Grohl makes Rock Hall list with Nirvana
It appears Warren native Dave Grohl will be adding Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee to his list of accomplishments.
Nirvana, in its first year of eligibility, was among 16 acts announced as nominees Wednesday for the induction class of 2014. Arguably the most influential act of the ’90s and a commercial and critical favorite, Nirvana’s inclusion among the five inductees seems guaranteed.
But who will join Nirvana?
Also on the ballot is The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Chic, Deep Purple, Peter Gabriel, Hall & Oates, KISS, LL Cool J, The Meters, N.W.A., The Replacements, Linda Ronstadt, Cat Stevens, Link Wray, Yes and The Zombies.
I would make the case that the most inexplicable omission in the Rock Hall is Peter Gabriel. I’m not necessarily saying he’s the best act already eligible that isn’t in there. However, name an act as respected critically as Gabriel who ALSO was as commercially successful AND was as much of an innovator and influence? Certainly none of the other nominees alongside him (with the exception of Nirvana) can boast that same trifecta.
After those two, though, I can make arguments either way for nearly everyone else.
A few choices indicate that the Rock Hall may be tired of nasty comments on Facebook. I’ve joked before that the Rock Hall could post, “We’ve just found the cure for cancer!!!,” and one of the first three comments would be, “Yeah, but you still haven’t inducted KISS.”
Now that Rush is in, KISS has the most vocal fan base of any artist that hasn’t been chosen. And while it’s tough to make a case for KISS musically – and I say that as someone who was once a loyal member of the KISS Army – the band’s influence both through its live show and as a marketing juggernaut makes it worthy of consideration.
Deep Purple and Yes are other bands frequently cited by classic rock fans as deserving a place at the table. But Rock Hall voters haven’t been big fans of heavy metal or progressive rock. The ones that have made it – Black Sabbath, Metallica, Van Halen, Pink Floyd and Rush – are groups that transcended their niche or simply were too big too long to ignore. Frankly, Deep Purple and Yes feel like second tier acts in their respective genres.
The attention surrounding Linda Ronstadt’s announcement that she has Parkinson’s disease probably helped her get on the ballot for the first time in about two decades of eligibility. Then again, one of the arguments baseball fans use when making the case for their favorite players is, “He was the best player at his position in the era that he played.” Well, was there a bigger solo female pop / rock star in the ’70s than Ronstadt?
Hall & Oates makes its first appearance in 16 years of eligibility, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Daryl Hall’s web series/ Palladia show “Live From Daryl’s House” didn’t catch the ear of those on the nominating committee and make them think, “Gee, some of those Hall & Oates tunes were pretty catchy.”
As the Rock Hall slowly embraces hip hop, either LL Cool J or N.W.A. will be inducted this year (but not both). It comes down to whether they pick the one with the longer career (LL Cool J) or the one whose tenure was much shorter but burned more intensely – and controversially (N.W.A.).
I love The Replacements more than any of the nominees (including Nirvana and Gabriel), but I’m surprisingly ambivalent about whether the band belongs.
I’m OK with listening to Cat Stevens’ “Wild World” and “Peace Train”; I’m less OK with inducting a man who supported a fatwa against author Salman Rushdie.
If I had to predict, I’d say Nirvana, Gabriel, Ronstadt, N.W.A. and KISS make it this year (I’m less confident about KISS than the others). If I had a ballot, it would be Nirvana, Gabriel, The Replacements … and write-in votes for Cheap Trick and Warren Zevon.
Andy Gray is the entertainment writer for the Tribune Chronicle. Write to him at email@example.com