During those salad days before the pandemic, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame used to announce the nominees for induction during October of the year before the ceremony. This was always followed by the list of artists who would be inducted later in the upcoming Spring. Since the beginning of the pandemic, things have gotten screwy. Now, the nominees are announced in early February of the induction year, followed by a springtime announcement of the inductees, with their induction ceremony later that fall. The new timeline probably makes more sense, but I am still adjusting to it all.
Due to the change, the Hall Watchers appear to be dragging their collective feet compiling their lists of nominees. Everyone of us seem to have our own way of doing these lists. Some of us with more pull within the rock world seem to be attempting to influence the members of the Nominating Committee to place their favorite artists on the list of nominees. The others, like me, attempt to “read the tea leaves” and actually attempt to predict the names who might actually end up on the list. In the past, I had a pretty decent idea which artists might be hot enough to make the list and who probably wouldn’t.
This year? I do NOT have a clue! Now, if I were going to press for the name of an artist or two, allow me a moment to give you my dream ballot of 15 nominees all of whom I believe should be inducted immediately, especially if I ignore that Eminem is eligible this year. Here’s my wish list: The Jam, Hüsker Dü, Paul Revere & the Raiders, The Spinners, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Big Star, Chic, Tommy James & the Shondells, The Monkees, Raspberries, Bangles, Kool & the Gang, Eric B. & Rakim and Phish. Since I believe only a couple of those names have a real chance of being nominated, I will make my actual predictions.
Much like everyone else, I have resources whom I read and study in order to make these educated guesses. And, today, I who like to give these people credit, plus you might want to check out these people on Twitter for links to their blogs, articles, books and podcasts. I love these two websites and the people who keep them running: http://www.notinthehalloffame.com, who rank artists eligible for the Rock Hall in addition to other halls of fame and http://www.futurelegends.com, which does an excellent job of keeping track of all artists in and outside of the Rock Hall. Other iportant writers include Nick Bambach (Rock in Retrospect podcast), Troy Smith (rock journalist for http://www.cleveland.com), Michelle Bourg (Iconic Rock Talk Show blog), Paul Myers (author of many terrific rock books and does Record Store Day podcast), Eric Layton & Molly who host the Hall Watchers podcast, the great Annie Zaleski, author of some fantastic books on 80s pop/rock and an established journalist in her own right. These people have forgotten more about popular music than I could possibly even begin to know. There are so many others that I have met on Twitter through this whole Rock Hall Watchers thing they have kindly included this D-league dabbler in all thing rock & roll. Everyday, I look forward to all of them just to see what knew things I will learn about that day. Thanks Twitter friends and associates!
Now, let’s see how many of these 15 artist actually get nominated for the Class of 2022 to be inducted in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The acts have been arranged in alphabetical order.
- Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldi – How can the Rock Queen of the early 80s be let out any longer? It’s time to rectify this negligence.
- Kate Bush – Ms. Bush was huge all over the world and her star continues to rise with the younger musicians that you should never be surprised if she is inducted within the next three years.
- Mariah Carey – It took FOREVER to get Whitney Houston inducted. Mariah will NOT wait as long.
- Devo – As much a philosophy as a band, I am still befuddled that these innovators are not in the Hall. Now that Kraftwerk has been inducted, look for Devo to follow in short order.
- Eminem – Slim Shady is the Big name for the artists in their first year of eligibility. He is hip hop’s biggest name so he will be on the fast track for induction.
- Judas Priest – Something just tells me that these metal gods will be inducted this year. If it’s not Priest, then look for it to be Iron Maiden.
- Chaka Khan – The diva of the 70s is still awaiting her induction as she keeps getting nominated as a solo artist and a member of Rufus or as Rufus featuring Chaka Khan. Who cares?!?! Just make it happen! Anyway, wouldn’t it be pretty cool to Chaka and Mariah inducted the same night?
- MC5 – You know, if MC5 or Big Star had been from New York, they’d both be inducted by now. Right now, I’d settle for these Detroit punk godfathers.
- The Monkees – Unfortunately, it may have taken Michael Nesmith’s death to get this done, but it needs to be. How many Gen X artists got their inspiration from these guys on Saturday morning. I bet it’s a huge number.
- Motörhead – Lemmy and the boys need to be inducted soon! Hell, Metallica took their sound speed and made it heavier. Time to correct a wrong.
- Oasis – The pride of the UK will get their first nomination this year. Although Britpop never really made inroads over here in the States, Oasis did break.
- Rage Against the Machine – Rock’s favorite left-wing metal/funk band will be nominated this year. Don’t be surprised if they start a run on big names from the 90s alternative nation.
- The Smiths – If the Kinks started the whole British-centric rock sound, then it was The Smiths who brought it into the 80s and set the stage for Britpop.
- Dionne Warwick – With SNL’s Ego Nwodim doing a terrific impression of America’s favorite Twitter grandmother, do not be surprised to see Dionne’s name on the nominees list again.
- Wu-Tang Clan – This happens to be one of my bigger pet peeves – not seeing Wu-Tang on a ballot. I would love to see them on the stage accepting their induction because there might be as many up on stage as in the crowd. The Wu has been ignored long enough!
And, there you have it! My list of nominees for the RRHoF’s Class of 2022. In a couple of weeks, we will see how many of them I got correct. My apologies to Cher, INXS and Ms. Cyndi Lauper! They were the last three dropped off this list, so do not be surprised if you see any or all of them nominated.
Until next time, Peace.