Alice Cooper, Tom Waits, Neil Diamond, Dr. John and Darlene Love head the latest class to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, an institution that is almost as well known for who it excludes as for who gets in.
Left off the list this year is LL Cool J, The Beastie Boys and Bon Jovi. Is this the heavy hand of Rolling Stone editor Jan Wenner at work?
Wenner, who helped found the Hall of Fame, is perennially accused of manipulating who gets in, either to satisfy his personal tastes or to settle his personal vendettas.
Among groups with huge careers and big fan bases still on the outside looking in are KISS and Rush, to name two.
Chubby Checker, who introduced the “twist,” a dance that swept the nation in the early 1960s and made Checker one of the nation’s most influential artists, usually holds an annual vigil at the event to protest his exclusion.
By rule, artists are only eligible 25 years after the release of their first album. Artists are also supposed to be vital to their era and cutting edge in their music.
Among the nominees for this year’s induction was first-timer Donovan and repeat nominees Donna Summer, J. Geils Band; Chuck Willis, Chic and Joe Tex.
Cher complained in a recent interview that Sonny and Cher, her 1960s rock duo, with husband Sonny Bono, should also be in, calling being excluded “just rude.”