Prog Rock still left out

People are beginning to notice the gaping hole in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
At one time in the '70s and early '80s, instrumentally adroit bands such as Yes, Genesis, Emerson, Lake and Palmer and The Moody Blues ruled radio-land, with others -- King Crimson, Rush, Jethro Tull, The Electric Light Orchestra -- dabbling in similar approaches but with their own unique stylings.

For good or bad, the genre has spawned dozens of stepchildren, from Styx to Supertramp, from the Alan Parsons Project to Kate Bush, from Dream Theater to Porcupine Tree. But just try to find a prog-rock band among the 153 inductees thus far.

Let me save you time, because there's only one: Pink Floyd...

When I called the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland the other day, curatorial director Howard Kramer declined comment on the situation, noting all inductions are handled by the Hall of Fame Foundation.

But he conceded the fan contingent backing "prog-rock probably is the most vocal" in e-mailing and campaigning for the genre, which certainly has been represented in museum exhibits if not the Hall of Fame itself.

USA Today, in their feature story about the Rock Hall, highlights the arguments for many of the famously snubbed artists, such as Rush, Kiss and Alice Cooper. In most cases, it's the fans who are the ones who feel snubbed, not the artists themselves:
Singer/guitarist James Young of Styx, a progressive rock band eligible since 1997, is accustomed to musical ostracism.

"Like any sort of competition for awards, it's decided by human beings who have bias," he says, noting that Styx has been copiously rewarded in record and ticket sales. "I celebrate the people who went to the trouble to form the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Without it, I'm not sure a lot of black artists would have been recognized."

Besides, he hasn't given up. "How long did it take for Martin Scorsese to win an Oscar?" he says.

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