2010 Rock Hall Nomination Details Revealed

Writing on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame blog yesterday, Jim Henke, Rock Hall Chief Curator and Nominating Committee Member, revealed some interesting tidbits about this year's nominations, but not the actual nominees.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s Nominating Committee – a diverse group made up of about 30 rock and roll experts, including music executives, music journalists, historians and even a couple of musicians – met in New York City this past Wednesday to compile the ballot for the next Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee election.
The only news here is that the Nominating Committee met on September 9th. Next, Henke explains the nomination process:
Each member of the [Nominating Committee] can suggest up to three potential nominees. In addition, there are three subcommittees – one on progressive rock and heavy metal, one on hip-hop and one on early rock and rollers and rhythm & blues – that convene prior to the big meeting and suggest potential nominees in those categories.
Henke confirms that the Rock Hall is utilizing the genre subcommittees again this year after they were introduced last year. By acknowledging the specific groups, one could reasonably deduce that the there will be at least one nominee on the ballot from each of the three subcommittees.

The big question here is why is the Rock Hall lumping together prog rock and heavy metal? What do they have in common other than the fact they're both underrepresented in the Hall of Fame? It's possible that the genre subcommittee members are fluent in both metal and prog, so they're just combined into one, but that still seems strange. Metallica filled this slot on the ballot last year, leaving the prog rock selection, Yes, without a nomination. Perhaps that changes this year.

Henke also divulges new criteria for becoming a Hall of Famer:

The only official eligibility requirement is that an artist must have released his or her first record at least 25 years ago. Beyond that, the committee evaluates the influence an artist has had on rock and roll, the longevity of the artist’s career and the overall importance. Unlike sports halls of fame, where one can point to the statistics an athlete compiled over the course of his career, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is not based on numbers. In fact, record sales play a very small role in determining who is nominated. As a result, it’s all very subjective. And all of the members of the Nominating Committee are very passionate about their suggestions.
The key line there is that the Nominating Committee evaluates, "the longevity of the artist's career and the overall importance." We have never officially heard that "longevity" is part of the induction criteria, but it's always been a part of our "induction chances" calculations.

Henke continues with more news about this year's ballot:

This year the committee members discussed a very wide range of artists – from those whose careers began in the Fifties to some who are still very active. Overall, more than 50 potential nominees were discussed and debated. Then a ballot listing all of the artists was distributed and each member got to vote for their top 15 artists. That vote determined who will go on the ballot, which is then distributed to the Hall of Fame’s voters – a group that includes all living inductees, as well as various executives, journalists, historians and the like. In the end, 12 artists made the ballot, and five will ultimately be inducted into the Hall of Fame. I can’t say who the nominees are, but I was very happy with the results – it’s a very diverse group of artists in terms of musical styles, eras, etc. But stay tuned – the nominees’ names will be made public soon.
The Rock Hall had nominated just nine artists the previous three years, so bumping up to 12 this year is a welcome development, and one we have been lobbying for.

Look for the official announcement of the nominees to happen within the next couple of weeks.

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