Tuesday, December 17, 2013


Next year's inductees have just been announced ... and, for a change, it's a pretty stellar line-up.  In fact, this may be the first time in 10 or 12 years that I completely agree with all of their selections.  (As mentioned months ago in FH, the fact that so few new artists became eligible this year, The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame had the opportunity to dip back a little bit and finally recognize some of the long-overdue talent they had snubbed in the past.)  In fact, the ONLY "newbie" on the list is Nirvana, inducted in their first year of eligibility.  Also making the cut in this year's balloting are Peter Gabriel, Daryl Hall and John Oates, Kiss, Linda Ronstadt and Cat Stevens.  

In addition Beatles manager Brian Epstein and Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham will ALSO be honored in the non-performer category, receiving the Ahmet Ertegun Award.  (This has got to be GREAT news for Bob Rush, U.S. Correspondent to "The Beat" ... Bob's been pushing to get a petition circulated to get Brian Epstein's name on the ballot ... and recently interviewed Andrew Loog Oldham for "The Beat"!!!)  

The induction ceremony will take place on April 10, 2014, at Brooklyn's Barclays Center ... and, for the very first time (in New York City), the general public will be able to attend the ceremony.  (It was previously held at the Waldorf Astoria Ballroom in New York ... and then moved to larger venues in Cleveland and Los Angeles.)  The fact that the ceremony is now being held in a large arena makes this the biggest ceremony event ever in The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame's history.  As usual, HBO will air a recap of the event in May.  Tickets will go on sale in January.  

The recognition of Linda Ronstadt and Hall and Oates is LONG overdue ... both artists have long figured prominently on our "Deserving And Denied" List of artists overlooked by The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.  Unfortunately, Linda is saying that she may not be able to attend the ceremony.  After announcing earlier this year that she is battling Parkinson's Disease (and unable to sing), Linda told Rolling Stone Magazine "My health is not great right now.  It's most likely I that I won't be able to make it to New York in April. Travel is very difficult for me."  

Rolling Stone Magazine also reports that Hall and Oates are very gratified by this honor. "It was a bit of a surprise to me," Daryl Hall said.  "I've always been sort of on the other side of the fence with the old guard and the powers that be ... this whole new generation of people are looking at me and John in a different way."  

Cat Stevens may seem to be a bit of a surprising choice, given the fact that his music wasn't really "rock and roll" by traditional definition.  He also alienated a lot of fans (and critics) several years ago when he changed his name to Yusuf Islam and converted over to the Muslim faith.  However there's no denying his impact on the music scene during his peak years of 1971 - 1974 ... he was literally EVERYWHERE.  (One of my all-time favorite "cult movies" is "Harold And Maude" ... and Stevens provides the entire soundtrack to this film from start to finish.)  Although The Rock And Roll Hall of Fame insists it is not in any influenced by record sales, Stevens racked up quite a few of those, too!  

Kiss FINALLY makes the ballot.  (The Rock Hall acknowledged that it has received THOUSANDS of letters from Kiss fans demanding their induction!)  And Nirvana, as expected, gets inducted on their very first ballot.  This will be the second induction for Peter Gabriel ... he was previously enshrined in 2010 as part of Genesis.  Bruce Springsteen's E-Street Band will also get a special nod of recognition when they are presented with "The Award For Musical Excellence."  (Betcha they figure pretty dominantly in the jam session that closes the ceremony!)  

All-in-all, some pretty happy news to report (for a change!) in Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Land.  Congratulations to all the winners!  
Kent Kotal 
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