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Rock Hall Inductee Reactions

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KISS, Nirvana and Peter Gabriel were all announced as Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees for the Class of 2014. I can’t help but think the rock hall made a couple of missteps. Again.

The list of possible inductees when all of this started were: Nirvana, Peter Gabriel, KISS, (Minnesota’s own) The Replacements, Hall & Oates, Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Chic, Deep Purple, Linda Ronstadt, Yes, Cat Stevens, The Meters, Zombies, Link Wray, LL Cool J, and NWA.

The final list and official inductees for this year are: Nirvana, Peter Gabriel, KISS, Hall & Oates, Cat Stevens and Linda Ronstadt are all officially going into the hall as performers. The musicians who have stood behind Bruce Springsteen for decades, The E Street Band are also being recognized for musical excellence and Brian Epstein, the unofficial “Fifth Beatle” will receive the Ahmet Ertegun Award for his legendary career.

Congratulations to all of the inductees, but I have a few things to say.

Nirvana skated in way too easily. Yes, they were hugely popular and changed the face of rock and roll in the early 90′s, but, they were the knife in the jugular of the 80′s rock movement and killed hair metal as we knew it. Before long, people we walking around in with greasy hair, holey jeans and wearing flannel. You couldn’t tell a lumberjack from a grunge rocker. We can also thank the gunge movement (spearheaded by Nirvana) for the socks and sandals look. Yuck.

It took KISS way too long to get in. They were hated by critics, but loved by fans and that’s who they made their music for, if you can forget about the whole I Was Made for Lovin’ You disco debacle. KISS were putting on crazy arena shows with neon lights and fireworks before anyone had ever thought of doing that. Yes, they were mocked in the beginning, but their perseverance and innovation left an indelible mark on rock and roll. They’ve been eligible for induction since 1998, and they should have been in the hall long before now. After getting snubbed last year, they joked with Rolling Stone Magazine saying that they were just going to buy the Rock Hall and “fire everybody.” Sounds like a plan to me.

Linda Ronstadt got the sympathy vote. She announced earlier this year that she has Parkinson’s Disease and is no longer able to perform. I love her voice, I enjoy her music, but I can’t help but think that it’s only because she’s sick. I think that there are other, more deserving artists eligible this year.

Peter Gabriel is going in for the second time. His first time around, he was inducted in 2009 for his work as a founding member with Genesis, but was not at the ceremony because he was getting ready for a huge world tour, so I’m glad he’ll be around to enjoy it. According to Rolling Stone, Peter said of being inducted again, “I’m very grateful to have gotten in again. It’s a huge honor since it’s for your whole body of work and not just a specific project.”

As for Hall & Oates…yacht rock?! REALLY?! And what’s with no Deep Purple again? What else do they have to do?

The induction ceremony will take place in April at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, which marks its return to New York after being in Cleveland and Los Angeles for the last two years. Fans will also be able to buy tickets for the ceremony. If you can’t be there, you can watch it on HBO in May.

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