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Old 11-08-2018, 10:01 AM
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kak125 kak125 is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
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Fan voting is open for the 2019 induction class of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Unlike most music writers, I have never had any major disdain for the Rock Hall as an institution. Taste in music is highly subjective, even if there are a handful of artists that have managed to capture the collective consciousness of the world, there is not a litmus test for what makes a song or an artist great.

The induction process for the Rock Hall often gets criticized because too few people control the process. That means that the personal tastes of the induction committee will creep in, which is unavoidable. The alternative would be a public vote ó but that would have its problems as well, especially since many influential artists were not commercially popular, or their fan base has largely died off.

To address the lack of public input, the Rock Hall started an online fan vote back in 2012. The top five in the fan vote get an extra official ballot vote. That sounds like a big deal, but, it only amounts to a single vote out of 1,000 official ballots. The official ballots go to living Rock Hall inductees and, according to the Rock Hallís website, ďmore than 1,000 historians, members of the music industry and artists.Ē

This yearís ballot includes 15 nominees, Def Leppard, Devo, Janet Jackson, John Prine, Kraftwerk, LL Cool J, MC5, Radiohead, Rage Against the Machine, Roxy Music, Rufus featuring Chaka Khan, Stevie Nicks, The Cure, The Zombies and Todd Rundgren.

Def Leppard and Stevie Nicks are atop the fan ballot and will likely hold the one and two position barring some kind of massive effort by another artist. It makes sense because even though Nicks gained fame with Fleetwood Mac, she is the most commercially successful rock artist on the list (Janet Jackson has probably sold more records as a solo artist, but she does not perform rock music) and Def Leppard is one of the most commercially successful rock bands of all time.

For the serious music critics of major papers and other publications, the thought of Def Leppard being inducted over an artist like Roxy Music or Rage Against the Machine will serve as enough fodder for knocking the induction process. That was evident last year when the highbrow music writers were enraged that Bon Jovi made the cut.

I have always fancied myself as a music fan first, and I try not to get caught up in arguments over which band is more deserving. I have certainly mentioned a few I see as worthy of induction in past columns, two of them are on the list this year, Janet Jackson and Todd Rundgren. I think itís useless to malign an artist that is inducted, and its an insult to the artistís fanbase.

As a Todd Rundgren super-fan, I admit that I will be disappointed if he does not make the cut, but whether or not he makes it I will still love his music just the same. In the case of Janet Jackson, I am not a fan of her music, but I strongly admire her as an artist, especially in a male-dominated industry. Janet Jackson has worked hard to gain the type of success she has achieved, even as she has lived in the long shadow of her famous brothers.

As for the 13 other nominees, I am sure they all have fans that will be thrilled if they are chosen for induction. Despite the flaws in the process, and the inclusion of artists that do not perform rock music over some classic rock bands-it still should be considered an honor to be nominated, and a greater honor to make the final cut.

There will always be artists that are snubbed, and the fact that their fans advocate for their inclusion in the Rock Hall should offer some solace.

So if your favorite artist gets in the Rock Hall, enjoy the moment. If they donít, just remember that itís only rock and roll.
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