Who Picks The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees?

BOSTON (WBZ-AM) - It’s that time of year again, when the clueless insiders who pick the annual inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland come out with their list, and true music fans start screaming.

I have no real quarrel with the names on this year’s list. The Cars, Dire Straits, Bon Jovi and the Moody Blues are all worthy. 

But are any of them more worthy than the J. Geils Band, Nine Inch Nails, The Smiths, or New Order?Singer Nina Simone is in this year, as is the so-called “godmother of rock and roll,” gospel singer Sister Rosetta Tharpe. 

They’re both fantastic. But if they’re going to include jazz, gospel and soul artists in the Hall, which they do and certainly should because of the profound overlap between rock and those genres, isn’t it about time John Coltrane got a ticket? 

And as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s Wikipedia entry points out, how do they justify not making room for the Tower of Power, the iconic, interracial funk band that was a big part of the San Francisco Bay area music scene of the late 1960s and are still packing houses around the world fifty years later?

 Are you kidding me?

From what I read, the problem is that the Hall is controlled by a small group of smug industry types, some with no musical experience of their own, who refuse to discuss their process, and constantly display their shallow knowledge of music history.

But in the end, who cares? I’ll make my pilgrimage to the Cabot in Beverly later this month to see Tower of Power live, the way rock should be experienced, and give Cleveland a pass. 

Because a dumb museum is the exact opposite of what rock and roll is really all about.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. Listen to his previous podcasts on iHeartRadio. 

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