category:  Badass Pioneering Rock and Roll Guitarist Who Invented the Power Chord and That Twangy Sound on “Rumble”, Who Should Totally Be in the Hall of Fame and I’m Not Kidding.  The Nominee: Link Wray

The Category:  Blues Guy Beloved of Old White Guys, but Not, Apparently, By Enough of Them to Vote Him in Before. The Nominee: Paul Butterfield Blues Band

The Category:  Kate Bush’s Mentor (but not Kate Bush).  The Nominee: Peter Gabriel

The Category:  White Guy(s) Who Had Some Hits in the ’80s, but Are Not Warren Zevon, Because It Would Make Too Much Sense for a GODDAMNED CERTIFIED ROCK AND ROLL POET*  like Warren Zevon to Be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The Nominee(s): Hall and Oates.

*Zevon deserves to be in the Hall of Fame for the alliterative brilliance of  “Little old lady got mutilated late last night” alone.

The Category:  Outsider Indie Band You Listened to in Your Youth, Whose Music Is Now Considered Insider Enough to Be in the Hall of Fame, and, Oh God, the Midlife Depression, How It Settles Over You Like a Dark, Suffocating Blanket of Decay and Death. The Nominee(s): The Replacements, Nirvana

©Joyce Millman, The Mix Tape, 2013

6 thoughts on “Decoding the 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominations

  1. radiogirlnyc October 17, 2013 / 9:54 am

    You know what? Ef Jann Wenner. The Monkees should be in before KISS or the Zombies. Hell, the Troggs should be in before the Zombies. Three more words: E Street Band.

    • Joyce Millman October 17, 2013 / 10:09 am

      Hell yeah, the Monkees! And I don’t understand how the E Street Band isn’t, what with Bruce and JW vacationing together …

      • Caryn Rose (@carynrose) October 17, 2013 / 10:44 am

        1) Landau and Dave Marsh are on the nominating committee
        2) SVZ has done extensive work with the HOF

        The list goes on.

      • Charles Pierce October 17, 2013 / 12:46 pm

        Christ, who does the Ghost Of Zevon have to blow to get in this place? It’s worse than the Baseball HOF, and I never thought I’d say that.

  2. milomiles October 17, 2013 / 9:27 pm

    The problem for Paul Butterfield, I would guess, is that he died at only 44 back in 1987 and had not made good records for at least dozen years. But those first two mid-60s albums by the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, particularly *East-West*, are as good as anything the Zombies ever did (for sure), and far more influential.

    Diehard fans of Link Wray might get a kick out of a new collection I came across: *The King of Distortion Meets the Red Line Rebels: 27 Tracks of Fuzz, Feedback and Fury* A marvelous selection starts with eight of the wildest and rawest Wray (brilliant rarity: “Poppin’ Popeye”) and then traces a history of distortion in the electric guitar, starting with Charlie Christian (!). Features ace choices like “The Things That I Used To Do” by Guitar Slim and “2000 Pound Bee Pt. 1” by the Ventures.

  3. DMH October 20, 2013 / 11:22 am

    Can we not have a moratorium on mediocre white bands middle aged white guys kinda liked when they were in college? We are reduced to this thin gruel even as the gruel has been thin for a very long time. Zevon, The Meters, Chic, Wray would make a suitably eccentric class for a long ago homogenized HOF and maybe breath a little life in the place. I’d pay to see Niles strap it on with Cyril, Art, Ziggy and crew any day.

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