The Ballots Are In... But Did Anyone Receive Any Votes?

The 2008 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame ballots were due in New York on November 26th, and we know that John Mellencamp will be enshrined into the Hall, but this year some outspoken voters have protested the selection of nominees by not voting at all. Joel Selvin, San Francisco Chronicle music critic, decided not to send in his ballot this year for the first time. Jon Bream, another Rock Hall voter from the Minneapolis Star Tribune, could only bring himself to vote for Madonna and no one else.

What is going on here? There was clearly a growing animosity towards the Rock Hall shortly after the nominees were announced in September, but rock fans have been complaining about the process for years without generating a revolt among the insiders. Selvin, himself a former Nominating Committee member, writes:

Over and over again, the elitist committee of 50 record company executives and rock critics who do the nominating come up with a list that reflects their East Coast, intellectual biases, and, year after year, the voting body of FM radio disc jockeys picks the most mainstream possible candidates and votes them in. Hence James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, Bob Seger, Jackson Browne ...
If enough voters send in blank ballots, or don't vote at all, perhaps the Nominating Committee will get the message that placing only nine artists on the ballot for five slots just isn't enough choice.

Both Selvin and Bream list artists they would have liked to have had the chance to vote for this year. (Check out Future Rock Hall's list of eligible artists here.)

Joel Selvin's list: "Steve Miller, Kiss, Iggy Pop, T. Rex, Joan Jett, Jeff Beck, Tom Waits, Burt Bacharach, Ben E. King, Yes, Genesis (Peter Gabriel, too), Doobie Brothers, Roxy Music, Metallica, Neil Diamond, Todd Rundgren, Ry Cooder, Albert King, Billy Preston, et cetera, et cetera."

Jon Bream's list: "Neil Diamond, Kiss, Tom Waits, Alice Cooper, Linda Ronstadt, the Doobie Brothers, Genesis, Roxy Music, Jeff Beck, Steve Miller, Moody Blues, Hall & Oates, Rush and the Replacements, to name a few."

blog comments powered by Disqus