2008 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Wrap Up

If you missed last night's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, you can now watch various clips or the whole thing over at BestBuy.com (although YouTube might be easier).

The New York Times has their usual rundown of the ceremony, with an excellent slideshow too.

We're still pretty sure this is really Norm MacDonald and not Dave Clark (check out Rolling Stone's gallery).

Much of the Rock Hall coverage today focuses on Madonna's revelation that she used ecstasy with the A&R guy that discovered her, and that she smoked some weed with her publicist. Artists use drugs? Really?


2008 Induction Ceremony Updates

The 2008 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be streaming live at BestBuy.com beginning at 8:30 ET (or VH1 Classic on TV). Keep checking back to Future Rock Hall for updates during the show.

8:15 PM ET - Settling in for what will likely be a 3 hour plus ceremony. If you're streaming the ceremony, you should see the Rock Hall graphic at this point.

8:18 - Never noticed this about the logo before, but the 'N' in 'AND' is subtly emphasized. Nice touch. The graphic logo not only represents the I.M. Pei-designed museum, but is a clever abstraction of a view down a guitar neck.

8:30 - Jann Wenner introduced as the Chairman of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Welcomes everyone to the 23rd annual induction ceremony. Possible induction order: Cohen, The Ventures, the DC5, Madonna, and Mellencamp.

8:35 - Kicking off the inductions with Gamble & Huff in the renamed Non-Performer category. Patti LaBelle performing "If You Don't Know Me By Now" with the resplendent Paul Shaffer and company.

8:39 - Wenner mentioned earlier that the new museum archives and library will be open in 2010.

8:40 - Standing O for Patti. Nicely done. On to the video tribute...

8:41 - "Every time we wrote a song, it was a hit." At least they're humble.

8:44 - Jerry Butler on to present the Ahmet Ertegun Award to Gamble & Huff. Whoa! Possibly the shortest speech ever. Was that even 50 words?

8:45 - Butler's the first to comment on the weight of the statue. Over/under is 3 1/2 mentions for the night. We're on our way.

8:46 - It's still unknown who selects the award winners in the Non-Performer and Sideman categories. Not the Nominating Committee and definitely not the Voting Committee.

8:49 - Celebrity sightings so far: Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Bryant Gumbel, and Chevy Chase.

8:50 - Gamble & Huff wrap it up after a couple of nice speeches. Back to Jerry Butler for a performance.

8:53 - Video tribute to master of the blues harmonica, tonight's Sideman inductee, Little Walter.

8:56 - Ben Harper gets to induct Little Walter posthumously. Harper seems nervous, not looking up from his notes, fumbling some words.

8:58 - Wait, another short speech? Where's Eddie Vedder to stretch things out? James Cotton on for the performance with Ben Harper sitting in (literally).

9:03 - Backstage with original MTV VJ Mark Goodman! Reporting from the kitchen?

9:04 - Introduces a classic Rock Hall performance of "Satisfaction" from 1989. Not sure why they show these fantastic old clips -- just going to make tonight look pale by comparison.

9:10 - Goodman interviews Shaffer about the '89 clip. We mentioned this last year, but how long until Paul Shaffer gets inducted?

9:11 - The Ventures video tribute is next. John Fogerty will be inducting them.

9:13 - Fogerty: "[The Ceremony] was a lot looser when it wasn't televised."

9:15 - The Ventures have recorded over 250 albums?

9:17 - The Ventures are clearly thrilled to be there, but I think Don Wilson just thanked the Lieutenant Governor of Washington? Nokie Edwards thanks Les Paul and Chet Atkins for their inspiration.

9:23 - Lots of short speeches this evening. Maybe people haven't had enough to drink yet. It's still early.

9:24 - Performance time -- "Walk Don't Run"

9:27 - Now the Hawaii Five-O theme song . Anyone know who wrote the theme to CHiPs? They might get in next year.

9:30 - Leonard Cohen is next. Lou Reed will induct him, and Damien Rice will perform in his place. Still no reason given why Cohen and Madonna will be not be performing tonight.

9:33 - Reed in a sweet leather suit with pink shirt. Lots of "Looooouuu-ing" when he's introduced.

9:36 - The crowd seems puzzled by Lou Reed's speech. Probably not the first time.

9:37 - "We're so lucky to be alive the same time Leonard Cohen is."

9:40 - The crowd is getting restless as Reed delivers passages from Cohen's latest book.

9:41 - Cohen is introduced to a standing ovation.

9:44 - Cohen's speech is well done and given in verse. The crowd is eating it up.

9:46 - Rice starts out with an acoustic guitar performance of "Hallelujah" -- so much for having it end the night.

9:50 - Just one Cohen song? Must be, since the annual "In Memoriam" video begins.

9:54 - The video ends with Denis Payton and Mike Smith from the DC5. Very sad.

9:54 - Madonna is next. Justin Timberlake inducting her and Iggy & The Stooges will be performing the tribute.

9:58 - Timberlake turns on the charm and injects some sexual innuendo into the evening.

10:02 - Hey, it's a Britney Spears reference! Timberlake is turning this into a roast.

10:07 - Madonna gave Justin a B-12 shot in the ass? He's not joking.

10:08 - "The world has long been full of Madonna wannabes -- I may have even dated a couple of them."

10:10 - Madonna is ripped as usual. I think she needs to get under the umbrella of steroid suspicion with all that B-12 talk.

10:18 - Hospitals, synagogues, ecstasy...

10:22 - Madonna making the most of her time. Thanking all the people who helped her get to that stage including all of her collaborators.

10:25 - Madonna herself introduces "another ass-kicker from Michigan." Iggy & The Stooges kick it off with "Burning Up." This sounds nothing like Madonna. Fantastic.

10:29 - Right into "Ray of Light." Pretty sure Madonna picked Iggy because they share a physique.

10:30 - Based on this performance, how can the Rock Hall continue to keep The Stooges out? They are killing.

10:33 - A shirtless Iggy exits through the kitchen on the way to the press room. Don't call the health department just yet.

10:35 - Another classic performance clip. Led Zep with Steven Tyler and Joe Perry.

10:38 - Mellencamp's video starts. We'll be ending the evening with the emotional induction of the DC5.

10:41 - Unbelievable. They're playing "Our Country" in the tribute montage.

10:42 - Billy Joel introduced to induct John Mellencamp.

10:45 - The selection of Joel makes sense now. He's a natural at this, even though he's barely mentioning Mellencamp.

10:48 - Joel congratulates Mellencamp on outliving the music industry. The Joel takes some shots at VH1. Will that make the edited broadcast?

10:51 - Mellencamp takes the stage to accept his "shiny tsotske" (as Joel puts it).

10:55 - Mellencamp talks about having spina bifida as a baby. Touching story.

10:58 - Mellencamp has his speech on the teleprompter? Very professional until he tells someone to "scroll up."

11:05 - "The sword is a mighty weapon, but it ain't nothing compared to the songs that we sing."

11:06 - "Pink Houses" gets it started.

11:12 - A solo version of "Small Town" is next. Somehow works into the lyrics that his wife was 13 when he wrote this song.

11:16 - "Authority Song" with Mellencamp's son on guitar.

11:20 - This is the uncomfortable part of the evening where you encourage old white guys in tuxes to get up and dance.

11:22 - The Dave Clark Five are next.

11:29 - The crowd loves Tom Hanks -- putting a lot of effort into the speech is definitely appreciated.

11:36 - Hanks is on fire.

11:38 - Wow. Dave Clark looks exactly like Norm MacDonald in Burt Reynolds makeup.

11:50 - Nice speech by Dave Clark in tough circumstances. Tom Hanks introduces Joan Jett, who starts with "Bits and Pieces."

11:54 - Jam time! Jett, Mellencamp, Fogerty, Cotton, and Joel take the stage and start with the DC5's "Glad All Over."

11:58 - And just like that it really is All Over. A bit of an anti-climactic ending to a show in desperate need of a climax.

Dave Marsh Unhappy with 2008 Inductees

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominating Committtee member Dave Marsh isn't happy with the 2008 inductions of The Ventures and Leonard Cohen.
"I realized a long time ago part of the deal with this process is that there are some people who need to be in who I'd rather have my fingernails pulled out than listen to," Marsh said. "Like the Grateful Dead (who were inducted in 1994). But at some level, it's about fame, too. And none of that justifies the Ventures and Leonard Cohen. None of it. The problem is, you've got a bunch of people who know a lot about music on the (nominating) committee, but then you have a lot of people doing the voting who don't."

Why shouldn't the Ventures, who hit with "Walk, Don't Run" in 1966, be in? "Great guys, but an instrumental group built around guitars, not a rock group," Marsh said.

Oddly, Marsh blames the 600+ member voting committee as the root of the problem, when in fact the Nominating Committee continues to increase its power over the process by limiting the number of names on the ballot, then dictating a set amount of inductees from the limited choices. Much more on Marsh over at Tom Lane's Music Blog.

In a long article about Madonna's career at Cleveland.com, Rock Hall Foundation president emeritus, Seymour Stein gushes over Madonna.

Madonna has "a true rock 'n' roll spirit," Stein says.

"She takes chances. She doesn't care about the odds. She cares about whether she believes in something or not.

"Believe it or not, Madonna is one of the easiest artists I ever worked with, because she knew what she wanted. And she was almost always right, too."

Reuters has an interview with Stein too.

News Flash: Roger Friedman hates Jann Wenner and Madonna

In one of the most predictable columns ever written, Fox News entertainment reporter Roger Friedman continues his objection to all things Jann Wenner and Madonna.
Madonna is either too busy or too famous to perform at Monday night’s New York dinner for Jann Wenner’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Wenner must have lost his touch. In the old days, he could make inductees do anything.

Because Madonna can’t or won’t perform, and the other inductees are not exactly rock stars, the evening is shaping up to be a true disaster commercially for the money-hungry Hall of Fame Foundation.

...the Rock Hall show sounds like the grind it’s been designed to become. And isn’t this what years and years of hubris gets you? By ignoring a generation of potential inductees — almost all of the '70s — they’ve cut off most of their audience.


Former Nominating Committee member calls Madonna's induction "an embarassment"

Steve Morse, a former Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominating Committee member for seven years, isn't happy with Madonna getting inducted this year.
"[I]f you think of rock 'n' roll, Madonna is not the first name that comes to mind," said Steve Morse...

He considers her selection, particularly in her first year of eligibility, an embarrassment.

Her music was never played on rock 'n' roll radio, he said. Some veteran rock artists like Deep Purple, the J. Geils Band, Steve Miller and Alice Cooper are still waiting for induction. Morse long and unsuccessfully argued on behalf of the late Gram Parsons.

"It seems like this is driven by commercial achievement and sales, rather than having anything to do with the rock 'n' roll genre," Morse said. "It's really a commercial move. They'll be able to sell more tickets to the museum and more people will watch the broadcast."

Morse may have been part of the Nominating Committee restructuring that went on a couple years ago, so he may have been an unwanted voice of resistance to opening the doors to hip-hop and pop.

An Interview with 2008 Inductee Dave Clark

USA Today talked to Dave Clark about his band's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
[Dave] Clark's only regret about the delayed induction is that two bandmates, Denis Payton and Mike Smith, didn't live to bask in the glory. Sax player Payton died of cancer in late 2006. Singer Smith, who was left paralyzed from the chest down by a spinal cord injury in 2003, died of pneumonia Feb. 28. Clark had spent the previous Sunday at Smith's home to watch their beloved Tottenham Hotspur soccer team beat Chelsea.

"It would have been wonderful to be inducted a couple years ago and have everyone there," says Clark, whose Hall appearance will include his tributes to the late bandmates. "Denis knew he was dying when he found out we were on the (2006) short list, and he was over the moon. He said, 'What a way to finish my career. It's icing on the cake.' At least Mike knew we were being inducted, and he was thrilled."

Joan Jett has been chosen to perform a tribute to the DC5 at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Monday.

Jim Henke defends Madonna's Rock Hall credentials

Anytime an artist that can't be categorized strictly as "rock" gets attention from the Rock Hall, there's an outcry from certain vocal fans.

Jim Henke, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominating Committee member, gives his justification for induction a pop star such as Madonna:

"To me, it's the same issue as last year with Grandmaster Flash and `does hip-hop belong in?'" says Jim Henke, vice president of exhibitions and curatorial affairs at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland. "I think here at the museum and among other inductees, we've always defined rock and roll pretty broadly.

"It's not just about four guys with guitars or something like that. Madonna certainly had a huge impact on popular music and rock `n' roll throughout the `80s and `90s and she's certainly deserving of being honored."

Henke points to Madonna's music, her incorporation of dance elements and her mixing of styles that influenced lots of performers that came after her.


A History of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah"

The one song that stands the best chance to be played during the final jam at the end of the 2008 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is "Hallelujah," written by inductee Leonard Cohen.

The song has become ingrained in our culture over the past 20+ years thanks to scores of cover versions (even showing up on American Idol this week). Michael Barthel over at clapclap.org broke down the history of the song in a hugely comprehensive fashion. Check out the number of cover versions by year:

(via kottke)


Madonna and Iggy Connections

On the face of it, having Iggy & the Stooges perform a tribute to Madonna at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony might seem like an odd choice. But the two have some old connections. As Rolling Stone (and others) pointed out, "both the band and Madonna are Detroit natives, and Iggy Pop opened for Madonna at the Dublin date for her Reinvention Tour in 2004."

Idolator takes the connection a step further: "the Stooges' bassist in its current incarnation is punk legend Mike Watt, whose obsession with Madonna once spurred friends Sonic Youth to record an entire album in tribute to her in 1988."

Both also (obviously) have a history of shock performances and don't mind shedding their clothes.

There's no question that the Iggy & The Stooges tribute will be the most exciting and unpredictable part of the ceremony.


How to Watch the 2008 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

The 2008 Rock and Roll Induction Ceremony takes place at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City on Monday, March 10th at 8:30 PM EDT. Here's how you can watch it:
  • Live on TV: VH1 Classic or MHD (for high definition)
  • Live on the web: BestBuy.com. The site says you will need Windows Media Player to be able to stream the Ceremony. Let's hope they have support for the Mac.
  • Edited version on TV: VH1 will air an edited 2 1/2 hour "highlight edition" on Saturday, March 22nd at 11:00 PM. Could the lack of star power at the ceremony this year have pushed the ceremony out of primetime?

Iggy & The Stooges Filling In For Madonna

Rolling Stone reports today that since Madonna won't be performing at the 2008 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, Iggy & The Stooges have been enlisted to pay tribute to the Material Girl. Perhaps their performance will serve as a showcase for the 600+ members of the Rock Hall Voting Committee who have refused to vote in The Stooges so far. The Nominating Committee has put The Stooges on the final ballot a whopping six times, more than any other artist not in the Hall.

It also appears that Leonard Cohen won't be performing either; he's having Damien Rice play for him. Additionally, James Cotton will pay tribute to Little Walter, and Patti LaBelle will do the same for Gamble and Huff.

The only two inductees who are confirmed to perform at the ceremony are John Mellencamp and The Ventures.

Update: Joan Jett will be performing a tribute to the Dave Clark Five at Monday's ceremony.


Madonna Flattered to be Among "Musical Dinosaurs"

Madonna said yesterday she was hesitant about her induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but she has now come around to the idea, even though she may not perform during the ceremony, as reported here first.
"I heard about it and I kind of felt ambivalent, like, 'What is that, the place they put musical dinosaurs?' " Madonna told reporters from around the globe yesterday, including Sun Media in a Canadian print exclusive. She has just started promoting her new hip-hop and R&B-drenched dance album, Hard Candy, due in stores April 29.

"I didn't really know what to think of it," she said, "but then lots of people explained to me that it's an acknowledgement of singers and songwriters who have made a contribution in the world of music for 25 years, and so eventually I came around to the idea that it was flattering."

And she's pleased that she will be inducted by one of her Hard Candy collaborators, Justin Timberlake, who co-wrote many of the songs and sings on the new album, including the Timbaland-produced first single, Four Minutes. Timberlake also appears in the video alongside her as two superheroes trying to save the world.

"It was Justin who offered and kind of surprised me, when we were shooting the video — he said he wanted to be the person to induct me, so to speak, so I said, 'Okay,' " said Madonna, who added how the rest of the induction evening will unfold is up in the air.

"It's supposed to be a surprise for me — somebody sings one of my songs," she said before adding, "Yikes! No, I'm just kidding. I don't know."

That last quote is confirmation that plans are underway to have someone else perform her music. We'll find out on March 10th when the Ceremony airs live on VH1 Classic and at BestBuy.com.

Dave Clark Five Singer-Songwriter Mike Smith, R.I.P.

Mike Smith, the lead singer of 2008 Rock Hall inductees The Dave Clark Five died today at the age of 64. Here is the full press release:
Mike Smith, the lead singer and keyboard player of The Dave Clark Five, one of the premier bands to emerge during the 1960’s “British Invasion”, died today from pneumonia at Stoke Mandeville Hospital outside of London. His devoted wife, Arlene, who is known as Charlie, was by his side.  Smith was 64 years old.

Smith, who was due to be inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame with his band mates on Monday, March 10th, was admitted to the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit yesterday morning with a chest infection, a complication from a spinal cord injury he sustained in September, 2003 that left him a tetraplegic (paralyzed below the ribcage with limited use of his upper body).  Smith had been in the hospital since the accident, and was just released in December 2007 when he moved into a specially-prepared home near the hospital with his wife. Prior to his hospitalization yesterday, arrangements were being made to transport Smith to New York so he could personally attend the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.

After his accident, Smith found tremendous support from his peers including Bruce Springsteen, Little Steven Van Zandt, and Peter Noone of Herman’s Hermits, who helped defray his medical costs through donations and fundraisers.  Long-time fan and “Late Show” bandleader, Paul Shaffer, helped organize a benefit concert in New York in August 2005, which featured many of Smith’s fellow “British Invasion” stars, including The Zombies and Peter & Gordon.  A DVD of the benefit, Paul Shaffer and his British Invasion: A Tribute to Mike Smith will be released in March by VDI Entertainment.

According to Smith’s agent, Margo Lewis of TCI in New York, “These last five years were extremely difficult for Mike. I am incredibly saddened to lose him, his energy and his humor, but I am comforted by the fact that he had the chance to spend his final months and days at home with his loving wife, Charlie, whom he adored, instead of in the hospital, and that he was able to attend a recent concert in London by his good friend, Bruce Springsteen.  He was extremely excited and honored to have been inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame and I am glad that he will be remembered as a “Hall of Famer,” because he was in so many ways.”

Although the press release mentions Smith was preparing to go to the ceremony, it was unlikely he was going to be able to make it due to his declining health.

Ken Barnes from USA Today has a nice tribute to Smith and his work with the DC5.


2008 Rock Hall Ceremony Presenters Announced

Here are the inductees and their presenters for this year's Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony:Unfortunately there's no information about a media partner who will live stream the event, as spinner.com did last year. Update: Good news, it looks like BestBuy.com will be streaming the ceremony this year.

The ceremony will air live on television on VH1 Classic (available in ~35 million households with digital cable or satellite) at 8pm EST EDT on March 10th.


Exclusive: Madonna Will Not Perform at the 2008 Rock Hall Induction Ceremony

Future Rock Hall has learned that Madonna will not be performing at the 2008 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on March 10th, though she does plan to attend. No word on who will be asked to perform Madonna's music at the event.

This is undoubtedly a huge blow to organizers who were counting on Madonna to provide the star power at this year's event. Given the health of the Dave Clark Five's Mike Smith, it's unclear if they will perform either. The remaining 2008 inductees who will perform are John Mellencamp, the Ventures, and Leonard Cohen.

On March 10th, the Induction Ceremony will be broadcast live on VH1 Classic, and (presumably) webcast at AOL's spinner.com.


Win a Trip to the 2008 Rock Hall Induction Ceremony

VH1 is giving away a trip to the 2008 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. Because the event isn't open to the public (and it costs $2000 just to sit in the balcony if you can manage an invitation), this is probably your only chance to see the ceremony in person this year. On March 10th, VH1 Classic will be airing the ceremony live, and it will most likely be webcast at spinner.com.

You can enter the VH1 sweepstakes right here and let us know if you win!


The 2008 Rock Hall Ceremony Invitation

Check out scans of the full invitation here.

Leonard Cohen Announces Tour

Leonard Cohen announced today that he will embark on his first tour in 15 years beginning in May. This comes on the heels of his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which will occur on March 10th. Since Cohen is preparing for an extensive tour, it would seem likely that he will perform some songs during the induction ceremony.

Rock Hall Class of 2008 Reactions

The current issue of Rolling Stone has the reaction from the 2008 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame class about their induction:
  • Madonna: "I was fortunate to have inducted my idol, David Bowie, so to be included alongside him is an honor."
  • John Mellencamp: "I don't really need verification, but this certainly does do that. After thirty-three years, it's nice."
  • Leonard Cohen: No comment.
  • The Dave Clark Five [Dave Clark]: "It would have been nice to have gotten in around the time the Beatles did, but it's wonderful now."
  • The Ventures [Don Wilson]: "It's a long time coming. For years it's bothered me that we haven't gotten in. I hate the word 'posthumously.'"
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation hasn't yet announced who will be the presenters at this year's awards ceremony, and word probably won't come down until a week before the March 10th show. Will Bowie get to return the favor for Madonna? The Lovin' Spoonful for Mellencamp? The O'Jays for Gamble and Huff? Any predictions? Leave them in the comments.

Roger Friedman's Latest Rock Hall Screed

Fox News entertainment/gossip columnist, Roger Friedman has been one of the biggest thorns in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's side. Here is his recent take on the 2008 Inductees:
The Dave Clark Five finally made it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Thursday morning, one year after their real induction was stolen from them. Other inductees are Madonna, Leonard Cohen, the Ventures and, at long last, John Mellencamp. The latter nominee has been pushed and pushed by Jann Wenner year after year. It’s probably best just to get it over with.

Passed over were ridiculous nominees such as Donna Summer and Afrika Bambaattaa.

Madonna, who has nothing to do with rock, got in, however. For VH-1, which produces the show for TV, she’s the only drawing card on that bill. I’m sure the channel is already making desperate calls to Justin Timberlake and Amy Winehouse to see if they can sing (or if they know) a Cohen song.

To offset the usual lack of R&B inductees (meaning no black people), the Hall is giving a special award to Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff of Philadelphia International Records for not paying royalties to their artists for many years. Check out rulings against them concerning the O’Jays (http://www.paed.uscourts.gov/documents/opinions/05D1141P.pdf) and Billy Paul, all of whom have been reported previously. Maybe previous inductees the O’Jays will perform "For the Love of Money."

But Gamble & Huff have been coming to the dinner for years and paying for their tickets, so their time has come. Still not in, and never will be: Billy Preston, Chubby Checker, Hall & Oates, Chicago, The Moody Blues, Todd Rundgren, Mary Wells, a dozen or so DJs who made rock 'n' roll history, Linda Ronstadt, Carly Simon, Bad Company and so on and so forth…

Gamble & Huff are being inducted this year as "Non-Performers," a category where the 600+ member Voting Committee has no say in the selection. It's unclear who chooses the recipients in the Early Influence, Non-Performer, Sideman, and Lifetime Achievement categories. If anyone has any information on this, let us know.

The 2008 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductees

The 2008 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees were announced today. Congratulations to Madonna, Leonard Cohen, John Mellencamp, The Ventures, and The Dave Clark Five. They will all be honored at the induction ceremony in New York City on March 10, 2008. Much more on the 2008 winners here.

Rock Hall Inductees Announced Today

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will announce today the five artists who will be enshrined in Cleveland in 2008. As you know by now, the nominees are Afrika Bambaataa, the Beastie Boys, Chic, Leonard Cohen, The Dave Clark Five, Madonna, John Mellencamp, Donna Summer, and The Ventures. Mellencamp and The Ventures have claimed to have already received word they will be inducted.

Keep checking the 2008 Inductees page for the latest updates and news.


The Ventures May Be a 2008 Rock Hall Inductee

According to seattlepi.com, The Ventures are a 2008 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee. Bandleader Don Wilson said the band received an email from the Rock Hall saying, "The Ventures are definitely in."

The official announcement of the 2008 Inductees is tomorrow.


Future Rock Hall Predicts the 2008 Inductees

Future Rock Hall predicts the 2008 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees will be:
  • John Mellencamp: Even before Mellencamp himself leaked his own induction last week, he was the runaway leader in the Future Rock Hall poll, landing on 81% of the ballots.
  • Madonna: The biggest superstar on the 2008 ballot was likely an easy choice for Rock Hall voters. Madonna will become one of the elite "first ballot Hall of Famers" if she's enshrined in this her first eligible year. Future Rock Hall voters placed her on 75% of their ballots.
  • Beastie Boys: In recent years, the Nominating Committee has demonstrated an eagerness to include hip hop in the Rock Hall. There are few rappers who can match the Beastie Boys musical diversity and sustained popularity. Future Rock Hall voters didn't show any hesitancy in enshrining them before some of the other pioneers of hip hop, earning 68% of the votes.
  • Leonard Cohen: One of the surprise 2008 nominees, Leonard Cohen will likely be inducted after receiving his first nomination since becoming eligible 15 years ago. Cohen's appearance on the ballot was undoubtedly championed by influential Nominating Committee member Anthony DeCurtis, who as a "Cohen devotee," was commissioned last year to write liner notes for reissues of Cohen's first three albums. In the Future Rock Hall poll, Cohen finished sixth, with 53% of the vote.
  • Donna Summer: Even though she has been eligible since 1999, this is Donna Summer's first appearance on the Rock Hall ballot and it will likely be her last. If the official results mirror those of Future Rock Hall, she should be one of the top five vote getters. She was voted in on 60% of the ballots.
Over 2200 Future Rock Hall voters cast their ballots in the 2008 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame poll. The top five vote getters are John Mellencamp, Madonna, the Beastie Boys, the Dave Clark Five, and Donna Summer. [Last year, FRH voters accurately predicted four out of the five inductees.] The poll results are just one of the factors that go into Future Rock Hall's induction forecast, but there is agreement on four out of five (will the fifth spot go to Leonard Cohen or the DC5?).

Even though Future Rock Hall is predicting the other four nominees won't make the cut in 2008, it isn't difficult to make a case for their induction: The Dave Clark Five were at the center of the 2007 voting controversy, suggesting they were just a few votes short of induction; The Ventures may appeal to older voters who want to recognize the 60's instrumental rock kings; Chic have been on the ballot four times now, the most of any of the 2008 nominees; and Afrika Bambaataa is an historic figure in the birth of hip hop.

The official results will be announced by the Rock Hall on December 13th. Keep checking Future Rock Hall for all of the latest 2008 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame news.


Official 2008 Rock Hall Inductees to be Announced December 13th

Just days after John Mellencamp leaked his own induction, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame moved up its official announcement of the 2008 Inductees by a month to Thursday, December 13th. It is then that we'll find out who will take the remaining four slots in the 2008 class.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer's John Soeder also reports there will be inductees in the Non-Performer and Sidemen categories, which haven't been given out since 2003. No word on whether or not there will be a Lifetime Achievement recipient this year.

The 2008 Rock Hall Induction Ceremony will be held March 10th at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. Presumably, AOL's spinner.com will be webcasting the ceremony once again, but that hasn't been announced yet.


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."


John Mellencamp is a 2008 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee

Congratulations to John Mellencamp! At an Erie, Pennsylvania show last night, Mellencamp leaked to the crowd that he was among the five inductees for the 2008 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
"I got a phone call today," he said. "I found out I'm in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame."
As we learned last year, inductees find out well before the official press conference whether or not they have been voted in, presumably to work out the logistics of attending the ceremony in March. It's not surprising that Mellencamp is among the inductees, as he has led the Future Rock Hall poll for months, showing up on over 80% of voters' ballots. This was the third time that Mellencamp had been nominated for the Rock Hall, missing the final cut in 2004 and 2006.

Thanks, David.


More about the Official Rock Hall Ballot

What kind of information do the 500+ members of the Voting Committee receive from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation to help them complete their ballots? Not a whole lot. Included with the Rock Hall ballot is a brochure which contains short biography information about each nominee (which is very similar to the write-up in the press release), a "Selected Discography" listing, and a photo. Surprisingly, there isn't a CD included with some actual music. Is it reasonable to expect the voters (which comprise of "rock experts" and current Hall of Famers) to know the catalogs of each nominee? Is Billy Joel familiar with Afrika Bambaataa? Is Percy Sledge into the Beastie Boys? Who knows, but maybe that's the point. With such a broad range of voters only the artists with widespread impact on rock 'n' roll will likely appeal to enough voters to be inducted.

The 2008 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Official Ballot

Some interesting things to note about the 2008 Rock Hall Ballot:
  • The voting deadline is November 26, 2007 and votes received after that date "will not be counted." This is most likely in response to the controversy about the vote tallies from last year.
  • Voters don't have to vote for five artists, that is just the maximum. It's possible there may be quite a few ballots this year that are returned with only a couple of names checked off.
  • Voters are asked to rank their choices in order of preference. It's unclear if this information is used in counting the ballots. Previously, the rules stated that an inducted artist needed at least 50% of the vote, but that's no longer the case, since the Rock Hall has stated that exactly five artists will be inducted in 2008. It's very possible that artists could be inducted with less than a majority consent.
Cast your vote in Future Rock Hall's version of the 2008 Rock Hall Ballot here.

Madonna and the Beastie Boys Rock Hall reunion?

Madonna and the Beastie Boys are the only two artists on the 2008 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ballot who were newly eligible this year. If they are both inducted, they will have the chance to share the stage at the Induction Ceremony, just as they did 23 years earlier when the Beastie Boys opened for Madonna on the Like A Virgin Tour. Amazingly, potential future Hall of Famers Run DMC were also on the bill.

More on the 2008 Rock Hall Nominees

There were only two Rock & Roll Hall of Fame nominees this year from the list of newly eligible artists, Madonna and the Beastie Boys. The remaining seven artists have been eligible for at least two years, but more importantly, all seven had been previously considered by the Nominating Committee. This shortlist of artists provides deep insight into who the Nominating Committee takes seriously as Rock Hall candidates. If an artist is eligible, but isn't on this list... well, their chances for induction are slim, because it doesn't seem like the Nominating Committee likes to reconsider previous year's rejects. So let's take a look from recent years who the Committee thinks has a shot, and who doesn't.
  • From the 2006 class, Depeche Mode, Eurythmics, and the Replacements made the cut, which means that Hüsker Dü, Duran Duran, New Order, Mötley Crüe, Ministry, Minor Threat, and many others will probably forever be left out.
  • From 2005, just hip hop pioneers Afrika Bambaataa and Treacherous Three made the list. So no Ozzy, INXS, Go-Go's, or Joan Jett, among others.
  • The 2004 shortlist includes Def Leppard, Iron Maiden, the B-52's, Simple Minds, and Sugarhill Gang. That ignores Lucinda Williams, Pat Benatar, and of course, "Weird Al" Yankovic.
  • Just three names from 2003 are listed, The Cure, Devo, and The Cars. Big names from 2003 that weren't considered: Joy Division, Dire Straits, and Kate Bush.
It's unclear who the Nominating Committee discussed from the 2007 class other than Madonna, Beastie Boys, and Metallica (who were rejected this year). Was Sting discussed? How about Sonic Youth? Was Janet Jackson's name on any member's shortlist? Or the Violent Femmes? We don't know yet, but we now understand how important it is to make it past the first cut.

Videos of the 2008 Nominees

If you're unfamiliar with the music of any of the 2008 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees, check out the video pages for each of the nine artists:After you've become acquainted with the all of the artists and their histories, cast your ballot for who you think should be inducted in 2008.

Worst Rock Hall lede nominees for 2008

Last year, it was, "Van Halen is trying to make their biggest "jump" yet -- into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame." But what is the worst lede involving the 2008 Rock Hall Nominees?

Here is the AP's entry:

Here's something Madonna can really celebrate: a nomination to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Or maybe E! Online?
Madonna's love may be on the borderline, but apparently her rock credentials aren't.
MTV's entry:
Take a bow, Madonna, and ch-ch-check it out, Beastie Boys — you've been nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Yet another AP entry:
Here's something new for Madonna to get hung up on: a nomination to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
And our favorite, from the Contra Costa Times:
Like a virgin, Madonna's been touched for the very first time -- by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Can you come up with a better one?

The official 2008 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominees

The official Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominations for 2008 were announced today. There are six first time nominees this year -- Afrika Bambaataa, Madonna, Beastie Boys, Donna Summer, Leonard Cohen, and the Ventures. Previously nominated artists back on the ballot are John Mellencamp, the Dave Clark Five, and Chic, who have now been nominated 10 times collectively. This is the first year of eligibility for Madonna and the Beastie Boys, and it's no surprise they have been nominated since they are both popular and critical favorites. Shockingly, rock legends Metallica and Sonic Youth did not make the cut in their first year of eligibility.

The Dave Clark Five and Chic are two of the four artists who were nominated for 2007 but didn't get inducted. The Stooges and Joe Tex also didn't make it last year but weren't given a chance again this time.

Last year, the Dave Clark Five were memorably involved in some Rock Hall controversy involving Jann Wenner and vote totals.

By nominating pop, hip hop, and disco artists this year, it's clear the Rock Hall won't be restricted by "rock" labels and will continue to cast a wide net towards all forms of popular music. However, without a Metallica on the ballot, there is a glaring lack of hard rock artists, not to mention the continued snub of all things prog rock.

To comment on the nominations, check out the 2008 Nominees page and check out the official press release.

Ringo tabbed for 2008 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame?

A recent report suggests Ringo Starr will be among the 2008 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees. The article quotes "industry insiders" and "experts" who claim Ringo is among the favorites to be inducted in 2008.
A source says, "Ringo's work as a solo artist has never been taken as seriously as the other ex-Beatles but he's actually enjoyed a lot of success in his own right, particularly in America. It's hard to imagine, but there was even a point in the Seventies when his recordings were briefly outselling those of John (Lennon), George and Paul (MCCartney). "Having your own place in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame is generally considered to be one of the biggest honours a musician can have. Ringo is now among the favourites to be inducted next year."
It is curious that this report was leaked before the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominating Committee even held their meeting on September 10th to discuss the 2008 nominees. It's also probably not a coincidence that this report came out the same week that Photograph: Very Best of Ringo Starr was released.

It's certainly possible Ringo could be among the 2008 nominees, but he would still need to be voted on by the Rock Hall Voters, so he couldn't be guaranteed a spot quite yet.


Metallica ready for the Rock Hall

James Hetfield of Metallica is well aware of his band's eligibility for the Rock Hall this year.
Something exciting that's up for us is being eligible for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in America, which is a pretty big deal. We played it last year for BLACK SABBATH, who chose not to perform, and we said we would. [Laughs] That was a lot of fun. You know, it's this historic landmark. A lot of bands get inducted, [but] not many bands are there to play all together to say 'Hi' and 'Thank you.' If you made it to 25 years, you either hate each other or you're broken up or you didn't make it that far, or something. So we're pretty proud. There's a not a whole lot of bands that can say that, so we're very grateful.
Future Rock Hall currently predicts that Metallica has a 90% chance for induction, so it's very likely Metallica will be on stage for the 2008 Induction Ceremony.

(The question comes up around 2:35 into the interview.)