Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominees 2014

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Submitted by Don Graham

It’s that time of year again. Battle lines are drawn, sides are picked, and controversy is set in motion. And opinions and loyalties smack together like crashing cymbals! Nope, not the Super Bowl. It’s time to announce the nominees for the 2014 Induction into the hallowed Hall, the Hall of Fame, Rock ‘n’ Roll style.

Every year when the nominees are announced there is a hue and a cry from fans of those not nominated and fist pumping joy from those fans of nominees who are in the running.

The Hall of Fame had a strange beginning being formed in 1983 while the building itself wasn’t completed until 1995. One of the Foundation’s many functions is to recognize the contributions of those who have had a significant impact on the evolution, development and perpetuation of rock and roll by inducting them into the Hall of Fame. Artists become eligible for induction 25 years after the release of their first record. Criteria include the influence and significance of the artists’ contributions to the development and perpetuation of rock and roll. The Foundation’s nominating committee selects nominees each year in the Performer category. Ballots are then sent to an international voting body of more than 600 artists, historians and members of the music industry. Those performers who receive the highest number of votes - and more than 50 percent of the vote - are inducted. The Foundation generally inducts five to seven performers each year.

Cat StevensCat StevensWho is eligible? To be eligible for induction as an artist (as a performer, composer, or musician) into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the artist must have released a record, in the generally accepted sense of that phrase, at least 25 years prior to the year of induction; and have demonstrated unquestionable musical excellence.

The Hall will consider factors such as an artist's musical influence on other artists, length and depth of career and the body of work, innovation and superiority in style and technique, but musical excellence shall be the essential qualification of induction.

Hall & OatesHall & OatesBut who makes the decision? Who votes yay or nay to the selected nominees? Well herein may lay the problem. The voting committee for the most part is full of people who musically, “never played the game.” They are writers from rock journalism’s past and present for the most part, who self-congratulate themselves for existing during a time that was being called as “seminal” and “influential” on their endeavors as the musicians were in theirs. They have made themselves self appointed experts and consider themselves the foremost authority on rock music.

Paul Butterfield Blues BandPaul Butterfield Blues BandAnd this is what leads to problems and issues when names are announced. Basically when the nominees are announced there is a lot of  “Says who? You?” when popular names are left off the ballot. A lot of fans wonder why T Rex or Marc Boland aren’t in the Hall? Don Henley said in an interview after the Eagles were inducted “Linda Ronstadt should definitely  be “in”. Without her there wouldn’t have been the Eagles and she is such an important part of the Southern California scene in the 70’s. “Unfortunately with the Hall of Fame it isn’t always about merit.” Hopefully in 2014 that will be rectified as Ronstadt is on the ballot for consideration.  And the surviving members of the Sex Pistols, who were inducted in 2006, refused to attend the ceremony, calling the museum a "piss stain."

Linda RonstadtLinda RonstadtThe nominees this year include Kiss, known as much for their makeup and stage costumes and over-the-top stage shows as for guitar-driven '70s hits such as "Rock And Roll All Nite”. The rootsy, late-‘60s live favorites The Paul Butterfield Blues Band known for their cover of Elmore James' "Shake Your Money Maker", disco hit-makers Chic "Freak Out"; pop duo Hall & Oates "Sarah Smile", proto-metal act Deep Purple "Smoke on the Water", avant-garde pop singer Peter Gabriel "In Your Eyes". rapper LL Cool J "Going Back to Cali", New Orleans funk group The Meters, "Sissy Strut" grunge gods and sure-fire first-ballot inductees Nirvana "Smells Like Teen Spirit"; gangsta rappers N.W.A. "Express Yourself", boozy college-rock act The Replacements "Left of the Dial"; country rock balladeer and rocker Linda Ronstadt ("Blue Bayou", “You’re No Good”, folk singer Cat Stevens "Wild World"; rockabilly bad boy Link Wray "Rumble"; prog- rockers Yes "Roundabout" and Brit rock-pop group The Zombies "Time of the Season" and “She’s Not There”. The ZombiesThe ZombiesSome on this list look like naturals, others, not so much. It will be interesting to see who gets inducted in New York City in April 2014.  Comment here on your Top  5 choices on and we’ll see how close you get. Rock on!!

For more visit www.rockhall.com