Sticking a toe in the mud

Cleveland Scene recently took a look at the future prospects of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and found that it's as clear as mud.
[T]he Rock Hall's future [is] as sketchy as a Detroit Avenue hooker on meth. The Hall's website claims that one of its goals is "to recognize the contributions of those who have had a significant impact on the evolution, development, and perpetuation of rock and roll." But how will it measure that? By record sales? Innovation? Will there be quotas for gender and race, as well as genres like hip-hop and techno? Or is it just one big popularity contest?

Scene called and asked, but Rock Hall spokeswoman Margaret Thresher didn't have a response. "Good question," she said.

The answer is that without a concrete definition of rock, there is no science to make the induction process flawless. Outside of Nirvana, the next decade doesn't boast many safe picks. Even Madonna will be a controversial inductee, seeing as the pop diva never released a rock record in her entire career.

Then there are the guys who sold out arenas, only to end up on the cheesy VH1 rock docs -- the Poisons and New Kids on the Blocks of the world. No one would claim they were innovative or had any staying power (NKOTB didn't even rawk!). But they defined musical eras and sold gobs 'n' gobs of records (even though they now make up 90 percent of the stock at the Record Exchange).

How will this shadowy induction committee weigh those guys against, say, the Replacements and Dinosaur Jr. -- artists that aren't household names and never graced the cover of Rolling Stone, but created whole new genres and birthed hundreds of new bands?

They go on to take a look at ten artists' chances for future induction:
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