Women in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame opened a temporary exhibit last year called “Women Who Rock: Vision, Passion, Power.” At the time, there was quite a bit of discussion about the exhibit and the fashion sideshow of it all, exemplified by Lady Gaga’s meat dress on display. One important element that wasn’t discussed enough was the actual number of women inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame itself.

We were inspired to delve into this further after reading this recent tweet:

Are you kidding me? Only 4% of the inductees @rock_hall are women??! What can be done about that? #Cleveland

— Folk 'N Great Music(@FolkNGreat) August 26, 2012
Now, we have done some rough calculations on this subject previously, and 4% seemed awfully low, so we went ahead and counted up all of the inductees (including every inducted member of groups).

Induction Category# of Hall of Famers# of Women% Women
Early Influence*50612%
Lifetime Achievement700%
Sideman / Musical Excellence1900%

Some additional data points:

  • Of the 186 performers inducted, 31 include at least one woman (16.7%).
  • There are 98 duos and groups that have been inducted in the performer category, accounting for 494 of the inductees. Of these, there are 36 women from 19 groups.
  • Of the 88 individuals inducted in the performer category, there are 12 women (13.6%).
  • There are no women in the “Clyde McPhatter Club” -- Hall of Famers inducted multiple times.
  • In 1986, 1992, 2001, 2003 and 2004, no women were inducted.

It’s difficult to find a similar institution to compare to the Rock Hall. (For example, the Baseball Hall of Fame only has one woman inductee!) Another music industry benchmark might be the Grammy Awards. Their marquee award, Album of the Year, has included a woman 31% of the time (17 out of 54). This issue isn’t exclusive to music. In the U.S., only 5% of the art on display at museums is made by women.

After all of the “Women Who Rock” publicity last year, many of us thought that might inspire a more female-centric 2012 induction ballot. When the finalists were announced, five of the fifteen were women, a relatively high percentage by Rock Hall standards. But after the voting, and when it was all said and done, out of the 69 trophies handed out at the Induction Ceremony in Cleveland this year, just two went to women.

* - We haven’t been able to fully document all of the inducted members of Early Influence groups. This may be where the discrepancy lies between our total number of inductees. The Rock Hall lists 681 and we counted 685. The percentages of women remain largely unaffected either way.

See also: Heart wants to break into the “brotherhood”


2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Weekend Updates

You can check in right here for live updates during the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Saturday night. There is no official live stream or broadcast of the event. HBO will premiere an edited version of the ceremony on May 5th, but if you can’t wait that long, we will have frequent updates from inside Public Auditorium in Cleveland.

Update: You can see all Future Rock Legends tweets over on Twitter.


Breaking Down Axl Rose's Rock Hall Rejection Letter

Just three days from the 2012 Induction Ceremony, and after months of speculation about a potential reunion performance, Axl Rose wrote an open letter to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame declining his induction with Guns N’ Roses.

Let’s take a close look at what Rose wrote and what he might be trying to say between the lines.

To: The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, Guns N' Roses Fans and Whom It May Concern,

When the nominations for the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame were first announced I had mixed emotions but, in an effort to be positive, wanting to make the most of things for the fans and with their enthusiasm, I was honored, excited and hoped that somehow this would be a good thing. Of course I realized as things stood, if Guns N' Roses were to be inducted it'd be somewhat of a complicated or awkward situation.

Since then we've listened to fans, talked with members of the board of the Hall Of Fame, communicated with and read various public comments and jabs from former members of Guns N' Roses, had discussions with the president of the Hall Of Fame, read various press (some legit, some contrived) and read other artists' comments weighing in publicly on Guns and the Hall with their thoughts.

Under the circumstances I feel we've been polite, courteous, and open to an amicable solution in our efforts to work something out. Taking into consideration the history of Guns N' Roses, those who plan to attend along with those the Hall for reasons of their own, have chosen to include in "our" induction (that for the record are decisions I don't agree with, support or feel the Hall has any right to make), and how (albeit no easy task) those involved with the Hall have handled things... no offense meant to anyone but the Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony doesn't appear to be somewhere I'm actually wanted or respected.

Axl has a BIG problem with the fact that the Rock Hall decided, apparently without his input, which members of Guns N’ Roses got inducted. The Rock Hall chose to induct the original five members, plus Matt Sorum and Dizzy Reed. With the exception of Reed, none of those guys are still with the band, and Axl appears to feel his current lineup should be included as well. And why shouldn’t he? All he had to do was look at fellow 2012 inductees, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, to see that new guitarist Josh Klinghoffer is somehow getting inducted after just three years as an official member of the band (under the Trujillo precedent). Axl has worked with a bunch of different people since the mid-nineties, but there are members of the current GNR that he has worked with for over a decade now. The Rock Hall has recently been taking a much more inclusive stance with inductees, so why shouldn’t they be inducted? Oddly enough, the Rock Hall may have been waffling on this issue. They hadn’t publicly released the inducted members list, and only updated the Guns N’ Roses bio on their website this week to make it official. They could have changed their mind without having to backtrack.

Axl may have also had a problem negotiating the performance aspect of the induction ceremony. Don’t forget that when Van Halen was inducted in 2007, the negotiations about the song selection caused David Lee Roth to stay home. Rock Hall president Joel Peresman said this about the incident,“"We made every effort and the decision not to come was solely his, not ours."”Hmm… Expect a similar statement from the Rock Hall about Axl Rose to surface soon.

For the record, I would not begrudge anyone from Guns their accomplishments or recognition for such. Neither I or anyone in my camp has made any requests or demands of the Hall Of Fame. It's their show not mine.

Axl makes it clear here that he wasn’t trying to keep Slash or anyone out of the Hall of Fame.

That said, I won't be attending The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction 2012 Ceremony and I respectfully decline my induction as a member of Guns N' Roses to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.

I strongly request that I not be inducted in absentia and please know that no one is authorized nor may anyone be permitted to accept any induction for me or speak on my behalf. Neither former members, label representatives nor the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame should imply whether directly, indirectly or by omission that I am included in any purported induction of "Guns N' Roses”.

Boom. There have been plenty of artists over the years who haven’t shown up to the Induction Ceremony (most infamously, the Sex Pistols), but this is the first time an artist has actually declined the induction. It appears that the Rock Hall is going to ignore Rose’s request and induct him anyway. The glass has already been etched on the Hall of Fame wall in the museum.

This decision is personal. This letter is to help clarify things from my and my camp's perspective. Neither is meant to offend, attack or condemn. Though unfortunately I'm sure there will be those who take offense (God knows how long I'll have to contend with the fallout), I certainly don't intend to disappoint anyone, especially the fans, with this decision. Since the announcement of the nomination we've actively sought out a solution to what, with all things considered, appears to be a no win, at least for me, "damned if I do, damned if I don't" scenario all the way around.

In regard to a reunion of any kind of either the Appetite or Illusion lineups, I've publicly made myself more than clear. Nothing's changed.

Yup, Axl really does hate Slash.

The only reason, at this point, under the circumstances, in my opinion whether under the guise of "for the fans" or whatever justification of the moment, for anyone to continue to ask, suggest or demand a reunion are misguided attempts to distract from our efforts with our current lineup of myself, Dizzy Reed, Tommy Stinson, Frank Ferrer, Richard Fortus, Chris Pitman, Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal and DJ Ashba. 

Again, sticking up for his current band.

Izzy came out with us a few times back in '06 and I invited him to join us at our LA Forum show last year. Steven was at our show at the Hard Rock, later in '06 in Las Vegas, where I invited him to our after-party and was rewarded with his subsequent interviews filled with reunion lies. Lesson learned. Duff joined us in 2010 and again in '11 along with his band, Loaded, opening in Seattle and Vancouver. For me, with the exception of Izzy or Duff joining us on stage if they were so inclined somewhere in the future for a song or two, that's enough.

There's a seemingly endless amount of revisionism and fantasies out there for the sake of self-promotion and business opportunities masking the actual realities. Until every single one of those generating from or originating with the earlier lineups has been brought out in the light, there isn't room to consider a conversation let alone a reunion.

Is Axl waiting for an apology? Do Slash and Steven Adler even know what they would be apologizing for at this point?

Maybe if it were you it'd be different. Maybe you'd do it for this reason or that. Peace, whatever. I love our band now. We're there for each other when the going get's rough. We love our fans and work to give them every ounce of energy and heart we can.

So let sleeping dogs lie or lying dogs sleep or whatever. Time to move on. People get divorced. Life doesn't owe you your own personal happy ending especially at another's, or in this case several others', expense.

No, fans aren’t owed anything. But it’s easy to see a giant missed opportunity and wish it were different.

But hey if ya gotta then maybe we can get the "no show, grandstanding, publicity stunt, disrespectful, he doesn't care about the fans" crap out of the way as quickly as we can and let's move on. No one's taking the ball and going home. Don't get it twisted. For more than a decade and a half we've endured the double standards, the greed of this industry and the ever present seemingly limitless supply of wannabes and unscrupulous, irresponsible media types. Not to imply anything in this particular circumstance, but from my perspective in regard to both the Hall and a reunion, the ball's never been in our court.

”It’s not me, it’s you.”

In closing, regardless of this decision and as hard to believe or as ironic as it may seem, I'd like to sincerely thank the board for their nomination and their votes for Guns' induction. More importantly I'd like to thank the fans for being there over the years, making any success we've had possible and for enjoying and supporting Guns N' Roses music.

I wish the Hall a great show, congratulations to all the other artists being inducted and to our fans we look forward to seeing you on tour!!


Axl Rose

P.S. RIP Armand, Long Live ABC III

Guns N’ Roses fans were indeed hoping for a reunion, even it was extremely unlikely. Even the original five were never going to perform together at the ceremony, it would have been cool to at least see them on stage together to accept their award. Clearly, Axl Rose didn’t see it that way. Hey, it’s his legacy, he can do what he wants with it.

So, how will the Rock Hall handle the sticky situation of a GNR induction now? We know that Green Day will be doing the induction speech, but what about a performance? We don’t see Green Day covering GNR like they did for the Ramones. Our theory is that now that Axl is out of the way, Slash, Duff and Steven Adler can perform with Kid Rock on vocals. (Supposedly, Kid Rock and Axl are on the outs, so maybe Kid Rock won’t mind pissing off his old friend.) What else is Kid Rock going to do at the ceremony if he’s not doing some GNR songs? We’ll all find out on Saturday night.


Going Back to Cleveland

The 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony is back in Cleveland this year, as it will be every three years now.

Future Rock Legends will again be in Cleveland to cover the event live and will be posting updates all weekend and during the induction ceremony on Saturday night to our Twitter feed (also cross-posted on our site here).

If you happen to see anyone with a Future Rock Legends t-shirt, be sure to stop and say hello!


Gym Class Heroes' Travie McCoy to Perform at 2012 Rock Hall Induction Ceremony (for the Beastie Boys?)

Gym Class Heroes have canceled an April 14th concert at Springfield College (Mass.), because lead singer Travie McCoy has been asked to perform at the 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.

Gym Class Heroes is an “alternative hip hop collective” and McCoy is their MC. So… connecting the dots, does this mean that McCoy is going to be performing for the Beastie Boys at the Induction Ceremony? The Beasties haven’t performed in nearly three years, primarily due to MCA’s battle with salivary gland cancer. Many of us were hoping they would make their comeback by performing at the induction ceremony when they accept their award.

There has been almost no news regarding the Beastie Boys since it was announced they were inducted in December. No confirmation they are attending. No word from the Rock Hall about a performance. All we know is Chuck D will be inducting them.

Hopefully our speculation is misguided, and Travie McCoy will be putting a different spin on old Laura Nyro classics, but we don’t think so.

Update: Uh oh, Gym Class Heroes covered “No Sleep Till Brooklyn” at the 2009 VH1 Hip Hop Honors.

Update 2: It looks like the Roots, LL Cool J and Mix Master Mike will possibly be part of the Beastie Boys tribute as well.

thanks, @CoryStillman


The Official 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Twitter-Follow List

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is on April 14th, and if you’re traveling to Cleveland like we are, or just want to keep up with everything that’s going on, here is a handy list of Twitter accounts that you may want to follow. (We’ll keep updating this list with any new feeds we find. If you have a suggestion, let us know @futurerocklgnds.)

Inductee official accounts:

Members of inducted bands:
2012 Rock Hall Presenters & Performers:

Alternatively, if you’re a Google Reader user, you can add any of these twitter accounts to your RSS feed. Liking us on Facebook is an option as well.


Guns N' Roses won't be performing at the 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

Guns N Roese Original
There has been a lot of talk in recent weeks about a potential reunion performance of the original Guns N’ Roses lineup when the band gets inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 14th. Unfortunately, none of the discussion has been positive. Today, Slash confirmed that “we’re not playing. I would imagine that they asked us to play but I know that we’re not playing.”

Duff McKagan had recently told Rolling Stone that he “doubted” the band would reunite for a performance. Additionally, Paul Shaffer’s twitter account had written to us that, “Guns n Roses will not be performing.” (Shaffer’s reps later tried to backpedal from that statement.)

So, as disappointing that news is, it’s not unexpected. Axl Rose has been holding a grudge against Slash for a long time and apparently he’s unwilling to make amends for the ultimate rock and roll honor.

Guns N’ Roses is the only inductee that still doesn’t have a confirmed presenter. We would guess the Rock Hall is looking for an artist who cannot only honor the band with a speech, but also perform a couple of GNR songs in tribute. It’s tough to come up with any artist who could successfully pull off those classic Guns N’ Roses songs, let alone finding one that can come to Cleveland for the ceremony. We thought there would be a nice bit of symmetry if Van Halen spinoff band, Chickenfoot*, could do the honors, since it was a Guns N’ Roses spinoff band, Velvet Revolver*, who inducted Van Halen into the Rock Hall in 2007. (Chickenfoot’s drummer, Chad Smith, will already be at the ceremony since he is being inducted with the Red Hot Chili Peppers.)

* - Chickenfoot consists of former Van Halen members Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony, along with Smith and Joe Satriani. Velvet Revolver included former GNR members Slash, Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum.


2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Presenters Announced

The 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony presenters were announced today, with one notable exception.

Here is the lineup (see also our complete list of past inductees and presenters):

The one glaring omission from the list of presenters is a choice for Guns N’ Roses. Apparently the Rock Hall is still trying to find an artist who can induct the band and perhaps perform some of their songs, similar to what Velvet Revolver did for Van Halen in 2007, since it seems that the band will not reunite for a performance at the ceremony.

In addition to the names above, Billboard learned that Jim James from My Morning Jacket will perform with Donovan. The Rock Hall’s press release promises more induction ceremony details will be coming soon.

The induction ceremony is being held at Cleveland’s Public Auditorium, a short walk away from the Rock Hall. During the ceremony, the Museum is hosting its annual simulcast of the proceedings, the only place you can watch an unedited version of the event. Darlene Love wrote on her Facebook page that she will be performing at the Museum’s simulcast event, presumably before or after the induction ceremony.

If you’re unable to make it to Cleveland and want to watch the induction ceremony, you’ll have to wait until HBO premieres a 2 1/2 hour version at 9pm on May 5th. There is no official online live stream of the ceremony.


Josh Klinghoffer is the Youngest Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Ever

At age 32, Josh Klinghoffer, the Red Hot Chili Peppers new guitarist, is set to become the youngest Rock and Roll Hall of Famer ever inducted, surpassing Stevie Wonder’s record of 38.

In addition to Josh Klinghoffer, the other Red Hot Chili Peppers being inducted are: current members Anthony Kiedis, Flea (Michael Balzary) and Chad Smith; former guitarists John Frusciante and Hillel Slovak; and former drummers Jack Irons and Cliff Martinez.

Notably absent are former members Dave Navarro and Jack Sherman, each of whom were the featured guitarist on one album.

Although it may seem premature to induct Klinghoffer with the band after having only appeared on one album, it’s quite possible he could be with the band for years to come. In that case, it would be unfortunate if he was not included with the band in the Hall of Fame. It’s probably better for the Rock Hall to err on the side of inducting more people rather than few, although you do risk having extraneous Hall of Famers if things don’t work out. For example, what if the Rock Hall had inducted Van Halen during the brief Gary Cherone era? In hindsight that would have been a bit embarrassing. (No one has ever been kicked out of the Rock Hall.)

For some unknown reason, the Rock Hall continues to treat these decisions as classified information. They still haven’t publicly released which members are being inducted for Guns N’ Roses (Axl, Slash, Izzy, Duff, Adler, Sorum and Reed), RHCP and the Small/Faces (Steve Marriott, Ronnie Lane, Ian McLagan, Kenney Jones, Rod Stewart and Ron Wood). And don’t expect to hear why Dave Navarro wasn’t inducted with the band, even though he spent five years with the band and appeared on a hit album with three hit singles. How much of that decision was the Rock Hall’s, and how much was the band’s? We’ll probably never know. Someone from the Rock Hall should stand up and defend these borderline decisions.


Miracles do happen: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Adds Six Backing Groups to the Class of 2012

Good for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They are correcting a past mistake by inducting six backing groups into the Rock Hall with their lead performer.From Rolling Stone:
In each of these cases, the backing group failed to get into the Hall of Fame at the same time as their frontman - sometimes causing a great deal of controversy. The Hall of Fame's failure to induct the Miracles along with Smokey Robinson in 1987 caused a particularly large uproar. Hall of Fame rules state that artists are eligible for induction 25 years after their debut release. At the time, Robinson had been a solo artist for only 14 years.
From John Soeder’s Plain Dealer report:
The newly announced honorees were not nominated on the latest Rock Hall ballot. Instead, they were designated by a special committee.

"There was a lot of discussion about this," said committee member Terry Stewart, president and CEO of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.

"There had always been conversations about why the groups weren't included when the lead singers were inducted," Stewart said.

”Very honestly, nobody could really answer that question -- it was so long ago. . . . We decided we'd sit down as an organization and look at that. This is the result.

"You're looking at some of the lynchpins between rockabilly and vocal-harmony and straight-ahead rock 'n' roll. It speaks to when this music took off. It's a great statement about the early years.”

. . .

As for other groups that were not inducted alongside their frontmen -- Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, for example -- Stewart said they might have a shot at getting in someday as recipients of the Rock Hall's Award for Musical Excellence.

"The great thing is that the organization recognizes that it needs to look at the process from time to time, and look at the results," Stewart said.

”If there are things that we think need to be modified or changed, then that's what we do."

Congratulations to the members of these groups (and their families) who are finally getting the recognition from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame they deserve. A shout-out also goes to the community members of Future Rock Legends who have been banging the drum on this issue for so long (especially Bill G. and Roy).

More to come...


Is Eddie Money the new Pete Rose of Rock and Roll?

Four years ago, Alice Cooper declared himself to be the “Pete Rose of rock and roll.” Since Cooper was finally inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last year, Eddie Money has picked up the mantle:
I'm in the Long Island Rock N Roll Hall of Fame along with Neil Diamond, Barbra Streisand, KISS, Billy Joel, The Rascals and many other legends. That's pretty good company. I should be satisfied with that but like all seasoned musicians... we want it all!

By the time I get in... I'll be an urn on my wife's fireplace. They don't call me the Pete Rose of Rock for nothing.

So to all my fans out there... please make your opinions known for THE MONEY MAN to be inducted into THE ROCK N ROLL HALL OF FAME IN 2013!!

Unlike Pete Rose, Eddie Money isn’t blacklisted, he just didn’t have a Hall of Fame-worthy career. So, who should be the new Pete Rose of rock and roll? We nominate Quincy Jones. Leave your suggestions in the comments.

Thanks, Jason.


Drummer Ian Paice addresses Deep Purple's Rock Hall Snub

Deep Purple are one of the most famous Rock and Roll Hall of Fame snubbed artists out there. They have the highest fan approval of any artist on Future Rock Legends (94% think they will be inducted). Drummer Ian Paice was recently asked about the Hall of Fame.
Shouldn’t you be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?

Yes we should. But as it’s taken so long, I’ve a mind that if it ever comes up, I would probably refuse it. I think it would probably be insulting. That’s my personal view — I’m not speaking for the other guys in the band. But I’ve seen so many nonentities get into it that I’m not sure it’s that hallowed a place anymore.

Ozzy Osbourne was similarly annoyed back when Black Sabbath were being nominated year after year but kept losing.
”Just take our name off the list," Ozzy's statement began. "Save the ink. Forget about us. The nomination is meaningless, because it's not voted on by the fans. It's voted on by the 'supposed' elite of the Industry and the Media, who've never bought an album or concert ticket in their lives, so their vote is totally irrelevant to me.”

He concluded, "Let's face it, Black Sabbath have never been media darlings. We're a people's band and that suits us just fine.”

When Sabbath was eventually inducted in 2006 after eight nominations, Ozzy did accept the award.

Howard Stern interviews Steven Van Zandt about the Rock Hall

Howard Stern recently interviewed Steven Van Zandt on his radio show, and the topic of conversation eventually came around to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (skip to 10:07).

Uber-Springsteen fan Gary Dell’abate brings up the fact that the E Street Band isn’t in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with Bruce. Van Zandt doesn’t personally feel snubbed, but he feels Clarence Clemons, Max Weinberg and the rest of the band deserve to be honored. What Van Zandt fails to mention in the interview is the fact that he is one of the key people responsible for making those Hall of Fame selections! Not only is Van Zandt on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominating Committee, who come up with the ballot each year, he is also one of eight members on the sub-committee which selects the Musical Excellence Award winners each year, the category in which the E Street Band would likely qualify. All of that goes unmentioned by Van Zandt as he tried to defend Howard’s claim that the Hall of Fame is a joke. Van Zandt only said he was a supporter of the Rock Hall.

Listen to the rest of the Rock Hall talk in the next section.


John Frusciante set to be first Rock and Roll Hall of Famer born in the 1970s

When the Red Hot Chili Peppers get inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April, former guitarist John Frusciante will become the first person born in the 1970s to be honored.

The Rock Hall still hasn’t announced which members of RHCP are going to be inducted, but new guitarist Josh Klinghoffer could possibly be inducted based on the “Trujillo Precedent.” If he is, at age 32, he’ll become the youngest person ever inducted into the Hall of Fame, surpassing Stevie Wonder’s record (age 38).


Lemmy on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: "What a monumental waste of space."

Lemmy finger

Motörhead’s Lemmy has always been like the honey badger of rock and roll. He recently spoke to Noisecreep about the Hall of Fame:

Lemmy, there are lots of petitions online to try and get Motörhead into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Do you care about all of that?

Not at all. Have you been there? What a monumental waste of space. The biggest room there is the freaking gift shop. Do you know what I mean? It's all politics, that place. All a load of f---king politics.

Motörhead is one of the Rock Hall’s more egregious snubs given their vast influence over the last 35 years. One of these days Lemmy will be inducted and we’ll see if he changes his tune at that point (unlikely).