The 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees: Deserving music legends or just a bunch of old white dudes?
The Music Mix’s dream that Axl Rose’s cornrows be permanently retired to a museum in Cleveland came one step closer to realization today with the news that Guns N’ Roses will be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame next April.
The band’s fellow Hall of Fame newbies are the Beastie Boys, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Small Faces/The Faces, the late singer-songwriter Laura Nyro, and hippie troubadour Donovan. The list of nominees who didn’t get the electoral nod this year is made up of Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, the Cure, Heart, Eric B. and Rakim, Rufus with Chaka Khan, Donna Summer, War, Freddie King, and the Spinners, at least some of whom may now be available for birthdays and bar mitzvahs on April 14.
Taken on a case-by-case basis, it’s difficult to argue with many of the choices. Guns N’ Roses, the Beasties, and the Chili Peppers are all hugely popular and have enjoyed many-chaptered careers, even if the most recent parts of the Roses’ tale have resembled chapters in a book about horrific car accidents.
And Nyro and Donovan certainly added their own hues to rock’s rich tapestry, although I know my colleague Rob Brunner would have preferred the Cure or Erik B. and Rakim get inducted over the latter. You could reasonably argue that Faces members — and previous Hall of Fame inductees — Ron Wood and Rod Stewart don’t really need another gong on their mantelpiece. But had the pair only ever recorded “Stay With Me,” they would have gotten my vote (if I had one):
On the other hand, there is no doubt the new crop of inductees is a remarkably homogeneous bunch. Throw a rock at them, and you would be almost bound to hit a white man (and if that white man was Ron Wood, then he might not even notice). The only woman on the list is Nyro, and it says something about something that, at least until this weekend, the lineup of Republican presidential candidates looked more racially diverse than the roll call of inductees.
But what do you think of the list? Should the Beasties have gotten the nod over Eric B. and Rakim? Is Donovan more deserving than Joan Jett, Chaka Khan, and Donna Summer? Are you looking forward to the new episode of the longrunning Guns N’ Roses soap opera that the news of their induction will doubtless inspire?
And, yes, what about Rush?
Let us know!