Artists react to being snubbed by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
Dec. 21, 2016
Artists are eligible for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 25 years after their debut release. For every handful of acts that enter the Hall each year, there are dozens that never make it past the final ballot and hundreds more who aren't even in the running. The 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held on April 7th at Brooklyn, New York's Barclays Center, with a truncated version of the evening's events airing on HBO later this spring.
Jon Bon Jovi, who along with Bon Jovi became eligible for induction back in 2009, told us that although he would welcome the honor, he's not pinning any hopes of the band getting into Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame: "Hall Of Fame, in all honesty, would be nice, but I'm not counting on it. I wouldn't think that that necessarily would be so, and we'll probably be one of the only bands that sold over a 100 million records and don't get in. So we'll see, but I'm, I'm not gonna hold my breath."
Richie Sambora admits that as popular and successful as Bon Jovi has been over the years -- nobody is a shoe-in when it come to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: "I think we should get in there at one point. I do. You look at our track record, and how many people we've made happy in the world through our music. Yeah, I think we deserve to be in there. Do I think we're gonna get in? Don't know. It's definitely a political situation. It's almost like running for office over there. I mean there are so many bands that should be in there that are not in there. So you never know. Who knows? You never know what's going to happen."
The Moody Blues have been eligible for induction since 1989. Frontman Justin Hayward told us that he's able to take being passed over for over a quarter century in stride: "If it ever happens, there will be people saying, 'What are the Moody Blues in there? They don't deserve to be in' -- so that will always go on. But, it doesn't impact anyone who's European. They have no idea what it is -- it doesn't make the news or anything. I totally respect it here, though, because this Rock and Roll Hall of Fame means something because it is in the land of my heroes. But that's where it stops, really. I don't lose any sleep over it."
With Styx still a top live concert draw -- not to mention having their name now gracing moons on neighboring planets -- we asked guitarist J.Y. Young how he feels about the band's chances in finally getting inducted into the Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame in view of hard rockers Rush and Heart recently getting the nod: "Rush is something I wouldn't have expected. But because they're sort of non-traditional. They're a little more arty than the rest of us it seems. But Heart, the fact that the one sister was married to Cameron Crowe, who was obviously. . . wrote for (Rolling Stone publisher) Jann Wenner. Jann Wenner plays such a very big role in the selection process, that Heart makes sense in being the first act -- and it's women, so it's unique. Yeah, Heart and Rush have now opened the door for the possibility in the future. But really, at this point (laughs), Tommy (Shaw) and I really don't care."
Three Dog Night has been eligible for induction since 1993. Co-founder Chuck Negron says they've consistently been passed over simply because the group didn't write their biggest hits: "It's a very strange thing. For some reason Three Dog Night has been stuck with this stigma that we weren't innovative and that's mind-boggling. Based all on the fact that we didn't write (our own material). We changed the music . . . the landscape of the touring business, we created stadium tours. And, y'know, if you're going to talk about writing, Elvis Presley didn't write a song."
Eric Carmen says that although the Raspberries have long been cited as "power pop" innovators and have been eligible for induction since 1997, they simply lack the political clout to get into the Rock Hall: "Having been in the music business now for 35 years, or whatever it is, and having had situations where I've bumped into Jann Wenner and some of the powers that be over there, there is so much politics involved in anybody actually getting into the Rock Hall."
Cleveland's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame recently ran an exhibit on Graham Nash, titled, Touching The Flame. We asked Nash, who has been inducted twice as a member of both the Holies and Crosby, Stills, & Nash, about the possibility of Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young being inducted anytime soon: "Not only that -- what about me? I'd like to see me in there! I'm a pretty historical figure regardless of my relationship with the Hollies or CSN or CSNY. And I definitely think CSNY is a completely different band than Crosby, Stills, & Nash -- and why shouldn't they be in there?"
There have been several times during the Rock Hall's induction ceremonies that band members have been inducted but due to politics and bad blood between group members are forced to sit on the sidelines during the inductees' performances.
The first occurrence took place in 1993 when John Fogerty refused to share the stage with Creedence Clearwater Revival members Stu Cook and Doug Clifford: "(Doug Clifford): That was our night too. For the band. The band was inducted. And to have that happen, all of our children were there, including Tom's son who was going to fill in for his dad (Tom Fogerty). And then when we called John on it, he says, 'I don't like you. I won't play with you. You didn't help me get out of my contract 25 years ago.' What?! (Stu Cook): You're the guy who signed it without a lawyer! (Doug Clifford): Yeah, well."
Stu Cook says that bad scenes between former bandmates will probably continue to happen as long as the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame forces estranged musicians back together under the spotlight: "Creedence (Clearwater Revival), Blondie, Sly (& The Family Stone), you know all these misadventures that the Hall has had trying to push their agenda . . . Somebody's going to get hurt, y'know, their feelings hurt or there's going to be some kind of a scene. I guess they always thought that they could control it. I don't know, our induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame wasn't very satisfying, needless to say.”
Jon Bon Jovi says there are two specific members on the board of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame that have deliberately stood in the way of Bon Jovi being inducted. Once again, Bon Jovi has been passed over for induction -- despite being eligible since 1999.
NJarts.net reported that Bon Jovi appeared on Howard Stern's radio show and when Stern broached the subject, Bon Jovi said, "I couldn't be as honest as I’d like to be. The criteria is actually that your music had an influence on generations that came after you, and that it’s still out and very present. Yeah, we have every criteria. I had a big falling out with one of the guys that runs (the hall).”
Although Bon Jovi would neither confirm nor deny that his issue was with Rolling Stone founder/publisher and Rock Hall chairman Jann Wenner, Bon Jovi revealed: "I called (the guy I had a falling out with) a few choice words, and I’m never shy, when I see him, to call him a few more choice words. And there’s other guys on that thing that have made it their personal mission to f*** with me. And that’s okay. I get it. I’ve sold more records than their artists.”
Stern went on to ask "if the system is rigged" -- to which Bon Jovi said, "I don’t know anything about the system being rigged. . . That’s okay. It is what it is.”
When pressed about "who would argue" with the Bon Jovi's three decades worth of hits and influence, Bon Jovi replied: "These two f***ers in the room.”
The following artists are not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame:
Boston, the Monkees, Joe Cocker, Yes, Sonny & Cher, Bernie Taupin, Brian Wilson, Bon Jovi, Gram Parsons, Grand Funk Railroad, Iron Maiden, the Zombies, Frankie Avalon, Squeeze, Pat Benatar, Todd Rundgren, Judas Priest, Badfinger, Big Star, the Flying Burrito Brothers, Sting, Humble Pie, Eddie Money, Harry Nilsson, T. Rex, Beatles recording engineers Norman Smith and Geoff Emerick, Styx, Free, Billy Idol, Duran Duran, Rockpile, Culture Club, Lenny Kravitz, the Runaways, rock photographers Jim Marshall, Ethan Russell, Gered Mankowitz, Dezo Hoffman, Astrid Kirchherr, Annie Leibovitz, Henry Diltz, and Bob Gruen; Chubby Checker, the Guess Who, rock journalist Lester Bangs, the Turtles, Phil Collins, Def Leppard, Stevie Nicks, Rolling Stones pianist and co-founder Ian Stewart, Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels, Kansas, Ronnie Lane, Thin Lizzy, Joe Walsh, Delaney & Bonnie, Poco, Roxy Music, the Dictators, Brian Eno, Television, Phil Ramone, Meat Loaf, America, XTC, the Searchers, Leslie Gore, the Raspberries, the B-52s, Paul Revere & The Raiders, the MC5, Herman's Hermits, the Moody Blues, Mountain, Blue Oyster Cult, Chic, the New York Dolls, Peter Frampton, Jethro Tull, Foreigner, Bad Company, and many more.