The nominations are in for the 2013 class of inductees for Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and the mix of names and bands definitely runs the genre gamut for sure.
Finally, however, there is a nod for Canadian power trio Rush. The band has been much the source of controversy at the glass pyramid on Cleveland’s waterfront, as many of its fans have seen the omission of the band in the Hall as unconscionable and out and out ridiculous. Although the band has been around for almost 40 years and the Hall almost 30, this is still the first acknowledgement for the group in any way, shape or form. The band, which is currently on their Clockwork Angels tour spanning America, is bigger than ever. It remains to be seen if they will make it (finally) into the oddly shaped edifice in Ohio.
Other first time noms include hip hop/rap pioneers Public Enemy and NWA (both direct cohorts of the sounds and styles patterned and road mapped to some extents by last year’s inductees The Beastie Boys) and hard rock mavens Deep Purple. Although Deep Purple has sold records into the millions and released scores of influential albums, the band remains criminally underrated in America, as evidenced decades later and also in the wake of the death of their original keyboardist Jon Lord, having finally been granted consideration to be immortalized in Cleveland.
The round-up of some repeat nominees also runs uncharacteristically eclectic: hard and ballad rock queens Heart, no-nonsense straightforward rock and rollers Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Academy Award songwriter Randy Newman, the late disco matriarchal Donna Summer and equally disco heavyweights Chic, English early prog-style arranged Procol Harum (whose “Whiter Shade of Pale” is still memorable and used in trailers and films to this very day), New Orleans funk fried The Meters, the man who penned the blues classic “Born Under A Bad Sign,” Albert King, and early prototypes of Electronica, Kraftwerk.
Quite an adventurous list for a casual listener of rock and roll, even in a technological age where music is acquired as easy as buying chewing gum at a local convenience store and then some, where ironically, most people don’t choose to be adventurous in their musical choices and historical knowledge, even though all the information is at one’s fingertips to easily explore those aforementioned avenues.
Joel Peresman, President and CEO of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation, spoke about the stretching of genres with this years inductees via a press statement:
The definition of ‘rock and roll’ means different things to different people, but as broad as the classifications may be, they all share a common love of the music.” Peresman went on to add: “This year we again proudly put forth a fantastic array of groups and artists that span the entire genre that is ‘rock and roll.’
600 artists, musical historians, and members of the industry will choose the fates of the nominated, which will culminate with an inductee-honoring ceremony on April 18th, 2013 in Los Angeles.
While for sure the acknowledgment of Rush and Deep Purple is long overdue, there are still many more artists that have never even been considered to this day, something I wrote about here a few months ago (see Hall Of Shame: 6 Bands Snubbed By The Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame). If either Rush or Deep Purple is inducted, something that would have seemed unthinkable in years’ past, perhaps it will start a small ripple effect in getting some other worthy bands if not inducted, then at least on the ballots. But for sure, this year’s list of nominees looks to certainly be a bright spot in maybe starting to clean up some of the negative attitude most have regarding the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and who is included therein, which for a large percentage, is an exercise in blatant favoritism, and not always just a piquant eye on talent as a basis for inclusion. Congratulations to this year’s nominees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Class of 2013.