charles campbell photo
By Steve Newton
It’s been 10 days since the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced its nominees for induction in 2018, choosing a whopping 19 bands and artists this time around. They include, in alphabetical order: Bon Jovi, Kate Bush, the Cars, Depeche Mode, Dire Straits, Eurythmics, J. Geils Band, Judas Priest, LL Cool J, MC5, The Meters, Moody Blues, Radiohead, Rage Against the Machine, Rufus Featuring Chaka Khan, Nina Simone, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Link Wray, and the Zombies.
What I still can’t believe is that they left undeniably worthy rock legends like Johnny Winter and Rory Gallagher off the list yet again–even though they’ve been eligible since 1993 and 1996, respectively—instead giving the nod to the likes of synth-poppers Depeche Mode and hair-metal stars Bon Jovi. (At least they didn’t go with Chic again.)
What the hell is up with the Rock Hall’s nomination committee? Have they never even listened to Live Johnny Winter And or Live in Europe? Do they have no idea what rock ‘n’ roll sounds like? Do they have a grudge against guitar heroes for some weird reason? WTF!
Back in 2015, after five years of slagging the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for its inconceivable ignorance of the best rock music from the past, I went ahead and established my own institution to pay tribute to the stellar artists the RRHOF deems unworthy. I inducted Winter and Gallagher–along with Link Wray, Iron Maiden, and Deep Purple–into Newt’s Rock Hall. (Because NRH is only open to musicians and bands that HAVE NOT already been inducted into that other Hall in Cleveland, I had to take Deep Purple out in December of 2015 when–after 22 years of eligibility–Jann Wennerschnitzel and his braindead cronies finally voted them in. I filled the spot with the mighty Thin Lizzy, because they deserve it, and lord knows the Rock Hall would never consider them.)
I agree with some of the 2018 nominees the RRHOF has selected, like the J. Geils Band, the Cars, Dire Straits, and pioneering blues-rocker Sister Rosetta Tharpe. And of course it’s great to see them nominate, once again, Link Wray, whose absence from the official Rock Hall is as disturbing as that of Johnny and Rory’s.
But I’ll bet Ear of Newt readers can come up with even more deserving choices, which I will consider for induction into Newt’s Rock Hall, Class of 2018. Send in your picks, and I’ll announce the winners in December sometime, whenever that other Rock Hall decides theirs.
Newt’s Rock Hall inductees to date: Rory Gallagher, Johnny Winter, Link Wray, Iron Maiden, and Thin Lizzy (Class of 2015); Blue Oyster Cult, Mott the Hoople, UFO, Ten Years After, and Robin Trower (Class of 2016); and Warren Zevon, Albert Collins, Jethro Tull, Ronnie Montrose, Rick Derringer, and Gary Moore (Class of 2017). Can you believe that none of these are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame yet? Shameful, I’d say.