The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of the 2013 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees

The good, the bad and the ugly of the 2013 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee announcement:

The Good:

  • Quincy Jones was finally inducted into the Rock Hall. Whatever history there may or may not have been between Jones and the Rock Hall was set aside to do the right thing.
  • Public Enemy getting inducted on the first ballot. It may have seemed like a foregone conclusion, but the Rock Hall sometimes whiffs on these no-brainers.
  • Rush getting its first nomination and promptly getting ushered into the Hall of Fame, like they should have been there all along.
  • The death of the blackball. Will the inductions of Rush and Jones, and the nomination of Deep Purple, put to rest all of the conspiracy theories about a blacklist?
  • No back door inductions. The Rock Hall shouldn’t get credit for not doing something absurd, but we should at least acknowledge that all of the inductees are in their proper categories this year.
  • Keeping the induction ceremonies open to the public. Let’s hope this is a permanent change and that New York will get an induction ceremony at Madison Square Garden next year.
  • Involving Flea in the induction announcement. It’s a great idea to make a bigger deal out of the Hall of Fame induction process by including enthusiastic Hall of Famers like Flea.
  • The predictions. Maybe the Rock Hall is getting a little more predictable, but fellow Rock Hall expert, Tom Lane, nailed all six performer inductees back on October 25th. Amazing. Our predictions are here.

The Bad:

  • The snubs. Let’s face it, the Rock Hall could have easily inducted 12 of the 15 nominees. It’s great that the Rock Hall is now inducting six performers instead of the usual five, but the back log of snubbed artists keeps getting longer and longer.
  • The ballot rules. Why does the Rock Hall let its Voting Committee only vote for five names when there are going to be six inductees?
  • The Rock Hall completely neglected the Early Influence and Musical Excellence categories this year. This is puzzling, since there are still plenty of deserving candidates.
  • Speaking of Early Influences, the Rock Hall still hasn’t set up a “Veteran’s Committee” or “Pioneer’s Committee” to properly address the pre-Elvis era. This should be a no-brainer for the Hall of Fame since no one would be opposed to this.
  • There likely won’t be a live stream available of the induction ceremony since HBO holds the rights to the edited broadcast. The Rock Hall was ahead of the curve on this back in 2007, but they have given in to their broadcast partners.

The Ugly:

  • The comments on the Rock Hall’s Facebook posts.
  • The Rock Hall’s handling of the announcement press event. No live video of the announcement? Are you serious?
  • Rolling Stone infuriating every other publication by jumping the gun on the announcement embargo.
  • The official fan poll. Joel Peresman announced that there were over 500,000 votes from the public, but that only counted as a single ballot among the 600 cast (or is it 500?).
  • The 50% “rule.” The Rock Hall still has on its website that inductees are required to appear on at least 50% of the ballots to be inducted. This is demonstrably false.

Like any other year, there are things to criticize about the inductees, but on the whole, this year will be seen as a positive step for the Rock Hall.

Be sure to listen to this segment from NPR where we had the chance to discuss the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominating process.

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