The nominees for the 2019 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame were just announced, and in the running this year are Def Leppard, Devo, Janet Jackson, John Prine, Kraftwerk, LL Cool J, MC5, Radiohead, Rage Against the Machine, Roxy Music, Stevie Nicks, the Cure, Todd Rundgren, Rufus & Chaka Kahn and the Zombies.
Who's missing? Foreigner, Bad Company, Judas Priest... and one of my adolescent favorites... The J. Geils Band! They were nominated last year and four times before that, but no pass to the Hall yet. Are you kidding me? Maybe I'm a bit biased because I grew up less than an hour from Boston, where the Geils band was huge. But for those of us of a certain age, hits like Love Stinks, Centerfold, and Freeze Frame bring back lots of memories. Plus, party songs like Must of Got Lost and House Party were fun songs to crank on rock radio in the 70's and 80s.
With top notch musicians like J. Geils and Magic Dick, plus iconic front man Peter Wolf, these guys have a solid place in my memory as one of the most significant bands of the 70s and 80's. Wolf is one of those guys that you'd see everywhere in Boston. I can remember running into him at a handful of concerts in the 90's wearing his signature pork pie hat and donned in all black. He came to everybody's shows and was always so supportive of other local musicians. Give these guys a break! They deserve it.
And don't even get me started on Bad Company...Shooting Star, Feel Like Makin' Love, Bad Company, Can't Get Enough.. sung by Paul Rogers, one of the greatest rock voices of all time. And Foreigner? I can't even count the hits in the space I have here. Something like 15 singles from their first four albums. And we all know the words to every one. Hopefully the Hall committee will wake up and smell the rock. Janet Jackson? Please remind me what rock songs she ever recorded.
Yikes. My this makes my head hurt. Now back to the news...
First time nominees this year include Def Leppard, Nicks, Devo, Roxy Music, Prine and Rundgren, while nine of the 15 artists have been nominated in previous years including Radiohead and Rage Against the Machine, who were both nominated for the first time last year, LL Cool J and Kraftwerk, who’ve both been nominated four times before, and the Zombies, who’ve been in the running on three previous occasions. Interestingly, no newly-eligible artists received nods this year.
A fan vote is now open, with the Top Five acts earning a “fans’ ballot” that will be considered when the HOF’s international body votes. The new class of inductees will be announced in December and the 2019 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will take March 29th at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn.
As for how this year’s nominees feel about their nomination…
- While it has taken 13 years for Def Leppard to get a nod, they aren’t complaining, considering fellow nominees like Todd Rundgren, Roxy Music and Devo have been waiting even longer. "So I don't feel so bad now that we got overlooked when you see people like them, people I was out buying their records when I was 12 years old,” frontman Joe Elliotttells Billboard. “So it's alright. It's kinda cool." He isn’t getting his hopes up though, noting, "We'll wait and see. I'm not gonna hold my breath because I know how this can go …So I'm not taking anything for granted."
- MC5’s Wayne Kramer tells Billboard after not getting in for three years he isn’t exactly holding his breath, although he’d be okay getting in. "It is a level of recognition. It's always nice to be recognized for your work, so I wouldn't complain about it in that way. And I guess it's good for business,” he says, adding, "But it doesn't mean that much to me. It certainly doesn't affect my personal life. We'll just see what happens."
- The Zombies’ Rod Argent admits, “It really feels like such an honor to be nominated for a fourth time in five years,” adding, “But we've had a terrific journey, and the previous three nominations are not something we counted on. We thought it's just brilliant people have seen fit to nominate us."
- First time nominee Stevie Nicks posted her reaction on Twitter, simply writing “wow, what an honor.”
A few videos to honor the forgotten...