Roger Friedman: Rock Hall considering changing eligibility period to 20 years

Roger Friedman reports for the Hollywood Reporter that Jann Wenner is considering changing the eligibility rules for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by reducing the eligibility period by five years. Currently artists are eligible for the Hall of Fame 25 years after releasing their first record, but under the new proposal, it would be reduced to 20. Friedman reports that Wenner is motivated by the weak group of artists becoming eligible over the next few years.
The new idea is to change the charter so that it only takes 20 years to get in. That would move up a lot of acts on the ballot that are more current and carry some name value, which would be good for TV rights. Believe it or not, the following would then be eligible for the 2011 ceremony: Guns N’ Roses, Green Day, Public Enemy, Nirvana, Kid Rock and Smashing Pumpkins. Also a possibility right away: Keith Richards as a solo artist.

If the Rock Hall chooses to change the rules next year, it could potentially create the best ballot the voters have seen in many years. It would also make it much more challenging for often-nominated-but-never-inducted artists such as Chic and Joe Tex to get in.

Friedman correctly reported months ago that David Geffen would be inducted this year as a Non-Performer, so clearly Friedman has sources close to the Rock Hall's power players. In this report, Friedman's sources say that Wenner is only "considering" this rule change, so it's certainly not a done deal. It seems to us that the decision may not be finalized until this summer just before the Nominating Committee meets to determine the 2011 ballot. Stay tuned. In the meantime, we'll be preparing to update our database of eligibility dates...

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