The 2011 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees were announced earlier today, and there are actually some bands that live up to the “rock” part. Alice Cooper and Bon Jovi are among the nominees, as are the Beastie Boys, who started out as a hardcore band. Cooper should have been nominated long before now, but considering he’s still going strong on the road with Rob Zombie, it’s good to see the guy get his due. And sure, Bon Jovi is pretty much music for soccer moms now, but in the beginning of their career, they were a force to be reckoned with whose commercial metal hits helped bring the genre above ground (until Nirvana sent it back where it belonged, anyway). And Beastie Boys were a band that everyone loved regardless of what genre they were into. Just ask Slayer’s Kerry King, who performed guitar solos on “Fight For Your Right ” and “No Sleep `Til Brooklyn.”
Granted, the Foundation that nominates the bands is small and very insidery. with Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner and writer Dave Marsh imposing their own musical taste on what gets nominated. There are entire genres that have been ignored, and the fact that Patti Smith and Booker T & the MGs are in the Hall, but Rush, Cheap Trick, KISS, Def Leppard, Chicago and Deep Purple have yet to be nominated is a bit of a sham. And shouldn’t Ronnie James Dio have been nominated posthumously? Sure, Bon Jovi may have sold a shitload more records than most of them, but any of those bands should have gotten to the hall before them. Basically, while it’s encouraging that the three above acts were nominated, the Hall is still pretty much the antithesis of “rock.”
It will be interesting to see who gets nominated next year, since “new” artists have to have released their first work in 1987. Guns ‘N Roses is an automatic, but will some of the bands that have repeatedly got dissed finally get their due? Who did the Hall leave out again this year?