Mele Mel talks about Jay-Z's infamous "Blackberry" induction speech

This is old news, but we missed it at the time. In this interview with Highbrid Nation, Mele Mel gets asked what he thought about the choice of Jay-Z as an inductor when Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five were honored at the 2007 ceremony (skip ahead to the 5:40 mark).
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Velvet Revolver sabotaged David Lee Roth's moment

Backstage at the 2007 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, Scott Weiland of Velvet Revolver attempted to explain the reason why David Lee Roth wasn't there:
"We were asked to perform. Kinda what happened was, [David Lee Roth] wanted to sing the song 'Jump.' We felt from an artistic standpoint, and I'm being totally honest with you, that it wasn't a song we felt comfortable with. We don't have keyboards. To bring a keyboard on stage wouldn't work for us. We said we'd do 'Janie's Cryin' ' or 'You Really Got Me,' and he was adamant that wasn't OK."
Weiland, how about you pick the songs you want to play when you get inducted into the Hall?
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Rock Hall denies vote fixing

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation has denied there was any foul play in the vote counts for this year's inductions:
Joel Peresman, president and CEO of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation, said the Fox News story was wrong.

When asked if [Jann] Wenner fudged the voting, Peresman said, "No. There is a format and rules and procedure. There is a specific time when the votes have to be in, and then they are counted. The bands with the top five votes got in."

Peresman said the only thing new about the induction process was a reduction in the number of voters. "We used to have 1,000 people who voted," Peresman said. "But we looked at who hadn't been voting over the years and took them off the list. Now we have about 560 or 570 voters. And of those, we have about an 80 percent return in votes."

In Cleveland, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum President and CEO Terry Stewart said he deals with similar charges every year at this time.

"It's aggravating because these kinds of anonymous sources and accusations serve to confirm the beliefs of anybody who feels their favorite band should have gotten in," he said.

Peresman doesn't deny that there were late votes that would have put the Dave Clark Five ahead of Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, but he doesn't confirm that either. Why would Wenner have even opened the late votes -- especially when he apparently had the lineup he wanted? The Rock Hall simply needs to discard unopened ballots that come in after the deadline to avoid this type of controversy, or hire someone independent to tally the votes.
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Lefsetz on the Voting Scandal

Music industry critic, Bob Lefsetz wants Jann Wenner to respond to the report that there was tampering with the 2007 Rock Hall voting totals.
I think we all believed in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  Because it represented what was most important to us, music.  Sure, we railed about who has and has not gotten in.  But we liked that acts were recognized, were given a stamp of approval, additional longevity.

But what if the process is tainted, what if it’s failed?  If we can’t believe in our institutions, what have we got?

I don’t need to believe in Jann Wenner.  But I don’t want him messing with my institutions.  Sure, he gets credit for helping establish the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but George Bush has a program that keeps alcoholics off the street.  Most people aren’t all bad.  But when they’re bad when it counts, that’s important.

We need an investigation.  Who will do this, I’m not sure.  It’s not like the heads of the major labels are trustworthy.  And a bunch of the music industry lawyers…well, there’s the same problem.  But someone’s got to check into this.  And if what Mr. Friedman says is true, Mr. Wenner must lose his job.  Must have nothing to do with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ever again.  Oh, he can visit the museum, but he can’t nominate, can’t vote, certainly can’t chair and must stay home and watch the ceremony on television.  Sure, Jann Wenner has done a lot for rock and roll, but Pete Rose did a lot for baseball.

So Jann…  Say it aint’ so.  Or do what you always urge the politicians to do.  Lay it on the line, tell us the truth.  We may not forgive you, but we’ll accept what you say.  Do it in the name of the Hall.  it’s bigger than you, it deserves its dignity.

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Rock Hall Voting Scandal?

Roger Friedman of FoxNews.com reports today of a brewing controversy about this year's Rock Hall inductees.
According to sources knowledgeable about the mysterious ways of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation, British Invasion group The Dave Clark Five and not Grandmaster Flash finished fifth in the final voting of the nominating committee and should have been inducted on Monday night.

According to sources, Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner, who recently appointed himself chairman of the Foundation after the death of Ahmet Ertegun, ignored the final voting and chose Grandmaster Flash over the DC5 for this year's ceremony.

"Jann went back to a previous ballot instead of taking the final vote as the last word," my source insisted. "He used a technicality about the day votes were due in. In reality, The Dave Clark Five got six more votes than Grandmaster Flash. But he felt we couldn't go another year without a rap act."

R.E.M., Van Halen, The Ronettes and Patti Smith were the top four vote-getters, with Grandmaster Flash finishing fifth when the votes were counted on the first date ballots were due in to the Rock Hall office.

But when all the ballots were counted a few days later, the DC5 had pulled ahead. Wenner decided to ignore that and stick with the earlier tally.

It's not clear how enforcing a vote deadline is a "scandal," especially if the five inductees had already been contacted and told they were in. Friedman's source obviously has a bone to pick with Wenner, as the article goes on and takes other shots at the Rock Hall Foundation.

It would be simple enough for the Rock Hall to avoid these nagging controversies (which have dogged them for years). They should make public the voters and the vote totals the way the Baseball Hall of Fame does. Or they could use an independent accounting firm, the way the Oscar ballots are handled.

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2007 Induction Ceremony Updates

The 2007 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is streaming live (and on demand afterwards) at the AOL Music website. Keep checking back to Future Rock Hall for updates during the show.

8:30 p.m. ET - Jann Wenner making introductory statements. The Ronettes induction will be up first.

8:35 - Wenner gets emotional dedicating the evening to Ahmet Ertegun. The "In Memoriam" video montage follows. Scattered applause for the more recognizable names.

8:40 - Video tribute to Rock Hall Founder Ahmet Ertegun. Aretha Franklin's tribute performance to follow.

8:45 - Stephen Stills comes out to say a few words about Ahmet. "He was a true and great original." Stills then introduces Franklin. (In case you were wondering, those weren't his only words.)

8:51 - It's always a bit disconcerting to see Paul Shaffer and the CBS Orchestra as the backing band for such legends. Aren't these the guys that write the "Will it Float?" jingle?

8:58 - Here's the show rundown (from Cleveland.com):
  • The Ronettes will be inducted by Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards

  • Patti Smith will inducted by Rage Against the Machine's Zach de la Rocha.

  • Van Halen gets its due, inducted by Velvet Revolver.

  • Hip-hop enters the Rock Hall courtesy of Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, inducted by rap mogul Jay-Z.

  • And R.E.M. will be the finale, inducted by Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder.

  • On the menu at the Waldorf-Astoria: Smoked salmon appetizer, tournedo of beef, chocolate cake.
And Sammy Hagar will perform.

9:05 - Keith Richards, with cigarette dangling from mouth, makes his entrance to induct the Ronettes.

9:08 - The Ronettes approach the podium to a standing ovation. "We've waited so long!"

9:12 - Ronnie Spector reads off a list of "thank you's", including Eddie Money. I wonder if Phil Spector is watching and hurling things at the TV screen right now.

9:16 - Ronnie concludes with an exuberant "Let's rock!" Estelle Bennett and Nedra Talley make brief remarks and accept their trophies.

9:20 - The Ronettes transition over to the performance area to sing a few songs.


9:30 - The Ronettes conclude their set with their biggest hit, "Be My Baby." Paul Shaffer then reads a nice note from Phil Spector congratulating the Ronettes. Quick break to set up for Patti Smith, so they show highlights from past ceremonies.

9:40 - More highlights...

9:46 - Patti Smith segment getting started with a video retrospective.


9:49 - Zack de la Rocha introduced to honor Patti.


9:52 - They keep cutting to a split screen showing an antsy Patti Smith backstage.

9:53 - Patti arrives onstage to a rousing ovation and accepts her trophy.


10:01 - Michael Anthony in the house. We'll see if he'll perform with Sammy Hagar later.

10:03 - Patti Smith wraps up her speech and takes to the performance stage.

10:17 - Smith ends her performance with a song that repeatedly screams out the N-word. Not sure how the audience reacted to that one (our inside source says the audience was ecstatic about the performance). It's safe to say she used it in an entirely non-racist way though.

10:19 - More old Rock Hall clips while setting up for Van Halen / Velvet Revolver.

10:22 - Great old clip of Led Zeppelin jamming with Neil Young.


10:26 - Briefly showing Patti Smith in the press room, must be stalling. Al Sharpton comes on to talk about the late, great James Brown.


10:31 - Al Sharpton makes the obligatory Strom Thurmand joke.

10:32 - "James Brown will never die!" On to the video retrospective.

10:37 - Time for Van Halen. Eddie, Alex and Dave really should be there. It's a shame we're denied that moment of them on stage together again.

10:39 - Odd. The video retrospective makes no mention of the Gary Cherone era.

10:41 - Velvet Revolver apparently were asked to induct the Sex Pistols last year. They're two for two in controversy. Weiland leading the induction.

10:44 - Michael Anthony and Sammy Hagar on stage to accept the award.


10:45 - It's really weird having Anthony and Hagar accept the award when Eddie and Alex Van Halen aren't speaking to either of them right now. Michael thanks Gary Cherone!

10:47 - Sammy is truly honored to be there. Thanks the Hall of Fame for including him when they didn't have to. Sammy introduces "the best rock and roll band left on the planet, Velvet Revolver!"

10:50 - VR start off with "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love." Dave is missed.

10:56 - Sammy and Mike join the house band for "Why Can't This Be Love?"


11:01 - Another classic clip. Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five are up next.

11:09 - Michael Anthony and Sammy Hagar in the press room with their trophies.


11:14 - Arguably the most famous artist in the room, Jay-Z, up to induct Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five -- the first hip-hop artists ever to be inducted.


11:16 - Kid Rock in the house.

11:17 - Short but sweet speech from Jay-Z. Grandmaster Flash takes to the mic.


11:21 - Melle Mel with a plea for anti-violence in the hip-hop community.

11:24 - Keith Richards in the press room, channeling Johnny Depp in Pirates.

11:25 - Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five take the stage with three DJ's and kick it like it's 1979.


11:33 - The Furious Five end their set and implore the crowd to "drive safe." They do know R.E.M. is next, right?

11:34 - More classic moments from years past.

11:40 - Another classic performance -- this one of U2 with Bruce from 2005.


11:44 - R.E.M.'s video montage begins. We'll see if Eddie Vedder has a special haircut for the occasion.


12:01 - Vedder gives a long, but appropriate speech. There's a reason the Hall of Fame keeps asking him to do this. R.E.M. is truly humbled.


12:07 - Michael Stipe thanks nearly everyone in the room personally. But he apologizes for it.

12:09 - Over for their performance... Starting with "Begin the Begin" appropriately enough.


12:14 - Stipe dedicates "Gardening at Night" to his father.


12:18 - Time for "Man on the Moon." It's great to have Bill Berry back behind the drums. Eddie Vedder joins in for a verse. The all-star jam comes early...




12:24 - Patti joins in for "I Wanna Be Your Dog" by the Stooges, who of course didn't get inducted this year.

12:27 - Everyone takes the stage for the final jam -- "People Have The Power." Even Sammy takes a verse.






12:37 - The jam ends. Hugs all around and Paul Shaffer shuts it down.
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Keith Richards rumored to perform with Patti Smith tonight

In addition to his official duty of inducting the Ronettes into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame tonight, Future Rock Hall has learned that Keith Richards will be a part of Patti Smith's performance.
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Patti Smith's NY Times op-ed

Patti Smith perhaps provides a preview of her induction speech in today's New York Times.
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2007 Induction Ceremony swag

Attention Zack De La Rocha: As a presenter at the 2007 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, you get to customize your own gift bag full of "must have" goods! You have the opportunity to choose from such luxurious items such as a Clock Radio, a J & R Music World t-shirt, K-Swiss sneakers, and blue jeans! Zack, you have some tough decisions ahead of you. Choose wisely.
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Going to the Ceremony? Want a beer? Hope you like MGD.

Miller Brewing Company has announced a new partnership with the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and it begins at the 2007 Induction Ceremony. According the press release, "Miller Genuine Draft will be the exclusive beer sponsor of the black-tie event at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel." It's not every day that "MGD" and "black-tie event" are in the same sentence, but that's what you get when you throw together a formal rock and roll party.

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Is it time to rename the Rock Hall?

Ann Powers, the L.A. Times pop music critic, makes the argument that the time has come for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame to rename itself, or risk becoming obsolete.
It's time to shake things up. Today's most compelling stars — Shakira, Timbaland, the Dixie Chicks, the ever-evolving Kelly Clarkson — are natural cross-pollinators who rock without necessarily being "rock." The underground is alive with mongrels and mutations, because its denizens grew up with samplers and guitars. "Rock 'n' roll" is dead; long live whatever's next. And let's hope our Hall of Fame finds a way to name it.
Powers feels that with this year's induction of the first rap artists, Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five, that it would be an appropriate time to make the change. Many commenters have argued that same point on Future Rock Hall about "the Rap Question."
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Aretha Franklin to perform at 2007 Induction Ceremony

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced that in addition to the inductees performances, Aretha Franklin will perform a special tribute to Rock Hall founding member Ahmet Ertegun, who died in December. The official press release can be found here.

After you read the press release, check out the new and improved Rock Hall website. Or if you're into this sort of thing, they have a MySpace page.

On their "Downloads" page, they have desktop images of certain artists' shoes available for download. It's interesting to note that of the seven artists, five are current Hall of Famers. The other two? Alice Cooper and Run DMC -- perhaps a sign of things to come in the future.
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All Van Halen members will attend

Even though Van Halen won't be performing at the 2007 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, all members (Eddie and Alex Van Halen, Michael Anthony, David Lee Roth, and Sammy Hagar) will at least attend the ceremony.
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AOL to live stream the 2007 Rock Hall Induction Ceremony

AOL will stream the 2007 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony live on March 12th (bookmark this site). The webcast will be shown without commercial interruption and will be available on-demand the following day.

This is a great alternative for people who would like to see the show but don't have access to VH1 Classic or MHD.

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2007 Ceremony presenters announced

Here are the presenters for this year's Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony:
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VH1 Classic to air 2007 Ceremony live

VH1 Classic will televise the entire four-hour 2007 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony live on March 12th at 8:30 PM/ET. MHD, MTV's HD music channel, will also broadcast the event live in High-Def. This is the first time the ceremony will be available as a live broadcast.

If you don't get VH1 Classic or MHD, you will still be able to see a 2-hour edited version of the ceremony on regular VH1 on Saturday, March 17th at 9:00 PM.

In January, it was reported that VH1 was not going to be broadcasting the ceremony this year since their contract with the Rock Hall had expired, so this is obviously great news for fans of the five inductees and of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in general, since this should be an eventful night.

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Who will present the 2007 Inductees? Who will perform?

In February, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will announce who the presenters and performers will be for the 2007 induction ceremony. Last year, Herbie Hancock inducted Miles Davis; Shirley Manson (from Garbage) inducted Blondie; Lars and James from Metallica inducted Black Sabbath; and Kid Rock inducted Lynyrd Skynyrd (the Sex Pistols weren't there, so Jann Wenner read the infamous "piss stain" letter). So who will get the honors in 2007? As you can tell, the Rock Hall likes to pick current rock stars who were influenced by the inductees. Commenter Henry M has some ideas:
Van Halen --> Gene Simmons or Ted Templeman
R.E.M.--> Mitch Easter or Scott Litt
Patti Smith --> Lenny Kaye or Clive Davis
Grandmaster --> Chuck D
Ronettes --> Bruce Springsteen
And our picks? Somehow, we don't think Gene Simmons will be doing the honors for Van Halen, given the tension between KISS and the Rock Hall, so we're thinking the Red Hot Chili Peppers. We also suspect that a well-known artist will get to induct R.E.M., so it might as well be Michael Stipe's friend Thom Yorke. For Patti Smith, we'll say it will be PJ Harvey. Chuck D seems exactly right for Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five, and Bruce is perfectly appropriate for the Ronettes. What do you think?

As for the performances, there will be a lot of reunions. The original R.E.M. lineup plans to play, as well as the three Ronettes. Grandmaster Flash hasn't performed with the Furious Five in years, but should come together on this occasion. And then there's Van Halen. The lineup will probably be the one that was announced for a summer tour -- Eddie and Alex Van Halen, with Eddie's son Wolfie on bass, and David Lee Roth back in front. Hopefully they will find a way to include Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony on stage with them too.

One of the highlights of the ceremony is the "all-star jam" which takes place at the end of the ceremony (ably backed by Paul Shaffer and company, who probably deserve to be recognized by the Rock Hall someday). This year's mix of artists and personalities should make it a fantastic ending. Let's just hope we can see it.

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Melle Mel takes to the ring

The 2007 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony will certainly be unique. Not only will a porn music composer be inducted, but perhaps a professional wrestler will enter the Rock Hall as well. Melle Mel, Furious Five member and 2007 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, wants to try becoming a WWE wrestler.
I went to the wrestling school over the summer and picked up a little bit of moves. I wanted to see if it was something that I wanted to do, other than just dreaming of wanting to be a wrestler. It's a little rough, but it's something that can be done.
In addition to wrestling, Melle Mel is working on a new fitness video, a children's book, and a new album called Muscles, to be released on his own Big Gun Records.
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Bob Lefsetz on the Rock Hall

Music industry insider and critic, Bob Lefsetz, isn't happy Patti Smith was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame this year, and also has some thoughts on who should be considered:
How about [...] Peter Gabriel?  How come he can’t get nominated, never mind get in.  His third, eponymous album, is far superior than the GREATEST HITS of Ms. Smith.  Hell, his Ezrin-produced debut is more challenging than "Horses".  But he gets no traction, no respect.

Or what about Gabriel’s work with Genesis?  They’ve got to be in the Hall, right?

Of course not.  Prog rock doesn’t exist in the minds of the Hall.  Yes isn’t in either.  Don’t you know chops are anathema?  That it’s better to NOT KNOW how to play?

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame used to be cool.  One used to want to go to its induction ceremonies.  Because they were insider events.  Everybody wants to be an insider at someplace cool.  But now they’re on TV, they’re just as phony and evanescent as the usual network fare.  But you’ve got to follow the buck, right?

How could things get so screwed up, how could reality get so warped, how could respect be eliminated from the equation.  You let in second-rate people like Patti Smith, and you taint the rest of the inductees.  I mean who next, TELEVISION??

Lefsetz's thoughts echo those of legions of fans of prog rock who can't understand why it isn't more represented in the Rock Hall, when other marginal aritsts keep getting inducted.
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VH1 not airing the 2007 Rock Hall Ceremony

According to the New York Daily News, VH1 won't be airing the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony this year. Apparently their contract expired and wasn't renewed. Hopefully another network will sign on to air an edited version of the ceremony, or the Rock Hall could simply webcast it live. (thanks, Charles)
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Hip-Hop Enters the Rock Hall

In future decades, the 2007 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Class will most be remembered as the year the first rappers were inducted. Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five were finally selected for induction this week, after having been nominated each of the last three years.

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame certainly understands the significance of this event. Terry Stewart, Rock Hall Museum President & CEO, responded to the objections of allowing rappers in:

"We've been getting the same question since the group originally was nominated a few years ago: 'Why in the heck would you have a hip-hop artist here?' " said Stewart, who is a member of the hall's nominating committee.

"You have to step back and understand the history of the music," Stewart said. "The term 'rock 'n' roll' has been around for more than 100 years. . . . Hip-hop is just another form of it, one we're very proud to recognize.

"Hip-hop is a derivative 50 years later of what Alan Freed was playing, which was called race music or rhythm and blues, then retitled rock 'n' roll."

Expect to see more hip-hop acts enshrined in the future, Stewart said.



So, congratulations to Grandmaster Flash, Kid Creole, Cowboy, Melle Mel, Mr. Ness, and Raheim on your induction and for being the pioneers of the next generation of Hall of Famers. In the next few years, look for Run DMC, LL Cool J, Public Enemy, and the Beastie Boys to join them in the Hall.
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The 2007 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductees

Congratulations to R.E.M., Van Halen, Patti Smith, Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five, and the Ronettes -- the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction class of 2007. (Comment on the inductions here.)

As for the artists who didn't make the cut, the Stooges now have the dubious distinction of having been nominated the most times (6) without being inducted, since longtime nominee Patti Smith finally got in this year. But they can take comfort in the fact that most artists who get nominated eventually get into the Rock Hall (roughly 70%).

Since this is Future Rock Hall, let's take a look at who will be eligible for next year's induction. The artists that have the best chance for induction are Metallica, Madonna, the Beastie Boys, and Sonic Youth. Other contenders could be Sting and Janet Jackson.

Let's not forget some of the most popular artists who have been eligible for years and have been consistently ignored by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominating Committee. Artists such as Rush, Yes, Deep Purple, KISS, Alice Cooper, Brian Eno, Joy Division, King Crimson, Dire Straits, Peter Gabriel, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Tom Waits, and many others have never been recognized.

But let's just be thankful that this year we get the treat of seeing the Van Halen soap opera play out on stage at the induction ceremony. We can all agree on that.

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Future Rock Hall Predicts the 2007 Inductees

Over 580 ballots have been cast by Future Rock Hall voters in an attempt to predict the results of the 2007 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductions. Our voters were required to select five artists from the ballot of nine nominees, using the same process the Rock Hall Voting Committee does.

The results overwhelmingly indictate easy induction for R.E.M. and Van Halen, each receiving over 90% of the vote in their first year on the ballot. Patti Smith showed up on roughly 3/4 of your balllots, which should mean that her losing streak will finally end this year. The Stooges (71%) and Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five (61%) round out the five predicted inductees.

Not quite getting over the magical 50% mark were the Dave Clark Five (41%) and the Ronettes (38%). There wasn't much support for three-time nominees Chic (18%) and Joe Tex (14%).

The poll results closely mirror the "Future Rock Hall Induction Chances" score, which has been calculated using user voting and other historically determining factors for induction, so Future Rock Hall stands behind the five predicted winners our users selected.

The official inductee list will be announced via press release on January 8th. Keep checking Future Rock Hall for all of the latest 2007 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame news.

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Van Halen a 2007 inductee?

In an interview with the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Sammy Hagar let it slip that Van Halen will be one of the five inductees into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame for 2007.
"Management told me the other day we got in," Hagar said. "I'm curious to see if we actually do get inducted. I can't believe we wouldn't, looking at who else is up for it. Certainly R.E.M. deserves to be there. Certainly Patti Smith deserves to be there. The rest is probably just a matter of opinion."
All of the Rock Hall ballots have been turned in and counted, so it is likely that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame organizers have been contacting the winners to make sure they will be available for the ceremony on March 12th.

Hagar is skeptical that a Van Halen reunion with David Lee Roth will happen anytime soon, feeling that there are too many egos involved for it to work. Hagar thinks that volatility will be on display at the Rock Hall ceremony:

"I think it could be ugly," he said. "This might be the best one ever! It's what everybody wants. They want to see blows thrown and yelling and screaming and people making fools of themselves and trying to outshine each other.

"This could be a real comedy, man. This could be a reality series right here.

"I don't think it's gonna be a real friendly, beautiful scene. . . .I could go there and jam with them. Ed, Mike, Al and I probably could pull it off, 'cause we just did it [in 2004]. We were professional when we went onstage.

"But you throw Dave in that mix, and I just don't see it working. Dave's gonna want it to be all about him. Ed's gonna want it to be all about him. And that's a tough one right there. I'll probably just be sitting over in the corner, cracking up."

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The Dave Clark Five knocking on the door

The Dave Clark Five are one of the nine artists up for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2007, and lead singer Mike Smith is honored to be nominated.
"I'm very thrilled," he said. "There is so much talent out there, and for us to even be nominated is a huge honor. We were at the beginning of the musical revolution called the British Invasion.

"In England, we had to sell a million records to just knock the Beatles off the No. 1 spot with 'Glad All Over.' We then went on to tour the world four times and played to millions of fans."

Smith has undergone some major health problems in recent years as the result of an accident that has left him unable to walk.

In other sad news, on December 17th, DC5 sax player, Denis Payton, died of cancer at the age of 63. Before he passed away, Payton had said he was thrilled by the nomination, "I know I won't be around but it was an amazing part of my life that I am very proud of."

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2007 Inductees to be announced January 8th

The 2007 Inductees to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame will be announced on Monday, January 8th. The induction ceremony will take place March 12th at the Waldorf Astoria in midtown Manhattan.

If the Future Rock Hall poll is an accurate indication of the Rock Hall Voting Committee, then R.E.M., Van Halen, Patti Smith, the Stooges, and Grandmaster Flash & the Furious FIve will be the names announced on January 8th.

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Ronnie Spector talks about the Ronettes nomination

For the first time, the Ronettes are one of the nine nominees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Having become eligible 18 years ago, why did it take so long for them to get nominated? Ronnie Spector confirms the long-held rumor:
“We have been nominated before, but this time we might make it. People finally have caught up with what my ex [Phil Spector] was doing all those years. Now everybody sees what was going on.”
Asked to elaborate, Spector says her ex had written a letter in 1994 telling Hall of Fame voters not to nominate the Ronettes, because the group was his creation. “My [current] husband (Greenfield) was given a copy of the letter by a business associate,” says Spector.
Phil Spector is currently free on $1 million bail while he awaits trial for murder. Presumably, he no longer has any influence on the Rock Hall proceedings.

Keeping in mind the large number of voters that are products of the 60's, and the lack of other similar artists on this year's ballot, this may in fact be the year that the Ronettes get inducted.

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Voting on the Rock Hall nominees

If you haven't already voted in the poll for the 2007 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, take a moment and put yourself through the exercise. It may be easy for you to pick five worthy candidates from the bunch, but it's more likely that after choosing the first two or three, it will start to become pretty difficult. You might even wish you didn't have to pick five. But you do, just as the Rock Hall Voters have to.

At Future Rock Hall, we believe that our polling numbers will be an accurate indicator of the actual voting scores. We'll know for sure in January when the 2007 inductees are announced.

Vote now!
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The 2007 Rock Hall ballot

Future Rock Hall has learned that voters are required to vote for exactly five of the nine nominees on the 2007 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ballot. This will insure that the five inductees will each have more than the required 50% of the vote. Winners will be announced in January.
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Madness in Texas

The San Antonio Express-News ran an editorial Friday, whining about the quality of this year's nominees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They lament that ever since the Beatles were inducted in 1988, there has been a steep decline in quality of the inductees.

Some people are rightfully upset about the editorial, but occasionally you have to just smile watch the old timers sink into irrelevance.
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The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominations Disc

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame voting committee members will be receiving their 2007 ballots in the mail this week. So what does the Rock Hall Foundation provide them so they can make an informed vote? How about an exclusive CD with one song from each nominee. Check out the 2002 edition:



Maybe this year they can fit two songs per nominee since there are only nine of them. That should cover it.
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A closer look at the 2007 official press release

The official announcement from the Rock Hall Foundation of the 2007 nominees contains some interesting new information about the induction process.

The Rock Hall Museum's website has long listed the number of rock experts in the voting body at about 1000. However, according to this year's press release, that number has been cut in half to "over 500 voters." The voting body consists primarily of living Hall of Famers, which by rough count would be around 350, as long as each member of an inducted group receives a ballot (if not, the number would be closer to 130). The rest of the voters are made up of record company executives, rock critics, producers, broadcasters, and other industry professionals.

So what happened to the 500 former voters? If you are a former voter, let us know.

By nominating just nine artists for 2007, this marks the first time in the Rock Hall's 20 year history that it has nominated fewer than 13 artists. It's unstated whether or not this is a permanent change in the process, but it clearly gives even more influence to the Nominating Committee.

The press release also openly states that just five out of the nine nominees will be inducted. This is the first year they have announced a predetermined number of inductees before the voters get their ballots. As to how this effects the rule that nominees need a majority of 'yes' votes to be inducted is still vague. It's possible that voters are required to vote 'yes' for a minimum number of artists on the ballot, which would insure five artists would get above 50% of the vote.

(By the way, we would love to be a fly on the wall when the Sex Pistols receive their first ballot from the Hall of Fame this week.)
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Reaction to the 2007 nominees in the blogs

myREM.com: like the synergy of Patti Smith and R.E.M. getting in together
Whitney Matheson: is pulling for Stipe, Smith and Iggy
Make the Rock Hall Weird: Weird Al shut out again, but gaining momentum
EW.com: Links to YouTube videos for each nominee
Charles Crossley, Jr.: Counts up the number of dead nominees this year
Pop Machine: Michael Stipe threatened to keep R.E.M. out of the Hall until the Monkees are inducted?
Tom Lane: no love for Van Hagar
The 5th_Estate: has a little something against Chic
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More on the 2007 Nominations

Today we learned that the 2007 inductees will be announced in January and the induction ceremony will be held on March 12th at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. Billboard.com states that there will be five inductees, but how can the Rock Hall be sure that five artists will receive the requisite 50 percent of the vote? It's possible that many of these repeat nominees received more than 50% of the vote in years past, but were still beaten out by other Hall of Famers, so the Rock Hall is confident they will be voted in this year. Or maybe there are new rules that came in with the new director. We can just add this new twist to all of the other changes at the Rock Hall Foundation this year.

There is a new chair of the shrunken Nominating Committee -- longtime Rock Hall insider and Bruce Springsteen manager -- Jon Landau. Based on the selections this year (which look a lot like last year), the rumors of the Nominating Committee getting younger were probably false. It's unlikely there are many new members who could bring a different perspective to the proceedings. Even if there are some fresh voices, the 'old guard' clearly still has the most influence over the nominations.
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The official 2007 Rock Hall Nominees

The official Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominations for 2007 were announced today. There are only three first time nominees this year -- R.E.M., Van Halen, and the Ronettes. This is the first year of eligibility for R.E.M., and it's no surprise they have been nominated since they are both popular and critical favorites. Van Halen finally gets nominated in their fourth year of eligibility, and the Ronettes had been waiting since 1988 for a nod.

The rest of the 2007 ballot looks very familiar to last year's ballot. The Stooges, Grandmaster Flash, Patti Smith, Chic, Joe Tex, and the Dave Clark Five didn't make the cut last year (and have been nominated a total of 23 times over the years), but have all been nominated again.

The Rock Hall Foundation Nominating Committee only selected nine artists this year instead of the fifteen or so they have been nominating in recent years. By reducing the number of nominees the voters have to choose from, the Nominating Committee is clearly flexing its muscles and essentially saying to the voters, "you will vote these artists in whether you like it or not."

With all of the talk about the turnover on the Nominating Committee, including a new Foundation director, the new guard seems awfully similar to the old guard.

To comment on the nominations, check out the 2007 Nominees page.
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Where are the 2007 Rock Hall Nominees?

In the past few years, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees have made their way into the media by mid-September. So what is the hold up this year?

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has a new director, Joel Peresman, who recently replaced Suzan Evans. There are also rumors that the 70-person nominating committee was going to have a number of new voices this year. All of this turnover has most likely led to delays in the nominations becoming finalized.

The Rock Hall never officially releases the names of the nominees (you won't find them on the Rock Hall website), but they inevitably get leaked to the media. Keep checking Future Rock Hall for the latest on the 2007 nominations.
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Future Rock Hall predicts the 2007
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees

Future Rock Hall has announced its prediction of the 2007 Rock Hall nominations. Check it out here.
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Let's talk about... Madonna

Madonna released her first single, "Everybody", back in 1982, which makes her eligible for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame next year. Since she's a virtual lock for induction, it's really just a matter of which year the Nominating Committee will submit her name for a vote.

The closest parallel to Madonna's worldwide stardom could be Michael Jackson. Michael released his first solo material in 1972 and he didn't get inducted as a solo artist until 2001, a full 4 years after he was first eligible. Jackson did get in the first time he was nominated, but what took the Nominating Committee so long? Okay, so maybe there were some other outside factors involved with Michael. Let's use Prince as an example. Prince was eligible in 2003, but he didn't even make the ballot that year for some unknown reason. The following year, he was promptly inducted.

So what does all this mean for Madonna? Well, unless she has told the Nominating Committee that she is unavailable next March for the induction ceremony (and let's not forget the TV show), because she's on tour or has a Kabbalah lesson scheduled for that night, she should be one of the 2007 inductees.

But wait, you say that Madonna isn't "rock", so she shouldn't even be eligible in the first place? Well, the Rock Hall doesn't say in it's eligibility rules that you must play rock music, just that you "have had a significant impact on the evolution, development and perpetuation of rock and roll." And I doubt anyone would deny Madonna that.

Update: Madonna will be eligible for the 2007 voting period -- and if she gets inducted, the ceremony would be held in 2008.
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